I’m very excited about hearing the news that NVidia has one final 3000 card to unveil, their ground floor budget model 3060. That is absolutely the card I should buy to perfectly match my system. I still see no chance to get one before Black Friday at the earliest, at least for a price I’m willing to pay, but still, I’m excited. The onboard chipset graphics is fine for me until then.
New computer is for the most part all set up. I still have to set up the RAM, which is defaulting to a pathetic 2133. (I’ll kick that up to 3200 once I figure out how.) It’ll be weeks or months or forever until I feel like I’ve fully finished setting everything up software-wise, but largely it’s good to go. The overall build does have a few quirks I don’t love, but on the whole I’m absolutely thrilled.
My minor complaints:
The fractal case made it difficult to connect its own USB 3.0 front port connector into the motherboard due to the case cut-out being almost in the way of it. I did manage to get it connected, but it’s putting pressure on the motherboard. Seems to be working fine but will it hold up for 8 years? Who knows. I was unaware of this issue until I actually plugged in the usb 3.0 ports.
Also with the fractal case, there is no HD LED indicator. I find that super annoying, so I plugged the Power LED into the HD LED jumpers on the motherboard. Not having a Power LED is mildly annoying, but much less annoying than not having an HD LED would be. I learned about this one beforehand, so was ready for it.
An apparent quirk of MSI motherboards is with wireless keyboard/mouse waking up the computer. If you don’t set “Wake on USB” in the bios, neither device can wake the computer. But when I do set it in bios, both the keyboard and mouse not only wake the computer from sleep, but they also turn the computer on even if it’s fully powered off. That’s super annoying, but I’ll learn to deal. It had never even occurred to me that such a thing were possible, so this was a surprise. Oh well, live and learn.
Here’s pictures of my first-ever cable management effort. In fairness, I have no video card and a single 2.5" SSD so cable management was super easy, but again, my first ever effort:
Obviously that CPU power cable isn’t exactly “managed” but I didn’t feel comfortable folding it to run it to the side of the motherboard cutout, so I just ran it straight through, old-school style. Otherwise I tried to keep everything as neat as possible.
Because running silently was such a priority for me, I also have sound recordings. I recorded with my phone laying on top of both computer cases.
Links to SndUp: (“Sound Upload”, an audio sharing site.) Unintuitively, you have to click “Download File!” link to make it play in your browser. Kick the volume all the way up to max (in the browser) for all three.
As a baseline, here’s the sound of the empty room with no computer running. You can hear the pipes clicking (4 times) from the baseboard heating when you crank it all the way up.
Here’s the sound of the new computer, which I turn on with the keyboard 4 seconds in. You can hear the keyboard click clear as day. The only other thing that can be heard is those same pipes clicking as heard on the “No Computer” sample.
When I put on my crappy $6 Panasonic headphones that I love, and crank this volume all the way up to max, the sound I hear is pretty much the actual volume of what the old computer sounded like to me in the room. (For context, I keep my Windows volume control at 50%, and Firefox is set to max, which means Firefox is also at 50%.)
As you might imagine, I am thrilled with how much quieter this new computer is compared to the old one. Still getting used to the sound of the central air filter noise in this room – which I never heard before over the loud computer – but as of yet my heart hasn’t exploded and I haven’t gone insane, so I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.
Here’s some actual quality-of-life benchmarks comparing my old system and new:
||GeForce GT 630
||Intel UHD 630
||1TB M.2 NVME
||2TB 2.5" SSD"
*Audio file was 600MB, which is consistent with the occasional audio editing I’ve been doing lately, and one of the reasons I started thinking to myself “I need a new computer.”
I have never been a fan of fast boot, which is why I never turned my old computer off, I just put it to sleep. The new computer boots in 12 seconds with fast boot, but I very much prefer to go through the full “clean” boot process each time. From 4 minutes down to 26 seconds is the kind of massive improvement I was hoping to see, and I am not disappointed.
The audio file editing was a little disappointing. Not quite twice as fast isn’t exactly the improvement I was hoping for, but it is still faster. Audacity only uses a single core, so only 1/6th of the 10400’s power is being used. (7-zip will be a better comparison since it uses all 6 cores, confirmed with testing.)
Speaking of testing all 6 cores, setting 7-Zip to 6 cores and then zipping up a gigabyte’s worth of firefox profile (6000+ folders, 12000+ files, 400MB final zip size; seriously, wtf?!) showed pretty even temperatures on all 6 cores, all around 9-10 degrees warmer than idle while zipping. I’m taking that as evidence that I did well enough on the thermal paste. One core is consistently maybe 2 degrees warmer than the rest, so not perfect but good enough.
I really can’t express how overjoyed I am with this system. I haven’t bought a “real” computer since the late 90s; both my last two computers were crappy budget boxes. This feels like a real computer, albeit a bit on the slow side. Stll, c’est magnifique!