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Old July 5, 2019, 03:18 PM
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Default It's Finally Done!

2 years of work, buying parts one by one as I could afford them and as of last night, my PC rebuild is finally done. In case any of you are interested, I had discussed some of the work I was doing on this system about a year and a half ago here.

I finally managed to get the last group of parts over the last week (this group was a bit more involved than my previous incremental upgrades because each parts installation relied on also doing the other parts at the same time) and spent the day yesterday dismantling the PC and installing the last group of parts. Other than a new 12TB HDD, most of the final group of parts came down visual aesthetics implementation. But because I was making significant changes to the case (because I was modding a Dark Base Pro 900 Rev 1, part way to a Rev 2), it involved sourcing a new HDD rack panel (optional, but I bought it so I could install a PSU Shroud for the Rev 2 without having to sacrifice HDD capacity on my Rev 1 case), Dual HDD cage and a PSU shroud from BeQuiet. Which meant dismantling a significant chunk of the case, removing the original HDD rack panel and installing the new Rev 2 HDD rack panel, and moving all HDD's from the old rack to the new rack. (I really have to give BeQuiet's engineers credit. Their design of this case is incredible. The fact I can make these kinds of modifications to this case so easily without having to worry about needing to buy a new case due to the modularity and sheer level of customization it affords you has really impressed me to no end. They really deserve a lot credit and I can't sing their praises enough.) Giving the whole system a proper clean in the process. Then installing some new sleeved cable extensions for the CPU power connections, 24pin power and graphics card cables(moddified a 24pin cable comb by cutting it down to 22pin to get it to hold my 3 graphics card power cables evenly together). And finally installing the new PSU shroud.

Two years of work and it's finally done. Actually done. And I couldn't be happier with the results. Am I bragging. No. Am I stoked and revelling in having finished a big project that took up so much of my time. Absolutely! Thought I would share it here as this is kind of "the" place for sharing and talking about these things. Yes I will share some pictures of the finished build.

Build Specs with brief (notes): Used for gaming and demanding productivity workloads. Great 4K gaming rig.

BeQuiet Dark Base Pro 900 Rev 1.5 (Rev 1 partially converted to Rev 2 by me. It wasn't worth it to me to spend another 50 euros to fully convert to Rev 2 just get a front panel USB-C port, Especially when I already have a USB-C port on the back motherboard IO shield that never gets used because no devices currently come with a USB-C to USB-C cable.)
x5 140mm BeQuiet Silent Wings 3 case fans
Corsair AX860 860Watt Power Supply
Motherboard: MSI X399 Pro Carbon
CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X (16 core/ 32 thread) @ 3.4Ghz Base / 4.0Ghz Boost / 4.2Ghz XFR
Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 CPU Cooler (modified to use lighting cap from MSI Core Frozr L CPU cooler, and fan replaced with 2 Noctua Chromax NF-A15 HS-PWM fans / Noctua never looked so good!)
32GB G.Skill F4-3200C14Q-32GTZ @ 3200Mhz CL14 DDR4 RAM
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio graphics card
250GB Samsung 960 Evo M.2 NVME SSD Hard Drive (Operating System and Applications only)
500GB Samsung 970 Pro M.2 NVME SSD Hard Drive (For hotswapping demanding games only)
120GB Corsair Force 3 SATA SSD (Currently used for User Files - Documents, Music, Game Saves etc.)
12TB Western Digital UltraStar HC520 7200rpm HDD (Mass Storage so I can download and store all games locally without having to constantly redownload any game I want to play)
4TB Western Digital Black 7200rpm HDD (still deciding what to do with this one. This is the one I just upgraded to the 12TB from as 4TB was not enough space to hold all my games)
2TB Western Digital Black 7200rpm HDD (Backups drive)
1TB Western Digital Black 7200rpm HDD (Download Drive - This is the drive I use for torture for repeated writes and rewrites from downloads. This way control where the repeated writes goes, reducing wear and tear on the other drives and extending their life span. This is the drive I don't care if it dies. Recently upgraded to 1TB as old 500GB recently died, so this was the next oldest drive and consequently took it's place. A couple of my drives are 10 years or older, but are still running perfectly because of this method of managing wear and tear.)
1TB Western Digital Black 7200rpm HDD (Miscellaneous Drive - Used for whatever miscellaneous tasks I need it for, such as Virtual Machines, video encoding, big jobs that require a significant amount of hard drive space, temporary storage, etc.)
LiteOn Blu-Ray ROM / DVD rewriter (Yes I still use an optical drive for some things and I have no intention of getting rid of it.)
CableMod Pro ModMesh Sleeved Cables - Carbon

Pictures: (Case lighting LED's are capable of solid color or White, Red, Greed, Blue, and Amber and you can see some of these in the pics I posted in my previous thread I linked above. But I have only included a couple pics in White, Amber and Off. I mostly run the system with the case LED's turned off because I like that the lighting is less distracting with them off and I actually like the components doing all the talking when it comes to lighting. It actually works in this case.)
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Last edited by bignick277; July 6, 2019 at 06:57 AM.
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Old July 6, 2019, 06:25 AM
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Nice, pretty decent machine there.
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Old July 6, 2019, 06:41 AM
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Should be perfectly capable of playing games and then some.......


Nice system....
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Old July 6, 2019, 07:07 AM
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Looks great! I'm assuming the reflection in that last pic is of the background on your monitor/TV and not the view from your window?? :)

That's one hell of a lot of storage devices in one machine.
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Old July 6, 2019, 08:02 AM
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Thanks. Lol yeah, that's my desktop in the reflection. And yeah it is a lot of storage, but to be fair, I never bought all that storage for one system. I just ended up with that many drives in the course of upgrading to bigger drives over the course of many years, as I ran out of space on the older drives. Games have gotten so big so quickly over the last several years.

The only drives that were specifically bought for this system were the 2 NVME's and that was for performance reasons. The 12TB was bought specifically because I ran out of space on my 4TB drive. The rest of the drives are all inherited from the old rig I upgraded from.

I've never bought more than 2 hard drives at any given time. Usually just one as needed. But since the old drives were still good, I just repurposed them to get more use out of them. I don't throw any hardware away nor let them go to waste. They always get repurposed either in my system, or in one of the various other systems in the house, like my partners computer or the media server or game server.

I can usually get between 10-15 years of use out of various hardware, provided they don't die before that time, being filtered down the tiers until other systems get upgraded to the point that I actually can't find a job for that hardware to be repurposed for. At which point (if the hardware is still functional), I donate that hardware to someone who "can" put it to use. Just last year, I finally said goodbye to my old QX9650 system as the system it was being used for got upgraded to a 2600K. That's a 12 year old system, but was still working perfectly. So I donated that CPU, motherboard and RAM to whoever could put it to use in our building.

Last edited by bignick277; July 6, 2019 at 08:21 AM.
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Old July 8, 2019, 12:50 PM
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Update:

Unfortunately, I ended up having to take the system apart again last night, because I found what was apparently a long standing stability issue with my power supply. But because the power supply technically worked and the stability issues I was encountering were only apparent when I was playing the most demanding games, I always assumed it was something else. Buggy game, graphics drivers, Windows Update etc. I ran it like this for years. The system was always a little temperamental. Both this build and the old build I used this same PSU in. Having "good days" (where it just ran beautifully) and "bad days" (where nothing ever went right). But I always just attributed it something else. I never even thought the problem could possibly be with my PSU. But when the stability issues got even worse after I installed the cable extensions (a lot worse), it was the first time I could actually attribute this specific symptom to a specific change I made in the computer. And that change was directly related to the my power supply. So I decided to try to eliminate the PSU as a possible source (this was after checking every cable thoroughly obviously, disconnecting and reconnecting to ensure secure connections) by disconnecting all the power cables from the components and connecting everything up to my backup power supply (EVGA SuprNova G2 850W) I had installed in my game server (I bought it years ago to power my game server, but bought an overpowered one so it could act as a backup for my main rig in case my current power supply ever died) and running it for several hours under the same conditions as my original power supply. The reasoning being, if the problems persisted, then my PSU was not the issue, but if the problems disappeared, then the PSU was most likely the source of the issue.

The stability issues disappeared completely. I mean completely! The system even ran completely quiet while gaming (AC Odyssey - AKA The Notorious Crasher - on my system). I should clarify this point. While gaming I would constantly hear a fan rev up and down repeatedly. This is something most people hear every day and think nothing of it. I did too because I assumed it was either the graphics card or CPU fans revving up under the higher load. Hell, even if you put your ear to the case it would be virtually impossible to tell which fan exactly was revving up because the GPU is right on top of the PSU and the CPU cooler is right on top of the graphics card. So being able to pinpoint exactly which fan is revving up and down is extremely difficult because they all sound like they're coming from the same place. So I assumed it was either the CPU or graphics card making all the noise. Not an unreasonable assumption given I've been a PC gamer for 20 years and been buiding high end rigs for over 15 years. I've had a long history of gaming on loud high powered graphics cards that sound like jet engines while gaming lol. So I never paid any real mind to it. That is until last night after switching to my backup power supply and noticed that the fan revving completely disappeared under the same conditions. No matter how much I stressed it, my system remained cool and collected and completely silent. I couldn't believe it. I never realized just how good the cooling solutions I picked for this rebuild actually were until now.

So what all of this told me is something is seriously wrong with my Corsair AX860 power supply. The power supply should not need to rev up that high to keep itself cool (and yes, I did check for dust. The dust levels are fine because I've always had it on air vents that had a proper filter installed and I kept those filters clean. So dust levels were really low). Plus every time the game would crash, that fan was revving way up, but when I would check my CPU and GPU temps, they would always be within normal ranges. Which is why I never thought it was an overheating issue. But to be fair, I never thought to check the PSU and there's no way to check PSU temps using a hardware monitor. Not that I would know what normal temp ranges would be for a PSU anyway. Quite frankly, in 15 years of working with computer hardware, this is the first time I ran into an issue like this. My experience of a bad PSU was always it either works or it doesn't. This is the first time I've seen a bad one that works, but is unstable. But the instability is only causing applications and games to crash under high loads, but not crashing the whole system entirely. I've seen them work and then crash the entire system under load, but never like this where only the applications crash to desktop, but keeps working. But I can't deny that my system is completely stable with my backup power supply and unstable with my original one.

So this is going to be a really interesting conversation with Corsair. Especially since just last year, I had to call Corsair for a warranty replacement of a PCI-E cable I found to be faulty (which actually was crashing the entire system at the time). Thankfully I'm only five and a halve years into a seven year warranty, but whenever I've had to do warranty replacements in the past, I was always able to definitively prove the fault (such as using memtest86+ to prove faulty memory modules) in order to secure a replacement. But this time is going to be difficult. It's going to be a conversation of, "The PSU works, but it's unstable. I have no proof because I have neither the equipment needed for properly testing a PSU's full functionality nor the knowledgebase needed to use that equipment even if I did. But I know the unit is faulty." Yeah.... I've seen where these kinds of discussions tend to go before, lol. For the meantime, I've now completely removed the Corsair PSU from my rig and installed the EVGA PSU. I'm going to do a few more days of testing using the EVGA PSU to make sure it is completely stable (and make sure no other previous symptoms reappear), so that when I call Corsair, I have more data points available to back up my assertions as best I can.

Have any of you ever experienced this kind of issue before?

Last edited by bignick277; July 9, 2019 at 01:56 AM.
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Old July 8, 2019, 10:50 PM
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Just tell them about the weird fan behaviour. Even the best lines of equipment can have the odd bad component slip in. I think they will stand behind their product and honour the warranty.


This is a prime example of why it pays to buy quality PSU's.




Let us know how it goes.


Edit: There is a sticky RMA Experience thread in the Troubleshooting Forum....

Last edited by Valkyrie; July 8, 2019 at 10:57 PM.
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Old July 9, 2019, 04:11 AM
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I think I had the AX 850 or was it only 860? Either way, I had to RMA mine too, however in my case, my PC wouldn't boot at all randomly. Swapped out the PSU and told Corsair that the new PSU worked fine, so it was a no-hassle RMA. They sent me back a HX850 80+ Gold instead though. I don't want to make assumptions, but maybe that AX line was faulty as a whole?
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Old July 9, 2019, 08:28 AM
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Corsair's PSU's are made by a bunch of different people different capacities and different outputs might be done by different people. So it is very possible a batch of AX500-800ish being done by one company and HX500-800 being done by another and even having AX/HX 1000+ being done by another. I stopped keeping track of all of it.
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Old July 10, 2019, 12:23 AM
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This is super weird
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