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 Post subject: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Extreme
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 4:56 pm 
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The new system shortly after arriving here at the den:

Image

Since this is going to be a pretty long narrative (usually I would post as I went along the build but...), I will be dividing it into separate parts (that way I won't get tired of typing it all either :D ) . Here's part 1:

Usually when I buy a new system I like to go as high-end as I possibly can. This, in my view, ensures that for a number of years the PC will not become obsolete and will be able to run the latest games etc - at least until the next generation has advanced enough to make buying a whole new PC worth it.

One of the problems of being in the leading edge is that it can be quite expensive, of course.

When told about my reasoning, most people I know will actually provide a perfectly good excuse for my behavior: "oh, you work with computers, you do this for a living, so you need it".

The truth is that no, I actually do not *NEED* it. Programming and compiling code is not that computational resource intensive, hasn't been for years. I just like to experiment with new things, play with the latest and greatest - and, to be blunt, because I can, I do. Computers have been one of my passions since I was a kid, after all.

On the other hand I don't go around replacing perfectly good hardware just because something new has come out and is now all the rage. For instance, I tend to use the same phone until the battery starts having problems holding a charge for a full day - i.e.; normally a minimum of 3 years.

The last full system I got was around January 2019, which makes it barely 3 years old. It initially featured among other things a Cooler Master C700M case with an Intel 9900K, 64GB of DDR4 RAM, an nVidia 2080 TI, Seasonic Prime 850W Titanium PSU and the cherry on top of the cake: a 960GB Intel Optane 905p as the main system drive.

Image

Quite a bad ass and that thing still *flies* today (and is considered high end), especially after replacing that Strix 2080 TI with a 3090 for 4K 120Hz HDR gaming on a 48" LG CX OLED TV/Monitor.

In 2021, however, there was a HUGE generational leap on fall fronts: the Alder Lake 12900K with 8 Performance cores and 8 Efficient cores came out, we went from PCI 3.0 to PCI 5.0 and from DDR4 to DDR5. This piqued my interest, of course.

As usual with big generational leaps, there were some birthing pains: I read about some problems with the Z690 platform, plus I knew it would take some time for the true potential of DDR5 to bloom, just like it happened with DDR4 when that first came out. Therefore I intended to wait at least a year, to make sure all the kinks had already been ironed out, before jumping ship to a new system.

Then Windows 11 came out and threw a wrench on my sensible plans. I did not want to install it on my main Windows 10 production system lest I ran into some incompatibility with the development environment I could not solve or some other catastrophe, and Microsoft's TPM 2.0 hardware requirements made sure that I could not install it on any other PCs I have here either.

I tried to upgrade one of my Windows 10 VMs to Windows 11 but I couldn't do that because Oracle's VirtualBox was not yet compatible with it either (and apparently MONTHS later we are still waiting for Oracle to add a fully-fledged virtual TPM to VirtualBox).

This, not knowing when Oracle would finally come up with a VirtualBox version fully compatible with Windows 11, together with reports of some incompatibilities of Winstep software with the new version of Windows (e.g.; power, volume and network systray icons not visible plus UWP Apps menu and shelf tab popping up blank) made me realize it was probably better for me to bite the bullet now and jump the gun to a new system running Windows 11 Pro from root.

This would ensure I kept my Windows 10 system as a fully functional plan B in case something went wrong with migrating my development environment to Windows 11, and it also meant I would be running Windows 11 as my daily driver from then on, thus making sure I experienced first hand any potential problems with it and Winstep software (nothing like eating your own dog food).

Furthermore, I wouldn't need to buy EVERYTHING again: because I had upgraded my GPU to a 3090 on my Windows 10 system, I still had the 2080 TI in a box here (I always keep old hardware just in case I might need it again some day - and usually that is what ends up happening).

Also, Seasonic PSUs prior to the 3000 series GPUs had issues with the overcurrent protection system and the power spikes typical to the new series of GPUs (nothing to do with total wattage) - you would be playing a game, the 3090 would suddenly (keyword here is "suddenly") demand a lot of power and the Seasonic PSU would instantly turn off to protect itself and your system, assuming the sudden power spike meant a short circuit somewhere.

For this reason I had already replaced my original Seasonic Titanium 850W PSU with a ROG THOR 1200W Platinum PSU (plus I love the fact that you can see total system power consumption on the OLED screen of the THOR). This meant I also had a perfectly good 850W PSU in a box here.

So, for the new system I only needed a case, CPU, RAM, NVMe system drive (decided to leave the Intel Optane on my Windows 10 system) and a CPU cooler.

I ordered an Asus Z690 Extreme motherboard (yeah, overkill, I know), an Intel 12900K, 64 GB of Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR5 at 5200Mhz (2x32), a 2TB Seagate FireCuda 530 (Gen4) as the system drive, a ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO (I decided to try liquid cooling for the first time, hope I don't come to regret that decision) and an Asus ROG Helius case.

To be able to clone my development environment into the new system and make it fully functional, I temporarily installed my Seasonic 850W PSU and the 2080 TI into it.

Once I had everything working in terms of software and I was ready to promote the new system to my main development system, it was time to swap some components.

I moved the ROG THOR PSU, the nVidia Strix 3090, two Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB NVMe drives and a 4TB Western Digital HDD from the old to the new system.

I also replaced the original non-PWM fans in the Helios case with three Noctua Industrial 2000 RPM intake fans at the front (great airflow and no RGB, so as not to spoil the illuminated pattern on the front glass of the Helios) and a Corsair LL140 RGB at the back as exhaust.

In the old system I installed the 2080 TI and my older Seasonic 850W PSU (which never had any issues with the 2080 TI) to replace the (now) missing components. I also installed three Corsair LL140 fans I had lying around here to replace the three Noctua Industrial fans I had moved to the new system.

For a couple of days my living room looked like this as I swapped things around:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2022 8:42 pm 
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Phew, what a PITA! I'd go nuts. I did when I finally put my new PC together, and that was far less complex and complicated.

And - Jorge, you've acquired a beard! Well done, that man! ;) Oh, and a few extra pounds, since I last saw a pic of you some 20 years ago!

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2022 3:18 pm 
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nexter wrote:
Phew, what a PITA! I'd go nuts. I did when I finally put my new PC together, and that was far less complex and complicated.


Yeah, it actually was a real PITA and it took me much longer than expected. I'll describe the process in more detail in a future post below. :D

nexter wrote:
And - Jorge, you've acquired a beard! Well done, that man! ;) Oh, and a few extra pounds, since I last saw a pic of you some 20 years ago!


Ahaha, with the lockdown I decided to grow a beard for the first time - liked it so I've kept it since then. And yeah, I stopped smoking three years ago so I also gained a few pounds - something quite new for me as until now I had been pretty thin all my life! :D

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2022 9:33 am 
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I really, really, like the Cooler Master C700M case I use in my previous Win10 system. It's a $400+ case, but where that money went clearly shows in built quality, looks, etc...

The C700M has really good airflow with temperatures inside the case never going above more than 1-2 degrees C above ambient, even at full load.

In case you're wondering, I use Argus Monitor to regulate the speed of the case fans based on a combination of GPU and CPU temperatures (and not just CPU temperature as most fan controllers do it).

Anyway, for the Windows 11 system I wanted to try something different, so I went with the Asus ROG Helios, a $300 case - I liked the looks plus the fact that it allowed you to position your GPU vertically (something I had never tried) in one of two different ways without having display cables running inside the case.

There's a really good KitGuru review of the Helios case here, if you'd like to know more about this case:



The fact that the Helios is a cheaper case than the C700M shows in a few ways though. Here's a list of some pros and cons (in my opinion, of course) relative to the C700M:

1. BAD: the tempered glass side panel

First and foremost, the tempered glass side panel is NOT on hinges. You have to press a button at the back of the case which releases a latch and allows you to then lift the glass out of the case.

This is nowhere near as convenient as on the C700M where you can simply swing the glass panel open to have full access to the interior of the case (although you can also detach it completely if necessary) PLUS it greatly increases the risk of accidentally breaking the glass.

Apparently the most common way people accidentally break their tempered glass panels is when attempting to put them back in: they think the panel is hooked at the bottom, but it is not and when they let go it drops **vertically** onto the desk/hard floor, the impact force on he glass edge shattering it into a million pieces.

Jayz has a video showing this:



Having no hinges is a big annoyance to me because I regularly clean the inside of my PCs (very fine dust will always find a way to get into it over time, regardless of how good the fan filters are) plus I often like to tinker with things inside (there's a reason I created a Windows *customization* app after all :D ).

2. BAD: the PSU shroud.

On the C700M the PSU shroud is made of two independent pieces: a vertical panel and the top horizontal cover. The top cover slides into the vertical panel and can be easily removed, giving you quick access to the PSU compartment - and also the bottom connectors of the motherboard - without having to unscrew the vertical panel first.

Handling the vertical panel is quite easy too, you just remove a couple of screws and it comes right off.

Image

On the other hand, the best word to describe the Helius PSU shroud is, in my opinion, "clumsy".

It too is divided into two pieces, but rather than that being a top cover and a side panel, the shroud is basically cut in half. The left half covers the PSU from the side and from above, while the right half covers the hard drive bay at the bottom of the case.

Image

To access the PSU you are forced to remove both halves, and even then it's not straightforward as these covers have to be "wiggled" a bit before they relent to come out - and this is probably the main complaint I have with the Helios, everything seems to need being wiggled a bit in order to fit, instead of the smoothly sliding into place typical of the C700M:

Furthermore, while vertical panel of the PSU shroud on the C700M is very easy to put in place with the screw holes immediately aligning perfectly, the Helios requires you to shift the shroud back and forth until you can align a screw hole with another hole you can barely see (and access) at the very bottom of the case.

If you look closely at the photo above, you should notice that the front half of the PSU cover has some ROG branding writing and symbols on it - this actually looks quite nice. However, being black on black the letters and symbols basically become invisible in a dark room.

Because there is very little space between the shroud and the external frame of the case, and also because of the way the tempered glass "hooks" into these bottom rails, it becomes a PITA trying to place a led strip at the bottom to illuminate these symbols.

The shroud also has a "window" into the side of the PSU - this is obviously in order to show off their range of ROG THOR PSUs - unfortunately it is cheap plastic, not glass, and seems to attract lots of dust (coming, I assume, from the front intake fans). This soon results in a 'dirty window' look, with the added aggravation that you can't really clean it from the inside without removing the whole shroud first.

The PSU shroud on the C700M did not have a window - but when I replaced my Seasonic 850W with the 1200W ROG THOR because of the issues with the 3090 GPU, I obviously wanted to show off its RGB and see the total system power consumption displayed on the OLED screen of the PSU. You can read about how I accomplished this at the time HERE if you want. :D

3. BAD: Airflow and the now-PWM stock fans.

One thing that really surprised me because of how last century it is, was that the Helios came with non-PWM 140mm fans attached to a non-PWM fan controller.

I installed a DeepCool PWM 10 fan Hub, removed all four stock fans and replaced them with three 140mm 2000RPM Noctua Industrial at the front and a Corsair LL140 RGB at the back.

Air flow is a bit stifled because of the Helios glass front panel, but with the Noctua Industrial fans, temperatures inside the case when idle and under load are nearly as good as they were with the C700M.

Perhaps because of how restrictive the glass front panel already is (air can only come in from apertures at the top and bottom of the front panel which, although pretty wide, I'm not sure it's wide enough to properly feed three Industrial Noctuas at max RPM) the fan filters of this case are a lot wider (less fine) than the fan filters in the C700M (and also than some stand alone magnetic fan filters I ordered on Amazon).

While infinitely much better than nothing, this means fine dust can still pass through those filters without much obstruction. I already noticed that I'm having to clean the inside of the Helios much more frequently than that of the C700M.

Through Argus Monitor I have my three Noctua Industrial fans at the front set to a minimum of 50% RPM - the ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO also features three Noctua Industrial fans controlled by ASUS software, but since they run at lower speeds when idle I can still pretty much ensure positive air pressure, thus preventing non-filtered air from entering the case through the holes at the back.

4. VERY GOOD: Vertical GPU mounting.

Now this is a feature of the Helios that I REALLY, REALLY, love. :D

It allows you to place your GPU vertically in not one, but TWO possible positions.

One of the positions is very close to the motherboard, the other closer to the side glass panel - the former is the ideal position as GPUs too close to the glass get starved for air.

In both cases the GPU is mounted in such a way that the display connectors are outside the case, as normal.

Couple of pictures of when I was experimenting with the locations:

Image
(closer to the motherboard)


Image
(closer to the glass)


By contrast the C700M came with a vertical GPU mounting bracket (which would attach to the top of the PSU shroud) and a PCI 3.0 riser cable, but to use it you would have to run the video cable(s) through a grommet hole at the back of the case, which is nowhere near as convenient as having the connectors outside the case:

Image
(C700M vertical GPU mounting bracket system - NOT my PC!)


Furthermore, with the bracket attaching to the top of the PSU shroud, you would have to dismount the whole thing whenever you needed to access the PSU section below.

Not so with the Helios - the vertical GPU is attached to the brackets at the back of the case and floating a couple of inches or so above the PSU shroud, thus allowing you to remove the shroud whenever necessary without much trouble.

The Helios also has a built-in GPU anti-sag mechanism that can be used not only with horizontal mounted GPUs but also with a vertically mounted GPU if you mounted it closer to the motherboard.

Anyway, I still did have some trouble when trying to mount the 3090 vertically on this case, something which I'll address in part 3 (the build) of this article. :D

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2022 1:11 pm 
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winstep wrote:
nexter wrote:
Phew, what a PITA! I'd go nuts. I did when I finally put my new PC together, and that was far less complex and complicated.


Yeah, it actually was a real PITA and it took me much longer than expected. I'll describe the process in more detail in a future post below. :D

nexter wrote:
And - Jorge, you've acquired a beard! Well done, that man! ;) Oh, and a few extra pounds, since I last saw a pic of you some 20 years ago!


Ahaha, with the lockdown I decided to grow a beard for the first time - liked it so I've kept it since then. And yeah, I stopped smoking three years ago so I also gained a few pounds - something quite new for me as until now I had been pretty thin all my life! :D

Beard really suits you Jorge, and it's still nice and dark. Mine, alas, is almost all white (with just the odd black and the odd brown hair here and there), and as it's down to my chest and very frizzy small kids seem to think I'm bloody Santa! ;) Annoying. Never approved of lying to kids with all that Santa shit, wasn't subjected to it myself of course thank goodness.

Extra pounds - well, they're not too bad but being thin like myself also was better. :) Tip if you want to lose a few pounds - cut out all junk food, eat good, healthy Pork & Cheese home cooking instead, and smaller portions. Best 'diet plan' there is, and actually works. :D Smoking again also helps. ;) I've given that up so many times, but in the end decided sod it it's making me feel unwell and start eating too much and the wrong stuff like English puddings (things like fruit pies and crumbles, and similar things) and too much sweet stuff in general. Bad enough I'm a chocoholic (dark, min. 75% or higher cocoa solids - preferably 81-85%). So now I am a confirmed, committed smoker and unrepentent. Although, I won't touch cigarettes and haven't done in nearly 30 years. It helps when you have friends bringing you good - mainly Cuban - cigars quite frequently. :D

Oh, and fascinating stuff, building the Win 11 monster.

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2022 9:59 am 
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nexter wrote:
Tip if you want to lose a few pounds - cut out all junk food, eat good, healthy Pork & Cheese home cooking instead, and smaller portions. Best 'diet plan' there is, and actually works. :D Smoking again also helps. ;)


Ahaha, no intention of going back to smoking, thanks. The problem is that when I smoke, I smoke A LOT (as in I was smoking three packs a day), so not very good to your health. :D

I tried vaping first, but although healthier than tobacco for sure - NOT saying it is healthy, by the way, only that smoking is much worse - I considered it as simply replacing one addiction with another. So, one day I ran out of cigarettes and just decided not go buy any more.

Didn't even tell anyone I had stopped smoking, in case I relapsed, but they eventually found out for themselves ahaha - it was kind of funny seeing the look on their faces when they realized I had actually done it. :D

Anyway, for the past year I have been training with a PT three times a week. The major reason I decided to start training was realizing that after many years of smoking - PLUS a highly sedentary life - my respiratory reserves were very close to zero and I was in really bad physical shape, getting tired very easily.

That didn't bode well if I caught the bug (as it would eventually happen).

As I found out after several months, exercise alone doesn't make you lose weight. In fact, due to gains in muscular mass, I actually ended up GAINING weight lol

So a couple of months before I caught the bug I started intermittent fasting in conjunction with the physical exercise - it actually worked very well for me and I started loosing weight without any strength loss.

Of course, what happened after the bug put a sudden halt to all that for a couple of months, although I am now resuming the three times a week training as normal (in the first few weeks I was limited to half an hour walks on doctor's orders). :D

P.S. We are getting a "bit" :D off topic here, better tone it down lest the big bad moderator moves us to oblivion ehhe. :P

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2022 6:15 pm 
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winstep wrote:
P.S. We are getting a "bit" :D off topic here, better tone it down lest the big bad moderator moves us to oblivion ehhe. :P

You mean we're not having a discussion about Windows 11 anymore? :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2022 7:34 pm 
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winstep wrote:
....

P.S. We are getting a "bit" :D off topic here, better tone it down lest the big bad moderator moves us to oblivion ehhe. :P

Big bad, bad-ass, bad cop moderator reporting for duty! ;) Oblivion it should be! But, hey, you're the big boss admin.... :P

On a more serious note, actually, I think we should split this and take it somewhere more private, no?

Anyway, well done Jorge. Don't agree on the smoking and vaping though. Ready-made cigarettes are, without doubt, bad for you on account of the 100+ added chemicals (some of which are themselves addictive), which is why I've stuck with cigars and pipe. My lungs are fine and my blood oxygen level is better than most non-smokers'. (Cigar and pipe tobacco, apart from being free of chemical additives, other than the weed-/bug killer the plants are sprayed with, have the added advantage of much higher nicotine levels. This means I need to smoke far less than if I smoked today's almost nicotine-free cigs. :D I guess if I still smoked those (couldn't even afford them!) I'd be smoking about a hundred a day and still crawl up the wall craving more! ;) Vaping on the other hand seems to be far more dangerous than any kind of smoking, most of the chemicals used there are really nasty stuff. Tried it myself some years ago, made me cough like hell.

Those three packs/day you used to smoke are probably less nicotine than one small pack (10) 20 years ago. But nicotine isn't the real culprit. Sure, some of us - myself included - become hard-core addicts the first time we inhale, and that is far harder to shake than heroin, coke or smack. (But most people don't have the 'right' receptors for it in the brain and so just become habituated - smoking becomes a kind of ritual for them.)

Really, I think smoking has just been used as - excuse the pun! - a smokescreen and air pollution has been the real culprit all along. But if that had been admitted, there would have been riots in the streets.

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2022 3:49 am 
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nexter wrote:
winstep wrote:
....
Really, I think smoking has just been used as - excuse the pun! - a smokescreen and air pollution has been the real culprit all along. But if that had been admitted, there would have been riots in the streets.


Shut your mouth! I live in Califunny, where they think EVERYTHING is a carcinogen (if you think I'm joking, I manage a retail store and we have to put warning notices on the shelves where we sell our baked goods, because baked goods could cause cancer). Keep saying things like that and some politician will decide they need to pass a law making air illegal.

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2022 10:15 am 
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DesertDwarf wrote:
You mean we're not having a discussion about Windows 11 anymore? :shock:


Ahahaaha, actually this is supposed to be aa thread about the new Windows 11 system, not Windows 11 itself (although I will tackle my experience with it at the end of the story).

Spoiler alert: I hate change just for the sake of change, especially when you end up far worse and with less functionality than you previously were.

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2022 6:52 pm 
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vectornut wrote:
nexter wrote:
winstep wrote:
....

Really, I think smoking has just been used as - excuse the pun! - a smokescreen and air pollution has been the real culprit all along. But if that had been admitted, there would have been riots in the streets.


Shut your mouth! I live in Califunny, where they think EVERYTHING is a carcinogen (if you think I'm joking, I manage a retail store and we have to put warning notices on the shelves where we sell our baked goods, because baked goods could cause cancer). Keep saying things like that and some politician will decide they need to pass a law making air illegal.

LOL! Well Paul, that's Califunny Farm for you! ;) One of the world hotspots of neurosis. ;)

But actually, this time they wouldn't be far wrong. The air in the world's big towns and cities is so polluted it's unfit to breathe! This is *the* major cause in the drastic rise in the incidence of asthma in kids over the last 60-70 years. Alas! :(

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2022 7:14 pm 
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nexter wrote:
This is *the* major cause in the drastic rise in the incidence of asthma in kids over the last 60-70 years. Alas! :(


Asthma is caused by an over-active immune response, and there has been a steep rise in auto-immune diseases in the last decades.

I agree that it's due to environmental factors, but not so much because of what you stated, although that is (might be) certainly a factor. Problem is, our air has been getting cleaner with all the green push of the last few decades, but despite this auto-immune diseases are STILL on the rise.

I think the fact that we have been trying to make our living environment as sterile as we possible can, might actually be turning against us.

The immune system needs to be trained, especially at younger ages. If it doesn't learn to recognize friend from foe, it might - and will many times - turn against your own body.

For instance, I'm afraid we might still come to the conclusion that the lock downs for nearly two years will have a HUGE impact on our immune system.

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2022 7:17 pm 
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winstep wrote:
DesertDwarf wrote:
You mean we're not having a discussion about Windows 11 anymore? :shock:


Ahahaaha, actually this is supposed to be aa thread about the new Windows 11 system, not Windows 11 itself (although I will tackle my experience with it at the end of the story).

Spoiler alert: I hate change just for the sake of change, especially when you end up far worse and with less functionality than you previously were.

Can't wait to read more about it Jorge. Might get some hints and tips out of it, as I might be getting a new system myself courtesy of my friend's business towards the end of the year. They've decided to get a few state of the art desktops in to supplement their laptops and ease the workload on the server and he reckons there should be a spare. Latest AMD hardware (with TPM disabled/removed, if present), with Ubuntu pre-installed as they've totally switched to that themselves (server's always run Ubuntu). Of course, would have to change/add some of the stuff. For a start, it would need a half decent GPU card, and I'd have to replace the SSDs - don't trust them myself (although the speed's nice but don't really need it), and all my sticks are duplicated just in case.... - with proper HDDs.

Agreed, change of the sake of change is a bad plan AFAIC. But, that's the way of the modern world, I'm afraid. :(

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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2022 7:43 pm 
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winstep wrote:
nexter wrote:
This is *the* major cause in the drastic rise in the incidence of asthma in kids over the last 60-70 years. Alas! :(


Asthma is caused by an over-active immune response, and there has been a steep rise in auto-immune diseases in the last decades.

I agree that it's due to environmental factors, but not so much because of what you stated, although that is (might be) certainly a factor. Problem is, our air has been getting cleaner with all the green push of the last few decades, but despite this auto-immune diseases are STILL on the rise.

I think the fact that we have been trying to make our living environment as sterile as we possible can might actually be turning against us.

The immune system needs to be trained, especially at younger ages. If it doesn't learn to recognize friend from foe, it might - and will many times - turn against your own body.

For instance, I'm afraid we might still come to the conclusion that the lock downs for nearly two years will have a HUGE impact on our immune system.

Cleaner air may be true for a very small number of places, but the majority are more polluted than ever. (Hint: diesel cars, buses, and trucks don't help!) London's air positively stinks, for instance, and I'm positively relieved whenever I get back out of the place and can breathe cleaner air. According to most of the (peer-reviewed) literature, air pollution is still *the* major factor for asthma.

And yes, asthma is of course an auto-immune malfunction, if you like, and there are tons more of those around aside from asthma. However, alas, the immune system is not something that can be 'trained'. Also, it is more than doubtful that the lockdowns of the past two years or so could have the slightest effect on the human immune system. Even all that psycho-babble about the effects of the lockdowns etc. on mental health are, for the most part, just so much ballcocks as is almost all so-called psychology. (And even psychiatry has, alas, been almost totally corrupted through the influence of the 'PC' culture etc. Two of my friends left it years ago because of that.)

The origin of many auto-immune conditions incidentally seems to be something that our part-ancestors the Neanderthals bequeathed to us through their DNA. Most prominently skin conditions. But they also bequeathed us with a generally stronger immune system, it seems, as well as a few other good things. :)

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nexter - so, what's next?


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 Post subject: Re: New Win11 system: Alder Lake 12900K, 64GB DDR5, Z690 Ext
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 5:36 pm 
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The planning

Although I have no problem putting a new PC together from scratch, I prefer to have the shop where I buy all my computer stuff from do that for me (and then I tinker with it).

I've been buying from them for over a decade and the owner seems to be some kind of magician, able to get hardware that is not available anywhere else or is in extremely high demand everywhere else.

For instance, he found me an Asus Strix 3090 when those GPUs had just come out and were NOWHERE to be found - plus I basically paid MSRP for it (quite the miracle, not much later all the 3090's would be selling for literally DOUBLE the price, and that is assuming you could find one).

Anyway, I left my Seasonic 850W Titanium PSU and Asus Strix 2080 TI card at their shop so they could put the new system together using the rest of the components I had chosen.

The plan was for me to later swap those two components with the ROG THOR PSU and Strix 3090 I had on the C700M, but only after cloning my development environment and being ready to make the Windows 11 PC my new main system.

They ended up lending me a 32 GB kit (2x16) of ADATA XPG DDR5 memory at 6,000 Mhz while we waited for the 64 GB (2 x 32) kit of Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR5 RAM at 5200 Mhz to become available (didn't take them too long to find one either, by the way).

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Despite being slower than the ADATA DDR5 DIMMS, I wanted the Corsair DDR5 RAM for two main reasons:

First - at the time at least - it was the only 64GB kit of DDR5 memory available with 2 DIMMs (the Z690 platform has MAJOR instability issues trying to run 4 DIMMs at XMP speeds) and I really needed 64GB of RAM (I tend to keep dozens and dozens of Firefox windows and tabs open simultaneously).

Second, for aesthetic reasons: not only do they look extremely good, as I've learned the hard way that the ONLY RGB software worth using at this point is Corsair's iCue. All the rest is pure garbage by comparison.

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The actual build

So one day, once I felt I was ready, I took my two systems to the living room (more space and better working conditions than the office) and started taking both apart.

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First thing I did was swap the PSUs: the 1200W THOR went from my old C700M system to the Helios, and the Seasonic 850W to the C700M. Since the ROG THOR is Seasonic OEM there was no need to swap power cables around (I had previously confirmed this with both Seasonic AND Cablemod, the latter because I was using some custom black & white Cablemod cables on the C700M).

Be advised ONE MORE TIME: NEVER EVER EVER mix and match cables from different PSUs brands and even different models, they might NOT be compatible at the PSU level and you WILL blow up your system (literally). Many have made this very very costly mistake and lived to deeply regret it.

Second thing I did was move the three 140m 2000RPM Noctua Industrial fans I had on the C700M to the Helios case (those fans have no RGB but that is fine since it would interfere with the Helios RGB patterns on the transparent front panel anyway) and replace the original exhaust fan at the back with a 140mm Corsair LL140. On the C700M I installed three LL140's in place of the (now missing) Noctuas.

As I mentioned previously, the Helios comes with a non-PWM fan controller and non-PWM fans (ugh!). I had thus previously ordered a DeepCool FH-10 Fan Cooling Hub from Amazon which I installed and connected the four fans to (and the controller itself to a CHASSIS fan header on the motherboard).

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The Asus Z690 Extreme motherboard comes with a DIMM.2 riser card (DIMM.2 is an extra DIMM slot that allows you to plug in an expansion card with 2 NVMe SSDs, one on each side of the card) and that is where I decided to move my two Samsung 970 EVO 2TB NVMe drives to. Although the DIMM.2 slot on the Z690 Extreme supports Gen4 NVME drives, the 970 EVOs are Gen3 - but that is not a problem.

Here you can see what the Asus DIMM.2 riser card looks like from above (at the right) next to the Corsair Dominators that later replaced the ADATA XPG DDR5 kit:

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The Asus Z690 Extreme supports three more NVMe drives on the motherboard itself (for a total of five, counting with the two in the DIMM.2), but the M.2 slot connected directly to the CPU (under the little OLED display of the motherboard) is actually Gen5 compatible and thus shares bandwidth with the second PCIE 5.0 slot (as far as I know, at this time there are no consumer Gen5 NVMe drives available yet).

Installing a NVMe drive in that M.2 slot would disable the second PCIE 5.0 slot (even if the drive was not Gen5) AND make the GPU on the first PCIE 5.0 slot run at x8 instead of x16, so the Gen4 2TB 530 Seagate Firecuda was actually installed on the second M.2 slot of the motherboard, which is connected to the motherboard's chipset (PCH) and not the CPU. No biggie.

So, with my three NVMe drives I still have room for another NVMe drive - two if I decide to use out of necessity the first M.2 slot connected directly to the CPU. Considering I currently have 7TB of flash memory on this system (2TB Seagate Firecuda 530 + 2 x 2TB Samsung 970 EVO + 1TB T-Force Delta Max SATA SSD) I don't think I will be using them any time sooner (then again I like to keep my library of Steam games always installed, so you never know...). :D

I also moved the T-Force Delta SATA SSD from the C700M to the Helios, and here is where the problems started. One thing I really love about the C700M is that you can place up to three SATA SSDs on the side panel facing the glass (you can actually see two SATA SSDs on this photo, the T-Force at the top with built in RGB, the Crucial at the bottom with a custom made ASUS RGB cover):

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Not only that, but adding and removing drives is a breeze, you don't even need to screw the SSDs in place: the metal bases have little rubber grommits, you screw four metal pins onto the bottom of the SSD by hand and then simply insert those into the rubber grommits, which firmly attaches the drive to the case. To remove a drive, you simply pull it off.

EXTREMELY convenient and very well thought off.

Having the drives in that location is also a huge plus because they benefit from the airflow generated by all the fans at the front of the case.

The Helios, on the other hand, wants you to place those drives at the back. You have to screw them in (although the metal base where you screw the SSD to is actually removable and attached to the case with a thumbscrew) AND at that position I doubt they receive much airflow, if indeed any at all (plus they are basically not visible, laying all that nice RGB to waste :P ):

Image

A bit infuriating is the fact that the cable cover and GPU anti-sag mechanism that the Helios has at the front of the case actually SEEMS to be a perfectly good place to attach a SATA SSD to (photo is NOT of my PC, thanks to KitGuru once again):

Image

But alas, no, that is actually where you can optionally attach the Asus RGB + PWM fan controller that comes with the case. The horizontal distance between the screw holes is also wider than those at the bottom of SATA drives (although I later managed to move the T-Force SSD from the back of the case to that exact place).

More - and much, much, worse - issues coming up in the next part.

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Winstep Xtreme - Xtreme Power!
http://www.winstep.net - Winstep Software Technologies


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