Description

I made enough updates and mods to the original First Blood that I felt it would be best to make an update build instead of mucking up the original. See the link above for the original part reviews and descriptions/issues. Only the new parts will get reviews here.

GPU: Thanks to crypto, RAM shortages, aliens, North Korea, Bigfoot, the Rothchilds, Colonel Sanders, and various other parties, graphics cards are a little overpriced right now. And by a little, I mean, you know, like, criminally overpriced. However, this worked in my favor: I was able to recoup the cost of the 1050 Aero (great little card, btw), and I was able to get a 1050 Ti for a not ungodly price. I went with the MSI 1050 Ti Gaming X design because it looks rad. It sags a bit, which is not unexpected. So far, so good.

WiFi Card: Couldn't get that piece of crap Rosewill out of the machine fast enough. Spent a weekend trying to troubleshoot it, got frustrated, popped the TP-Link in, and never looked back. The TP-Link worked perfectly the moment I installed it, and no additional drivers were needed. Yeah it's green, but it's dark back there.

Lighting: I got this BitFenix LED strip and wedged it into the top corner above the glass. It isn't too bright, nor is it too dim. I love how it looks, even with the SickleFlow fans.

Storage: I added the little 80GB WD Caviar I ripped out of our old Windows XP machine just for completeness. It is the "Ancient Drive" on which I store all my MAME, NES, SNES, and other ROMs.

Impressions: Now that I've had this build running for a while, I've gotten to know it a lot better. There are some quirks: with Debian 9, I believe there is an issue with the nVidia driver that interferes with "hibernation", resulting in the computer not being able to wake up. To address this, I disabled hibernation completely. The fans are pretty loud, but oh well (see note at end). The RAM is beautiful, the case is great, and it hums along. The Ryzen 3 1300x is amazing, and the stock cooler isn't as underpowered as I originally thought. I would like to upgrade to a S340 elite eventually, maybe put a fancy backplate on the GPU, and get some sort of support (maybe a Lego scene with Rambo) to address the sag.

I appreciate all the comments I got on the original build. I did not take offense at any of the critiques on my GPU choice, and I took your recommendations seriously when deciding how to improve First Blood. Thank you.

NOTE ON LOUD FANS: So as it happens, I was tinkering with the ASRock BIOS trying to enquieten the Cooler Master fans. TL;DR: fan header #1 doesn't support speed control with 3-pin fans, but headers 2 and 3 do. When plugged into header 1, 3-pin fans run at 100% power by default. Switched headers, loudness problem solved.

ADVENTURES IN OVERCLOCKING: I've seen (alt: I done seen) some folks say they were (alt: was) able to overclock the 1300X to 3.9 GHz. I was able to go up to 3.7 with the system stable at 1.3 V, but any higher speed/voltage and welcome to Instability City of Crash County, Population: First Blood. It will still boost to 3.9, so I am quite happy with the elevated base speed. All hail Ryzen!

PERIPHERAL VISION: So one of the comments was that I should get a shnazzy keyboard and monitor. I don't have the monitor yet, but I do have the shnazzy keyboard: Red Dragon Devaraias mechanical RGB. It's gorgeous, has less clickity Outema Brown switches, and is a typing delight. The RBG settings are great and the girls LOVE the rainbow cycles. I added a few pics at the end.

Part Reviews

Video Card

This card looks so cool. Radical, even. It's not as long as beefier cards, but it still has a bit of sag to it. The MSI logo lights up white, and the red...things around the second fan light up red. The fans only kick on above 60 C. It doesn't have a backplate, but there are some aftermarket options out there if you absolutely got to have one.

Wireless Network Adapter

Perfect card for Linux. No complaints whatsoever. Buy it. NOW.

Custom

Not too bright, not to dim, perfect length for the S340 case. It illuminates with a beautiful, true red. The magnetic strip on the back is stronger than I expected, and it can daisy chain if you need more.

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Comments

  • 27 months ago
  • 3 points

Beautiful! Love it

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Savage! Great job. Love the Ryzen. If you want it quieter that's easy just upgrade your case fans to some premium ones. I got the Antec silent edition case fans, but any premium brand of quiet edition fans will work. My rig was pretty loud as well but after the upgrades it is almost completely silent. They have a low and high setting so I got 3- 120mm fans all set to low and it stays plenty cool. Also from your pictures it looks like your top fan mount can support a 140mm. One of those on ultra low setting can actually move a lot of air and is virtually undetectable. Nice work man!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

I will look into a larger fan. The NZXTs on the front are basically silent. These Cooler Masters were dirt cheap so I don’t mind upgrading.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the rig bud. You are definitely on the right track. Looks awesome and didn't cost a fortune. These new Ryzen chips are going to revolutionize the PC gaming world. Nice work man... :)

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm so excited to finally see someone else using Linux! When I saw the Debian logo on the wallpaper I clicked fast. lol =)

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Amazing PC! One thing that I would recommend however is upgrading your monitor and keyboard. It's awesome if you have a killer gaming PC, but that's nothing if you don't have a good monitor or keyboard... I would recommend the Corsair K55 which you can get for 50$, and the Acer H236HL for 100$. Both are fantastic starting equipment. Beautiful PC though!

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

I could say these are antiques filled with sentimental value, but reality is I am pretty cheap and I’m squeezing all I can out of them (the monitor is close to dying). I will check out your recommendations and talk to the missus about it.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

How much more was it to get the Gaming X card instead of the cheapest 1050 Ti?

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Don’t remember. I got this one as the price gouge was starting, and for 179 it was already about 30 bucks overpriced. Seem to recall the others (where available, which was not often) were about the same. I actually had to wait a really long time to get it. Now the cheapest 1050 Ti is 220, which is just ridiculous.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

what is the CPU cooler

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Stock cooler. The higher-up Ryzens have an LED version.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

First Blood should be able to easily run ARK, and probably at max settings without issue.

With your build, a couple comments:

The Wraith cooler that comes with the 1300x is really quite good. The Juno-x looks cool but it may run into issues with overclocking.

I personally prefer WD to Seagate. SG quality seems to have dropped over the last few years.

I’m mostly okay with the Gigabyte GPU. A 1050 should be able to play ARK just fine, but if you can snag a 1050 Ti at a less-horrible price (i.e. less than 200) I would highly recommend it.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks Bro/Broette lol you have a pony picture so idk but thanks!