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PSA: The GPU Shortage Is Over

Do: spend extra money on eVGA brand for superior build quality, thermals, warranty service and warranty extension up to 7 years

Don’t: buy any GPU above RTX 3080 as it’s a ripoff better spent on the upcoming RTX 4000 series.

As a lifetime gamer of over 20 years and high performance and quality graphics card enthusiast, I truly value high end hardware.
However, there comes a point where you are really getting screwed for a difference you might have a hard time noticing and thereby justifying.

RTX 3080 vs. RTX 3080 Ti / 3090 / 3090 Ti

RTX 3080 Ti = 30% price premium (~$320+) over RTX 3080 for only 10% better performance

RTX 3090 = 50% price premium (~$740+) over RTX 3080 for only 15% better performance


RTX 3090 Ti = 60% price premium (~$890+) over RTX 3080 for only 20% better performance


Conclusion: Buying a RTX 3080 then RTX 4080 next gen is better than RTX 3080 Ti/3090/3090 Ti then no money to upgrade next gen.

Newegg
RTX 3060 Ti – $499
RTX 3070 – $549
RTX 3070 Ti – $669
RTX 3080 – $759

In Stock GeForce RTX 3000 Desktop Graphics Cards | Newegg.com

eVGA
RTX 3060 Ti – $509
RTX 3070 – $579
RTX 3070 Ti – $719
RTX 3080 – $809

EVGA – Products – Graphics – GeForce 30 Series Family

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Improved Fan Control for Gamers

One of the oldest issues with gaming computers is that the cooling fans follow the CPU and the CPU doesn’t get hot enough in games so your GPU ends up running way hotter than it should.

For users with NZXT or Corsair CPU Coolers that have utilized the ability to control their case fans as well, this isn’t an issue because they can just set their coolers to follow the GPU using the NZXT Cam or Corsair iCue software. This is how I configure all my builds.

For everyone else, I recommend Fan Control:

https://github.com/Rem0o/FanControl.Releases

Gamers: set up a fan curve that follows your GPU
Creators: set up a fan curve that utilizes the Mix feature so it follows CPU and GPU

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Ryzen 5800X3D: AMD’s New Gaming Champ

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AMD Is Competitive Once Again

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Decent Gaming PC Build for Under $1,000

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RGB Fans

Almost ALL fans that are RGB have reduced performance compared to non-RGB.

I recommend Corsair non-RGB ML in conjunction with RGB light strips for the best value and performance. (see photo above for example)

The only RGB fans I recommend are the ones that come included with Corsair Capellix and Elite LCD AIOs. They cannot be purchased individually.

#1: Corsair non-RGB ML Series
120mm: 75CFM
140mm: 97CFM
+Superior performance
+Excellent value ($16-23 each)
+5 Year Warranty
+Magnetic Levitation Bearing
+High Static Pressure
+Can be made to appear RGB with LED strip
-No included RGB

#2: Fractal Design Prisma RGB
120mm: 85CFM
140mm: 103CFM
+Superior Performance
+Excellent Lighting
-Sleeve Bearing
-Does not integrate RGB with Corsair AIO
-Louder than Corsair ML series
-3 Year Warranty (2nd shortest on market)
-Poor value ($35-40 each)

#3: Corsair ML Elite RGB
120mm: 58CFM
140mm: 83CFM
+Utilizes Corsair AIO Controller
+Superior Lighting vs. other brands
+5 Year Warranty
+Magnetic Levitation Bearing
+High Static Pressure
+Integrates RGB with Corsair AIO
-16-29% Less airflow vs. non-RGB ML series
-Poor value ($35 each)

#4: Arctic Cooling P12/P14 A-RGB
120mm: 56CFM
140mm: 69CFM
+Fluid Dynamic Bearing
+Industry-Leading 10 Year Warranty
+Excellent Value ($16 each)
-Does not integrate RGB with Corsair AIO
-33-40% Less airflow vs. non-RGB ML series

#5: Corsair SP Elite RGB
120mm: 47CFM
140mm: 68CFM
+Utilizes Corsair AIO Controller
+Integrates RGB with Corsair AIO
+Hydraulic bearing not as good as MagLev but not as bad as Sleeve
-42-56% Less airflow vs. non-RGB ML series
-Poor value ($25 each)
-2 Year Warranty (shortest on the market)

#6: Corsair LL RGB
120mm: 43CFM
140mm: 51CFM
+Utilizes Corsair AIO Controller
+Integrates RGB with Corsair AIO
+Hydraulic bearing not as good as MagLev but not as bad as Sleeve
-74-90% Less airflow vs. non-RGB ML series
-Poor value ($39 each)
-2 Year Warranty (shortest on the market)

#7: Corsair QL RGB
120mm: 41CFM
140mm: 50CFM
+Utilizes Corsair AIO Controller
+Integrates RGB with Corsair AIO
+Hydraulic bearing not as good as MagLev but not as bad as Sleeve
-82-94% Less airflow vs. non-RGB ML series
-Poor value ($39 each)
-2 Year Warranty (shortest on the market)

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Ryzen No Boot / No POST

Most Ryzen boards:

  • Need to have the BIOS updated prior to being able to boot any 5000 Series Ryzen. (X370, B450, X470, B550, X570)
  • Include a feature called BIOS Flashback that will allow the BIOS to be updated prior to booting up for the first time.
  • Will complete BIOS flashback without having a CPU, RAM, or video card installed. (Except some Asus)

If your board does not support BIOS flashback, you will need to have the BIOS flashed with a SPI programmer or a spare 1000 Series Ryzen CPU temporarily to boot and update.

Asus

  1. No other components are necessary except CPU + power.
  2. Make sure file name extensions are enabled in Windows Explorer
  3. Format a USB thumbdrive as FAT32. If you can’t FAT32 format with windows, use Rufus with boot selection set to Non Bootable
  4. Download the latest BIOS file that matches your motherboard model from the ASUS® website.
  5. Extract all contents to a folder.
  6. Run the BIOSRenamer.exe as admin to rename the BIOS file for flashback.
  7. Place only the BIOS file on the root of the USB flash drive.
  8. Insert the USB storage device to the Flash USB port (the USB marked on the I/O shield) then press the BIOS FlashBack™ button for three seconds to automatically update the BIOS.
  9. Once the flashing BIOS process is 100% completed, the LED will be off simultaneously.
  10. Build and boot.

ASRock (Taichi Only)

  1. No other components are necessary except power.
  2. Make sure file name extensions are enabled in Windows Explorer
  3. Format a USB thumbdrive as FAT32. If you can’t FAT32 format with windows, use Rufus with boot selection set to Non Bootable
  4. Download the latest BIOS file that matches your motherboard model from the ASRock® website.
  5. Extract all contents to a folder.
  6. Rename the BIOS file to CREATIVE.ROM
  7. Place the file on the root of the USB flash drive.
  8. Plug the USB flash drive that contains the ROM file into the Flashback marked USB Port on the rear I/O panel.
  9. Press the BIOS Flashback Switch for about three seconds. Then the LED starts to blink.
  10. Wait until the LED stops blinking, indicating that BIOS flashing has been completed.
  11. Build and boot.

Gigabyte

  1. No other components are necessary except power.
  2. Make sure file name extensions are enabled in Windows Explorer
  3. Format a USB thumbdrive as FAT32. If you can’t FAT32 format with windows, use Rufus with boot selection set to Non Bootable
  4. Download the latest BIOS file that matches your motherboard model from the Gigabyte ® website.
  5. Extract all contents to a folder.
  6. Rename the BIOS file to Gigabyte.bin
  7. Place the file on the root of the USB flash drive.
  8. Plug the USB flash drive that contains the Gigabyte.bin file into the Flash BIOS marked USB Port on the rear I/O panel.
  9. Press the Flash BIOS Button to flash BIOS, let go when the button LED starts flashing.
  10. Once the flashing BIOS process is 100% completed, the LED will be off simultaneously.
  11. Build and boot.

MSi

  1. No other components are necessary except power.
  2. Make sure file name extensions are enabled in Windows Explorer
  3. Format a USB thumbdrive as FAT32. If you can’t FAT32 format with windows, use Rufus with boot selection set to Non Bootable
  4. Download the latest BIOS file that matches your motherboard model from the MSI® website.
  5. Extract and Rename the BIOS file to MSI.ROM
  6. Place the file on the root of the USB flash drive.
  7. Plug the USB flash drive that contains the MSI.ROM file into the Flash BIOS marked USB Port on the rear I/O panel.
  8. Press the Flash BIOS Button to flash BIOS, let go when the button LED starts flashing.
  9. Once the flashing BIOS process is 100% completed, the LED will be off simultaneously.
  10. Build and boot.
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Hardware Failure Rates 2019-2021

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GPUs you can actually purchase right now

Microcenter in Dallas and Houston are the last bastion of hope to get a graphics card, they have consistently had GPUs in stock. If you are trying to build a gaming PC, but don’t want shitty pre-built build quality, it’s the best option to get a new GPU that doesn’t involve paying a scalper on eBay.

Another reason to avoid paying scalper prices on eBay or other third-party sellers, is that you have absolutely no warranty coverage without the original proof of purchase. So chances are if it has a problem down the road you’ll be shopping for a new GPU.

With Microcenter you get the full 3 year warranty that you deserve with your GPU purchase.

Only trouble is, they will only sell them in store, so while you can confirm they are in stock online and even see the quantity available, you must go to the store to purchase it.

Check out the links below to see stock availability.

RTX 3000 Series and RX 6000 Series Graphics Cards : Micro Center Dallas

RTX 3000 Series and RX 6000 Series Graphics Cards : Micro Center Houston

LIMITED AVAILABILITY – BUY IN STORE

or

xx IN STOCK – BUY IN STORE

Microcenter

To get a new gaming build started, open a ticket and specify your parts budget, and I will make component choices that are appropriate for your needs and intended usage.

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Choosing the right PSU

When purchasing a power supply, it’s important to target the considered wattage about double what your load will be.

To determine your load wattage, just use PC Part Picker

By doing this, and properly installing it in the correct orientation so that it can breathe, you can help ensure your power supply purchase will last through several builds.

If you are planning a big graphics card upgrade down the road, check how much wattage it will use–it’s always cheaper to futureproof compared to buying a second power supply down the road.

I have seen many PC Power and Cooling, eVGA, and Corsair PSUs from 10 years or older going strong because they are:

►Used with an appropriate load.
►Operated at low ambient temperatures.
►Cleaned at least 2-3 times per year.

The life of a capacitor DOUBLES for every 10-degree Celcius DECREASE in temperature.

Arrhenius’ Law of Chemical Activity

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