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Customer Self-Help Deals

Microsoft Office Lifetime License for $50

Typically $349 for a forever license, this is significantly cheaper at $50. Compared to Office 365 subscription which is for 5 devices is $99/year or $69/year for 1 device, this is a much better deal.

Microsoft Office Professional 2021 for Windows: Lifetime License

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Customer Self-Help

Ryzen Curve Optimizer Tuning

WARNING: This guide does not cover stability or benchmark testing which must be done before and after this process to establish score improvements and stability.

  1. Upgrade motherboard BIOS to latest version
  2. Enable XMP and match FCLK to 1/2 of MCLK
    4000 = 2000 3800 = 1900 3600 = 1800
  3. Enable Precision Boost Overdrive, set limits to Disabled
  4. Enable Clock Override, set to 200MHz
  5. Save and exit BIOS. Boot to Windows.
  6. If your cooling setup follows the GPU, temporarily set it to follow CPU
  7. Download and Run Project Hydra
  8. Click Diagnostic, this will take up to 4 hours or more. Do not use the computer beyond web browsing during this time.
  9. Upon completion, review the final report in the Log, note the values, go back to BIOS Precision Boost menu, then set the Curve Optimizer to Per Core and configure the voltages. Try FAST, if you have any stability issues reduce to MID. If stability issues persist set to SAFE. If the value is negative, use negative on that core. If the value is positive, use positive on that core.

    Below is an example report of my 5600X which is running 4.85GHz on stock voltage.
    Do NOT use these settings, every CPU is different, they are listed for example purposes only:

CURVE OPTIMIZER values for BIOS
(If you do not plan to use HYDRA)
C01 SAFE CO: -5 MID CO: -6 FAST CO: -7
C02 SAFE CO: -9 MID CO: -11 FAST CO: -14
C03 SAFE CO: -17 MID CO: -20 FAST CO: -25
C04 SAFE CO: -18 MID CO: -22 FAST CO: -28
C05 SAFE CO: 0 MID CO: 0 FAST CO: 1
C06 SAFE CO: -13 MID CO: -16 FAST CO: -20

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Customer Self-Help

Blank screen with RTX 3000 Series GPU

RTX 3060 and RTX 3080 Ti are most typically affected by this issue, however it can affect any RTX 3000 series GPU.

The GPU needs to be updated: download and run the NVIDIA GPU Firmware Update Tool for DisplayID

If the GPU is a eVGA product, download, install, and run the eVGA Precision software to update the GPU firmware as well.

Other brands should be checked on their manufacturer website for vBIOS updates as well.

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Customer Self-Help

Microsoft has a hidden anti-ransomware feature in Windows 10 that you can enable

It’s as simple as searching up ‘ransomware protection’ in the start menu, and ticking the box for ‘controlled folder access’, which doesn’t seem to be enabled by default as you’d expect. It’s an aggressive defense feature that stops ‘unfriendly applications’ from making changes to your files, folders, and memory.

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Customer Self-Help

Helpful apps for gamers

  • Beware of using monitoring apps such as HwInfo listed below and others such as SideBar when using NZXT CAM or Corsair iCue water cooling software as it can occupy or interfere with the sensors and prevent your system from being cooled properly. NZXT and Corsair have their own app monitoring features and you should stick to them.
  • HWInfo Download
  • FrameView Download
  • CPU-Z Download
  • GPU-Z Download

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Customer Self-Help

Top 5 Build Mistakes

  1. Thermally Constrained Case
    • Beware: Most cases are bad, cook your components to a crisp and will cause crashing.
    • Don’t consider cases that don’t have an open mesh front panel.
    • If it looks thermally constrained, it is.
    • If you’re stuck with a thermally constrained case like almost any NZXT, I can modify your front panel and get your thermals in check, just submit a ticket or text.
    • The Phanteks P300A is an excellent choice for around $50
    • The Corsair 4000D High Airflow is an excellent choice for around $70
  2. Inadequate CPU Cooler
    • Gone are the days that the included heatsink is adequate. Don’t even plan to use it.
    • Don’t consider CPU air coolers. Due to increasingly hot neighboring components, even the best ones struggle and heat soak the rest of your components.
    • Budget $100-$150 for a good AIO.
    • An excellent value is the Arctic Liquid Freezer series.
    • An excellent value with RGB is the Corsair Capellix series.
  3. Inadequate Case Fans
    • Included case fan(s) are not sufficient for gaming rigs.
    • Beware: RGB fans average about 50% or less airflow than their non-RGB versions, and should be avoided entirely.
      • The only high performance RGB fans on the market are the ones that come included on the Corsair RGB AIOs and NZXT AER RGB 2 fans.
        • The NZXT are black-bladed and the RGB effect is a little dull whereas corsair are frosted so the RGB effect looks a lot cooler when the fan is lit up. I would only get NZXT if you have a Kraken AIO.
    • Budget $80-100 for intake and exhaust fans, or $40-50 for exhaust fans if buying an AIO, as that will serve for your intake fans, reducing your fan budget.
    • The Corsair ML Pro series are an excellent choice, with 75CFM on the 120MM version and nearly 100CFM on the 140MM version, and magnetic levitation bearing tech.
      • Avoid the ML PRO RGB variants as they have only half the airflow.
  4. Improperly Wired GPU
    • Your power supply includes at least two PCIE power cables.
    • Use one entire cable for each power connector on your GPU.
    • Do not use the pigtail connector on each PCIE power cable.
  5. Improperly Installed M.2 SSD
    • Your motherboard includes the standoffs and screws needed to fasten your M.2 style SSD(s) to the board in the original box. The standoffs and/or screws usually do not come affixed to the board.
    • Don’t remove the SSD stand-off and use it as a way to fasten it to the board. This is the #1 mistake I’ve seen this past year and can cause the board, SSD, or both to short out.
    • The SSD must also have a heatsink attached! If your board didn’t include one then buy one.
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Customer Self-Help

How to reset the icon cache database on Windows 10

On Windows 10, those icons you see on files and apps are stored in the icon cache database to allow the operating system to display them quickly on the screen. The process of caching icons, instead of retrieving them from the source, helps to prevent your system from getting bogged down by the mere task of “showing icons”.

However, as the database grows, the odds of icon cache database getting corrupted also grows. When this happens, icons on your desktop and throughout the operating system may not render correctly or even appear broken.

Although Windows 10 doesn’t include an option to reset the database, you can still fix the problem using a few commands in Command Prompt.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to rebuild the icon cache database on your computer when they appear blank or broken.

How to rebuild the icon cache database

To rebuild the icon cache database on Windows 10, close any application that you may be running, and then do the following:

  1. Open Start and do a search for Command Prompt.
  2. Right-click the result and select Run as administrator.
  3. Type the following command to navigate to the icon cache database location and press Enter:
    cd %homepath%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
  4. Type the following command to verify the icon cache database files are at the location and press Enter:
    dir iconcache*

    The output of the dir command should list these database files:
    • iconcache_1280.db
    • iconcache_16.db
    • iconcache_1920.db
    • iconcache_256.db
    • iconcache_2560.db
    • iconcache_32.db
    • iconcache_48.db
    • iconcache_768.db
    • iconcache_96.db
    • iconcache_custom_stream.db
    • iconcache_exif.db
    • iconcache_idx.db
    • iconcache_sr.db
    • iconcache_wide.db
    • iconcache_wide_alternate.db
  5. Type the following command to stop File Explorer and press Enter:
    taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

    Important: Once you terminate File Explorer, your desktop background and taskbar will disappear, leaving a black screen — but it’s OK, it’s only temporarily. You need to close File Explorer to be able to delete the icon cache files. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do it.
  6. Type the following command to delete the iconcache files and press Enter:
    del iconcache*

    Quick Tip: If you get access denied trying to remove the files, you’re probably not running Command Prompt with as an administrator. Repeat these steps, but making sure Command Prompt starts with administrative privileges.
  7. Type the following command to verify that you successfully deleted the icon cache files and press Enter:
    dir iconcache*

    If you still see some iconcache files, then it’s likely that some apps are still running, which will prevent you from deleting the database files. Make sure to close them all, and repeat the steps.
  8. Type the following command to start File Explorer and press Enter:
    explorer.exe
  9. Close Command Prompt to complete the task.
Categories
Customer Self-Help

Retrofitting

In the computer industry, there are many laptop models that are known to have a higher failure rate, and subsequently the manufacturers make the parts for those particular models prohibitively expensive.

  • Motherboards
    You can switch to another model or newer generation motherboard and often upgrade to superior specifications while spending less money.
  • Displays
    You can switch from touchscreen to non-touchscreen to save a significant amount on display replacement.
    Some models just need a different display panel while others also need a new display cable and lid assembly.
  • nVMe Solid State Drives
    Many models do not list whether or not they can support nVMe Drives or have provided inaccurate support information.

AppleMacBookPro13″A12782010*
AppleMacBookPro13″A12782011*
AppleMacBookPro13″A12782012
* = Thunderbolt port must be adjusted with for newer board on older models.
Note: The Battery for A1278 is the interchangeable from 2009-2012
AppleMacBookPro15″A13982011
AppleMacBookPro15″A13982012
DellInspiron15″3542
DellInspiron15″3543
DellInspiron17″5749
DellInspiron15″5558
DellInspiron15″5559
DellInspiron15″5555
DellXPS9550
DellPrecision5510
DellXPS9560
DellPrecision5520
DellInspiron15″3458
DellInspiron15″3558
DellInspiron15″3567
DellInspiron15″5576
DellInspiron15″5577
DellInspiron15″7557
DellInspiron15″7559
DellInspiron15″7566
DellInspiron15″7567
DellPrecision15″3510
DellPrecision15″M3510
DellLatitude15″5570
DellLatitude15″E5570
DellInspiron15″5565
DellInspiron17″5575

Undocumented nVMe Support:

HPENVY x36015″15m-cn0011dxnVMe

Undocumented nVMe Support:

LenovoIdeaCentre 5i90NA0000USDesktopnVMe
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Customer Self-Help

Undervolting

The Key to Consistently High Gaming Performance on Intel 4th-9th Gen Laptops: Undervolting

Every Intel-based gaming laptop since 2013 has too much voltage going to the processor from the factory.

This can be decreased by up to 200mV (millivolts) to significantly reduce the operating temperatures and improve performance.

The increased thermal headroom afforded by reducing the voltage translates to higher sustained clock speeds than with more voltage.

It is believed that computer manufacturers do this intentionally to decrease the lifespan of the product.

On average we see 20-30% FPS improvement in games + 20-30% reduced operating temperatures.

Below is a guide to undervolt a Intel i7 8th Gen, the same ideology applies to other Intel processors, but the exact voltage reduction for your particular processor can be found only via extensive testing or by hiring Mr. Robot:

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