Still working on upgrading Antec Jr. to the i9 9900 CPU & workings, but will go ahead and add a new Post/Page on BYOC and/or hardware. This post will become a base for that Page…so to speak. The InWin Small Form build was fun, but they are just too small for me…e.g. if they can’t handle a SSD (or HDD) ‘Hot Swap’ SATA mobile bay then they are just too small (and waaaaay too expensive) for me. Yes, they make a 12.7mm Ultra Slim CD/DVD-ROM Optical Bay Laptop to SATA 2.5″ SSD/HDD Hot-Swap bay, but am not sure I want to sink another $48 into such a small computer. My $250+ Acer laptop cost less and has its own 15.6” display plus a lot more portability (portability is why I wanted a laptop). Rose was around $250 to build, and I will probably pull the InWin’s i3-8100 CPU & put it in Rose, then put that Celeron into InWin before this is over…maybe give the little thing to a nephew. Maybe they’re for people with tiny computer desks or no computer desk at all? Heck, I could’ve bought the i9 9900 CPU for what InWin cost. Rose has a DVD-Rom and a SSD/HDD combo Hot Swap SATA bay – plus a vacant 3.5” exterior drive bay. The USB Docks are great, but I need SATA connections for many tests.

This Post will mainly focus on the Antec Jr. upgrade/build (basically a new build other than I already have the case) which looks to be into November before finishing, since the last two items will run around $600 (CPU & memory)…MoBo should arrive next week, and I just put in the new power supply that replaces the removed one that went into Antec Sr. The ‘same named’ Page will probably be on my computers, with Post Links to the builds, upgrades, purchase, etc of each individual computer…i.e. Antec Sr., Antec Jr., Rose, Ace the Laptop and InWin.

OK…I had stripped Antec Jr. of everything other than DVD-Rom and 2 Hot Swap mobile bays. Even removed the power supply, so will adjust the cost of building Antec Jr. to reflect that item, which was 3 years old, but still a good power supply – new one was a CORSAIR CX-M Series CX650M 650W 80 PLUS BRONZE Haswell Ready ATX12V & EPS12V Semi-Modular Power Supply CP-9020103-NA for just less than $75 with free shipping and no tax. I will deduct $35 off that price for the one moved to Antec Sr. This one has 150 more watts and is a “Semi-Modular” – never tried one of the modular types, but they are apparently popular. Gaming products run the computer components now, so you have to watch carefully in order to avoid the LED stuff – unless you want it. You can apparently get LED’s on everything now, from case fans to MoBo, memory, SSD’s, M.2’s, power supply, etc everything else.

The modular ones have no cables attached (they are all separate and you plug in what’s needed), the semi-modular’s have the 24-pin power cable and 4+4 pin CPU power cables attached (the rest you plug in as needed), and non-modulars have all the wires attached. If you look closer at the above pic you can see the little ‘receptacle’ areas where the cables get plugged in – on the modular and semi-modular. I think this is something fairly new for game enthusiasts who build their own machines and want the wiring to look perfect (also less air blockage with less cables, etc). I’ve often found there were too many extra cables to try and hide, after everything was connected. Good idea and I wanted to try one. Closer look:

(here are the cables…)

I moved up from a 500W power supply to a 650W one this time, because I may add a better GPU even tho the Intel UHD Graphics 630 is supposedly plenty good for most desktop duty – i.e. I at least wanted that option in the future. Some sites offer free bundle of games with the i9 9900, so I may check out some games (if I buy it from them) – just to see where gaming is ‘nowadays’. I was at 300 watts without a separate GPU, but a good to better one jumped that wattage to almost 500W and to 550 in some cases. Newegg Power Supply Calculator is a useful tool for helping you decide on size. There are others, but I trust Newegg, and this was the first time I tried one. Ran it on that InWin 150W power supply, and you couldn’t add much more to it – another problem with Small Form Factors, IMHO. You can burn up a MoBo with low power supply, and also destroy the power supply in the process. Double-check before adding components – in case you need to upgrade that power supply!

10/6/2019:

PCIE

Another item that was purchased was a XPG SX6000 Pro 256GB PCIe 3D NAND PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 NVMe 1.3 R/W up to 2100/1500MB/s SSD – it is the first time I have tried one of these, but have wanted to try one for a long time; however, when I was doing a 2016 build, the MoBo instructions said I would lose one of my SATA connections, and I was just too unsure to try such a device at the time. BTW, that pic is a *LOT* bigger than the actual M.2. I had been researching and also searching for a reasonable priced one when spotted one for $40 at Amazon. For that price, and the potential of a 4-5 times performance boost over standard SSD’s, it would be worth the risk. First, a pic:

m2 1

Note in that pic the M.2 SATA SSD row and the M.2 PCIe SSD row. Remember, this is my first time with these M.2’s so I’m far from being an expert, but it is time for me to test these devices. Am not sure yet what the BIOS setting will be for this device, e.g. will it go under AHCI or some PCIe setting or that NVMe ‘Thingie’? I figured, from the pic, that the M.2 SATA SSD would take up one of my MoBo’s 6 SATA connections (see “x” under SATA3 1 in pic), so that type was not what I wanted (I think!?!?! *GRIN*), and I looked for the M.2 PCIe SSD type in the MoBo’s Support List…downloaded the M.2 Support List pdf, then started searching each Model/Module P/N number under the “M.2 PCIe NVMe” section, for 256GB ones, on the internet. ASX6000PNP-256GT-C showed up with an Amazon link and had a $40 price tag. Some of these things are incredibly expensive…$40 with an R/W of 2100/1500 MB/s compared to around 560/530MB/s of my standard SSD’s looked like a nice performance boost.

10/9/2019:

MoBo

Bought this MoBo a few weeks ago for $110 ($117.69 w/ tax and free shipping) – had put in an order for it, because they didn’t have it in yet. Other places were running about $127-150 back then, and are like $130-$177 this morning. Doesn’t seem to be much movement in any of the main components (MoBo, CPU & memory), other than up…thusly, I may go ahead and buy the CPU and memory before end of this month. Many other boards are higher in costs – some over a $100 more – but I saw a lot of positive info and recommendations for this Gigabyte Z390 UD, and it seemed to run out of stock quickly. Biggest MoBo I’ve installed @ roughly 12” x 9+” & the ATX I moved into Antec Sr. was about 12” x 8” and love the extra room on it.

Not sure if the following tubie stays up – it’s by Jacqueline Waters, who removes the old MoBo setup and installs the entire new setup a lot faster than it took me to install the Z390 UD (and I haven’t gotten the CPU and memory yet!)
Upgrading From My i3-6100 on the Asrock B150m Pro 4 to an I5-6600k on Asus Z170-a

The semi-modular CORSAIR power supply hooked up easily, and it gives a clean look – tho the case is so big that it can handle all the wires you want to put in it. Hooked up the DVD-Rom and 2 Hot Swap SATA mobile bays, and still had 3 SATA connections available – believe this was my first MoBo that actually had 6 usable SATA connections. Also, installed the 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, which was another first for me. Smaller than my index finger and the M.2 PCIe saves using another SATA connection.

Quick price-to-date: Had the case already, but should add some cost for it…also, the CORSAIR power supply was $75, but I had moved the Antec Jr. power supply to Antec Sr. and deducted $35 from that cost. Will add in a cost of $75 for case & power supply – i.e. C/PS = $75.

C/PS $75
M.2 PCIe SSD $40
MoBo $117

Total so far is: $232

The i9 9900 and 32BG’s of memory are going to be about $600, so costs for this build/upgrade are going to be about $832 (another first – i.e. record high build/upgrade for me). A totally new build would probably run $1000, but I doubt you could find a computer with an i9 9900, a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD and 32GB’s of memory for that price or less…probably over $2000 for one like it. However, I have also upgraded Antec Sr. to an i5-6600K 3.5 GHz Quad-Core CPU plus a Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3P MoBo & 32GB’s memory. Lost money on InWin build, but managed to upgrade Rose to the i3-8100 – so, not including InWin (which may be given away) I will have 2 main computers, a i9 9900 and a i5-6600K (new main Linux test computer), plus a good backup/test machine in Rose. Also, Ace the Laptop for portability at a cost of $277. Geez, including InWin, Ace and Rose along with this new build/upgrade, I will have invested about $1800 this year in computers. Great group of computers tho, and probably no more upgrade needs for…for what, the next 3-5 years?

OK…some more updates: Did move InWin’s i3-8100 CPU & put it in Rose, then put that Celeron G4900 into InWin (still trying to give the ‘Dinky’ thing away & maybe a grandniece will want it). The i3-8100 was $136+ so I got some of the costs from InWin Small Form back – anyway, big improvement in Rose’s performance, tho I still like the Celeron G4900 when it come to price/performance stuff.

10/13/2019:

cpu

Went ahead and bought the CPU ($440) and memory ($153) … have read where Intel usually cuts the prices of their processors every quarter; however, looks like some Xeon processors and the i9’s that don’t have integrated GPUs were the only ones getting cut before January (begins next quarter). Also, the memory I was looking to buy jumped $100-125 overnight, and I have no clue why. It was like $150 one night and when checking the next morning it was $277 – ram can do that. Anyway, no biggie, just extra work going over the memory QVL again. Found 2 more 32GB kits (8×4) last night – a DDR4 3200 ($192) and a DDR4 2666 ($153) – went with the cheaper one. CPU and memory were $597 total.

mem

i9 9900 is 8 cores and 16 threads CPU with a Base frequency of 3.1 GHz and Max Turbo of 5.0 GHz…the “16 MB SmartCache” was one of the main selling points for me. 65 W processor that comes with stock fan and cooler – the faster 95 W i9 9900K was $490, but it would’ve cost at least $36 more for a fan and cooler, and the almost $100 more wasn’t worth it to me…a serious gamer would’ve probably gone for the boost in speed and cost. I could’ve just put the old Antec Sr. case in the remote shed and stayed with the i5 6600K in Antec Jr., but these recent builds and upgrades will last me for a long time. Intel has other good processors, but upgrading was still expensive ($300-375) for a lesser processor.

Almost done…am about done with buying, costs so far  are:

C/PS $75
M.2 PCIe SSD $40
MoBo $117
i9 9900 $440
32GB memory kit $153
additional shipping costs $4

Total cost was: $829

At some point, maybe this time next year, I may add a GPU if I can find one that is price/performance worth it. The Small Form Factor build was a waste of money, but I gained the experience of learning they are overrated and overpriced for a desktop user – instead, go with a laptop or something like the Rose build, IMHO. However, upgrading Antec Sr. to Antec Jr’s i5 6600k CPU and  Asus Z170-a MoBo with 32GB memory was a money saver.

10/18/2019:

i9 9900 and memory arrived yesterday … hardware installs went smoothly, and I moved the 512GB Main Data SSD to Antec Jr. from Antec Sr. plus added another 128GB SSD for backup images – installed those 2 SSD’s in interior bays since this is my main computer now, and no Linux installations will be done on it (maybe some ‘Live’ USB testing to see how a Distro handles new hardware). That leaves 2 open SATA ‘Hot Swap’ bays (will be mainly used to update Data to other SSD’s as well as providing some Documents to the 2 other computers with Office 2007 on them, etc.), a DVD-Rom and two 3.0 USB ports. Went to interior bays since Windows 10 Pro – my 5th OEM license key purchased from  URcdkey for $11.74, with 4 licenses now in use, and *ALL* activated easily, BTW – is installed on the new blazingly fast  M.2 PCIe SSD. The M.2’s are screwed into the MoBo and therefore not easily swappable…i.e. having great computer Cases gives you many more options in the present and future. Note: Windows 10 Pro boots in less than 10 seconds! Software, updates, and Gigabyte driver disk installations all went great…well, other than Office 2007 wouldn’t activate over the internet (said all 3 licenses were in use) so had to find a new support phone number, and get it activated using the ‘Phone Method‘ which sucks. Been downloading apps that I use (e.g. GIMP, Krita, Firefox & Chrome browsers, etc), entering passwords and making setting changes everywhere, so I’ll be busy until final ‘Tweaks‘ are done. Here’s the initial performance from UserBenchmark:

“UFO” is the highest rating … “Surfboard” is just above the bottom-dweller “Tree Trunk.” Can’t have that Gaming result, so I went ahead and ordered a EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 XC BLACK, which will be here next week:

Probably didn’t really need it, but I don’t want a “Surfboard” rating next to 2 “UFO” ratings, and the 1660 should boost it up to a “Battle cruiser” (rated 5th) or “Battleship” (4th). Not the fastest or most expensive GPU, but a highly rated one…found one for $210 on Amazon ($225 with Tax) and purchased it. This build is over-kill from the start, so – what the heck!

C/PS $75
M.2 PCIe SSD $40
MoBo $117
i9 9900 $440
32GB memory kit $153
additional shipping costs $4
GTX 1660 XC $225

Total cost now: $1,054

10/22/2019:

Before 1660 GPU:

no gpu

After 1660 GPU:

Benchmark 1660

Little improvement for Workstation rating, 1% drop for Desktop rating, but major boost for Gaming – tho I don’t play anything but Chess Titans, Hearts and Solitaire.

Here are the Benchmarks from the i5 6600k and Asus Z170-a MoBo with 32GB memory – that were moved into the old Antec Sr. case:

benchmarks Antec Jr

The i9 9900 was a big build/upgrade for Antec Jr. as was the i5 6600k for Antec Sr. from its old 2006 MoBo. Still, you can see how quickly things have changed since I bought that i5 6600k three years ago – Antec Jr. has gone from a Desktop benchmark of the 70% Battle Cruiser to the 117% UFO.

Here are the ratings:

Bench ratings

The 1660 GPU is a lot bigger than I had thought: Dimensions are – Height: 4.38in – 111.15mm, Length: 7.48in – 189.89mm, Width: 2.75 Slots…I had to remove 3 (*THREE*) expansion slot blanks for it to go in, so I don’t understand the “2.75 Slots” it mentions. It wasn’t even near the biggest ones out there…and some builders use 2 (*TWO*) of these ‘Thangs!? Its amazingly quiet, which was my biggest worry about hardware with fans in or on them…yes, amazingly quiet! The two UFO ratings look much better next to a Battleship than they did next to the durn Surfboard. Was really hoping for a better boost on Workstation rating, but it was probably fine at the “UFO 101%” performance rating from the i9 9900’s Intel® UHD Graphics 630. Well, Antec Jr. is done, for a total cost of $1,054, and is looking great…for now! 😉

Will post this last update, and probably finish & post the new BYOC – ‘Build Your Own Computer’ Page tomorrow…*UPDATED* – the Buy Low or BYOC – ‘Build Your Own Computer Page is up…