Did some hardware and OS tests this morning – pulled the EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 XC GPU from ‘Antec Jr.’ yesterday, and installed it into ‘Apevia’ this morning (have some pics of that process). Also ran some new UserBenchmark tests and have the ‘before-n-after’ examples plus some comparison results. Linux doesn’t work on UserBenchmark site, but I did some quick GTX 1660 driver checks using Ubuntu and Archman.

Also, I did find a minor problem with the Apevia X-Qpack3-NW-BK case, i.e. all but one of the Case Expansion Slot Covers (aka PCI Slot Covers) are the twist-out type, so if you ever stop using whatever expansion card then you may need to buy some real PCI Slot Covers to cover those openings. I’m going to be doing many more tests, so won’t be bothered…tho I may have enough of the chrome colored type in my ‘Junk Parts’ box/s. Here’s a pic:

Apevia case came with one open slot already plus the real PCI Slot cover on the left, but the other two are the ones I twisted out, and this GeForce 1660 needs 3 slot openings.

I have mentioned the temporary plywood sliding ‘Countertop’ in a previous post, setup so the ‘Apevia’ computer can be tested where it is or moved up on top – here are a few pics:

That’s where the computer normally sits. This next pic is of the temporary plywood sliding ‘Countertop’ opened in order to work on the computer:

That’s how I did the Graphic card installation this morning; however, I took a couple pics of how it could’ve been done lifting the computer out and placing it on top. Compared to my 2 Antec tower cases, this computer case is very light weight and easily moved…the 2 Antec cases stay out of the way, but require getting down on the floor to work inside them, unless I want to pull them out and sit them someplace. ‘Antec Jr.’ sits on a slightly larger than the case piece of plywood, and I can slide it out from underneath the desk to a temporary 4x4x9 block of wood for keeping it level to work on down there, and out of the ‘underneath’ desk area – I can also clear the desktop, move the monitor to a shelf just behind it, and then pull ‘Antec Jr.’ out to sit on the desk top…when difficult case work it needed. That’s actually how I came up with the idea of a temporary plywood sliding ‘Countertop’ for the ‘Apevia’ computer. It’s also why I wanted a lighter case with a ‘Flip Top’ that offers easy access inside. Here’s a combined pic of the computer on top:


OK…those cover the top area, here are some pics of the actual Graphic card installation before, after and during:




Certainly easier transferring pics from this ‘Kamera’ than the tablet pics were, but with so many blurred pics it seems I may never get the settings right. Anyway, this isn’t a blog on photography, thusly blurred is OK. This Apevia case offers all angles to get into MoBo area – 2 sides, top and front…Antec offers me getting down on my side (which limits the use of 1 arm & hand), trying to tilt my head for the right trifocals to clear (or carry down a pair each of TV glasses, Computer glasses and Reading glasses), then trying to find the right flash light or base light to see inside the computer. Sliding it out is easier…clearing the desktop then lifting it up there is usually even easier; however, removing the Graphic card wasn’t as difficult as installing it down ‘There’ was, so I chose laying on left side with trifocals, and a base light.

That brings humble me to the UserBenchmark tests. Big Gaming improvement score, but about the same on Desktop & Workstation scores…here’s the Ryzen™ 5 3400G with Radeon™ RX Vega 11 Graphics before GeForce 1660:

Here are the results after GeForce 1660 installation:

Roughly a 34% Gaming improvement, and about 3% improvement for Workstation (I was expecting higher)…that Desktop score can fluctuate a % or two during tests, so about the same Desktop score this time. The onboard Radeon™ RX Vega 11 Graphics does a good job…its ‘Gaming Score’ was about 9-10 percentage points higher than the Intel’s UHD Graphics 630 performance. The Intel i9 9900 had a gaming score of 72% with the GeForce 1660, and the Ryzen™ 5 3400G has a gaming score of 60% with same card installed. Not bad at all, IMHO.

The GeForce 1660 drivers had to be installed on WIN10 Pro…just downloaded and then installed them, along with the handy GeForce Experience app that comes with that first installation – great app, though they apparently have nothing like it for Linux.

Next, I wanted to try Ubuntu 18.04.3 with this newly installed Graphics Card, so shut down, pulled WIN10 Pro SSD from the SATA Hot SWAP bay (don’t literally hot swap OSes!) and plugged Ubuntu 18.04.3 in (I will install the 20.04 LTS version when it comes out, but I don’t bother with the 19.whatever versions much). BTW, after starting this blog almost a year ago, for the testing of Linux Distros, I discovered a few months ago that Ubuntu 18.04.3 was the only truly ‘Linux Desktop Distro’ which was around the time that I also came up with the following slogan for my blog:

Rule of Thumb – if you can’t install Ubuntu on it, then you can’t install any Linux Distro on it.

I don’t mean Ubuntu 19.10 or any of the Ubuntu ‘Flavors’ or Ubuntu-based Distros – that slogan is only for Ubuntu Desktop 18.04.3 LTS. OK … here is the Ubuntu OS pic (only needed 1 pic):

No updating … no command prompt … no searching managers for GeForce GTX 1660 drivers … just booted into Ubuntu, then opened system settings, selected “About” and got “Graphics” showing the GeForce GTX 1660 GPU. What Linux Kernel is it? Who cares, it’s the stable one that has containers full of the latest drivers…i.e. it’s not the latest unstable Kernel with just a few real drivers. You just never know what you’ll get with the other roughly 2000+ Linux Distros.

Rule of Thumb – if you can’t install Ubuntu on it, then you can’t install any Linux Distro on it.

I still had Archman Linux on a SSD (after recently installing it and ‘Posting’ about it), so tested to see how an Arch-Archie could handle the newly installed hardware:

No info on the GeForce GTX 1660 GPU there … resolution sucks tho, so will check “Monitor Preference”:

Resolution of 1024 x 768 … looks like Archman is having hardware recognition problems, again. Arch-Archies are renowned for having hardware recognition problems. A search of installed ‘Stuff’ brought this up:

Still no info on the GeForce GTX 1660 GPU … some “Open Source 3D acceleration driver for nVidia cards” that only offers a resolution option of 1024 x 768 (my laptop offers better than that!).

Well, now comes the dreaded update part that Jack M. Germain calls “archaic” (hummm – is that how Arch Linux got its name?):

snip … From a user’s viewpoint, Arch Linux distros are infamous for their troublesome installation and configuring processes. Arch Linux distros come with a few more stumbling blocks than other Linux options. This, plus archaic software management routines, makes most Arch Linux releases too hard-core for many Linux users, especially Linux newbies.

Been in Archman for awhile now, but no offers of installing updates have shown up. Let me check for some:

My arse – a resolution of 1024 x 768 is reflecting a system that is having hardware recognition problems, at least!

Well, if this ‘Toy’ OS is expecting me to open a command prompt in order to get the system to install or recognize a basic Graphic card, then the developers are more useless than even I have imagined!

OK … this new case sure makes it enjoyable to test and work with hardware – accessibility!