( UPDATED: see updates at bottom) – Moving right along with the ‘Rose’ upgrade … see Part 1 for earlier info on the upgrade ‘n mobility. Believe I have ordered all the components needed for this upgrade, and the mobility part is finished.

Had an available front panel 3.5” bay which is going to get the 3.5-inch front panel 2 Ports USB 3.0 USB Hub (that was $12.93 and upper left in above pic). That will give me two 2.0 USB ports on front plus two 3.0 USB ports with this upgrade.

Next, I went with an Intel Core i7-8700 Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.6 GHz LGA 1151 300 Series 65W CPU instead of the earlier mentioned possibilities of a Intel® Core™ i9-9900 or the Intel® Core™ i5-9600K. Really wanted to give the i5 9600k a try, but it was designed to be overclocked and this Micro ATX Gigabyte H310M A MoBo isn’t the Z-series needed for overclocking. Overclocking is mainly for gaming enthusiasts and those games have never interested me. The i9 9900 really needs a big cooler/fan or one of those water coolers…the Rosewill case is too small for a big cooler/fan, and the water coolers are still too expensive for my taste.

The Intel Core i7-8700 is an old processor with a Q4’17 launch date; however, it has still managed to hang in there with the constantly arriving newer ‘Big Boy’ processors, i.e. UserBenchmark rates it as their 27th Speed Ranked processor. It also has the Intel® UHD Graphics 630 built in, so no dedicated GPU is needed (cost saving for now). It comes with a stock fan and heatsink, but so did the i9 9900 in the ‘Antec Jr.’ computer and it couldn’t keep the CPU cool enough when running at Max Turbo Frequency. These Intel CPUs run at Max Turbo Frequency whenever they are working, from my experience anyway, and the i9 9900 needed a Noctua NH-U12S to keep it cool during all operating speeds. Did a double-check on the i7 8700 fan/heatsink cooling capabilities and found a Tom’s Hardware review on it:

Intel Core i7-8700 Review: Stock Cooler Falls Flat:

Our Verdict

Intel’s Core i7-8700 is surprisingly similar to the company’s more expensive -8700K in our benchmarks. You do lose the ability to overclock, but save $50 dollars in the exchange. Unfortunately, Intel’s bundled cooler isn’t able to cope with the -8700’s thermal output, which means you need an aftermarket solution to realize the CPU’s peak performance.

Tom’s Hardware has been a valuable source for me…for decades!

I started looking for a low profile fan/heatsink and found that the Noctua NH-L12S, Premium Low Profile CPU Cooler with Quiet 120mm PWM Fan works with the i7 8700 and the Gigabyte H310M A MoBo. The Noctua website offers support ‘Compatibility Lists’ for Sockets, Motherboards, CPUs, and also for some Cases (a great feature!). That fan comes with a Low-profile mode and High-clearance mode options … the High-clearance mode will work in the Rosewill case and offer more room over the Ram modules.

Purchased both the i7 8700 ($299.99) and NH-L12S ($49.90) from Amazon for a total of $374.38 (free shipping but they added $24.49 in tax). So this upgrade will cost $387.31 since ‘Rose’ already has 16GB Ram, internal DVD-RW, and a SATA Hot Swap Bay installed. Not a bad price for a big processor upgrade, and will give me a chance at upgrading the ‘Apevia’ APU/CPU Ryzen 5 3400G’s Radeon™ RX Vega 11 Graphics sooner than planned (Trump is gonna send out another $1200 check soon). AMD & Linux just can’t get their driver/firmware acts together, so builds and/or upgrades can be troublesome…will probably go with the Ryzen™ 3600 (a strong performance/price candidate) or the Ryzen™ 3900X and a Nvidia GPU since it seems Linux has problems with Radeon™ GPUs.

Here are a couple pics of ‘Rose’ installed on ‘Monitor Stand’:

BTW, that is small form ‘InWin‘ on the table w/ that shared monitor.

Probably do Part 3 after all the components are installed…Nope – will do an update instead. Yeah, I may do several updates as I test ‘n tweak the new processor:

3) Moved the GeForce GTX 1660 XC from ‘Antec Jr.‘ to ‘Rose‘ today and will probably leave it there – incredible boost in performance! Purchased a MSI GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER card for ‘Antec Jr.’ as a replacement for $238 w/ no tax & free shipping (there will be a $10 mail-in rebate which lowers to $228). GPU’s are pretty cheap now, for the newer models, and will probably get ‘Apevia‘ one of the new GTX 1650 Supers when I get to that upgrade – they’re running below $170. AMD is piddling around drumming up hype for the pending 4000-series (I think)…secret crap, but are they going to APU/CPU only in that series?! Anyway, they’re going to have to reach my price on the older X’s and/or newer XT’s before I move on upgrading a aggravating AMD…else will just stick w/ what’s in it now.

2) OK…the front panel 2 Ports USB 3.0 USB Hub arrived today ‘n is now installed – great to have 3.0 USB handy up front now! Also, after mentioning the pcie x 16 slot being blocked by the Noctua NH-L12S yesterday, I decided to flip it today…had originally installed it that way to give more space between power supply fan (blows down) ‘n NH-L12S; however, remeasured today ‘n decided 5/8″ would be enough space between them. That freed up the pcie x 16 slot, but NH-L12S would need removed if I ever wanted to replace Ram modules (doubtful!). Small cases require more planning ‘n squeezing! 😉  Also, latest UserBenchmark tests show a 29% Desktop improvement over the old Celeron…noticeable improvement, and WIN10 boots up in less than 15 secs now (with Fast Boot disabled in BIOS!), from moment power button is pushed. Haven’t tested Linux boot-ups yet, but will soon.

1) Still waiting on the front panel 2 Ports USB 3.0 USB Hub to arrive (must be coming on a Slow Boat from China?!), but the i7 8700 CPU ‘n Noctua NH-L12S are both installed. Finished testing it – runs cool in stress tests and Desktop performance has improved 22% 29% over the Celeron G4900. The pcie x16 slot is blocked by the Noctua NH-L12S – Micro MoBo and small case can be limiting at times, plus I rushed it with CPU cooler choice. Just noticed it when thinking about buying a GPU for the eventual ‘Apevia’ upgrade ‘n testing it in ‘Rose’; however, when checking to see if it would fit in ‘Rose’ the cooler was blocking the area (see above new update on fix). Wasn’t planning to use a dedicated GPU since the i7 8700 has the Intel® UHD Graphics 630 so its really no biggie…a GPU easily fits into the Apevia flip-top case, where I just installed the Noctua NH-U9S in it for some early testing. OK…that’s it!