Superman Builds A Gaming PC

Henry Cavill, who plays Superman in Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman and Justice League, and The Witcher on Netflix, posted a video on his Instagram account of him building a gaming PC. The video opens with all the parts sitting on a table. Unfortunately, the product names for all the parts were blurred out. Making it difficult to determine which parts were used in this PC build. A PC build video is incomplete without a parts list (see below). In my video, I identified the various parts in a montage.

Henry Cavill’s Gaming PC Part List

NOTE: Keyboard, mouse and headset not included in this parts list. Specs for some parts were speculative.

The BIOS Woes of Two AMD Budget Processors

Image by AMD

AMD announced two weeks ago that their forthcoming B550 mainboards will work with the current Ryzen 3000 processors and the future Ryzen 4000 processors, and the Ryzen 4000 processors will work only on the 500-series mainboards.

For users of the Ryzen 3000 processor and/or the X570 mainboard, the future looks bright — if AMD continues the AM4 platform beyond 2020. The existing roadmap started in 2017 and ends this year. AMD haven’t revealed their roadmap for 2021 and beyond.

For users of the Ryzen 1000/2000 processor and/or the 300/400-series mainboard, the future looks dark. Older processor won’t run on the newer mainboards, newer processors won’t run on the older mainboards. Users are crying foul that their recent purchases are now semi-obsolete.

AMD stated that they were breaking platform compatibility because the ROM chip for the BIOS on older mainboards was too small to contain the microcode for multiple generations of processors. Without the microcode in the BIOS, the mainboard won’t recognize the processor to boot the system.

Enthusiasts — a small but very vocal user base — called BS on that specious rationalization. BIOS fragmentation began last year when the Ryzen 3000 BIOS update needed space on the now too small ROM chip. It didn’t help that AMD recommended the 400-series mainboard to users who couldn’t afford the more expensive X570 mainboard, and everyone expected to drop in a Ryzen 4000 processor when they become available later this year.

AMD backed off their initial statement and offered limited BIOS support for the Ryzen 4000 processors on the 400-series mainboard. A default BIOS that supports the existing Ryzen 1000/2000/3000 processors, and an optional “beta” BIOS that supports Ryzen 3000 and beyond (the catch being unable to downgrade the BIOS for an older processor). Not surprisingly, the 300-series mainboard won’t be getting the Ryzen 4000 BIOS update.

For those of us who went through the BIOS woes for the Athlon 200GE and 3000G last year, the Ryzen 4000 processors will probably offer the same pain to an entirely new audience that haven’t dealt with it before.

Read the rest of the essay on Medium.

Installing The SilverStone Slim 120mm Case Fan

Every five years I rebuild my FreeNAS file server by replacing old hardware with new hardware. One component that I always toss out after running 24/7 for five years is the case fans. For the 2015 rebuild, I had Deepcool 120mm fans in front, NZXT 120mm fans in back and bottom, and a pair of Apevia 140mm fans at top. There’s nothing special about these fans except for the bottom fan, where air circulation is needed to avoid overheating the hard drives. The regular 120mm fan was 25mm thick and blocked the bottom drive bay. Not a problem when I only had six hard drives. For the 2020 rebuild, I added two new hard drives and needed all eight drive bays. How can I have a fan and a hard drive occupy the same space at the same time?

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Replacing UPS Battery After Low Battery Warning

I’ve gotten email notifications from my FreeNAS file server that my APC ES-725 UPS has a “low battery” condition. The 12-volt battery inside the UPS was no longer outputting a constant 12 volts to provide backup power during an outage. When that happened three years ago, I ignored the emails for several months. One day the UPS stopped working and started whistling loudly. I had no choice but to unplug the UPS to stop the whistling. My choices then was the same as now: replace the battery or the entire UPS. Most of the time, it’s cheaper to replace the battery.

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Does Overclocking The AMD Athlon 3000G Require A BIOS Update?

I just finished building my new test PC and tried to overclock the AMD Athlon 3000G processor out of the box. The Asrock B450 Pro4 ATX mainboard came with BIOS version 3.60 (08/06/2019) installed. That version supported the 3000G — except for one small detail. No matter what changes I make in the BIOS to overclock the processor, the settings revert to stock speed at 3.5GHz after reboot.

We’ve seen this behavior before when the Ryzen 3000 BIOS updates removed the unofficial feature for overclocking the Athlon 200GE. I updated the mainboard to BIOS version 3.90 (12/16/2019) and easily overclocked the 3000G to 3.9GHz. The main selling point for the 3000G was the ability to overclock the new $50 USD budget processor on any Ryzen 3000.

Does the 3000G need a BIOS update to overclock?

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How I Spent My Christmas Bonus On Tech 2019

Last year I mentioned in a video that I might spend my Christmas bonus on the new 2018 Apple Mac mini and get a Panasonic Lumix G7 camera. Or I could get the camera but upgrade the processor, mainboard and memory on my video editing PC. If you watched my channel for the past year, you may already have a good idea how I spent my Christmas bonus. If not, keep reading to find out.

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$3 Mystery PC Card — Athena Power BP-SP127SAC

While browsing Facebook a month ago, I came across a Newegg ad for an unusual PC expansion card by Athena Power. The card fits any card slot since it doesn’t plug into the mainboard. The card has two internal connectors that you often don’t see together: a SATA data connector and a floppy drive power connector. With a $15 discount for a limited time, the card sold for $3 USD and I ordered a pair from Newegg. What is this mysterious expansion card? Why would you want to get a pair for your PC?

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Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2019 Haul

For the Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2019 shopping weekend, I bought the AMD Athlon 3000G processor, Microsoft Windows 10 (MD-100) certification practice test, and the AMD Ryzen 7 2600 processor. Why did I buy two very different AMD processors for the same PC, and a practice test for a certification I still haven’t taken?

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Pre-Order The AMD Athlon 3000G Processor

AMD started shipping the Athlon 3000G, their newest $50 USD budget processor, to retailers last week. Initial reports spotted Amazon pre-order pages for various countries in the European Union. Neither Amazon nor Newegg had pre-order pages for the US. Does any online retailer have a pre-order page for the 3000G? Surprisingly, it’s B&H.

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A Simple Fix For Your Brand New Canon LiDE Scanner

I recently bought the Canon 300 LiDE scanner for $50 USD from Amazon. I removed the scanner from the packaging and plugged it into my computer. Windows 10 recognized the scanner. Vuescan recognized the scanner. When I tried to scan something, nothing happened. A lot of negative reviews on Amazon state that the scanner just doesn’t work at all. I did some troubleshooting and found a simple solution.

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