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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
AMD made several announcements for their Athlon, Ryzen and Threadripper families of processors this week. I’m interested only in the Athlon 3000G, the new $50 budget processor that replaces the Athlon 200GE. Unlike the mistake AMD made with the 200GE last year, the 3000G is officially unlocked for overclocking. I’ll do a review of the 200GE and explain the advantages of the 3000G in a “Ryzen 3000 Ready” world.
Last week Apple announced the new iPhone 11, Pro and Pro Max, and reduced prices on the older iPhone 8 and iPhone XR. Like many people this time of year, you might be planning to get or have already upgraded to a new iPhone. Your new iPhone will need new accessories to go with it, and that can get downright expensive.
When I got my iPhone 6s in 2015, I spent $80 USD on a clear case and screen protectors. When I got my iPhone XR last week, I could have spent another $80 USD on the exact same accessories. This time I went shopping on Amazon to find some great deals. While several of the accessories that I mention are specific to the iPhone XR, you can find similar accessories for other iPhone models at the same price or a few dollars more.
On the same day that Apple announced the new iPhone 11, Pro and Pro Max, I went to my local Apple Store to trade in my four-year-old iPhone 6s for last year’s iPhone XR. You may recall that I posted a video last October that I wasn’t pre-ordering the iPhone XR to upgrade my iPhone 6s. Sprint wasn’t offering any great deals. Not then, not now. My choices were pre-ordering the iPhone XR for $750 USD or keeping my iPhone 6s for another year. Fast forward a year later… Why did I trade in my iPhone 6s for the iPhone XR and not the newer iPhone 11?
Last month I posted a video on how I installed the AMD Athlon 200GE processor into the AM4 socket of the Asrock B450M Pro4 MATX mainboard with a little bit of pressure. Despite the clicking sound from the socket, the processor worked fine after extensive tests at stock and overclock speeds. Should you keep a brand new AM4 mainboard with a “damaged” socket?
While switching out heatsinks to lower overclocking temperatures, I made an attempt to remove the processor from the socket. I lifted up the lever and heard a clicking sound when the socket was fully opened. I was able to pull out and drop in the processor without any pressure, and press down on the lever to close the socket without a clicking sound. After repeating that a half dozen times, the clicking sound went away and the processor still works fine.
The AM4 socket is a Zero Insertion Force, or ZIF, socket, which does not make clicking sounds or require pressure to insert a processor. Something funky about the socket on the mainboard that now works fine.
If you are a new or less experienced PC builder, you might find it safer to return the mainboard for another one with a working socket.
If you are an experienced PC builder, the risk of something going wrong might be less than the hassle of returning the mainboard to the store during the return period.
Let me know in the comments below if you would have kept a mainboard with a “damaged” socket.