Problems and potential solutions
Well if you took a look at the part list in the previous section, you might be wondering why I’m looking to update things. As a whole, this is still a solid build. It is a little out of date, but as the saying goes. I wouldn’t kick it out of bed for eating cookies. But even so, there are a few big issues that have been causing me issues, a few small issues that are annoying that I would love to fix, and frankly, if I’m in there making changes I might as well update a few other things. So here is a breakdown of what I’ve run into.
Storage issues across the board!
This isn’t the biggest surprise, I pulled all of the storage right out of the original Crush build so these are the oldest components and they are all wear items. Back before I even swapped these over into this PC my Intel 750 Series drive died, which I used to install frequently used games and as a scratch drive when working due to the OS SSD being 500 gigs. That drive was never replaced and I’ve just been using the big hard drive for games. The OS SSD has been a fight to keep under capacity and frankly, at this point, the Toshiba RD400 512GB is slow compared to modern SSDs, it was one of the early NVMe drives. The capacity is also smaller than I would like as well. But it is the Seagate Exos 10TB hard drive which has been giving me problems for a long time now. It is extremely noisy when it shouldn’t be and didn’t used to be and CrystalDiskInfo has been warning me of its reallocated sectors count for at least a year. I’m very fortunate that it hasn’t died frankly. It has 33217 hours on it which is 1384 days or 3.79 years of total power on time. Like I said before, this system is ALWAYS on. The SSD isn’t that far behind at 27078 hours as well which is 1128 days. So those issues need to be addressed. The idea is to of course replace the hard drive, which frankly anything that doesn’t make noise would do the job. I am also hoping to add in a gaming-specific NVMe drive to replace the long dead 750 Series which should help a lot with load times on a few important titles and help take some load off of the OS drive. Then assuming I do bigger upgrades I will also replace the OS drive with a newer larger capacity drive.
When I am doing testing I often need to test noise levels and this build has driven me crazy with noise. Even outside of that, I have had issues with fan noise ramping up and down. Switching to the Noctua cooler helped with this a lot. But it was only part of the problem. I have two Noctua NF-A14 industrialPPC-3000 PWM fans mounted to the front of the case and while amazing fans. They don’t know how to be quiet. The motherboard won’t let me run them below 50% fan speed which is loud enough to get annoying. So I have my fan profiles set up to keep them off as much as I can, which isn’t the best for the overall cooling. Having the top panel off isn’t helping things as well.
The plan for helping with noise has a few parts to it. Replacing the 3000 RPM case fans with something quieter is the most obvious. Beyond that though, I do have a full custom loop ready for this system as well. So if given some planned downtime, getting some of that installed, when paired with quieter fans would help keep temperatures down a lot more and noise with it. Lastly, I need to finally get the top panel back on as well, lets hope I can find the screws!
USB Performance issues
I ran into this one recently. I noticed that the USB drive performance was down significantly. I’m completely unsure what caused this one. It could be the motherboard, the windows installation, or maybe just a side effect of how many USB devices I have hooked up. Without knowing exactly what caused this the best solution would be to start with a reinstall. But a CPU/motherboard upgrade is being considered which combined with a fresh install on a new SSD should help things.
A few times now I’ve randomly had everything come grinding to a halt. Internet speeds dropped to almost nothing with Twitch streams only being able to be watched at 240p while our overall internet and network speeds were fine. This eventually leads to me resetting the network connection and then my pc struggles to even be able to get an IP. It happens using the onboard NIC, the add-in card NIC, and the built-in wireless and isn’t an issue with the cable or anything else on the network. My initial thought is this is a motherboard or power supply issue. One consistent has been it has come up when the hard drive is being slammed. I’m sure whatever is causing this could also be related to the USB performance issues as well. Rebooting doesn’t help and resetting IP tables doesn’t as well. It just stops and starts working again. I could throw a power supply, reinstall windows, or even a new motherboard and any could be the fix. I will most likely wait on this to see if it comes up again as I address other issues, like seeing if it happens after replacing the hard drive.
The 32GB of memory shouldn’t be a problem, but with how I use my system which includes keeping at least 15 Chrome tabs open at all times I have been running into memory issues. The real issue here is Chrome just slowly sucks up all of the memory available, but a lot of this goes to a window dedicated to our security cameras as well as YouTube and Twitch which are all open all of the time. Multiple Gmail tabs do it as well. This itself has been an issue for me at times, but add in games like Microsoft Flight Sim 2020 which I have been playing and I start running into issues. On top of that, the memory is early DDR4 which is clocked low at 2800 MHz and the CAS latency of 14 isn’t helping things as well. A bump in capacity would be nice, as would faster memory.
Microsoft Flight Sim 2020 performance
The Threadripper 1920X isn’t a bad CPU, but even at its launch, it was never really ideal for gaming. It has a base clock speed of 3.8 GHz and a boost clock of 4.0. Altogether though, the 1920X has been a significant contributor to the lower performance that I see in Flight Sim 2020. We know it isn’t the RTX 3080 lol. Other areas that I have already talked about like the memory clock speeds and the slow drive speeds also help. But an actual gaming-focused CPU would help the most. This is where the big changes start to be considered. Again the 1920X is still a solid CPU and I don’t NEED to upgrade. But upgrading to a gaming-focused CPU as well as a motherboard to match would go a long way in helping with a few of the other issues as well which is why I have been considering this.