Help with upgrading 2 Identical PC's

Jan 29, 2021
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I built two PC's from advice received on a forum just over two years ago. They were supposed to be the best mini ATX builds for £800 each excluding monitor, keyboard and mouse. The specs are:

AMD Ryzen 5 Six Core 2600 3.90GHz (Socket AM4) Processor
GigaByte B450M DS3H Motherboard
Team Group Vulcan T-Force 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 PC4-24000C16 3000MHz Dual Channel Kit
Gigabyte Radeon RX Vega 56 Gaming OC 8GB HBM2 PCI-Express Graphics Card
Seagate 1TB BarraCuda 7200rpm 64MB Cache Internal Hard Drive
CoolerMaster MasterBox Q300L Micro-ATX Case
be quiet! Pure Power 11 600W 80 Plus Gold Power Supply
Samsung 250GB 860 EVO SSD 2.5" SATA 6Gbps 64 Layer 3D V-NAND

I later added to each build as I thought things were getting a bit warm:

Corsair Hydro H100i Addressable RGB Platinum Liquid/Water Intel/AMD CPU Cooler - This is mounted on the front of the case drawing air in.
x3 Corsair 120mm ML120 P-RGB fans - x2 fans on the top of the case sucking air out of the case and x1 fan on the rear sucking air out of the back of the case.

These were my first PC builds, but I had Youtube to help me, and all went well for a few months. I have updated the bios several times and updated the chipset drivers for the graphics card.
The problem is that after an hour of gameplay the fans suddenly run up to maximum and seconds later the PC crashes and I have a black screen. When spending time on the internet the system is stable and never crashes. This happens on both PC's, although it happens more regularly on my son's PC when he is playing Microsoft Flight Sim 2020 with med to low game settings. Perhaps another 16GB DDR4 RAM would help.

I have considered getting an 850w power supply as I know that the RX Vega 56 is a bit hungry. I have also read that people really hate this graphics card and many have failed. My setups are not overclocked which has probably helped them survive. Also thought of getting a 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD and binning the other drives altogether.

Sorry if this is all a bit long but I've tried to give as much information as possible. With regard to budget, I just want reasonable suggestions for an upgrade to this setup. If upgrading the setup slowly over the course of the next year sounds ridiculous, then what sort of system would you recommend to run Microsoft FS 2020 and latest gen games at medium to high settings?
 
Aug 25, 2020
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I'm not familiar enough with your components, so a general suggestion:

Install a temperature monitoring app to track the CPU & GPU performance over time while playing. Assuming that shows one of them spiking, you'll have a clearer picture on what to change.

Another thing to do is look in the Startup tab in Task Manager and disable any apps you don't need starting at boot. Also, close down any other apps you have running before launching your game.

What is the airflow like inside your cases? Were you careful to route the cables out of the way of the main air currents? A micro ATX has no room for impediments.
 
Jan 29, 2021
15
3
15
I'm not familiar enough with your components, so a general suggestion:

Install a temperature monitoring app to track the CPU & GPU performance over time while playing. Assuming that shows one of them spiking, you'll have a clearer picture on what to change.

Another thing to do is look in the Startup tab in Task Manager and disable any apps you don't need starting at boot. Also, close down any other apps you have running before launching your game.

What is the airflow like inside your cases? Were you careful to route the cables out of the way of the main air currents? A micro ATX has no room for impediments.
Thanks for getting back to me Brian. Yes, I quickly realised that the Corsair Link software wasn't displaying correct temperatures. Apparently its only compatible with Intel chipsets! Can you suggest a site where I can download a temperature monitoring app without getting a virus?

Yes, we are only running the game that we are playing. All other apps are closed so not to waste system resources.

I was very tidy with the build and all cables are tucked away with only the Corsair liquid cooling pipes on show. I did think of getting a bigger case at some stage as the GPU is very close to the PSU. There is nothing that can be done about this in my case. Someone did post elsewhere that my GPU is very power hungry and they would recommend a 850W PSU. They also said to run two separate power cables to the GPU rather than one with an integrated extension for the remaining connectors.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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Jan 31, 2020
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Hi. I can throw in some good monitoring software I use and know to be safe. You should definitely be using two cables from the PSU to the GPU though that might actually be the problem, check those cables havent melted or anything. Otherwise 600 watts is more than enough for your system.



EDIT!
Well, apparently Realtemp doesnt work with Ryzen so apologies for that confusion. Coretemp supports Ryzen and is very similar to Realtemp, I just prefer the look of Realtemp.

 
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Jan 29, 2021
15
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Hi. I can throw in some good monitoring software I use and know to be safe. You should definitely be using two cables from the PSU to the GPU though that might actually be the problem, check those cables havent melted or anything. Otherwise 600 watts is more than enough for your system.



EDIT!
Well, apparently Realtemp doesnt work with Ryzen so apologies for that confusion. Coretemp supports Ryzen and is very similar to Realtemp, I just prefer the look of Realtemp.

Thanks Kaamos, I'll look into Core Temp. Do you think that my CPU is still up to the task, or should I upgrade? Perhaps the Graphics card needs to go. Should I just start with a new motherboard and go from there? Sorry, too many questions.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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Jan 31, 2020
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Thanks Kaamos, I'll look into Core Temp. Do you think that my CPU is still up to the task, or should I upgrade? Perhaps the Graphics card needs to go. Should I just start with a new motherboard and go from there? Sorry, too many questions.
Well get everything working properly first. If you do have any hardware problems use the money to replace whatever might be broken. :) Hopefully nothing!

Providing everything is working properly it really depends. Nothing you have is obsolete or really old or sticks out as bad, its still a strong set up. I'd be most tempted to get a bigger SSD because I like to keep as many games installed on mine as possible.

If you must you'd get most benefit out of upgrading the GPU to an RTX 3070 or an AMD 6800. I wouldnt pay the current prices for those though. I'd be a little nervous about going higher then those cards (3080/6800XT) on your PSU, although reviews seem to show you possibly could.

Keep the CPU and RAM, there are faster out there but the benefit is not worth the cost at the moment. Wait until next gen is out and look again, or really until they become too much the limiting factor.

Absolutely no point replacing the motherboard until you upgrade the CPU and RAM, do all at the same time when you do.

Let us know if its all working! GL
 
Jan 29, 2021
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Well get everything working properly first. If you do have any hardware problems use the money to replace whatever might be broken. :) Hopefully nothing!

Providing everything is working properly it really depends. Nothing you have is obsolete or really old or sticks out as bad, its still a strong set up. I'd be most tempted to get a bigger SSD because I like to keep as many games installed on mine as possible.

If you must you'd get most benefit out of upgrading the GPU to an RTX 3070 or an AMD 6800. I wouldnt pay the current prices for those though. I'd be a little nervous about going higher then those cards (3080/6800XT) on your PSU, although reviews seem to show you possibly could.

Keep the CPU and RAM, there are faster out there but the benefit is not worth the cost at the moment. Wait until next gen is out and look again, or really until they become too much the limiting factor.

Absolutely no point replacing the motherboard until you upgrade the CPU and RAM, do all at the same time when you do.

Let us know if its all working! GL
Thanks again for your help Kaamos. Yes, I’ll get a large NVMe and reinstall everything and get rid of the other drives. Hopefully a fresh install should do the trick. This time I won’t install AMD Adrenalin 2020 or whatever it’s called, and I won’t bother with all the Razer optimisation software.

I will do a motherboard, CPU and RAM at a much later stage.
Chris
 
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Kaamos_Llama

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Two cables from the PSU to the graphics cards! FWIW I have Adrenaline installed and it hasnt caused me any problems yet, although I do barely use it. Razer software I'm sure you can do without though. Cheers :)
 
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Jan 29, 2021
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Two cables from the PSU to the graphics cards! FWIW I have Adrenaline installed and it hasnt caused me any problems yet, although I do barely use it. Razer software I'm sure you can do without though. Cheers :)
Yes, the graphics card has two connector ports. At the moment a cable runs from the PSU to one port and has a bridging cable to connect to the other port. It has been suggested elsewhere that it’s best to run two separate power cables from the PSU to the graphics card.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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Jan 31, 2020
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Yes, the graphics card has two connector ports. At the moment a cable runs from the PSU to one port and has a bridging cable to connect to the other port. It has been suggested elsewhere that it’s best to run two separate power cables from the PSU to the graphics card.
I know! That could be your problem, this is the label from your PSU I took it from a review.



Your PSU has 2 x 12v rails. The graphics card and CPU use the 12v rails.

Almost certainly one GPU cable goes to one 12v rail and the other port to the other. If you have your GPU pulling 270 + watts and CPU pulling say 80 watts because something like MS Flight sim is working both of them really hard...

You see how you have 28 Amps on 12v2? 28A X 12V= 336Watts maximum on that rail

Use two cables. :)
 
Jan 29, 2021
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I know! That could be your problem, this is the label from your PSU I took it from a review.



Your PSU has 2 x 12v rails. The graphics card and CPU use the 12v rails.

Almost certainly one GPU cable goes to one 12v rail and the other port to the other. If you have your GPU pulling 270 + watts and CPU pulling say 80 watts because something like MS Flight sim is working both of them really hard...

You see how you have 28 Amps on 12v2? 28A X 12V= 336Watts maximum on that rail

Use two cables. :)
Thanks so much for your extremely clear explanation. I’ll see if there is a spare cable with the PSU to make the connection. The PSU only has captive cables, so not much flexibility. I’ll let you know how I get on.
 
Jan 29, 2021
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Isn't it this PSU you have ?


That's what I've found going by you first post, sorry if I've got the wrong one somehow.
I will take a look when I get home from work. It looks the same, but I’m sure that the cables are captive on my version. Perhaps this is an improved version.
 
Jan 29, 2021
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Yes, my version has captive cables which means a mess of extra cable I don’t need in the case. Anyway, I removed the jumper cable to the second connector port on the graphics card and ran a completely separate cable from the PSU. So I have a cable from the PSU marked VGA1 connected to my graphics card, and a second cable marked VGA2 connected to the other port on the card. Let’s hope that the PC is more stable as a result.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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Jan 31, 2020
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Hi again. If your version has captive cables (non modular) then it's not what you said it was in the OP, so it could still be the problem.

Can you take a picture of it in the case and upload it? If you can get to the spec label it would be very useful.

Good that you hooked up both cables, hopefully that helps too.
 
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Jan 29, 2021
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Hi again. If your version has captive cables (non modular) then it's not what you said it was in the OP, so it could still be the problem.

Can you take a picture of it in the case and upload it? If you can get to the spec label it would be very useful.

Good that you hooked up both cables, hopefully that helps too.
Hi again. If your version has captive cables (non modular) then it's not what you said it was in the OP, so it could still be the problem.

Can you take a picture of it in the case and upload it? If you can get to the spec label it would be very useful.

Good that you hooked up both cables, hopefully that helps too.
Hi again. If your version has captive cables (non modular) then it's not what you said it was in the OP, so it could still be the problem.

Can you take a picture of it in the case and upload it? If you can get to the spec label it would be very useful.

Good that you hooked up both cables, hopefully that helps too.
I can’t work out how to add a photo of the PSU. Stupid, I know and I’m sure that it’s right in front of me but I’m so tired from work. My son says that since I connected two separate cables to the graphics card instead of one with its jumper cable (sorry if the terminology is wrong) the PC has not crashed once. He is very happy, so thank you. Wish that I could show you a picture of what I’m dealing with.
 
Jan 29, 2021
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I can’t work out how to add a photo of the PSU. Stupid, I know and I’m sure that it’s right in front of me but I’m so tired from work. My son says that since I connected two separate cables to the graphics card instead of one with its jumper cable (sorry if the terminology is wrong) the PC has not crashed once. He is very happy, so thank you. Wish that I could show you a picture of what I’m dealing with.
I can’t work out how to add a photo of the PSU. Stupid, I know and I’m sure that it’s right in front of me but I’m so tired from work. My son says that since I connected two separate cables to the graphics card instead of one with its jumper cable (sorry if the terminology is wrong) the PC has not crashed once. He is very happy, so thank you. Wish that I could show you a picture of what I’m dealing with.
I will take a look when I get home from work. It looks the same, but I’m sure that the cables are captive on my version. Perhaps this is an improved version.
I can’t upload a picture, but I can confirm that the specifications are identical. The only difference is that the version that you found has CM added to its name. This probably refers to it being modular. All the electrical specs are the same.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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Jan 31, 2020
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You have to upload a pic to an external host like Imgur and link it to here, or I believe you can upload it to teh media section here. Its a little bit roundabout, youre not the only one who hasnt figured it out straight away :)

Yea my bad, if the specs are the same you are right theres a non modular version most likely based off the same internal parts. I found 3 reviews all of the modular one so I got confused.

I was also just wondering that hopefully you installed the PSU with the fan facing down so it takes air from the outside of the case?

If the PSU gets hot then the it might not work as well, and as you have a small case it would be sucking in the heated air from the GPU inside the case. Technically it should have been fine on one cable, but it could be that it was getting some power spikes from the GPU causing it to trip the over power protection, or it could just be it wasnt working as well once it got very hot and doing the same.

Either way, glad its working now for you.
 
Jan 29, 2021
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Thanks so much for your time on this one. All seems well now that I have two separate cables attached. Yes, the fan is underneath so not sucking in hot air from the GPU above. I also put some extra feet under the case to bring it up from the desk to get more airflow in.
 
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