Theseus' PC

Hi guys,

Today my PC game me grief on starting up. A series of bluescreens followed by some cursing and BIOS tweaking. The thing runs, but I don’t trust the thing no more. So, I have decided to move up the purchase of some parts from their planned late fall date.

Here’s what I ordered:

  • NZXT C-Serie 850W
  • MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PLUS moederbord socket 1151
  • Intel Core i5 9600KF processor
  • G.Skill DDR4 Ripjaws-V 4x8GB 4000Mhz [F4-4000C18Q-32GVK] (some fast ram)
  • Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite 240 ← an all-in-one liquid CPU cooler
  • Kingston A2000 1000GB M.2 SSD ← intended for windows + DCS

It’s going to replace my decrepit old mainboard (that wouldn’t even accept the cpu without some weird BIOS hacks), CPU (i4790K) and RAM (two different batches of cheap DDR3).

It may not be a huge increase in speed, but it should be more silent, more stable and overclockable. The M2 SSD should give a fair boost in loading speed and the mainboard has room for another.

I intend to keep the 1070 around until the 30 series hit and AMD has played their hand.

So, you guys think I did a dumb, or have I gotten just the right parts?
And do you think M$ is going to accept the fact that this is really the same box still, I swear sir, it is!


You have given me a LOT to cover so here it goes!

Likely overkill, better to have and not need right!

I am not reading all the specs - just watch how your dual M.2 slots work and if they disable SATA ports when both in use, which ones and if you need those SATA ports. Usually in the manual, not the web specs.

Depending on the board, it will only run at most 2933mhz without overclocking to XMP. I don’t run XMP (tried with little change) but that’s room to push as it ages.

240 would be the smallest I would do!

Personally, I never trust a single drive and like have separate I/O for Windows but NVME I think can handle it. All drives are still bad at mass number of small files being used at once though still. Good thing our textures and terrain are MASSIVE.

It won’t register, your license key is tied to the motherboard. Install again anyway and call your MS Activations hotline and they will re-assign it for you no charge. I have posted on doing so before, but the North American number may be of no use to you!

Edit 2: Windows Key
If you can access the old Windows drive once rebuilt, you can extract your key and reactivate that way (or if you have a sticker then you are OK - mine was a free Win7 upgrade that attaches to your MS account so I don’t have a key per se).

Edit 1: Forgot the CPU!
Looks good to me, I am just always weary of the KF’s for one reason not related to them directly. Anyway, a KF is a K with a defective & disabled onboard GPU. So you get some extra thermal headroom for CPU overclocks. However, if your graphics card calls quits - you’re out of the fight until you get a new one. I like having the onboard GPU as a backup since a few of my GPUs were replaced through death, not just age. If that PC is solely gaming and you have other means to access documents/internet etc, then no worries.


That’s a similar build to my own recent upgrade. I’m satisfied with the overall performance now, but only after I swapped out the RX 580 I was gonna hold on to with a GTX 1660Ti. The 1070 may see better results, but it’s still gonna hold it back til you upgrade.

@Wes thanks for the analysis. I hope the CPU is good for another three years or so. So you think the RAM is overkill? It wasn’t terribly expensive, so as you said, room to grow.

@Brennus your build was what inspired me to with the 9600k. I hope it overclocks as good as they say it does.

I intend to take a couple of the SATA discs from the old box, perhaps even leave the OS on one. It’s a 2tb hdd, 1tb ssd and a 512gb ssd.

I think I bound my windows registration to my hotmail account, so that should be allright, right? Well we’ll see how it goes :smiley:

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At the time I got my RAM, it was stupidly expensive for 32GB for 3200mhz. I pretty much paid HALF when I bought again for HPN. So if the price was good, aim as high as you can!

The only thing I noticed is that in some cases when you view the XMP profiles the latencies get worse in exchange for the frequency. That may do more harm than good for our application as we aren’t changing data a lot where frequency pays off (if I remember what I had read correctly, it’s been quite a while) - so really for us right now the quantity of RAM is still most important to load up all those map textures and so on. 32GB was the right move! If you were lucky to have maybe gotten 2x16GB for cheap you’d have open slots for 64GB later on if we ever get the need - but when I bought for my gaming rig the prices were not good.

I think by the time we need 64GB there may be CPU and motherboard advances anyway.

The 9th and 10th gen i5’s are outstanding for gaming. You will very similar gaming performance as the i9 with some OC. Good choices.

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Best of Luck with your ne rig!

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I read somewhere that the 3000 series GPUs may need special hardware like a new power plug and compatible mobos… Can’t find the article.

I saw that also, but what I saw was a 12-pin power connector. Seems like they just made it one solid connector. Should be able to still use regular modular PSU cables to fire it up (2 6-pins).

This design may also just be specific to NVIDIA’s reference ‘Founders Edition’ models while AIBs will still ship their custom designs with traditional mini-fit power connectors. It seems like users with good PSUs can still plug in two 6-pin power connectors given they meet the high efficiency required to sustain an enthusiast-grade graphics card. But then again, anyone running a $500 US+ graphics card would already be rocking a pretty decent quality PSU.

Heres an article with a chinese tech leak source FCpowerup:

So it looks like the addition of this new 12-pin power connector won’t require any big changes and you will indeed be able to run the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series Ampere gaming graphics cards without having to worry about buying a new PSU that falls in the standard of your brand new graphics card.

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It’s the reason I opted for that beefy motherlover of a psu.

Looking good!

I‘m a big fan of NVMe drives, not so much because of game loading times, but because of all that micro-loading that happens when you open small apps and explorer windows and the like. All those little micro-idling sequences always did hurt my brain :slight_smile:

Just make sure you get a little heatsink also for the drives. Just a couple of fins and a little volume to get rid of the punctual heat, aluminium works great.

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Why Intel? AMD is faster and cheaper now.

I checked, double checked, that i9600 is best bang for buck in my price range

Not sure about EU, but in Australia AMD are priced right where you’d expect vs Intel for the performance they’re said to have. I understand that in the US they’re better value, but that doesn’t seem to hold for a lot of the rest of the world …


Parts arrived today, and none too soon as my old rig was bluescreening all weekend when put under any load heavier than displaying this forum.

So I tore out the old crud, put in the new shiny, carried it up the stairs and plugged it in…


Oh dear. Not a beep or a boop (the thing lacks a built in speaker). The leds come on, but the monitor just stays asleep.

So I start digging. Turns out this shiny new motherboard has four little leds that tell you how it feels. And it was telling me it didn’t like the RAM. So I took 'em all out save one.

No joy.

Took that one out and put another one in.

Hallelujah! The thing boots! nice! And windows is not even bishin’ at me! whoa.

So I went on testing the four sticks of ram and the slots in a very scientific manner. Turns out one of the sticks is bad. It’s getting RMA’d and until that time i’m on 24GB of ram.

I mounted the watercooler in a very… professional manner. Pix shall follow soon.


Excellent! Sad to hear you had one dead on arrival, but if the rest is going then go for it!

That is one bonus to use 4x8 instead of 2x16 - less RAM out of action if there is a failure…or just buy 4x16 haha!

If you want to be safe, i’d still schedule a reinstall. I recently upgraded my GFs PC and while it worked with the new hardware, there were a few very odd issues that i couldn’t track down (they are now gone after doing a clean install).

Will I not run into weird acitvation issues if and when I do that?

Yes, it will start bugging you about that. How did you get your copy activated?

You should already.
Control Panel → System

Check if Windows shows as activated - it won’t immediately bark at you if it deactivated.

Win10 activation/license is tied to hardware ID which is generated from the motherboard somehow - as I was told by a Microsoft rep when I had to call them. Any motherboard replacement should trip it.

If you reactivate now, and reinstall later you shouldn’t have an issue.