Monday, June 28, 2021

Dell G5 5000 Gaming Mini Review and Experiences

If you're expecting hard science data here, you won't get it. But you'll get my impressions as a regular end user who got their first PC back when they called them clones. In 1990. And SOME measurements and tips.

I got one because it was under $490 once they gave me a $50 coupon because I complained about the McAfee and onsite warranty I didn't want.

So, fair enough since for $10 I'll take the warranty.

$490 is almost the value of the GPU alone.

And I plan to sell the keyboard and mouse new in the box for hopefully $20 or so total at least.

And I think I get another 1% cash back on Amex, so $7.90.

Notes:

Benchmarks and Tests:

3DMArk

The GTX 1660 Ti runs as advertised at a RAM freq of 1500 and a GPU freq of 1700. Running 3DMarks "Time Spy" test peaked at 86C GPU temp and 48C CPU temp during a 7 pass "torture" test in a cool room.

Fans were pretty loud but those temps IMHO aren't horrible.

CPU sustained speed of 4090mhz during the 3DMArk torture test.

CinebenchR23

Cinebench R23 just reported a 7683 score with an ending temp of 83C. And my room's kinda warm. Wasn't running exclusively tho. Peak power at 59W, so that makes sense. TDP is 65W so it isn't reaching it's full potential.

Single core Cinebench shows the core only running at about 4.15ghz max according to HWMonitor.

Cinebench R23 after replacing the 80mm case fan AND while mining ETH on the GPU: 7754 so only a 1% diff. Maybe worth a few percent.

Multicore test is only showing the CPU running at 3.85ghz. Package temp is 93C so it may be throttling even tho that's below the 100C max.

Mine didn't come with the nice plexiglass window. Oh well.

First tip: get rid of that hard drive cage that blocks a bunch of the holes in the front of the case. I have only the 500GB NVME and a 2.5" SSD. That's free extra cooling. Even if you didn't order with a hard drive, the cage is there.

Second Tip: Use something to clone the NVME and then wipe it. I have a Windows 10 Pro drive I converted to UEFI bootable so it's booted from that and later I'll clone it over to the NVME. Right now it's in a 2.5" bay.

Power supply: I think it's 360 watts? This is plenty for the GPU/CPU usages of max 120watts+65watts. So you've got half (`180W) left for other stuff. Plus, there's a video I saw that the power supply is underrated and will actually put out more before shutdown. Unless you want a monster video card, it's enough.

Remember: $490. 

Niceties:

There are two 2.5" sleds in the case for mounting 2.5" devices. Power is prerouted so all you need is a long SATA cable. There are 4 SATA ports.

Thoughts:

The i5 CPU is clock locked, so I don't think it's worth it to replace the CPU cooler.

The 1660Ti isn't a beast, so I don't think it has much of a cooling problem either.

In the BASE system, with no hard drives (NVME/SSD only) I think maybe a case fan in the front after removing the hard drive bracket will be sufficient.

My Upgrades:

I had an old Kingwin 3 pin fan around but it was either a 120 or 140mm. It wedges just right between the case edge at the back and the silver housings the port are in. So it's not even secured. It's not tight enough to damage anything but it isn't going to slide out either as it doesn't vibrate. Pretty slow fan but way better than the 80mm stock fan that was back there that I couldn't even feel when it was spinning. It was 'free' from the pile o' crap(™) in my office.

If you have a 3 pin fan lying around, the guide key is there on the motherboard for one. Just disconnect the 4 pin 80mm in the back. You just get max RPM all the time...which is probably a good thing in this case. Pun intended.


This tiny fan, besides GPU fan, is all that moves air thru the case. Yeah,  move it to the front and put it on a PWM splitter. That'll bump cooling a bit more and they are literally about $3 on Amazon. 

Using this link (https://amzn.to/3jH8AUI) to open my search results on Amazon and pick one you like.

Buying using my link earns me a few cents.

I wouldn't put more than 3 on a splitter personally, and not put the CPU on the same one as a case fan. 

Look at the stock case fan. Does it look like it's big enough for the case? It's not shrouded nor does it spin very fast. When I held my hand next to it, I could not really feel much airflow.




There are two SATA power cables where the 2.5" card cage is so you can drive older fans like this one, which would probably help the GPU and overall air movement in the case even more. 



The GPU doesn't have RAM/VRM heat sinks. Nor do the VRMs on the motherboard.

You can actually find the motherboard VRM heatsink on Amazon but I dunno if it's worth the $22. https://amzn.to/3jIeWU6 Hit that link, right? :) 

Here's the SATA power adapter if you want to use a fan with a Molex connector: 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

How to Convert Windows 10 MBR to GPT so you can boot on a new UEFI system vs. older Legacy BIOS boot

You've been Googling this and it's much simpler than it seems. This is not a 100% walkthru but there was ONE THING that made it so the disk wouldn't validate as being able to be converted:

You have to shrink your partition a little. I don't know why, but that's all I did.

WARNING: This can result in data loss, but my install wasn't that important so I didn't back up. You've been advised. :)

Other things:

Don't do the conversion in Windows. Boot to the recovery mode (also called WinPE or other stuff) to use mbr2gpt.exe

Make sure Windows 10 is updated. The validation on older than 1709 versions of Windows fail.


1. Shrink your system partition by 1GB. Can be done in 

2. Boot into Recovery Mode and re-validate the disk. Then convert it using mbr2gpt.


I got an error about WinReReapir (that's how it was spelled...looks like a typo) and 'failed to update reAgent.xml but Windows 10 booted fine after the conversion.


My scenario was: 2.5" SSD in older Legacy BIOS system only. Wanted to put it in Dell G5000 which is UEFI only.

Booted fine first try.

Did this help? https://paypal.me/beachfitrob can be used to donate $1 for some coffee. ;)

Or, like and subscribe on my YouTube channel. That's free and helps a bunch!

http://youtube.com/rcbullock


Thursday, April 29, 2021

How to Order Your Texas DPS DMV Driving Record Form 3A and NOT get Ripped Off!

The proper website is here:

https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/txldrcdr/TXDPSLicenseeManager

If this changes, just make sure you are on a Texas .gov website before you pay.

On 29 April 2021, I paid a total of $12. That can of course go up a little.

If you are on a site such as dpsrecords.com, it is a ripoff. They will charge you $34.95 for the same record.

You will get it IMMEDIATELY after you pay on Texas.gov

Did this help save you money? Buy me a cup of coffee at http://paypal.me/beachfitrob as I'm underemployed. 

Or, give me a like and a subscribe on my Youtube channel: http://youtube.com/rcbullock



Friday, April 09, 2021

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Chevy Bolt Cabin Air Filter: $9 on Amazon, no tools needed. Carbon Impregnated.

Did mine yesterday.

Here's the link on Amazon (using it supports my Blog): https://amzn.to/31ZtAfm At this time, it's under $9 for Prime members.

Here's a video guide:


Thursday, February 04, 2021

AU-PM422 Audio Playthrough is crackling and slow. Bad. Headphone jack on Computer works fine.

UPDATE: Solved. Watch the Video: https://youtu.be/DNzwruJqVdo


I have the AU-PM422 Music played through it is crackling, slow, bad. I tried both a USB 2 and a USB 3 ports.

Same music through my computer headphone port is fine.

Mac Pro Desktop OS X 10.14.6 

And yes, the AU-PM422 is both an audio output and input device. :)

Will update when I hear back from Maono.

It is probably not the cable. Tried the original and a second I had laying around. Max data rate is 192kbps so I don't think that's it even if my cable was USB 1. :)

Buy me a Coffee? http://paypal.me/beachfitrob $1 for Mickey D's coffee if I helped. :)



Saturday, January 16, 2021

Cheap Pen for Monoprice TWA60 Tablet on Amazon. UC-Logic Compatible

 


Links support me. I'm underemployed since COVID took out my company.

Had an old Monoprice TWA60 tablet and was looking for pens for it. This one works. See video.

Should work with most tablets that use UC Logic technology. Which is most pens with a battery.

You want the P68 or PEN68, or the rechargeable version. It works fine with rechargeable batteries and I didn't want to get the more expensive rechargeable version with it's special cable...and what if the battery goes bad?

Here's the direct link: https://amzn.to/3swFadY

And the Huion store on Amazon if you want a newer tablet: https://amzn.to/2NbnNiS


Thursday, December 10, 2020

FIX: iTunes Version 12.9.5.5 Cutting in and Out: Audio glitches on all outputs. Mojave 10.14.6 (18G6042) : Audio Hijack

 In short, I *THINK* it was Audio Hijack and/or the ACE component.


I installed updates and here's what is current as of 10 Dec 2020:




*MUCH* better now. Not sure it's 100% fixed but WAY better. Audio for some reason sounds better.

OCCASIONALLY getting a 'click' in audio like playback stops for a split second.

This is not hardware as YouTube has no issues. Just iTunes so far.

Which is what led me to thinking it's a plugin.

Did this help? I take coffee can donations at http://paypal.me/beachfitrob as I'm currently underemployed and the blog is a small source of income as well as my podcast and YouTube channel.

Subscribes and Likes also help. :)

https://linktr.ee/realactorrob


Sunday, December 06, 2020

How to FIX: Bad BIOS Flash and You Can't Boot back to the Floppy or USB to fix it Because CMOS settings won't save. Can't Boot anything. F11 BBS to select boot for example won't start.

Update: For some WEIRD reason, this also fixed the issue I was trying to fix, getting Windows 10 to load. 


I didn't change the CPU (E3300...yeah...but I already had this stuff and I wanted it for light gaming (Castoff 1GB GPU I have laying around should work...) and for real hardware work not a VM.

Did I mention I had this stuff already?

Old motherboard. Don't ask.

I accidentally flashed it without all the switches AFUDOS was supposed to use. ECS 7050VT-M motherboard. 

So here's the fix: Put a bootable floppy or USB thumb drive in. Or I suppose a hard drive or anything with DOS on it.

Unplug the keyboard, mouse, hard drive, USB mouse, etc. and eject any DVD so the ONLY thing the PC can boot from is the USB or floppy or whatever with the flashing program and ROM on it.

AFTER it boots, THEN plug in a keyboard. In my case, it did not even recognize my USB keyboard so I had to plug in a PS/2 keyboard after boot. Yes, you're not supposed to. Just carefully and slowly plug it in. 

Reflash it, load the CMOS defaults, save those and reboot. This fixed mine.

Did this help? I'm out of work so send me a buck. Or anything, really. :) -=> http://paypal.me/beachfitrob

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Drobo Series 3 WILL Downsize itself!

Well color me SHOCKED.

Tons of people on Reddit told me this wasn't possible.

I made a little video because I'm sure someone would say that I just got a screen grab showing the drives green or something.

I can assure you this is legit. 

And no, I cannot PROVE what I say so I'm hoping someone will validate this.

Keep in mind, it feels like maybe 5-6 days that this happened over. I didn't keep track because of course I didn't expect it.

The Drobo DID go into data protection MANY times. At one point I think I had 48 notifications. :)

So, you could pull a drive, wait for it to all turn green again, THEN insert  a smaller drive. I tried this before the rebuild was all done with a 1TB in the bottom bay and it just turned that drive red and wanted me to replace it with a bigger drive (like the 4TB). So I'm guessing that Drobo prefers that easier and quicker method vs. all the days of rebuild it too.

WARNING: This DOES place your data at more risk, but if you had it set up for 2 drive failure, less so obviously. 

In my case, all I had was Time Machine backups left to copy off, and I had other backups so not hugely critical.

HTH! Someone else give it shot if you've got non-critical data or a Drobo laying around. 

Now I wonder if the Series 2 will do it.


Drobo Series 3 Speed Sucks:

Update: Read more on my Drobo Saga above.


Series 3 Drobo, 4 drives: 3/2/3/4TB (7.2TB net storage)

Firmware 4.1.4

Tested with BlackMagic Disk Speed Test on Mac Pro 8 core 2009 flashed to 2010. Newertech USB 3 PCIe card.

Tests:

25% free (75% used)

About 30Mbyte/second if I'm lucky. 

I think this is due to the very large number of files on the unit due to a Time Machine volume and a data drive and somehow the 4TB drive addition seemed to slow it down but note that I have had no errors in weeks on it, and the 4TB drive has gotten moved to my Mac Pro internally with no isses and no SMART trips via SMARTReporter.



Monday, October 12, 2020

Easy Money Links and Referral Codes for Webull, Raise, Tesla, Discover, Cash App, Gasbuddy, Get Upside, Amex, Rakuten, Mypoints, SoFi, PEI, Money Networks, more to come!

I've got some videos with more stuff or more in depth evaluations of some of these here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHfnZVroL1-VYU8usosblA0w8As2b-nGg

Robinhood:

  • Free stocks! Stocks given are random. Could be Ford, Apple...might be Groupon or Zynga. I got a GE and Zynga, wife got Groupon. I've gotten close to 20 free stocks I bet. Plus it's a good starter for trading stocks. -=> https://share.robinhood.com/robertb4367


SoFi:


PEI:

  • A bit of work to set up but it just builds extra money in the background when you use your credit cards. I'm sure they are tracking spending habits. Not yours, just an aggregate. I don't care, it's free bucks for doing nothing. You can a bonus when you use my link. $20 to cash out but eventually you'll just get it. https://getpei.app.link/invite?code=theroblog


Tesla:

  • Ok, not an easy money link but you can save some money using my link for $100 off solar roof or panels, or 1,000 free supercharger miles...I'm trying to earn a Powerwall. -=> https://ts.la/robert99827

HEB Card:

Netspend:

  • This is the same as the HEB card above in the areas that count. No fee as long as you have activity every 90 days, 5% FDIC Savings interest rate, and if you load $40 (you can get one every 6 months or actually 181 days basically...I'd wait maybe 190 days to be sure) you can get another $20. Make sure you have a recurring deposit, like $1 every 60 days or something to avoid the inactivity fee. Link to get it: https://www.netspend.com/get-a-prepaid-card/?aid=RAF_1&site_id=RAF_OAC_URL&uref=8161238103 

Discover:


Cash App

  • https://cash.app/app/VTWFXHX $5 to sign up and send $5 to someone...PLEASE copy the code 'VTWFXHX' and put it in the box when you create your account...the link doesn't track my referrals if you just download the app after that, so, please use the code. We both get $5. 


WeBull


Raise

  • Buy gift cards right on your phone that show up in 1-2 minutes. So, you're at a restaurant or Auozone or whatever store and you buy the EXACT amount of gift card you need and get at least 5% back. Plus you can still use coupons and other deals as this is just a form of payment. $5 bonus to start. I've saved about $450 in 2 years. https://geta.raise.com/RBULLOCK3365



GetUpside

  • This is a little involved, but basically you claim the offer (There's a lot of fast food and gas station offers) and upload your receipt. Examples around me are 22 cents off per gallon of diesel, 16 cents/gallon gas, and 10-15% off Popeye's and Wendy's. It's a quick few bucks, and once again, it stacks with other offers as the business doesn't see anything. -=> https://upside.app.link/HAC7F


Gasbuddy



Amex American Express


Rakuten


Mypoints











Migrating Storj from Mac OS X Windows GUI VM to NAS, Docker, Linux, etc.

Quick post:

rsync over SMB is painful. Don't.

rsync over NFS from a direct attached Drobo...less so.

Best is probably a direct copy to disk, move that disk to Unraid, and cp it over. THEN do an rsync from your live node, stop the node and sync (maybe) then you're done.

Reminder for OS X: Disk Utility won't mount an NFS share for you any more. It's CLI time.

First, create a directory on your Mac you'll mount the NFS Share in.

Then, to mount, this: sudo mount -t nfs 192.168.1.175:/mnt/user/storjnode2 /Users/robertbullock/storjnode2

Use your IP for your server obviously and the end bit is where you'll see all the files. You might consider, again, copying the files over THEN doing an rsync. 

I recommend the -aP flags like this:

rsync -aP /Volumes/Drobo\ Series\ 3/StorjStorage/storagenodeWin10VirtualBox /Volumes/storjnode2/storage


You can just type the command and flags then drag the source to the terminal window, hit space, then drag the destination. (This is an older command structure when I was using SMB...ugh.)

I'd appreciate comments on how this could be faster. I'm only getting around 5mBytes/sec over gigabit Ethernet.

Tips for an out of work IT guy accepted: http://paypal.me/beachfitrob Every quarter helps!




I built an Unraid server in a Dell T310 Poweredge

I built an Unraid server in a Dell T310 Poweredge. I have the Xeon version (did anyone buy anything less?) with the SATA/SAS N621K backplane.

Notes: Get an H310 IMHO and flash that to a dumb SAS HBA/IT controller. There's a post on my blog here about that process.

I put a 2x5 5.25 to 3x3.5 trayless adapter in the double T310 Bay. It WILL NOT fit the stock opening.

Pics to follow, maybe, but all you have to do is remove the lower support lip by bending it out with a screwdriver and taking a pair of pliers and bending it back and forth a bit til it snaps off. Then put a single screw in the side or two if you like, thru the friction finger thingies next to the blue retaining mech. Just slide the whole bay a bit back and forth til the screw hole is in the corner of the slidey hole...yeah this needs a pic.

It's the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS: Click to see on Ebay or Click to See on Amazon (I'm out of work, please use these links.) 

The H310 connects fine with an SFF 8087 cable to the T310 N621K backplane. Click to Buy one on Amazon or Click here for Ebay (did I mention I'm unemployed?)

I'd get one 8087 to 8087 for the backplane, and one that's a breakout cable (the one with 4 SATA ends) to run to the trayless bay, leaving one to connect to an SSD you could throw anywhere in the case with whatever fastening scheme you like...or just lay it on the bottom.

I've set the power management in the BIOS to min, and it seems to help fan speed as my drives trip the higher speed...thanks DELL.

You can of course use the onboard SATA ports on the T310 but I have to see if they are limited to 2TB, which seems likely. Still, they're there and free and you already have power and one SATA cable from the removed DVD drive, right?

...more to come.

Did this article help you? Send me 50 cents at http://paypal.me/beachfitrob ;)


 
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