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#4407186 - 02/24/18 05:33 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Originally Posted by DukeIronHand
No, just joking sir.
Taking notes here and I will be building my next system. What better way to know your system then by building it yourself?



Indeed. Glad you aren't serious - but I do actually know people who opt for the pre-built route, and it is a reasonable choice for some. Just like anything else, though - pro's and con's. My feeling is like you said, I know my systems very well, since I built them all. But I also see where not everyone wants to do that. To each his own smile

#4407189 - 02/24/18 05:55 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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CPUs (Just Intel stuff, my fingers are falling off lol):

Currently, Intel has four basic 'models' of CPU, teh Core series -i3, i5, i7, and i9. To be quick about it, I'd say the i3 isn't really up to gaming a lot, and the i9 is going to be expensive since it's top of the heap. So, that leaves the i5 and the i7. i5s are great value for the cost, and while not the top performers, they are notoriously feisty for what they cost compared to i7s. The i7, meanwhile, is just a genuine workhorse, and a monster in many instances. Both can be excellent overclockers, if you're into that. So, if money's at issue and you want to leave some room for an upgrade later, go with an i5. If you prefer to go for more brute performance and can afford it, no doubt the i7 is worth it.

Which exact model (and therefore, what speed) is a function of your budget. Buy what you can afford. If you're not going to overclock, don't waste money on "K" CPUs (like 6700k, etc). Those chips have unlocked frequency multipliers and sometimes other features that make them suitable to overclocking. Be aware that even non-K CPUs can often be bumped a little bit.

Right now, Intel is into the 8th series (8xxx part numbers, like 8700) of it's "Core" processors. They're fairly new, so as has been discussed, you might save a bit by looking at the prior (7th) generation (7xxx part numbers). TBH, even though you're not likely to find them new, I'm firmly of a mind that even some of the 3rd and 4th gen stuff is just fine...many people are playing today's games just fine on 3xxx- and 4xxx-series CPUs. I have a 6700k, it's a couple years old and still seems very new and plenty capable to me. But, unless you're willing to consider used stuff, it's sometimes hard to find older CPUs like the 4000 series. If you do consider used stuff, there are fantastic bargains to be had, saving perhaps several hundred or 1,000+ (disclaimer: I sell used computers, so...I'm biased lol)

Something to consider: Anything newer than the 6000 series will only (officially) run on Windows 10. Yup, it grates my soul, but somehow Microsoft finally got to the people over at Intel, and compelled them to officially support their newest CPUs on W10. You can make a ton of arguments about business decisions, efficiency in support, blah, blah...to me, it's nothing more than a really cheap shot; the low blow to end all low blows. It is a ploy to progressively force more and more PC users to Windows 10 - and I'm not by far the only one who understands this, so keep yer tinfoil hats for yourselves, thank you very much *lol*

(Okay, rant off...)

Anyhow, once you decide what CPU, this will generally determine the motherboards you can pick from...that's next smile

Last edited by kksnowbear; 02/24/18 06:00 PM.
#4407194 - 02/24/18 06:32 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Kksnowbear, don't forget to mention what is also important for the WOFF crowd is the single core performance. What may work well in 1915 may be inadequate in 1918. If you can afford it, get the CPU with the highest frequency. That's the real future-proofing: plan for 1918. My 3.6Ghz is starting to sweat at the end of 1917. Probably should be aiming for 4Ghz or better.


"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys,
The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain,
From out of my arse take the camshaft,
And assemble the engine again."
#4407196 - 02/24/18 06:41 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Hi Fullofit...thank you smile

Yup, it's been mentioned many times that WOFF runs on a single core, and therefore won't benefit (much) from the multi-core CPUs that are so common today. The reason I say "much" is because there is some benefit to having additional cores available to run your PCs other tasks (AV, and the multitude of 'services', updaters, blah-blah in Windws these days). WOFF generally runs best on the fastest single core, so a high core frequency would be suitable. Note that most multi-core PCs will run single cores at a higher frequency when needed, but the limit is lower if all teh cores are loaded. This is actually a form of overclocking which can be adjusted somewhat in your BIOS and in Windows settings - telling which core to run, how hard, and what to run on which core. (Not necessarily for the faint of heart, perhaps!)

I think this is mentioned over on the official WOFF website, too.

#4407205 - 02/24/18 07:05 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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OK, so CPU to motherboard:

CPUs come in various form factors, generally referred to as "socket"; for example, Duke's i7-4790 is a "socket 1150" CPU. Sometimes, sellers use the more technical spec term for the socket, like LGA-1150. (If you really want to know what that means, post a question here *lol*) There are a lot of these, but the main ones you're likely to encounter new are 2066, 1151, and then the somewhat older 1150, 2011, 1155... This describes the physical layout of the chip, so you can see the motherboard would have to work with that physical layout. Most often, when you go to a website to look at boards, there will be a way to sort by this socket designation, so that you know you're looking at boards your CPU will fit in. But that's not all it takes, so be careful...

The motherboard also has to support the particular CPU in electrical terms, in software terms, and in configuration terms. For example, motherboards designed to be economical aren't likely to include the necessary electronic components for overclocking. You want more, you pay more. And that can range into several hundred dollars for all the various high end features. Also, not every board will support every CPU that will fit in the socket that it uses. Sometimes, this is done to keep users from getting advanced features from a cheap board. Sometimes, it's because Intel will release variants of CPU designs that (for different reasons) a certain motherboard cannot support. For instance, CPUs are always rated according to the power they use, and if the board only has guts to run a 95-watt CPU, then it won't support a 120-watt CPU even though they come in the same socket.

The way to make sure the CPU you've decided on will work on a given motherboard, is to go to the motherboard's manufacture's website (Like Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, AsRock...) and then go to the support page(s) for the specific board. Somewhere there - varies, based on the company - but, somewhere, you'll find a lost of all teh CPUs that the baord will support. If your CPU appears on the list, you're good to go. Now, there are sometimes rare exceptions, but generally the manufacturers will give special instructions along with this chart, saying if you need to do anything special, or if it takes a certain board revision level to support your CPU (the boards change over time too, wouldn't you know it). But it's usually pretty straightforward.

This is actually one good thing about buying pre-built machines, or even a 'bundled' CPU and motherboard: You won't generally have to worry about all this. If they come as a package, it's almost absolute they'll work together (never say always lol). At least, if there's a problem, you've paid for the right to take it up with the seller.

Up next, other motherboard features to consider beyond which CPU is supported...

#4407213 - 02/24/18 07:34 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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At this point, I'm going to go ahead and admit that I lack the material resources (read: money) to constantly buy new hardware just to study it. So, my most recent build being a Skylake 6700k, I'm clealry a little behind the times (besides, I'm still having fun with old first-generation i7s). So, keep this in mind. I'm also not terribly motivated to upgrade, either, since (as mentioned above) newer generations of hardware will only run on Windows 10 (*bleccch*)

Still, that said, although features do continue to evolve, most of the features are fairly stable lately:

PCIexpress 3.0 allows GPUs to exchange data at 2x the rate of the prior revision, for better graphics performance. 3.0 is standard, but it should be noted that very few situations exist where the PCIe 2.0 (at 16 lanes) would be a problem, with current hardware. Thing is, monitors evolve too and we're constantly pushing more and more data to displays; this will obviously require the GPU to move more data over the slot it sits in. So, we have PCIe 3.0 to speed things up.

On the subject of PCIe lanes: different CPUs and "chipsets" support different numbers of PCIe lanes; this in turn limits the various things like USB and other devices you can use/how fast they work. Most boards will support a single graphics card at 16 lanes, and have between 4 and 26 other lanes to manage other components. The number of lanes in a slot is expressed as xNN, where NN = a two-digit integer up to 16, for example, "PCIe 3.0 x16" or "PCIe 2.0 x4"

GPUs will almost always require 16 PCIe lanes. Motherboards made for multi-GPU ("SLI" or "Crossfire") will inherently support more PCIe lanes, since more are require to run additional GPUs. Rule of thumb: Single card setup? Make sure the motherboard has all the features you want (like USB etc), plus16 lanes for the GPU, and others as needed for other slots (just like having more than one GPU, you can have other PCIe cards that require a number of lanes - my machine boots to an Intel SSD that's actually an add-in card, and it requires a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, in addition to the PCIe 3.0 x16 slot for my GPU.

I keep mentioning "other features" because one (sorta sneaky) way that manufacturers offer more devices than the number of PCIe lanes a chipset supports, is by more or less 'sharing' the available PCIe lanes. My motherboard has a few SATA drives controller ports that are disabled if I choose to run the on-board storage slot for an M.2 SSD. Isn't that special?? Well, it's not too bad, since they're usually pretty good at doing it in ways that makes sense; in my case, if you're using the M.2 slot, you're far less likely to need the SATA express connectors. For the manufacturers it's a way to offer more features, so long as you don't need to use them all at the same time. For you, just remember this, and pick a setup that will allow you to use the features that you want. Easy...right? biggrin biggrin biggrin

So, that's PCIe. There's also USB 3, which now has three different variants. 3.0, 3.1 Gen1/5MB/s, and 3.1Gen 2/10Mb/s. The numbers are different speeds. If you use a lot of external storage devices or have to move big files onto your machine often, this could matter, but for most people it will suffice to have USB 3 of some flavor. Ask if you want to know more.

SATA 6G/s - I cannot image a motherboard built anytime recently that doesn't have this. However, so cheap/older ones will have SATA 3G/s which as the name implies is only about half as fast. Half-fast? *lol* This is where your hard drives and SSDs connect, and for SSDs it will matter. Make sure you get SATA 6G/s for any SSDs you will be connecting.

Other less standard features, though becoming more common, up next...

(I am going to have to shove off a bit here, got some chores to do...I'll finish later on) Thanks for reading smile

Last edited by kksnowbear; 02/24/18 07:41 PM.
#4407223 - 02/24/18 08:04 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Cutting and pasting away kksnowbear.
Soaking up the info.

#4407303 - 02/25/18 11:44 AM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Browsing about at Intel CPU’s and MB’s clearly this is something for a massive bit of study.
I get the million variables that determine “speed” but CPU’s with a lower clock speed are more expensive (faster?) then a CPU from the previous series with a higher clock speed. Coffee Lake? Kaby Lake? Skylake? WTH?

This is assuming “more expensive is better & faster” (a dangerous assumption!) but, when you have a dozen chips spread out before you how to figure which one is best? And does the term “Made for gaming” really mean anything?

Same for MB’s except there are even more of them. Clearly for my level of (non) expertise in evaluating hardware by name a CPU/MB combo is definitely called for.

#4407304 - 02/25/18 12:00 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Two examples though admittedly it’s tough to compare products on a smartphone. Guess I probably should break out the work-issued laptop.

http://www.microcenter.com/product/5000025/Intel_Core_i7-7700,_ASUS_ROG_STRIX_Z270E_GAMING_CPU-Motherboard_Bundle

http://www.microcenter.com/product/5000044/Intel_Core_i7-7820X,_ASUS_PRIME_X299-A_CPU-Motherboard_Bundle

The more expensive package “seems” to have slightly better numbers in areas but enough to justify an almost 100% price increase? Or would either be overkill on WOFF? Though I do occasionally dabble in newer games.

#4407318 - 02/25/18 01:03 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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smile Not for nothing, but what you're observing is why people often pay to have machines built for them (and why people like me charge for doing it *lol*).

The slower/faster/newer observation: Each generation of CPU will introduce new features (though some better'n others...) But it's often the only way to get a certain feature you want, by buying the next generation of CPU (which, of course, means a new motherboard, and often new RAM, etc...it's a real racket, it seems). Anyway, yes: You can (often) get a faster CPU from the prior generation for less than a slower one of the new generation. This is what Lou and I keep babbling about: The previous gen stuff is usually just fine for what you need, and you'll pay a premium for the latest and greatest. That said, if *need* the latest features, well, you pay for the newer CPU gen. Kinda like buying new cars, if you think about it *lol*

On the two MC bundles you posted: I'd clearly go for the less expensive one, but as I said, money for me is always at issue. The "X" is an Extreme Edition "octo-core" (yes, that means it has eight cores...) and is undoubtedly a genuine monster; the 7700 is a quad core like other 'normal' i7 CPUs (and i5's). The first setup is plenty capable for anything you could throw at it, be assured - it's fairly high end, even if it is a 'standard' (non-K and non-X) model. I do firmly believe both of these, in a way, are overkill for WOFF - but if you do other things/play other games, you're more likely to benefit from what you're buying in those than with WOFF. No doubt that second combo is a certified screamer, but man-o-man what a price tag. I just can't see it being worth it, unless you have the money and just want the top-o-the-line.

Last edited by kksnowbear; 02/25/18 01:08 PM.
#4407319 - 02/25/18 01:13 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Oh, and I doubt the term "made for gaming" means anything that your own judgment (and some support here and there) won't tell you. Mostly marketing I imagine.

Coffee Lake, Kaby Lake, and Skylake are just the Intel 'codenames' for the various generations of CPUs. Skylake = 6th gen (6700, etc) Kaby Lake = 7th gen (7700 etc); Coffee Lake = newest 8th gen (8700 etc). I generally just use the model numbers and socket numbers as above - seems less confusing than 'secret codenames' biggrin biggrin biggrin

#4407321 - 02/25/18 01:34 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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On an interesting side note, about what's overkill for WOFF, and higher core speeds vs more cores being preferred for WOFF: I think it was Dutch who observed recently that he really felt that, where WOFF was concerned there was little improvement in the last two upgrades he did, compared to the old 2nd-gen i5 he had (2500k...Sandy Bridge, for those with Intel secret codename decoder rings lol) - and I think he's right. Although there's been a lot done with the older 'engine' since CFS3, the deep-down guts of this sim are still dated. And I think we're long since past what is required in terms of CPU for this game to run well. Probably, as Dutch indicated, several generations ago. And I'm pretty sure others have indicated something similar; running WOFF perfectly well on second-gen i5/i7 (2500/2700) hardware.

The newer CPUs basically introduce a lot of newer features - and often use less power, another sort of goal from the CPU manufacturers. These newer features aren't all related to gaming, and definitely are not all going to be recognized/taken advantage of by WOFF. For example: WOFF couldn't care less what revision of USB you have, and it's not going to benefit from PCIe 3.0 interface versus the older 2.0. Some newer features can help - for example, storage speeds keep getting faster due to newer interfaces like NVMe SSDs instead of an old spinner hard disk on a SATA III port, which generally means quicker loading and thus smoother frame rates/less 'stutter'.

But how much benefit/whether this is necessary, well...let's say there is a point of diminishing returns. Spending even 3 times as much for a newer/faster system will absolutely NOT make WOFF run 3 times faster/better; you'd be lucky if it's a few (single-digit) percentage points better. Inversely non-linear when compared to cost, I suppose you could say....exponentially decreasing.

Last edited by kksnowbear; 02/25/18 01:39 PM.
#4407322 - 02/25/18 01:36 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Thanks kksnowbear.
At the current time (assuming I was doing this right now) money is not an issue normally and especially in this case where the bulk of my older components (2 HD’s, GTX 970, PSU, and 4x 4GB RAM sticks) are PRESUMABLY compatable with the aforementioned mentioned CPU/MB set-up but I didn’t look too close.

And assuming they are, though I noticed you mentioned RAM compatability, my old stuff could be thrown on the new set-up and then be upgraded one at a time spreading out the costs of new high-end components nicely.

But yea. I certainly see why people buy pre-made systems or employ others to do the hard figuring for them. Too bad you don’t have a shop in this town!

#4407326 - 02/25/18 01:49 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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I think the drives, GPU and PSU will be fine. However, teh memory in your Dell appears to be DDR3; if you go to anything newer than (roughly) 4th gen hardware, you're going to need DDR4 memory. Like I said, kind of a racket...

#4407329 - 02/25/18 01:57 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Well cool. Thanks for the heads up.
Yessir. If push comes to shove you’ll be hearing from me.
Hopefully the MB is the problem (think it has to be) and that will give me time to study up on this - even on which case/tower to use! Figured, except for size, a case was a case but I see even that’s tricky.
smile

#4407337 - 02/25/18 02:20 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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I appreciate the kind words smile I wish I did have a shop there; I think I could hook you up biggrin biggrin biggrin

We didn't talk about cases yet, but it can be another area for distinction. You want to match your motherboard size (both will be ATX, most likely). You want bottom-mount PSU. Multiple mount points/openings for fans, generally 120mm is the way to go in fan sizes. At least 1 in front and 1 in the back, and if it comes with fans that's generally OK. Front panel audio, 2x USB 2 and 2x USB 3. Consider how many drive bays you need (doesn't sound like a lot in your case). Many people like cases that have holes inside for routing cables behind the motherboard tray - nice and clean looking, but optional. Cosmetics are, well...cosmetic *lol* Things like fans that have LEDs, plexiglas or even tempered glass side panels. I've seen many cases that have built-in, removable fan intake filters - this is a feature that increases cost a bit, but I like a lot and is generally well worth it IMHO (I added my own after the fact).

(Credit to Duke for reminding me): Make sure the case will accommodate whatever GPU(s) you intend to use. These days, they can be very big; cases will often specify the max GPU length they support.

Also, on the subject of fit, you should consider whatever cooling solution you use. Stock fan/heatsinks fit almost anywhere. Bigger heatsinks, especially some of the huge aftermarket tower types, require a lot of clearance.

I'm cheap, I get offended if I have to pay more than $40 for a case, and I'll use it till it rusts through *lol* But if you have the funds, plenty nice cases can be had for well below $100. I find some great deals in the $30-50 range. Antec, Corsair, NZXT all make fairly high-quality cases, there are many other excellent brands out there I'm sure. MicroCenter has a ThermalTake V3 that I have bought about 100 of (j/k) but they are decent and super-budget friendly even if at the low end of the feature spectrum. I can always get a USB 3 front panel insert on Amazon for cheap wink

Last edited by kksnowbear; 02/25/18 05:57 PM.
#4407345 - 02/25/18 02:37 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Hi Duke,

Speaking of cases, I built systems for myself and a friend using this case.
http://us.coolermaster.com/product/Detail/case/lan-box/haf-xb-evo.html

Main reason for purchasing - I did not want a tall case.
I have been very happy with it.

$83 at amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Computer-Radiator-RC-902XB-KKN2/dp/B00FFJ0H3Q


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. A. Einstein

(System Specs:)

I7-6700k OC 4.4GHZ, 16GB DDR4 3200Mhz; Gigabyte Gaming 7 MB, G1 OC'ed GTX980ti; Three-Acer XB271HU WQHD Gsync 144Mhz; Samsung 950-512GB NVMe SSD; WD 2TB-7200rpm; Cooler Master HAF XB EVO, Nepton 240M cooler, V1000 PS; Windows 10 PRO; VKB GunfighterPro Stick; Saitek Pro Flight Pedals & Throttle; Dual TM MFD panels; TrackIR 5; home grown cockpit, � la RogerDodger.net
#4407346 - 02/25/18 02:41 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Anyway, back to the discussion about motherboards, and features that distinguish one from another:

Beginning around the 6th gen Intel CPUs (that is, 6000 series or Skylake), most motherboards began to introduce improved storage options. When I say storage, I'm talking about drives - be it SSDs or conventional spinning hard disks, though these days it's rapidly heading toward all solid-state, and there are a number of developments in the interfaces. To summaraize: YOu'll probably still want to have a conventional, platter-spinning hard disk in even a new system, because the cost-per-unit of storage can't be beat and many games don't really require the speed of an SSD, so save the space on the fast SSD for what really needs the speed. The older SATA interface is more than adequate for hard disks - it will be SATA 6Gb/s (six gigabits per second or "SATA III") . For SSDs, it gets interesting...

SSDs have gotten to the point where the drive itself is now faster than the SATA III connection can keep up with. So, most boards support other types of connections for 'fast' storage. Some have what's called SATAexpress, some have what is called an M.2 slot; some have both (even if you can only use one or the other at one time). Many full-size ATX boards have extra PCIe slots (beyond the 1 or 2 for GPUs) so there are also PCIe "add-in card" SSDs (I use one from Intel; a 700-series).

Most newer stuff now supports a communication protocol known as NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory express) which was developed specifically for solid-state storage and it is fast. I mean, by comparison, stupid fast. Older SSDs (those which are 2.5" form factor drives, like a laptop drive) that used the SATA III interface could exchange data up to about 550Mb/s tops in practice. Now, the NVMe solid state devices are going in excess of 3,000 Mb/s (which is, again, just plain stupid fast).

(TBC)

#4407347 - 02/25/18 02:47 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Stache, that's a very nice case indeed...and a decent price, too smile Kind of a larger footprint than the typical tower, but definitely a nice looking alternative to the taller tower cases (I also prefer the shorter, cube-type look). I have heard the "desktop" type cases like this (horizontal rather than vertical) are making a comeback. And it appears to have outstanding airflow.

I just bought one very similar for my youngest son, but it's only for micro-ATX boards (we're building him a machine that's more portable, for LAN party type arrangements). Best of all, on a "flash" promo and after rebate it was only $40 biggrin biggrin biggrin https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...corsair_matx_case-_-11-139-044-_-Product

Last edited by kksnowbear; 02/25/18 02:54 PM.
#4407350 - 02/25/18 03:18 PM Re: OT: Computer trouble... [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Motherboard features, continued:

Duke, both the combos you listed above have M.2 slots - this is where you place a tiny card; about 1" wide (22mm). This little slot is rapidly becoming the de-facto standard for SSDs and their connection to PC boards (including laptops and other small devices). It's tiny smile And, since the newer motherboards support this NVMe protocol I referred to, it's FAST. Way faster than even the fastest 'standalone' SATA III SSD (by up to 6x). If you want to use this new type storage - right away or as an upgrade later - then you should consider a board with an M.2 slot (sometimes called an M-key). Less expensive, entry-level boards will often lack an M.2 slot.

However, even if you don't buy a new motherboard or have an M.2 slot, there is another way to achieve NVMe "stupid-speed": Using PCIe add-in card adapters. Like the slot your GPU sits in, most motherboards have additional PCIexpress (PCIe) slots for adding other cards. Earlier, I talked about PCIe lanes, and now we are coming to one area where the number of slots - and how many lanes each slot supports - will matter, depending on your needs. Note, though, that NVMe generally only exists on 6th-gen and more recent motherboards...if you have a board before that, you can still get PCIe add-in cards for SSDs - and, depending on your board, it can be faster than a regular SATA SSD. But, this is one of the arguments for newer stuff: It supports newer features.

More in a bit, gotta grab a bite...

(Don't worry...when/if I ever get done, I'll do a summary *lol*)

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