Wow, 3 years on PCPartPicker already?
I'm just someone with an internet connection and sometimes a little bit of free time.
If you have a question, message me and I will do my best to answer it. Sometimes, I might forget about you and not reply to a message or comment reply of yours to me. Sometimes I'm messaging or replying to someone through inbox, and your message or comment gets buried beneath and I never notice. If you really want a reply from me, then try messaging or replying to me again.
I sometimes go over the top with comments for easy future reference. I make ridiculously long-winded forum posts.
I happen to find DRAM, storage, CPUs, and PSUs the most interesting. I find most other parts interesting as well, but those are what you'll see me post about the most.
Even if I haven't commented recently, I still come here and lurk once every day or two.
Primary contents of my profile
Using the site visual tutorials
Forum posts that may interest you
Threads that I put way too much time into
Semi-comprehensive list of notable users who are or were once active
Tips on expanding your knowledge
Equations and stuff
As you might have noticed, only staff build guides are in the build guides section. This is because staff stopped indexing user-made build guides. I may still make build guides, but me, like many other users, have less drive to do so now.
Build guides of mine NOT listed here are likely to have pricing inconsistent with when they were made, may have out of date or flat out wrong information, or may have bad part choices. Look at them if you want to, but I suggest only following build guides listed above if there are any.
This thread contains links for people to learn a bit about things like CPUs, monitors, computer fans, SSDs, and more. For each section, I ordered and categorized in such a way that you can more easily progress in your knowledge of a given thing. I also listed good reviewers for various things near the bottom. Last updated 10/28/2018.
This post focuses on explaining bottlenecking between a CPU and GPU in games. It clarifies the role of the CPU and GPU in games and their relationship, goes over some general concepts related to CPU/GPU bottlenecking, game-related factors that may cause the bottleneck to switch / put more load on one or both components, ways to alleviate a CPU or GPU bottleneck, and how to identify which part is the current bottleneck.
This thread is complementary to my learning thread, as indicated by the name. It serves to fill in many gaps caused by the learning thread's requirements for additions / specific focus. This post fills in important gaps knowledge-wise, has how-tos for things like troubleshooting, building a PC, storage-related situations like upgrading to an SSD, and more. A must-use alongside the learning thread. Last updated 10/28/2018.
This post, which I really wish I named differently, goes into detail about main memory, including its role in a computer, specs, physical organization, the basics of its operation, latency and bandwidth and their factors, compatibility in modern systems, and the major changes across different SDRAM generations. This post is a constant, large wave of information, so reading it with mental breaks is advised.
A re-do and re-imagining of a post I made (which still exists, by the way) in the relatively early days of my account and picking up PCs as a hobby. This thread focuses on main memory and how it affects gaming performance. It begins by talking about some general main memory concepts like its role, physical organization, specs, and performance, although of course in less detail than Main Memory: A Primer. It also discusses memory bottlenecking and why so many past (and current!) benchmarks on the effects of main memory in gaming were misleading. Then, it links to and analyzes benchmarks of varying DIMM speeds, channel configurations, rank counts, and timings in recent games. The post ends with a conclusion that summarizes what we can take away from current benchmarks and considerations to make when choosing memory for a gaming PC. Last updated 7/27/2018.
An over 50k word long document, it focuses on CPUs from a hardware perspective, first going over many of the basics, then taking a more detailed look at each part and function of modern microprocessors, from the memory subsystem, cache, and registers, to the front-end and execution engine of cores, to the interconnects connecting cores and other components on the chip. The most comprehensive, singular source that covers CPUs and main memory on this level of depth that I am aware of. I also briefly ramble about the future of CPUs and main memory. Further reading is also recommended.
Understanding SSD data reliability and security (no longer planned)
is still was in the note taking and research stage and will be started when I have more free time. The first half of the post would have focused on endurance, drive lifespan as a whole, failures, and errors, including the factors at play, misconceptions around them, and what is or can be done about them. The second half would have revolved around security, mainly the risk of data being accessed you might not want accessed, especially data that you want deleted. I might or might not still pick this up again.
On using PSU tier lists, and choosing a PSU effectively (no longer planned)
Might or might not actually do this one. It would discuss why you can't make useful comparisons of PSU quality with tier lists, the flaws and usefulness shortcomings of tier lists, and actually getting recommendations or choosing a PSU yourself (to some extent). I might or might not still pick this up again.
Updated: 10/31/2018 to include a bunch of people I missed as well as an exhaustive list of now-inactive OG and pseudo-OG users. The inactive and deleted/banned lists are a good nostalgia trip for anyone who's been here long enough.
MoreAlphaLine (formerly MoreAlphaLineGaming and AlphaLineGaming)
Gilroar (formerly Ada)
G_I_L (formerly BlockySquidZ, that account being inactive)
DarTroX (formerly DarTro)
(semi-active) indicates someone who only comments sparingly or periodically.
will_rippey (now on new, inactive account not linked here to help keep it a secret; contactable)
MisterJ (banned, now on new, inactive account)
jhpcsb117 (banned/self-deleted and previously inactive)
lisa_simpson (formerly dan_castellaneta; contactable)
mrluckypants96 (second account, all but one comment deleted)
~Marks a user in the above "inactive" list who last commented within the past 4 months.
(contactable) indicates someone that I know can be contacted. Currently, that means someone who I am able to, either directly or indirectly (via someone else), contact through Discord or Steam.
Self-deleted or banned, but previously active:
RaspberryPiFan (formerly naynayr1)
Randomperson51 (formerly imapie4688; contactable)
And for a more mysterious staffer, there is Daniel.
There's also Jenny who is the relationship account manager. As far as I know, Jenny has no PCPP account.
Philip, Ryan, and Alex are all the most active and are the ones who you will see doing moderation and will once in a while interact with the community. Alex is normally the one who adds parts to the database, Ryan will more often respond to feedback and questions about the site, and Philip just... Does whatever Philip does.
There is also multiple unnamed staff who do not have accounts.
1. Learn google search tricks, and have good googling skills in general. Seriously, this can get you places.
My favorite tricks are:
Making google search specific wording. I do this by putting quotation marks around what I want it to search for letter-by letter.
Having google search a specific site or domain. I do this by just typing site: and whatever the website or domain is.
Using a minus sign before a word, which will make google ignore results with that word.
Using filetype:pdf to limit results to .pdf only, which makes it easier to find things like whitepapers, research papers, and university lecture slides.
2. Read reviews from professionals. Then read some more. You can learn a lot from them, whether it's about graphics cards, motherboards, or even power supplies. Sometimes in discussion threads about reviews you can find even more.
3. Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how stupid. Even the most experienced and knowledgeable had to start somewhere, and that place isn't where they are now.
4. When you finally learn something, it helps to ask yourself if it matters and how much it really matters if it does. This is a step that I didn't take early on and lots of others don't take that shouldn't be forgotten.
TDP * (OC MHz / Stock MHz) * (OC VCore / Stock VCore)2 = x
ex: 91 * (4600 / 3500) * (1.25 / 1.1)2 = 154 Watts
A rough estimation of power consumption of an overclocked CPU or GPU under load. Of course it won't be perfect because VCore isn't constant and because of the frequent, small changes in load; but it helps give an idea of increase of power consumption. Realistically, actual power consumption will be lower than the estimation in use.
(Timing in clock cycles / I/O bus clock AKA real frequency) * 1,000 = x
ex: (16 / 1200) * 1,000 = 13.33 nanoseconds
(Timing in clock cycles / Transfer rate in MT/s) * 2,000 = x
ex: (16 / 2400) * 2,000= 13.33 nanoseconds
This equation gives us the time in nanoseconds for a memory timing that is measured in clock cycles, such as CAS latency.
x = ((P/E Cycle Endurance * Capacity in GB) / (host writes per day in GB * write amplification factor)) / 365
ex: x = ((3,000 * 500) / (80 * 1.5)) / 365
x = 12500 / 365
x = 34 years
An equation where X represents an estimated lifespan of an SSD in years. This isn't the most useful because the write amplification isn't always constant, and you probably aren't writing roughly the same amount in host writes everyday. However, it's good for showing a worst case scenario for an SSD to get an idea of how long it would last assuming it doesn't get killed by a random part failure, a power surge, or firmware corruption. You can also have different host write amounts with different write amplification factors in this equation.
I/O bus clock in GHz AKA real memory frequency * 2 * number of memory channels used * 64 * 8-1
ex: 1.5 * 2 * 2 * 64 * 8-1 = 48 GB/s
This equation gives us the maximum theoretical memory throughput for a memory subsystem in gigabytes per second. This number will never actually be reached, however, as doing so would require data to be transferred every clock cycle. The example above shows us the max theoretical memory throughput for DDRx-3000 memory in a dual-channel configuration.
various notes and comments for copy/paste/modification
When upgrading to an NVMe PCI-e x4 SSD over an AHCI SATA6Gb/s one in a gaming PC, you still won't notice a difference in boot or loading times with an SSD like that. Only place I could see there being any noticeable difference for OP is maybe when installing a large game, copying a few+ GB (actual amount depending on whether emulated SLC cache is used in the SSDs, the SLC caching algorithm, and drive capacity and free capacity) of files, or another workload along those lines. In which case it would depend on the throughput of writing to the flash itself.
user comments to link to
vagabond139 on what to do and tips for people new to PCs.