Computer Setup

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  • #923
    Bob Marley
    Keymaster

      Got another tip that probably holds true for any *nix setup: if you’re installing Windows alongside, then I recommend increasing the boot partition from 500 MB to either 750 MB or 1 GB. While 500 MB used to be okay (it’s been the standard for well over a decade), the boot files have grown to where you run low on space with just a few images and Windows. There’s also the option of changing the compression scheme for the *nix images to shrink them even more. I’ll pull that and share it when I reach that step 🙂

      I think I may uninstall (or try to) all of the various language packs that come along with GNOME. I only use the US English variety so I don’t see why I need the others installed. Unless, of course, they add viewing support. Going to need to check on things first

      Definitely going slow but I’ve been rather slow lately. On the bright side, I should have the basics fixed up soon! 🙂

      Going to try and get Gramps tested out for you in a couple of days. 🙂

      • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Bob Marley.
      • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Bob Marley.
      #1949
      Bob Marley
      Keymaster

        Updated the AMD drivers from 23 to 24 the other day and, while the update itself went smoothly, there were some oddities after install. I always try to leave the settings at the defaults when I can to keep wonkiness away and after the update the fans kept revving up more in non-resource intense programs (this was on Windows). I tried capping the frame rate in Adrenaline using both Vsync settings individually (didn’t have them both on at once) but those settings didn’t seem to have any effect and things were still hitting 600 FPS (need to report the bug to AMD). The default profile is HYPR-RX under Gaming -> Graphics so I changed that to Default and everything went back to normal. Definitely a bug in Adrenaline there but if anyone has issues with version 24, try changing the profiles. 🙂

        • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Bob Marley.
        #1951
        DeVaultSetter
        Keymaster

          What’s changed with graphic drivers on Windows over the years then? 😛
          Still on ver. 2022.1130 here, thought I updated by installing over- might have to perform a cold refresh. In any case it seems that HYPR-RX won’t be on for the poor old 550, with FPS maxing out at 300, so unable to test. Did notice the settings for Skyrim exactly matched the settings which I had just changed a minute ago, so the game profile info got nixed as well. 🙁
          One redeeming feature is the drivers seem to tap into some of the monitor functions, except notably for view port monitor button twiddles. 🙂
          Turned on the Display Overrides in Adrenalin after accepting the EULA, won’t let me turn it off again!

          #1952
          Bob Marley
          Keymaster

            I’ve had issues on Linux as well! Granted, those have been due to the package maintainers pushing out a bad configuration file and refusing to fix it after they were made aware of it

            Has issues with Nvidia drivers in the past on both operating systems. They claimed it was hardware related but everything pointed to a fault in the common driver code causing random hard freezes. On Linux, I was able to recover by going into the lower level console and manually reloading the drivers and modules. Haven’t touched Nvidia cards since then. Even Evga, who manufactured the card, agreed with my diagnosis. Very irresponsible of Nvidia!

            Yep! Can’t do 10 BPC without proper driver support! It’s quite nice when working with photos 🙂

            I did used to like tweaking things but support has gotten so hairy (hello cousin It!) that I mostly just use the basic stuff now, outside of theming that is. Still like tweaking the snot out of GTK 😛

            We need more game discussion going on!

            Weird! Yeah, definitely try doing a clean install of the full driver package and seeing if that helps. A lock may have gotten set somewhere for who knows what reason. These things can get strange!

            • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Bob Marley.
            #2193
            DeVaultSetter
            Keymaster

              After the above inclusion, this is a sure fire eyeroller. 😛
              The purchase of an HP Elite SFF 600 G9 from here could be correctly construed as being diametrically opposed to any religion not espousing branded products.
              The rationale for the switch goes like:

              • Cheap, free delivery, and good support.
              • Low power consumption.
              • Quiet operation.
              • On board graphics, so don’t have to worry about OEM graphic drivers.
              • Fine for older games like Oblivion and even Skyrim, not for things like CSGO 2 which will never be played in any case.
              • Lightweight, compact, and a wee bit upgradeable. 😛
              • Comes with obsolete DVD so convenient to play the TES5 and BG from the time-worn disks here./li>
              • Ubuntu certified, so an option of Linux later.

              Divining a good custom built rig these days is fraught with a myriad of true, quasi-true and totally false leads, and a good evaluation is hard to find. Similar hurdles in the research required to land such a beauty as the above thelio mira r3 (404 now – that was quick).

              #2197
              Bob Marley
              Keymaster

                Yeah, that’d work if you’re looking for pretty basic. You may want to upgrade the cooling a bit if you go with it, though. In my experience, the mass market brands often cut corners with the cooling so things can get a bit hot when you’re playing a game. Should also run No Man’s Sky, which I highly recommend you try at some point 🙂

                Upgrading can definitely be tricky. I did it with an old Sony Vaio twenty years ago. I didn’t run into any hardware incompatibilities but the cramped space was an issue. I upgraded the video card and PSU and the space was so tight, I really cut up my hands. I also tried upgrading the hard drive but couldn’t get enough space to maneuver the drive (it was mounted vertically on the front air intake) so I used the drive in my next computer. Upgrading RAM won’t be an issue since that’s a simple pop in.

                Yeah, System76 overhauled their product offerings a few months ago, removing most of their AMD offerings for some reason. Luckily, I got mine before they made those changes. They did, however, upgrade the case design (which I missed out on) with better airflow, more fan mounts, and front ports for audio and USB. If you don’t mind forgoing a pure AMD build, their systems are quite nice.

                The other option is to get one from a standard custom vendor, preferably with more than one drive, and install Linux on it. Granted, the wireless chipset is the usual compatibility issue though (most Broadcom chips have poor Linux support) so you’d want to check the motherboard specs before you buy. Maingear was my second choice as they seem to have a pretty solid reputation and were very responsive when I was researching vendors. They do ship internationally but it doesn’t sound as though they have international shipping insurance and the cost for overseas shipping may be rather prohibitive.

                • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Bob Marley.
                #2207
                DeVaultSetter
                Keymaster

                  Going with pretty basic, the igc has potential for some newer games on a tower with an i7 and possibly faster memory as demonstrated here:

                  No-one mentioned overheating in the comments there, fortunately this is only an i5, the docs tabulate heat dissipation to make us all feel safe. 🙂
                  And, news flush, there will be no upgrading or modding the innards of this beast- other than of course, to – ahem – relieve potential overheating issues. 😛
                  Regarding Linux, the major drawback is just the one physical drive, so the challenge is to partition it correctly in W11.
                  As a matter of interest, comparing the graphics power of the UHD 770 and the RX550 in the “new PC” mentioned here here and back at MS Teams, there is much to be said in favour of the RX550, for which the “heavier” gameplays here will be reserved. Technical city is less enthusiastic.
                  Looking at a side by side comparison to the 2012 HD 7700 on the old Skyrim PC, believe it or not, the HD 7700 wins, mostly. Technical city prefers the UHD 770.
                  A similar diff to the 2012 GTX 650 on the Oblivion PC has it roughly the same, yet Technical city continues to lean toward the UHD 770.
                  Funny that, wonder if certain rival companies have a hand in those test results. 😛

                  Yes, a magnificent system indeed for a bit of extra coin, the said extra coin in the pocket will be put to good use in other (hopefully) non-bill paying enterprises. 🙂

                  #2208
                  Bob Marley
                  Keymaster

                    Sounds good 🙂

                    If you do choose to upgrade the cooling, I recommend that you look at Noctua’s low profile coolers and fans if you don’t want to go with an AIO cooler (I still haven’t made the jump for whatever reason and still use air cooling). Make sure you measure before ordering to make sure it’ll fit! Noctua’s products are top notch. To give you an idea, I had an NH-D14 on a custom built system using a Cooler Master HAF 932 case back before AIO coolers were a thing and it kept the CPU at a nice 60°C under heavy load and 37 idle. 🙂

                    Fun fact: FrozenCPU shipped it in a box that was used to hold bulk cereal boxes. 😛

                    Yeah, dedicated graphics are almost always better than integrated. AnandTech hasn’t done a recent survey but you can take a look at their 2019 test database to get an idea: https://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU19/2638

                    May also be worth checking Notebook Check’s comparisons, too, just to get a feel for what you’ll be able to play without seeing any issues. Should be fine though! 🙂

                    The biggest thing to note is that with an integrated, you’re sharing VRAM with the regular RAM when your VRAM gets filled up (it generally uses the system RAM as overflow) so it’s good to get plenty of RAM. If you upgrade anything, you’d get the most benefit from RAM. 🙂

                    I’ve dual booted on a single drive plenty of times without a single issue so it should be fine. I just prefer two drives now as they’re better for me personally, is all. It helps keeps things from breaking while I’m tinkering 🙂

                    #2210
                    DeVaultSetter
                    Keymaster

                      Do appreciate the work gone into the Anandtech and 3dMark sites, the functionality is no doubt a bit more clunky if you don’t sign up.
                      This is planned to be a winter PC, thus a slightly unhinged reliance on cool ambient temperatures at least as far as pre global warming conditions go. 😛
                      Have to agree as far as performance goes, here are topcpu’s UHD 770 comparison assessments, hd 7700, gtx 650, and rx 550. Interestingly, the 4gb rx 550 does not quite match the similarly priced 1gb hd 7770. One naturally assumes that as “things improve with time”, the rx would exceed the hd doubly or so, silly, silly. 😛
                      Good thing is the igc uses much less power than any gpu really, including the low powered 50W rx, a card purchased for low footprint and high performance, we wish.
                      Yeah, 4 16gb slots and only one stick – sounds like an idea to beef it up sometime. 🙂

                      #2211
                      Bob Marley
                      Keymaster

                        Sounds good 🙂

                        If you do go with Linux, I recommend trying XFCE for your desktop environment. KDE and GNOME are the big ones but I’ve never had KDE run well even on a good system (always seems sluggish for whatever reason) and GNOME be a bit heavier as well. You could go piecemeal but that takes a lot more work to get everyone to share the sandbox. XFCE is a good blend: it’s modular and lightweight while still giving you plenty of flexibility. 🙂

                        Don’t let the old website fool you: it’s actually quite active. They just don’t update the site much but once or twice a decade with releases coming every few years 😛

                        • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Bob Marley.
                        • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Bob Marley.
                        #2229
                        Bob Marley
                        Keymaster

                          Blech. Updated the BIOS as prompted and now the BIOS doesn’t detect the Linux SSD. 🙁 Off to support I guess

                          Edit: Will need to dig up a USB drive first that I can use. Should have one somewhere…

                          The boot menu was working correctly up until the firmware upgrader removed its own entry from the boot menu so in doing so, it somehow corrupted the EFI image on that drive. Shouldn’t be too difficult to fix, methinks. I’ll just need to get the steps from support after I create a recovery USB drive to perform the steps. And, of course, I’ll need to report the bug to them 🙂

                          • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Bob Marley.
                          • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Bob Marley.
                          #2251
                          DeVaultSetter
                          Keymaster

                            Yerk, firmware upgrades are such that there is limited support for rollback, good luck if S76 can organize a quick fix. Can you get into Windows without issue?

                            #2252
                            Bob Marley
                            Keymaster

                              Yep, Windows works fine partly due it it having its own bootloader. Doesn’t hurt that it’s isolated on another drive, either 🙂

                              Think I’ve got the live image flashed to the USB drive but I still need to test it before I pester support. Just been a bit tired the last few days 😛

                              #2328
                              Bob Marley
                              Keymaster

                                Well, I just tried to repair the bootloader using the same steps I performed before and it failed spectacularly. All I get now is a BusyBox interface on boot and no keyboard support so I can’t even access any overrides. Fortunately, Windows still works. Guess I’ll need to pester support after all. May need to reinstall Linux but, fortunately, all I’ll lose are my customizations.

                                Little bit bummed about having trouble fixing it

                                There is this section but I can’t access the keyboard in the interface 🙁

                                Probably need to reboot into the USB and check the values anyways

                                • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by Bob Marley.
                                • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by Bob Marley.
                                • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by Bob Marley.
                                #2334
                                DeVaultSetter
                                Keymaster

                                  No mouse either?
                                  Someone from Reddit suggested EasyUEFI as a solution, they do offer a free trial, wonder if things break as soon as it expires. 😛
                                  Lawk a mussy, issues with the new HP already. First, the description had an external optical/DVD burner drive which was not included. They are sending one through, but it’s a wait, and they have accordingly updated the product listing to no optical drive.
                                  Switching on, the audio was configured to a non-existent nvidia thingo, moving it back to realtek was fine, interestingly the product ad also had:

                                  Windows 11 Pro (preinstalled with Windows 10 Pro Downgrade)

                                  Actually, W10 was on instead, or if they meant it was, why not just say so. The machine met the requirements for W11 so the natural choice was the Update Assistant for the installation process. All went well, albeit a bit slow at 80% – 99%, so left it to go out for a spot of garden work. On return, a couple of hours later, the machine was on, no video, so hard reset, and the machine booted up to … W10 again.
                                  Checked the event logs, quite a few reg corruption related errors, nothing about the failed update. Tried the Update Assistant again, good news the iso downloaded by the UA was not deleted, bad news, still had to wait a long time for the final 80% – 99% to complete. This time ok’d the dialog to reboot for W11, and yay, it worked.
                                  Right now it’s powered off, though with an unresolved issue involving WU and the Realtek audio driver, probably related to what’s described here, so looking ahead there’s the promise of a bright future with liberal lashings of considerable pain. 🙂

                                  #2335
                                  Bob Marley
                                  Keymaster

                                    The BusyBox environment is a text-only affair so I’m not sure if the mouse drivers are being loaded. The keyboard is loaded by the UEFI, Windows, and Live USB image so there’s something funky going on with the bootloader on Linux. I’ve gone ahead and opened a ticket. At the very least, I hope they’ll be able to fix the firmware cleanup step for the future even if I wind up having to reinstall Linux (would rather struggle through the repair though so I know how to fix it in the future as reinstalling each time would get annoying). 🙂

                                    Yuck. Kind of sounds like they had set it up with other hardware first and then simply changed their minds on what to sell it with. Only reason I can think of for why the Nvidia audio driver would be installed.

                                    Yeah, Windows doesn’t look at the ETA when it does the percentage. Don’t know what figures into it but several parts of it take a lot longer than others. I do wish they had a text environment to monitor things. I can say that Windows is very slow with updates and upgrades. On Linux, it’s very fast (a few minutes_ while it takes several hours to do upgrades of a similar scale on Windows. 😛

                                    Ugh. Do you have a spare sound card you could slip in? That should take care of the audio issues

                                    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by Bob Marley.
                                    #2339
                                    DeVaultSetter
                                    Keymaster

                                      Fair enough, there’s definitely a sense they have a good track record on tickets so far, something of this nature should not pose too much of an obstacle for their illustrious techos. 🙂
                                      The most off-putting stage of the W11 installation through Update Assistant was during the 80% – 99% stage, when W10 had expired and greyed out the pause button on W10 “important” updates, insisting these downloads be given top priority even while W11 is installing. What’s even worse, Googling something like “pause W10 updates during W11 installation” always returned hits on how to prevent W11 installing on W10 instead.
                                      Although the HP is nice and compact, the physical components have a touch, look and feel as somewhat “tinny”, – if that could ever be construed as a justifiable description of an office PC as we know them these days, and that’s from someone who is used to well moulded stylish and attractive looking gaming towers. 😛
                                      As the sound from the chip is … a little tinny, it would be lovely to transfer the SBZ cards over, think they use the same type of NVMe slots. A smaller sized card is is the paranoid’s preference for better air circulation.
                                      Oh yes, the alternate sound source selected by W11 was actually vs248, which is the id of the connected monitor. Last time the monitor was checked no sound device was present. Can’t recall exactly where NVIDIA was spotted, there is however, a rather interesting “necro” explanation for it over at NVIDIA. 🙂
                                      One annoyance, if you can call it, was W11 naming the user folder as “lmste” instead of the whole userid name as a result of the account transferral operation. Could have left it of course, but knowing me, it won’t sit well on this desktop for long. So had to go through the rather involved method of creating another user and copying everything over. There happened to be file move errors, which meant that any customizations in the source user were lost. Strike while the gripe is right and chasten the quivering interface, a time consuming chore which should/would/could be automated by now. 😛

                                      #2344
                                      Bob Marley
                                      Keymaster

                                        I think the firmware upgrade also did something with the loading of devices. I notice that the keyboard cycles now during the UEFI loading, which it didn’t before. May not matter in the long run, though. Assuming I can still get to the UEFI menu when needed, I’m okay with device loading being a bit finicky during initialization.

                                        I couldn’t say how institutional computers feel these days. Last time I had to mess with them was about seven years back. 😛 They used to feel pretty solid!

                                        Most off the shelf systems have a spare PCI slot that you may be able to use for the sound card, assuming it’s the right size. It’s generally assumed that the customers will use it for USB or network expansion but I’ve always used external hubs for that. 🙂

                                        Yuck, that’s how Nvidia’s forums look these days…? I can’t even navigate them!

                                        Oh, Windows now shortens the account names for the folders. Don’t know a way around it, it seems to be an inherent character limit where it truncates the rest.

                                        #2348
                                        DeVaultSetter
                                        Keymaster

                                          Good news, minus the excess euphoria, then. Will the ticket be updated?
                                          Ah yes, sorry, looks like the PCIe 3 x1 is the best shot, will have to check the card though.

                                          Expansion slots 1 M.2 2230; 2 PCIe 3 x1; 1 PCIe 3 x16 (wired as x4); 2 M.2 2280; 1 PCIe 4 x16 (1 M.2 2230 slot for WLAN and 2 M.2 2280 slots for storage

                                          The unit has no wifi, which means less circuitry, and less to worry about as everything here comes through the ethernet.
                                          And, believe it or not, the docs do include the optical drive after all:

                                          Optical drive HP 9.5 mm Slim DVD-Writer; HP 9.5 mm Slim DVD-ROM (##opticaldriveavailnote##)

                                          The Oblivion DVDs will not be forsaken!
                                          Absolutely hit upon the right word, simply substitute “tinny” above by “institutional”, and therein lies the explanation of the deep yet elusive Freudian link – all HP clientele hold an innate desire to be institutionalised, as opposed to those who aspire for the open world of high end gaming PCs, unconstrained in entirety from the branded shackles of Deus ex Machina.
                                          An insight abrogating the necessity of planned appointments with the regular therapist in white, allowing one so enlightened the inclination to saunter merrily down new avenues of institutional heights. 🙂

                                          #2349
                                          Bob Marley
                                          Keymaster

                                            Meant that the keyboard cycles on and off during POST. Will add that to the ticket at some point. Unrelated to the bootloader but still a relevant piece of information

                                            It’s slow going between my schedule and them being in a different time zone, along with me having trouble communicating what’s occuring on my end (the frustration is partly why I prefer to struggle through these things on my own but this one is beyond me right now (probably partly because I’ve been out of action for a while)).

                                            Hopefully I won’t need to reinstall. I always find it annoying to reconfigure everything.

                                            Yeah, no sense in adding an add-in card that you don’t necessarily need. Bit surprised the motherboard doesn’t have Wi-Fi built-in as that’s been a common feature for several years.

                                            Adding a sound card is something I may do at some point on account of the on-board sound here using remapping and the jack mapping isn’t fully supported by Linux, as I think I mentioned in an earlier post. Granted, it remains to be seen whether I bother to take the plunge. 😛

                                            Yeah, my discs have been sitting on the shelf for years without use. Not gathering dust, though, since the shelf has doors but still on a shelf. 🙁

                                            I probably need to clean the discs I have in the open. They’re pretty dusty. I hate dust. It even gets in bags that I wrap with bags to keep the dust out! Hence the air purifiers. 😛

                                            They did try tossing Bender in an asylum (the HAL Institute) a few times but it never did work out well. Except when it gave us Bender’s Game. Of course, being roommates with Marvin wouldn’t be fun. But other roommates could be! MCP could be a blast. He’d definitely keep the games rolling! Speaking of, I’m in the mood for a Furby. Never had one…What were we discussing again…?

                                            • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Bob Marley.
                                            • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Bob Marley.
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