The Cooler Master HAF 932 as it has proved itself to be a great air cooled solution for gaming enthusiasts. This box has been so cool that hardware lasts much longer than needed.
|Chassis||Cooler Master HAF 932|
|Motherboard||MSI X570-A PRO|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen R5 3600 & Wraith Prism RGB|
|Memory||G.Skill Flare X DDR4-3200 4x8GB 16-18-18-39|
|Storage||Intel 665p 2048 GB M.2 NVMe SSD|
Intel 660p 512 GB M.2 NVMe SSD
48 TB hard disk storage
|Graphics Hardware||EVGA RTX 2080 Black Edition|
|LCD Display||LG 27UL500-W|
|Mouse||Zelotes F15 Wireless Gaming Mouse|
|Digitizing Table||Wacom Graphire CTE-630BT|
|Controller||Xbox 360 wireless|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 10 Professional x64|
|Network||Fenvi AX200 PCIe x1 card|
The Corsair TX850V2 served for close to 7 years. The AX860i took over but it failed after only 2 years so now the HX1000i becomes the third PSU the chassis has seen. The standard PSU screw is hex head 6-32 5/16 which is easily purchased on small lots of 50 or 100 screws. Flat head screws are also available for those who prefer a flush appearance.
Most machines have 450W-600W power supplies which is fine for a single graphics card. Given the dual 8-pin connections on extreme video cards, the 750W PSU makes more sense. With dual EPS12V connections 850W and higher PSUs are hard pressed to keep up with growing demands.
The HX1000i has enough 12V connections to handle dual EPS12V connectors along with pair of dual 8-pin video cards and the video card wants triple 8-pin PCIe power cables.
MSI motherboards have been relatively reliable. Lower cost Asus boards have not survived nearly as well. Socket AM2, AM3 and now AM4 have been in use.
The range of video cards available varies over time with procurements made when digital coin values collapse. Old cards are bought for 10-25 cents on the dollar which saves the studio a fortune. Other video cards are procured privately.
The EVGA RTX 2080 is an extraordinarily powerful video card when it was new. With 2944 CUDA it has enough performance to make games playable at 3840×2160, NVIDIA RTX Ampere and RTX Hopper are options to consider.
Video cards have accumulated. This is driven by the annual marketing by AMD and nVidia selling new cards every fall. Now that GDDR6 is ramping up, new cards are coming to market now supporting it.
Video cards from AMD have settled on 64 shaders per compute unit (CU). So cards like the 28nm R9 Fury with 56 CU have substantial shader counts. The RX 480 has 36 CU but it is 14nm so it uses less power and has a faster clock speed. The LG panel with 3840×2160 resolution needs all the CU I can afford.
The AMD Ryzen processors are very powerful and they can handle even elite graphics cards. The R5 3600 with 6 cores and 12 threads is quite adequate for handling even the most demanding games. The R5 3600 easily reaches 4.2+ GHz when the workload is high.
The AM4 platform has 48-bit address lines which supports up to 256TB of address space. Early on Microsoft has supported memory mapped files which could potentially be on a large scale file system.
The AMD Wraith Prism CPU cooler comes with the top tier processors which have a higher TDP than the R5 3600 at 65 W. This provides some level of additional protection from overheating when the CPU is saturated for long periods of time. The Wraith Prism is designed for 95W and 105W processors.
The 32GB of DDR4-3200 is far above the mainstream which is still largely using 8GB. The goal with more RAM is to handle the most demanding modern games which are increasingly taking advantage of resources.
The HAF 932 has room for 5 hard disks and 6 DVD bays. There is a 4 disk front box for 2½” disks or SSD raising the capacity to 9 disks. AMD is know to support at least 10 SATA ports but usually only 6 are provided. SATA cards are widely available for supporting more storage at the expense of a PCIe slot.
The Intel 665p SSD is PCIe 3.0 based which is the same as the old 660p SSD. The existing 2048 GB SSD has demonstrated its value. Larger capacity SSD products are inevitable as the prices fall for existing products. Hard disk survival has been less of a problem as well.
The NVMe SSD has revolutionized the performance of gaming. Loading Windows is substantially faster and game performance is improved as well. This is the reason consoles have jumped onboard too.
The Fenvi AX200 WiFi card provides network access. With an extended reach antenna, the AX200 can be faster than the 1000BASE-T Ethernet when connected to a modern 802.11ax access point that supports the wider 160 MHz channels.
A USB front panel box affords USB-C on the front panel. The rear I/O on the X570-A PRO has one USB-C port as well. This affords the opportunity for new peripherals as time progresses. USB-C affords higher speeds which will allow for new opportunities for higher performance media etc. USB-C graphics are used by Apple users for some applications.
Currently there is an LG WH16NS40 and WH16NS60 BD drives installed in the machine. The both drive came with Cyberlink PowerDVD to play media. The WH16NS60 is 4K UHD capable allowing 4K UHD BD media to be played.
The old bluetooth Wacom Graphire CTE-630BT is works well with Corel Painter, the pressure sensitive stylus is handy for digital editing. Windows 10 Ink Workspace also supports the stylus. Other graphics programs vary with support for a digital stylus.
THE LCD AND MEDIA
The LG 27UL500-W is a high quality IPS HDR10 display. This allows for far better screenshots for the game reviews as well as for sharing on social media.
At present 4K BD discs are priced much higher than conventional FullHD BD media, Over time 4K media prices should soften as prices for televisions continue to fall and competition from DVD and BD media. Further down the road when 8K televisions become more affordable there will likely be an 8K variant of the optical disk.