[UPDATED] 2019 Development Computer Build with AMD Ryzen 3900X / Ryzen 5900X

Post here if your topic is about CSS HTML Validator but doesn't fit in another forum.
Post Reply
User avatar
Albert Wiersch
Site Admin
Posts: 3754
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:23 am
Location: Near Dallas, TX

[UPDATED] 2019 Development Computer Build with AMD Ryzen 3900X / Ryzen 5900X

Post by Albert Wiersch »

What's This?

I thought I'd "document" yet another new development computer build. This new computer has been (or will be) used to develop the last update(s) of CSS HTML Validator 2019/v19 and the next two major updates of CSS HTML Validator, which are the 2020/v20 and 2021/v21 versions.

UPDATE: It's worked so well that it was also used to develop 2022/v22 and 2023/v23, and is also being used to develop 2024/v24 (all with an upgraded Ryzen 9 5900X processor which has extended the system's useful life as a development machine).

Some people might be interested in what hardware CSS HTML Validator is developed on, or just interested in the experiences of putting together your own computer. Therefore I thought I'd share my experiences and some photos.

I plan to update this post as new things come to mine or corrections are made. For example, check below for the update/upgrade to a Ryzen 9 5900X processor.

Previous Machine

I posted about my previous computer build in 2012, and that computer lasted about 5 years which is the longest I've gone without a major computer upgrade (I originally expected to get only 3 years of development use out of it). During that time (2012-2017), it did not seem to me that there was any major breakthrough to justify a new build. However, 2017 was a different story with AMD's new Ryzen and Threadripper processors, and Intel's new offerings. I posted about my new 2017 build here, which lasted about 2 years. Things seem to really be moving again when it comes to CPUs (thanks to the new Ryzen 3000 series).

My previous machine (the 2017 build) that I used to develop CSS HTML Validator was no slouch. It was an Intel Core i7-7820X with 32GB of RAM and 5 monitors. Unfortunately I suffered from several issues with this machine, including too frequent "difficult" boot-ups and blue screens of death (BSODs). Regarding the boot-ups, I had trouble getting it to boot sometimes (the monitors would not display anything). I think it had something to do with all my monitors and using DisplayPort. Messing with the video connections (like disconnecting one of the DisplayPort cables or connecting an HDMI cable) would often resolve this issue (and it seemed to occur more with my 1060 video card than the 1660 I later upgraded to). As for the BSODs (mostly of the CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT variety), after a long time, I finally discovered that a powered USB 3.0 hub was causing the issue (at least most of the BSODs but not all). After I stopped using the hub the reliability of the system was much improved but I still experienced a couple of BSODs while viewing some videos, which I hypothesize could be a display driver issue. Needless to say, the 2017 build left a bad taste in my mouth. I am hoping the i7-7820X system will work better in it's new function (and so far it has). You can read more about my previous 2017 i7-7820X development machine here.

And if you want to go furthest back, you can read about my 2010 build with an Intel Core i7-920.

Overclocking the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

I currently have no plans to overclock the 3900X CPU. The reports are that it already runs near its fastest speed and overclocking is not worth it.

UPDATE 2019-09-01: I did spend a little time investigating overclocking using Ryzen Master. I managed to increase multi-core speed a little at the cost of (a lot?) more power and heat but it reduced single-core speed. Basically, my current reasoning stands - it's just not worth it. AMD does seem to already get as much as they can out of the chip and there is little room for getting more than that.

Why a New Build?

It's only been about 2 years since my last build but things have been moving relatively quickly the last 2 years and especially now with the Ryzen 9 3000 series CPUs which are shaking up the CPU market. The 12/24 core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CPU should be a significant improvement over the 8/16 core Intel i7-7820X in my current system, and will cost less* to build than the Intel system I built about 2 years ago. Building CSS HTML Validator should take significantly less time with 12 cores and 24 threads than it did before.

* If I recall correctly, RAM and SSD prices are cheaper now, as well as video cards (the mining craze has subsided). The X470 motherboard I bought is also cheaper than the X299 motherboard of my previous build. The 3900X CPU is also cheaper than the i7-7820X CPU of my last build. It's a good time to build a new machine!

Why Build Your Own Machine?

I like to build my own machines because I find it enjoyable. I like doing the research, picking out the individual components, and putting it together. I don't do it to save money. It's definitely more expensive for me to build a computer with the components that I want than to simply buy a computer off the shelf.

Building my own machine lets me research the parts that I want, choosing high quality and high performance components. My philosophy when building a new development computer is to get a "high end" computer but not the "highest end" where you pay a lot more for a little gain in performance. For example, I chose the new 12/24 core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X because I thought it would make for a powerful machine without spending a small fortune. A 16/32 core CPU (3950X) is suppose to be available in September but I expect the 3900X to be more than adequate.

Note that building your own machine can also be very time consuming. It takes a lot of time to research to pick out the parts and put the system hardware together. If you're fortunate, it works without any major problems, but I've put together systems before that have had serious issues that took days to figure out. Sometimes you may have to get new parts (after you figure out which part is bad!). After the hardware is put together and working, it can take a long time to get the software right too, depending on what you use. If you're upgrading the OS at the same time, then some applications might not work or you might want to switch to other applications or new versions. When you build your own machine, you'd be extremely lucky if you didn't even run into any 'minor' issues. Just hope you don't run into any 'major' issues that could take days to figure out.

The Parts


I purchased the motherboard and CPU with a combo discount from Newegg. The combo deal came with an AMD RYZEN 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6 GHz (4.2 GHz Max Boost) Socket AM4 95W YD260XBCAFBOX Desktop Processor (purchased from Newegg). My plan is to use this processor until I can obtain a good deal on a AMD Ryzen 9 3900X. Currently (as of mid to late July) the 3900X processors are selling for full retail (or more) and are out-of-stock at most places. I'll also use the 2600X to update the motherboard BIOS to one that will work with the new AMD 3000 series processors.

Note: You'll probably want to use Windows 10, version 1903 or higher with the new Ryzen-aware scheduler if you're using any of the Zen 2 3000 series AMD Ryzen CPUs (but it reportedly also improves performance for Zen 1 based processors as well).

I've now been using the Ryzen 2600X for awhile and I'm impressed. Yes, it is slower than the 8-core i7-7820X but really not that much slower (and it's hard to tell that it's slower for most of what I do). The machine has also been very reliable and more trouble-free (so far) than my i7-7820X system.

Update 2019-08-06: I'm still waiting on availability of the 3900X (it's been almost a month since these processors were released). It is not in stock where I want to buy it from (I currently prefer Newegg)... but it's also still not in-stock at any major retailer that I'm aware of. eBay prices are $620 and up, with some prices at $800 and even higher. At least the good thing is that the longer the wait, the more bugs will probably be worked out in the BIOS and elsewhere.

Update 2019-08-23: The 3900X briefly came back in stock at Newegg and I was able to order one (it quickly went out of stock and then the price went up by $20 to $519.99). It was shipped the same day and I should get it on 2019-08-27. I hope to install it (with the new Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler) the same day as I get it. I'm going to upgrade to the latest BIOS (5204) today (using the 2600X). The six core 2600X I'm using now has worked very well (and has been more stable than my previous Intel machine) but I am really looking forward to the significant speed improvement. I expect to also be able to up the memory speed back to 3600 MHz (UPDATE: nope, didn't run at 3600 MHz).

Update 2019-08-27: I received the 3900X as expected and immediately proceeded to install it and replace the 2600X. It's definitely noticeably faster than the 2600X. Everything seems snappier and software builds that use all the cores are much faster. I had no major issues but there were some minor ones: 1) The RAM and case did not allow enough room for the installation of the 2nd NH-D15 CPU fan (I do not think this will be an issue), 2) the RAM (G.SKILL F4-3600C16Q-32GTZKK) was not stable at 3600 MHz even though the RAM is rated for it and it worked fine at that speed with my previous Intel system (see RAM section for more details). PerformanceTest (by PassMark Software) give the system a CPU Mark of 33456 which is in the 99% percentile and the system beats the average of other scores from the same CPU model so I'm looking good there.

UPDATE 2019-09-02: I do wish that the 3900X would hit and sustain the advertised max boost clock of 4.6 GHz more often and for longer but I don't think I've ever seen it hit 4.6 GHz although I think it has come close for very brief periods of time. HWinfo shows that it did hit 4.5 GHz at least very briefly on 2 cores. See Survey: Only 5.6 Percent of Ryzen 9 3900X Hit Advertised Speeds

UPDATE 2019-12-16: A couple weeks or so ago I updated the BIOS to 5406 which contains AGESA patch B. The system was rock solid until another BSOD due to playing video in a Chrome tab (see more in the reliability section).

Windows Task Manager Showing 12 Cores with SMT on Ryzen 9 3900X CPU

CPU Cooler

I bought a Noctua NH-D15 SSO2 D-Type Premium CPU Cooler, NF-A15 x 2 PWM Fans. The box it came in was surprisingly big. It's quite a large CPU cooler but it's suppose to be easy to install. I haven't installed it yet but I will when I get the final component, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CPU.

According to Coolers & Cases Really Matter for Ryzen 3000 CPUs | Thermal Scaling & Frequency, it looks like a good cooler could boost processing speed.

Update 2019-08-28: I just wanted to say I think this is the king of air coolers. It comes with two 140mm fans. I was only able to use one of the fans because the 2nd fan would not fit in the case due to the RAM being under it and not having enough room in the case to mount the fan higher up on the heat sink. This isn't really a problem though because this CPU Cooler should still have more than enough cooling capacity with only one fan (especially since I have no plans to maintain an overclock). By the way, this is also a very quiet cooler and it even includes low noise adapters if you want to make it even quieter (at a cost of some cooling capacity).


I decided to buy an ASUS ROG Strix X470-F Gaming AM4 AMD X470 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard because I did not want an X570 due to the extra electricity it uses and heat it generates even when you have no PCIe 4.0 devices. I do not currently see any significant advantage of PCIe 4.0 and did not want to have a proprietary active cooling fan on the motherboard to cool the X570 chip. Such fans can be noisy and a point of failure, and cannot be easily replaced with a standard fan if they should fail.

AMD says the new 3000 series processors should run without a performance penalty on pre-X570 motherboards (although no PCIe 4.0 of course). It's too bad Intel doesn't have backward motherboard compatibility like AMD does.

Also, my research indicates that this Asus X470-F board will even be able to handle the upcoming Ryzen 9 3950X 16-core processor, but 12 cores is enough for me (for now anyway).

Update 2019-08-28: After installing the 3900X, I think I'm going to have to ding this board a bit because it appears to be running my 3900X with too much voltage which is creating unnecessary heat and wasting power. Maybe a future BIOS update will improve this but in the meantime I have set a -.1V CPU voltage offset which helps (instead of using the "Auto" setting). So far the system has been stable with this change and is running cooler.

See also: AMD Ryzen 3900X & 3700X Tested on X470

Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming motherboard and AMD Ryzen 2600X CPU


For DDR4 RAM I'm planning to use the RAM in my previous machine: G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) Intel X299 / Intel Z270 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3600C16Q-32GTZKK (purchased from Newegg). This is DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) with timings of 16-16-16-36 @ 1.35V. The RAM passed hours of testing with memtest and has a lifetime warranty when I tested it with my previous build.

As luck would have it, the speed and timings of this RAM seem optimal for Ryzen 3000 series processors so I'm really hoping it will work with a 3900X. The RAM does not work at 3600MHz with my 2600X CPU but the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs are suppose to have a superior memory controller.

Update 2019-08-27: I am disappointed that I could not get the RAM to run at 3600 MHz after installing the 3900X. Maybe a future BIOS update will correct the issue. I may do some more research to see how much of a difference faster RAM will make and whether it might be worth trying to buy faster RAM that is suppose to work with the new 3000 series AMD chips. Asus does publish a PDF list of compatible RAM for the ROG Strix X470-F motherboard I am using and 3rd gen Ryzen processors. I may look into purchasing something on that list or I may try running the RAM I have now at slower speeds. Update: I installed the AMD chipset drivers from AMD's website (what exactly does that do?) and I'm running the RAM at 3600 MHz timings but have slowed it down to 3400 MHz. It seems to be working so far. UPDATE: 3400 MHz failed during a Prime95 test.

Update 2019-08-28: After trying and testing various speeds with Prime95 (Prime95 would run for awhile and then the system would suddenly reboot) I was about to buy 32GB worth of G.SKILL Flare X Series DDR4 3200 F4-3200C14D-16GFX because of its AMD compatibility, well-regarded Samsung B-Die chips, and good timings. However, thinking that the RAM I have now uses the same Samsung B-Die chips, I decided to first try the G.SKILL TridentZ that I have already with the same speed and timings that I was about to buy (14-14-14-34 at 3200 MHz at 1.35V; see photo below of the timing settings I made in the BIOS). It works! So far so good. Prime95 ran over 4 hours before I stopped it. I am going to stick with this and see if the system is now as stable as it was with the 2600X. Hopefully I will now be able to stop messing around and to get back to getting some real work done with the new CPU.

Update 2019-08-28 (#2): After checking the 3900X specification, it says it supports up to 3200 MHz so now I'm thinking the memory controller on the CPU (at least on mine) can't reliably go over that or it could also be my X470 motherboard (I think that X570 motherboards are built to better specs for higher speed memory) or maybe it's because I'm using 4 sticks of RAM instead of 2 (I read it can be harder to get higher speeds with 4 sticks). Anyway, at 3200 MHz with 14-14-14 timings (best in class timings) I am happy enough as long as it ends up being rock solid. My benchmark tests (using PerformanceTest by PassMark) are good and mostly above the averages for the 3900X. I think I will have to go back into the BIOS and update all the timings every time there is a BIOS update though (because I think the settings will be lost), but I can do that. Because the 3000 series processors are still new, I expect there to be a few more BIOS updates before the year is out.

Update 2019-08-28 (#3): Upon further research, I found this article about Ryzen and RAM speed (looks like 3200 MHz CL14 is best for me because 3600 won't work): Best RAM Timings for Ryzen 3000 CPUs (3600 / 3700X / 3800X / 3900X). The article also mentions the 1:1 ratio between the memory clock and Infinity Fabric at up to DDR4-3733.

Update 2019-09-01: I discovered the DRAM Calculator for Ryzen and calculated "SAFE" memory timings for 3200 MHz and Samsung B-die. I updated the timings in the BIOS. So far so good. Getting a good "MEMORY MARK" score of 3275 (in PerformanceTest by PassMark) when average for the same CPU is 3084.

Update 2019-09-02: I ran Prime95 again for maybe an hour or so (I know it's not that long) with the new timings from the DRAM calculator and there were no problems.

Update 2019-11-03: I decided I didn't want to mess with RAM timings in the BIOS so I bought 32GB of G.SKILL Flare X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) AMD X370 / B350 Memory (Desktop Memory) Model F4-3200C14D-16GFX. This is highly rated RAM for AMD systems and also uses Samsung B-Die chips. I will probably move the RAM that was in the system before back to the X299 system where it worked very well and I did not have to mess with RAM timings in the BIOS. Also, the new RAM modules were shorter than the ones that were replaced but I still could not fit the 2nd CPU cooler fan into the case.

See also: AMD Zen 2 Memory Performance Scaling with Ryzen 9 3900X

Adjusting RAM timings in BIOS for 3200 MHz
BIOS screen photo of the DRAM timings I set in the BIOS for 3200 MHz 14-14-14-34 (1.35V) per http://i.imgur.com/YAwuZ1O.png


I decided on a Cooler Master MasterCase H500 ATX Mid-Tower w/ Tempered Glass Side Panel, Transparent/ Mesh Front Option, Carrying Handle & 2x 200mm RGB Fans w/RGB Controller (purchased from Newegg) due to good reviews, price, air flow, and low noise level. I'm not sure how much I will like the look yet. I probably would have preferred something that looks more subdued but not at the expense of functionality like air flow (vs the be quiet! Silent Base 601) and lack of USB ports (vs the NZXT 500).

UPDATE: I like the look of this case more than I thought I would. I'm very happy with my decision, and the case is very quiet. I think the noisiest fan in it (which isn't really all that noisy to begin with) is the stock CPU Cooler fan which will be replaced with a high-end Noctua air cooler when I upgrade to a Ryzen 9 3900X. The color-changing RGB light display (which includes the 2 large front fans) is surprisingly nice too, but because this is a business computer I ended up disabling the RGB lighting in the system BIOS. Below is a photo of the system before the RGB lighting was disabled (yes, I'm sure I could make the wiring look better so maybe another project for my to-do list).

Cooler Master H500 Case

Power Supply

I chose a Seasonic FOCUS Plus Series SSR-550FX 550W 80+ Gold Intel ATX 12V Full Modular 120mm FDB Fan Compact 140 mm Size Power Supply (purchased from Newegg) for its reputation, price, and efficiency. 550 watts also seamed like the right wattage. Getting a more powerful power supply than you really need is wasteful and can cause the power supply to run at lower efficiency.

See also: NEW PSU Tier List

Video Cards

I bought a GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 GAMING OC 6G Graphics Card, 3 x WINDFORCE Fans, 6GB 192-Bit GDDR5, GV-N1660GAMING OC-6GD Video Card (purchased from Newegg) to upgrade the 1060 card in my previous system and I'm going to move this card to my new system.

It runs 4 of my 5 monitors (via DisplayPort) and should be plenty fast for my development needs which does not require much 3D. It also doesn't use a lot of power (the minimum recommended power supply for this card is 450 watts and I have a 550 watt power supply).

On an interesting note, 2 of the monitors are daisy chained together and plugged into one DisplayPort port on the 1660 card, and another two monitors are also daisy chained together and plugged into another DisplayPort port on the card.

UPDATE 2019-09-01: I seem to be experiencing some instability with the DisplayLink drivers that control my 5th monitor via a USB3.0 dual video dock. It seems like the DisplayLink drivers crash and then are restarted. When this happens the programs/windows on my 5th monitor are relocated to other monitors. I end up having to move the programs/windows back when the 5th monitor comes back online (Windows seems to be restarting the drivers). Fortunately this is not causing a BSOD. I'm not sure what's going on but I updated the DisplayLink drivers from 9.1 to the recently released 9.2 M1 drivers in hopes that it fixes the issue.

UPDATE 2019-09-02: The driver update did not seem to resolve the issue with the video dock. I noticed the USB cable for the video dock was loose where it plugged into the motherboard so I changed the cable to a shorter and thicker one. I also disabled the Ethernet and audio on the dock because I don't use it (I forgot that I have done that on my previous machine). For some reason I had been using the audio from the dock and have since switched to using the audio from the motherboard (maybe it was from when I was trying to figure out why I was getting BSODs on my last system). Hopefully this will fix this issue with the USB dock disconnecting and then reconnecting for seemingly no reason.

UPDATE 2019-09-17: The system has been very reliable since my last update and I've been getting a good amount of work done (unfortunately I experienced a BSOD a few days later (see the 'More About Reliability' section)). There have been no more issues with the video dock either.


I'm going to use the same monitors as I did with my previous system which include 2x Dell U3014's, 2x Dell U2415's and 1 Dell U2412M (for a total of 5 monitors). I use DisplayCAL and an X-Rite i1Display Pro so that monitor brightness and color are consistent because it would be too distracting if the monitors had inconsistent brightness or colors.

The 1660 card controls 4 of the monitors and a USB3.0 dual video dock (using DisplayLink chips/drivers) controls a 5th monitor.

OS & Application Drive

I chose a SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS 500GB Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V7S500B/AM (purchased from Newegg) due to its performance, reliability, and support. 500GB is just the right size for my needs for an OS drive. I could have saved money with a lesser brand but I didn't think it was worth the higher risk of running into trouble and potentially being less reliable.

In my previous system I used a Samsung PRO drive but I felt that wasn't really necessary. The 970 EVO PLUS drive is cheaper, newer and in some cases faster than the 970 PRO drive, although the 970 EVO PLUS has lower endurance (but that should not be an issue).

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB SSD and WD Blue 1TB SSD

Storage Drives

I chose a WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB Internal SSD - SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5"/7mm Solid State Drive - WDS100T2B0A (purchased from Newegg) because of the brand name, reviews, and price (I bought it when it was on sale). This drive will be used to store miscellaneous files and a backup of the source code stored on the Intel 900P drive.

Intel Optane 900P SSD Drive

I'm going to use this from my previous machine.


The Intel 900P uses a new type of non-volatile memory technology (3D XPoint ("cross-point")) that is lightning fast (compared to NAND) while also providing a significant boost in endurance (10 DWPD (drive writes per day) vs 0.3 which is typical for NAND based SSDs). I moved my Outlook PST file to it as well as my source code and temp drive. I have tried to move anything (within reason) that might result in a lot of drive writes to this drive because of its high endurance.

It's nice not to have any mechanical drives in my development machine or worry about drive endurance. The 900P drive is "only" 280GB but that is plenty for only putting heavily used files and folders on it.


For network storage I have a QNAP TS-453mini which I like a lot. With rare exception it's the only place you will find mechanical storage (3x 3TB WD Red drives) in any of my computers. I upgraded the RAM in it to 8GB recently as well as added an SSD drive for a read cache.

DVD/Blu-ray Reader/Writer

This is the second development computer that I've built without a DVD/Blu-ray drive because I (almost) never use them anymore. If I ever need a DVD/Blu-ray drive then I'll just hook up my USB one.

Other Components

Some other components I'm using include a Logitech Illuminated Ultrathin Keyboard K740, a Logitech G502 mouse, and a Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam 1080P Camera. I also use a USB drive dock. I highly recommend drive docks for techies.


Moving to a new computer can be very time consuming, and most of that time (assuming there are no hardware problems that you need to solve first) is the installation and configuration of software and drivers (and fixing problems). Here is some software that I am using on my new build:

* Windows 10 Pro (x64) 1903 (with new Ryzen-aware scheduler); now up to version 2004
* Chrome (I switched back to Chrome as my main browser) with some of my favorite extensions: Fair AdBlocker (now use pfBlockerNG), The Great Suspender
* Firefox, and other browsers for testing (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, IE, etc.)
* Microsoft Office 365
* Embarcadero RAD Studio 10.4.2 Sydney (w/Update 2)
* Embarcadero RAD Studio 10.3.2 Tokyo (w/Update 2)
* Lots of programming & software components
* Directory Opus 12 (x64) by GP Software for file management
* PhraseExpander v5 by Nagarsoft to cut down on typing - very handy
* FinePrint and pdfFactory - great printing utilities
* ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 for image browsing and some editing
* Snagit 2019 2021 for Window and screen captures
* Adobe Photoshop Elements 14 2020
* PuTTY for secure access to servers
* EmEditor (x64) (my favorite text editor)
* DisplayCAL monitor calibration software - I consider this a "necessity" when using multiple monitors when they are different models. This makes the whites look the same and the colors better. If you don't use color profiles, then the whites on the monitors can be very noticeably different. It also helps you set each monitor's brightness at the same level.
* CPU-Z & HWMonitor to monitor system stats like CPU speed, fan speed, temperatures, and more
* AMD Ryzen Master for great CPU stats and monitoring
* Hard Disk Sentinel PRO (a utility to monitor drives)
* WordWeb Pro
* 7-Zip File Manager
* & more

More About Reliability

The system was very reliable until the above BSOD on 2019-09-25. BSOD was possibly due to NVIDIA drivers.

UPDATE 2019-09-17: The system has been extremely reliable since I ironed out the last issue(s) and I've been getting a good amount of work done. I did have to finally reboot/restart today because Windows Update required it and I absolutely hate it when Windows force-restarts my computer and force-closes my applications. Also, AMD has announced that they found an issue that might keep the new CPUs from hitting their advertised boost clocks and have released AGESA ABBA to fix it. Reviews so far seem to indicate a very slight (if any) performance increase. Asus has released a new BIOS for my motherboard on 2019-09-09 but it only contains AGESA ABB. Because my system has been rock solid I'm going to wait awhile before I update the BIOS again and have to re-do all the BIOS settings and memory timings. I'll let other people test all these new BIOS releases first. :)

UPDATE 2019-09-25: Well, I guess it was bound to happen eventually... BAM! BSOD! SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED and says failure in nvlddmkm.sys. It was suppose to gather information and then restart. It got to 100% and then I expected it to restart.... but it's Microsoft so of course it didn't. Had to restart manually. Possibly an NVIDIA driver issue. Guess it's time to update. I'm going with the "Studio Driver" for stability. Guess I'll have to re-download the drivers because it is telling me my system needs the DCH driver package. Upgrading from 419.67 to 431.86. Now to recover from the sudden shutdown (Excel usually costs me the most time as I recover from all the spreadsheets that were opened and I try not to lose any data while fighting Excel's deficient recovery system)... UPDATE 2: And BAM!!! Another BSOD.... like the same thing... even after updating the drivers. Not good. Strange that it was so reliable and then 2 BSOD's in one day and I didn't change anything (although I did access a new website (a Blue Iris web server) in Chrome that streams security camera video and I wonder if that is causing an NVIDIA driver bug to be exposed; I've since made sure those browser tabs are closed). :(

UPDATE 2019-12-16: Another BSOD... this time after starting a Netflix video in a Chrome browser tab. The system has continued to be extremely reliable with the exception of these BSODs seemingly caused by trying to play some types of video in Chrome (fortunately YouTube videos don't seem to have any issues). Something is definitely wrong with playing some types of video in Chrome. I updated the video drivers again in hopes that would fix it.

UPDATE 2020-12-28: A long time has passed and the BSOD issue above must have been fixed because the system has been very stable for the last few months. I still don't know exactly what caused the issue (most likely buggy video drivers) but I am glad it has been fixed.


I bought several components using a citi credit card with price protection so I should be getting some money back because the prices have dropped on some components. I really enjoy this credit card benefit but unfortunately they are ending this benefit. On the bright side I will likely be able to buy the remaining components (like 3900X and Noctua cooler) before the price protection benefit is no more.

In the Near Future

UPDATE 2020-12-28: Thanks to Asus and AMD's commitment to compatibility and not having to buy a new motherboard for every new generation processor, I now have plans to upgrade this system to an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X CPU when I can purchase said 5900X CPU at "non-scalper" prices. The 5809 BIOS supports the new Zen 3 CPUs. The new Zen 3 CPUs have received excellent reviews and I think the significantly improved single-core performance will help a lot at the beginning and end of the software builds. It also seems these will be the last CPUs that are compatible with the current CPU socket so I might as well upgrade and then keep the system at least another 2 or 3 years.

Finally! Upgrade to Ryzen 9 5900X on 2021-06-09

Ryzen 9 5900X CPU box

After waiting for months to obtain a Ryzen 9 5900X at MSRP I was finally able to purchase one on Amazon in early June, 2021. It wasn't easy though as it kept appearing and disappearing from the listing, and adding it to the cart often didn't work because there was some error or issue, but after a few days of trying I was able to add it to the cart and check out. Of course there are lots of sellers for the Ryzen 9 5900X, but I was trying to buy one from Amazon because Amazon was charging MSRP ($549) and everyone else was well above MSRP trying to take advantage of the shortage and high demand. So thank you Amazon, for only charging MSRP! And in case you didn't already know, the 5900X does not come with a cooling solution like the 3900X came with even though the 5900X costs more, not less. Instead, you have to supply your own (which I already had).

Anyway, I received the CPU and installed it (I had already updated the BIOS to the latest version with support for the new CPU), replacing the 3900X. I removed the old thermal paste and replaced it with ARCTIC MX-5 that I also purchased from Amazon. Performance is noticeably faster. However, I ran into a bizarre issue that concerns me. While the entire computer didn't actually lock-up, it did become unresponsive in many (but not all) ways. I rebooted (using the reset button on the case) and there were some corruption issues with restoring my EmEditor workspace and PhraseExpander database. I immediately did a Windows Update and updated my graphics driver. I was also using a program called HWMonitor to monitor some temperatures and fan speeds. Perhaps that was the problem. In any case I am back up and hoping the issue is resolved but we shall see.

UPDATE 2021-06-13: Thankfully the initial instability before updating the video drivers and while using HWMonitor has not returned.


Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming motherboard, AMD Ryzen 2600X CPU, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB, and 16GB XPG GAMMIX D10 DDR4 RAM
This is the Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming motherboard with AMD Ryzen 2600X CPU and 16GB of RAM (before I upgraded to the 3900X and 32GB of RAM)
Albert Wiersch, CSS HTML Validator Developer • Download CSS HTML Validator FREE Trial
Post Reply