Time to Loot Journal: October 2020
What a month! Between wife breaking her ankle and the new PC developing a distaste for my 3080 and requiring an RMA, on top of all the usual business at home and work, it’s been quite the busy one. Not much of an update on my wife’s situation since I last posted — it’s all mostly been about discovering the right balance of activity and resting during the days to manage pain and still allow for sleep at night.
On the PC front, I do have some interesting developments though.
The Saga of the (Seemingly) Faulty RTX 3080(s)
On Friday, I managed to get my hands on a second 3080. This time a ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity OC — lower clocks than what I had with the Gigabyte RTX 3080 Gaming OC but the likely 1-2% difference between the cards wasn’t going to hold me back from attempting to get my 1080ti out of here again.
So I lugged my giant case back out to the table, replaced the cards, closed up, and brought it all back in here for — what I thought — would be some serious RTX ON gaming time. Except… It wasn’t. Similar crash issues as with the original card. The one I had already been told was suffering from a recessed power connector due to the original (now revised, don’t worry) power connector design on the Gigabyte 3080 range.
While not entirely out of the realm of possibility… Two faulty 3080’s back to back from different vendors? Unlikely.
But bear in mind too — everything else about the system was stable and checked out even under stress tests. Prime95: No worries. MemTest over an 18 hour stretch: All good. Put the 1080ti in here but leave every other component the same? Gaming for hours no issue.
Put in a 3080 — seemingly any 3080 at this point — and gaming turned to custard.
It was this fact that led me to take the Gigabyte 3080 I had in for RMA in the first place. But now with two displaying the same issues, it was time to start moving components the other direction — into my old PC.
Obvious first piece to move: The ZOTAC RTX 3080 itself. Connected that into the old machine and… Everything was fine. Noteably less smooth being constrained by the several generations out of date i5 in there, but running as well as could be expected in that machine. I got 90 or so minutes of Control and >2hrs of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey with no crashes.
Well OK… Is something strange going on with my new PSU then when subject to the demands of >320w for a single card? I’d already been running it off two distinct PCIe power cables so it wasn’t that. (Each cable is rated for ~150w, so it’d still be ~20w shy for this card. The Gigabyte card had a higher cap, so would’ve been even worse if I’d tried to use two connectors off a single cable.) Of course nominally the PCIe slot itself can deliver ~75w of power too, but in any case I figured it worth a shot.
So I moved my new PSU into the old machine too. Again, no issues emerged.
At this point, I was beginning to despair a little that it might be the motherboard itself. Can I just tell you how little I relished the idea of dismounting every component, cleaning the CPU/cooler contacts, and thermal pasting it again? Very little. VERY VERY LITTLE. If it had got to that point I likely would’ve just thrown the PC at a local PC vendor and paid to have it all done. My tolerance for this thing was definitely just about gone.
So more out of this fact — that I *really* didn’t want to deal with a mobo replacement — than any real expectation I’d find anything new out, I swapped the RAM sticks from the old machine to the new one. Remember again, that the RAM had already to my mind passed muster, with Prime95 and MemTest both giving it a clean bill of health even at the rated speeds. The older RAM was 2x8GB 3200MHz sticks, vs. the newer 2x16GB 3600MHz.
But it actually worked… The new PC, 3080 and all, ran games quite comfortably with this older RAM in there. Put the new RAM in, boom, back to crashing.
From here I was left wondering whether it was just an issue with the speed it was trying to run at, whether the equivalent of what was once the FSB wasn’t able to manage the transfer rates demanded of it by the spread of GDDR6x memory on the 3080, the RAM itself, the M2 NVMe SSD, etc. Complete made up theory — I’ve done essentially nil research into the ‘Uncore’ Frequency/Ringbus controller, but I stepped the new RAM down to a 3200MHz target frequency and lo and behold…
Stability. With all the new components together in a single singing machine.
Of course, I’d left the timings to ‘Auto’ and without the XMP profile to dictate, they’d gone for a horrid 22-22-22. That just wouldn’t do. So I rebooted again and overrode those to modules rated 16-19-19 and this was still stable. \o/
Eventually, I’ll take the time to start stepping up the frequency and see how close to 3600MHz I can get it. Or whether I might even be able to get 3600MHz itself stable with a minor increase in voltage, but frankly — if I can get even 3400MHz 16-19-19 going in a stable fashion, I’m content to call this resolved and done. :)
All the above to say… I didn’t hit my goals this month. Either of ’em.
- Play and write-up Part 7 of the Blogger City Series!
Not going to set any particular milestone goals for the city itself — the goal is just to get a Part 7 up and posted this month. :)
- Finish Control
Yep — DLC as well this time!
I acknowledged a few days ago that I wasn’t going to hit the Control goal. Of course, at the time I had no expectation of getting a 3080 back into the system this month. But once I did, it ended up taking an evening and another day of further troubleshooting to actually get it to work.
The Cities: Skylines goal though I thought I’d get done yesterday… But uh… Yep; Troubleshooting and Testing instead. Now though both of these goals will have to go on hold.
November: Five Game Game Challenge Goals
November brings with it the return of the Five Game Challenge. Talk about timing though, with the new PC (incl. 3080) only literally just yesterday, the day before this commences, being confirmed as OK! I’d just started a taste of Watch Dogs: Legion and it was already surpassing my (admittedly low) expectations.
This is going to be tough.
The five games I can play through November are:
- XCOM 2
- Skyrim: Special Edition
- World of Warcraft
I’m not going to set specific goals for each — who knows which of the five I’ll even end up playing at this point? Certainly not me! But of course the overarching goal is to play nothing outside of these titles until the month of November is done.
At least Cyberpunk 2077’s release has moved again? ;)
The secondary (and optional) goal is to publish every day for November. I am going to try target it though.
Games Played in October
My data for October is very messy. Far messier than last month. Essentially gone. I reformatted at one point, had some of the data on the old machine, forgot to reinstall ManicTime (again) for an even longer period after said reformat. So I’m not even going to try count hours for the month.
Instead there will be an annoyingly blank set of data for the month, like so:
Having said that, while I’m not comfortable entering the data for it, I did manage to reconstruct a view of the games played across both PCs and reformats via Steam:
|Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey|
|XCOM 2: War of the Chosen|
|Deep Rock Galactic|
|Horizon: Zero Dawn|
8 posts were published for October, 1 up on September. If I manage to keep to my secondary goal of posting every day — we’ll see a fairly significant increase for this month. ;)
Most Viewed Posts
- Deep Rock Galactic: The Solo Experience
- Damnit… RMA Required on my RTX 3080
- Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started
- Remnant vs. Dark Souls
- Humble Choice: October 2020
Hm. I should probably update the RTX 3080 RMA post with a note to check-out the detail at the top of this post now. As it seems possible, if not likely, that an RMA of the 3080 may not have been required after all.