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Everything posted by Windsurf48

  1. The Zenith II Extreme Alpha is almost identical to the original Zenith II Extreme. The newer version has a slightly higher maximum memory speed, and one or more reviews mentioned beefed up power stages. Since the price was the same for both boards, it was a little disappointing to have an improved version come up a month or so after the original. I still don't know what ASUS found out about my original motherboard, but hopefully the replacement won't have the same problems.
  2. ASUS got in touch with me about replacing the Zenith II Extreme. Because it's been replaced by the Zenith II Extreme Alpha, I'll be getting one of those in a week or two.
  3. The population density is low and pretty much everyone here wants to be in small towns and/or near the Chesapeake. It's quiet and undeveloped compared to most of the DC metro area, and the kind of people who like that tend to people who get along easily with other, similar people regardless of political affiliations or other potentially divisive details. We don't have much in the way of beaches, so it's people who enjoy being on the water in boats. Several of my neighbors are licensed charter captains, for example. There is a growing number of DC people who've discovered that they can have a vacation home on the western shore of the Chesapeake for a third or less of the price of the same home at the Delaware-Maryland beaches, and it takes less than half the time to get to it, but they tend to fit it easily because they're less pretentious than people who need to live in more fashionable areas. Even the weather is a unifying factor. The Chesapeake Bay has notably erratic weather patterns because it's a large body of shallow water with another, even larger body of water just across the low-lying Delmarva peninsula, and the dramatic changes in the weather resulting from that make you more aware of the natural world.
  4. I grew up in Washington, DC, when it was a small southern city, so the changes are huge. However, the small town on the Chesapeake Bay where I live is still very much like an old-fashioned small town. People wave and say hello, and neighbors help each other when someone gets sick, which could be important in the next months. A lot of us have lived here for a long time because it's a beautiful area, convenient to DC, Baltimore, and Annapolis, and less expensive than most areas on the Bay.
  5. Thanks. I saved the information for later. I have no idea how long it will be until ASUS send a replacement Zenith II Extreme. I've gotten the impression that the board has be replaced in the ASUS line up by the Zenith II Extreme Alpha, but I guess they must have some of the original model somewhere. However, I was already warned that parts from overseas could take a while. I just learned that I have a bunch of relatives in Texas, in the Dallas area.
  6. ASUS will be sending a replacement for the RMA Zenith II Extreme, but haven't said what was wrong with the first one. The backup memory I used on the Zenith II Extreme while Corsair was exchanging its memory only worked at 2133 Mhz on that motherboard, but has been running with no problems at 3600 Mhz/1t on the Maximus X Apex Z370 motherboard. However, that still could be a fundamental problem with the Trx40 chipset or Threadipper 3960x memory controller.
  7. ASUS will be sending me a new Zenith II Extreme. However, there's no information about what was wrong with the original one.
  8. I was able to get the tests to run, but got 'No session in progress' before the results were displayed, which is pretty standard for the past few years. However, the screen was still twice as big so I had to page down to get to the start button, I was unable to login, and the test started and ran without my being logged in. It looks like the test itself is the same as it has been, but the screen invoking it is functioning differently.
  9. Have there been recent changes to the Overdrive page? I ran most of a scan last week and it looked the same as it has for years, but tonight it has a screenful of links and you have to page down to see most of the Overdrive stuff. Then I couldn't log in until I selected the option to create a free account, which finally brought up the login and password slots on the left. However, I couldn't log in because of some setting (I forgot to write it down), although the settings haven't changed on this system since the last time I logged in.
  10. I was impressed by the reviews of the new Threadipper 3960x and 3970x and TRX40 chipset, so I replaced my ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex and Intel Core i7-8700k with a Threadripper 3960x and ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme two months ago, along with new four-channel Corsair Dominator DDR4-4266 memory in place of the two-channel Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-4500 memory on the old motherboard. The initial CPU benchmark scores were exciting, as were the PCIe4 M.2 drive scores. 2d and 3d video scores didn't change much, presumably because the same Gigabyte RTX 2080 ti was used on both systems. Memory scores were less exciting because neither the new nor the old memory was stable at any higher than 3200 MHz, the last non-overclock value for the Zenith II Extreme. There also were issues with one or more M.2 or SSD drives disappearing on reboots, although not on cold starts. Eventually there began to be reports of others having the same problems with disappearing drives and memory limited to non-overclock values, even for memory like mine which was included in the ASUS QVL list, which I've always assumed meant that that memory had been tested and worked at its rated speed on the specified ASUS motherboard. I RMAed the memory but the replacement memory has all the same issues, so I replaced the power supply, which also had no effect on the issues. There is an additional and probably more important issue: it's been impossible to keep the Threadripper 3960x cool enough to run stress tests using either a Corsair H150i AiO cooler or Noctua NH-U14s TR4 heatsink with two fans. This is the first system I've had that couldn't run Prime95 or the AIDA64 stress tests at default settings. Admittedly, the Corsair H150i pump is not designed for the Threadripper heat spreader and doesn't cover its full surface, but based on the Noctua results after reseating it with different thermal pastes twice, I'm not sure am AiO cooler designed for the TR4 heat spreader would make much difference. I wouldn't have purchased the CPU and motherboard if I'd known that it needed custom liquid cooling to function at stock settings. Because of the various issues, ASUS set up an RMA for the motherboard and I had to swap the Core i7-8700k and Maximus X Apex back into the system. I left the two M.2 drives on the Zenith II Extreme DIMM.2 riser and simply installed that on the Maximus X Apex. I couldn't use two sticks of the Dominator memory on the Maximus X Apex because they wouldn't fit under the Deep Cool Assassin II heat sink already installed on it, so it's running with the old Vengeance two-channel memory at DDR4-4000, the highest speed using 1.35v. There are no issues with the old motherboard. Everything is stable and the systems boots in half the time of the Threadripper system, 20 seconds instead of 40. Benchmark scores in Performance Test are the same or slightly higher except for the CPU test. It's not too surprising that six cores is enough for everyday processing, although I'm a little surprised that the reduced speed limits for the two PCIe4 M.2 drives on a PCIe3 system don't make more difference, even in the Performance Test disk tests. ATTO and AIDA64 disk tests do show the expected reduction from 5 GB to 3 GB, but it's not noticeable otherwise. Similary, Geekbeech 5 shows slightly higher single-thread performance and significantly lower multi-thread performance. Overall though, the Core i7-8700k system feels faster and more responsive in addition to being more stable. There were some additional issues running applications. The latest version of SiSoft Sandra got an error running CPU tests and couldn't complete the overall benchmark on the AMD system. I did not reinstall Windows or any applications when I swapped in the Maximus X Apex, but just updated the Intel drivers and removed the AMD drivers. However, SiSoft Sandra's overall benchmark completed with no issues using the Intel CPU and chipset, so there are issues running applications using the TRX40 chipset and/or Threadripper 3960x CPU. I'm waiting to see what ASUS finds testing the Zenith II Extreme. If something turns up, then hopefully the Threadripper 3960x system will live up to its promise better than it did previously. If not, I'll probably look into RMAing the CPU before reinstalling the motherboard. My biggest concern is that nothing is wrong with either the motherboard or CPU, and the two simply aren't all that stable and will always have some memory and drive issues, and will always have heat issues without custom water cooling. If that is the case, then I'll probably end up sticking with the Core i7-8700k and Maximus X Apex.
  11. Good luck. There's a lot of information about this update on the Internet. I couldn't get into Safe Mode on my PC.
  12. Thanks for the link. I saved the instructions for future reference. I copy the whole hard drive to hot swap hard drives regularly, so I can always restore the system easily. If necessary, I could boot from the backup drive, too. With mechanical drives, backing up or restoring the drive takes about 20 minutes, but now that the system is on M.2 drives, the old SSDs make it possible to backup or restore in under 10 minutes. That enabled me to restore the system to before the update process about 20 times in the past week before I finally got the update applied.
  13. I finally got KB 4532693 to install successfully. I'd downloaded the manual install file, run it, and gotten the same "Preparing Automatic Repair" message. I couldn't get into any of the advanced troubleshooting options because they all required logging on to the administrator account. I was vaguely aware that I hadn't seen an "Administrator" account in Windows 10, but a quick Internet search revealed that it is automatically created but disabled unless you specifically enable it in an administrator CMD window using "net user administrator /enable:yes". After restoring the system, I enabled the administrator account and backed it up again. When I booted back into the problem system using my user account and ran the KB 4532693 manual install file again, everything looked the same going into the restart. I was expecting to find out if I could access the troubleshooting options with the administrator account, but instead the system booted into Windows. I resumed Windows Update and it applied three minor updates successfully, and everything is still working after several reboots. There were only two differences in my final, successful attempt to install KB 4532693: I didn't click 'restart now' but checked the Event Viewer and then used the standard reboot option, and the Administrator account was enabled when the install ran. Neither makes much sense as the reason why the install didn't trash Windows 10 boot files.
  14. This is a different and more common problem: https://www.computerworld.com/article/3528771/with-a-fix-for-the-temporary-profile-bug-still-elusive-win10-1903-and-1909-customers-should-check-p.html This is the problem I'm having: https://www.windowslatest.com/2020/02/16/windows-10-kb4532693-update-is-now-causing-boot-failures/ Unfortunately, the recommended fix is to select Advanced Options and reboot in Safe Mode to uninstall the patch, but my PC won't boot into Safe Mode on either motherboard. The next alternative is System Restore, which is equivalent to my restore from a backup hard drive, but then all Windows Updates have to be blocked indefinitely. I hadn't looked for Microsoft support recently, and found that it is available at $499 per incident. I'd be willing to bet the cost of the incident that what paying for support would get me was instructions to reinstall Windows 10 and see if that helped. Microsoft found another way to make my life more fun yesterday, too, probably to punish me for having motherboard problems. After I swapped motherboards, Office 2016 tried to reactivate and failed. I'd purchased it after Office 2013 said it had reached its reactivation limit last October, and apparently swapping the TRX40 motherboard in and out pushed Office 2016 over the edge. It was sold as having no limit, which seems to be true because it did allow me to reactivate it over the phone, although not before insisting that my cell phone number wasn't a cell phone number so I had to enter the 63-digit number on my phone and then enter the 48-digit response on my PC. Just like your PCs, the update caused no problems on my other Windows 10 system running on the same hardware as the one having problems. There could be some differences in the settings, but most of them are the same on the two systems. I'm going to try repairing the boot files after applying the update, and if that doesn't work, I'll move on to reinstalling Windows 10. If it can apply all the updates, including KB 4532693, I'll finish reinstalling my settings and applications.
  15. I have two hard drives with independent Windows 10 x64 operating systems. One is working fine with all Windows updates as of today, but the other goes into a 'Preparing Automatic Repair' loop every time I let Windows Update try to install KB 4532693. I've restored the hard drive over a dozen times on my Zenith II Extreme motherboard, which is going to ASUS for repair for unrelated issues, and now on my ASUS Maximus X Apex motherboard in the course of narrowing down the problem to KB 4532693, which turns out to have a history of various serious problems. I can pause Windows 10 updates, but then I won't get security updates unless I research, download, and install them manually, or any other Windows updates. Once I turn Windows update back on, KB 4352693 will try to install again and I'll lose the system. I still have few things to try, but I'm not optimistic since KB 4532693 both fails to install and makes the system unbootable, and what I've found searching the Internet is stronger on reporting problems than solutions. Has anyone else been dealing with KB 4532693 problems, preferably successfully? Is there any way to block a single Windows update permanently? Eventually, I'll have to give up and reinstall Windows 10 x64, but that could just end up back at the same point once Windows Update tries to apply KB 4532693 unless I wait until a new Windows ISO comes up with the next feature update.
  16. The Zenith II Extreme is out and I'm back up on the ASUS Maximus X Apex and Core i7-8700k, which are running with no problems. Windows 10 swapped in the Intel drivers with no complications. I'll get the Zenith II Extreme packed up and shipped to ASUS in a day or two. For some reason, ASUS wants just the motherboard returned, not its accessories, and not in its original packaging, so I have to figure out how to get it packed safely for shipment. Recent searches turned up three or four other people having the same problems with the Zenith II Extreme, so I'm not terribly optimistic that ASUS will find and repair problems. That's especially true since ASUS has already replaced the Zenith II Extreme with the Zenith II Extreme Alpha in its TRX40 lineup. If TRX40 motherboards were cheaper, I'd probably just buy a different one and hope that the problems weren't a fundamental part of the TRX40 chipset and/or Threadripper 3960x. If the Corsair RMA process hadn't taken me past the 30-day return limits, I'd just be returning the memory, motherboard, and CPU because they cost too much to make accepting with this many hassles acceptable.
  17. The new power supply arrived this morning and the PC is up and running using it. However, all the same problems seem to be present. So far, I've seen reboots running memory at anything above 3200 MHz and drives disappearing when the system restarts (but never on a cold boot). I'm restoring the other Windows 10 system now to see if it still gets 'Preparing Automatic Repair', but I'm not optimistc. It looks as though the next step will be to contact ASUS about a motherboard RMA.
  18. I just ordered a new power supply. The current one is four years old, which isn't necessarily a problem, but I've had flaky, inconsistent processing which went away with a new power supply several times. I tried restoring the 'Preparing Automatic Repair' system on a different hard drive with a different connection to the system with the same results, so it's not the hard drive. One of the other drives intermittently disappears when the system reboots, so there are multiple issues going on. The memory is running at 2133 MHz, but if it's really bad, it could still be the problem. I'm going to run memory diagnostics against it when I log off, but the original memory passed the Windows diagnostics at DDR4-3600 even though the motherboard rebooted at least once getting started at that speed. I'll try reinstalling Windows 10 for the system which keeps running into trouble if the power supply doesn't resolve the issues, and then contact ASUS support about the motherboard if nothing else makes a difference. Hopefully, Newegg will complete its research into the memory issues with Corsair and decide to give me a break on returning the memory, unless a new power supply resolves the memory issues and that becomes irrelevant. I noticed that several of the newer power supplies needed USB connections to the motherboard for monitoring or RGB lighting. As it is, my case fans use one of the USB headers, and using a second one for the power supply would leave nothing for front panel USB except a single USB-C port.
  19. It looks like the Corsair Dominator DDR4-4266 isn't stable at non-overclocked speeds. It had been running at 3200 MHz, which is the last non-OC value according to Zenith II Extreme specs, apparently without issues, but one of my operating systems began kicking into 'Preparing Automatic Repair' yesterday. I restored the hard drive from a back full copy and the problem went away. The system would boot successfully several times before reverting to 'Preparing Automatic Repair'. I did CHKDSK, SFC, and DISM disk scans, which found no problems after the drive was restored. Neither did Windows Defender, Malicious Software Removal, SuperAntiSpyware, or Microsoft Safety Scanner, but the problem came back. None of the simpler recommended solutions I found had any effect until I found one suggesting that bad memory could be the cause. I've dropped the memory down to 2133 MHz, half its rated speed, and so far everything seems stable.
  20. That's what I used, but I was looking for the fastest 4 x 8 Gig kits available on Newegg, so the selection was more limited. It will be time consuming to research the 3600 MHz kits, but I'll also write to the manufacturer first to find out if they guarantee them at their rated speed. Even if they didn't, one 3600 GHz 4 x 8 kit I checked out cost a fifth of what the Dominator DDR4-4266 cost. I'm not sure what you're paying for if it's only guaranteed to work as well as something costing 80 percent less.
  21. I didn't know about the 3600 MHz threshold when I bought the RAM. However, Corsair wouldn't guarantee its DDR4-3600 at anything over 3200 MHz, either. I tried the RAM I have using Corsair Dominator DDR4-3600 timings and voltages, and that was unstable, too. I'm assuming that there aren't very many motherboards for which anything over 3200 MHz isn't an overclock value, which would seem to give vendors a free ride to charge high amounts for memory rated above that without any responsibility if it doesn't work. Overdrive, AIDA64, Passmark Performance Test, and other benchmarks do show significant increases in RAM benchmarks at 3600 MHz and 4266 MHz compared to 3200 MHz, with most highest at 3600 MHz but some benefiting from 4266 MHz. I doubt that the difference is significant in real world processing, but since my goal was to play around with benchmarks, faster RAM, at least up to 3600 MHz, would be worth it if it actually worked. ASUS bears some responsibility, too, because they provide a QVL list for RAM certified with each motherboard, which would lead one to assume that the listed RAM would work at its rated speed on that motherboard even if it used an overclock value. Unfortunately, ASUS has gotten rid of the individual forums for each motherboard which were the most useful source of tech support from users and ASUS personnel, and its chat, phone, and email support is staffed by low-level people who are very cooperative but end up referring most issues to higher levels, which, based on my experience, may or may not actually have people responding to issues passed to them. At the higher speeds, Corsair is the only company with RAM on the Zenith II Extreme QVL list. However, at 3600 MHz and lower, there are a lot of choices, so if I can return the Corsair RAM, I could start researching a dozen different DDR4-3600 sets, falling back on DDR4-3200 if nothing looked promising. Newegg was at least sympathetic to the fact that I wasted a month dealing with Corsair when I could have returned the RAM within the 30-day window if Corsair had told me up front that they didn't guarantee it to work.
  22. The PC wasn't stable booting with the Corsair DDR4-4266 memory running at anything over 3200 MHz. Corsair RMAed the memory, which took almost three weeks, and the replacement memory has the same issues struggling to boot at any timings and voltages with the clock over 3200 MHz, including the DOCP settings. Now Corsair says that anything over 2800 MHz is overclocked and they don't guarantee that it will work at higher speeds. 3200 MHz is actually the last memory speed not considered overclocked on the Zenith II Extreme, but I would not have paid four times as much for DDR4-4266 as I would have for DDR4-3200 if I'd known that it was only guaranteed to work properly up to 3200 MHz. I've asked about returning the memory but am not optimistic. I believe that I've missed Newegg's window thanks to the three-week RMA, but I see what I can find out.
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