New ITX Build with AMD Ryzen 5 3600 PC

My Intel i5 3350p ITX system had been going strong for about 7 years by this point. The system had 2 replacement graphics cards due to failures and some storage upgrades but otherwise it was the same system and performance was still good (which is a statement on CPU stagnation under Intel’s core i dominance). However it was starting to have its problems, USB ports where failing, black screen where becoming common and the storage could do with another upgrade as well the case was looking a bit tired. While I could had tried upgrading and reseating and repasting the current CPU cooler the new 3000 series AMD Ryzen CPUs had caught my eye. So I let the planning begin.

I stuck with and ITX form factor and initially started with an upgrade Silverstone SUGO SG05 White case (more on that later)

All these parts turn up together, the SG05 case, ATX to SFX PSU adaptor, Corair SF600 PSU Gigabyte Aorus X570 ITX motherboard, Noctua NH-L12S Cooler, Noctua 12cm Fan, 16GB*2 Corsair DDR4-3200 and a Sabrent Rocket 1TB gen4 SSD. And yes the CPU is missing, that did not turn up for a few extra days.

For the CPU we have AMD Ryzen 5 3600 which I though represented the best value option. I would reuse my 1660 super GPU for now as I was forced to buy a replacement for my old graphics card as the fans broke and I was having trouble fixing it (the first set of replacement fans broke in exactly the same way as the originals within weeks)

And so concluded version 1.0 of the new build. Unfortunately I was not completely happy with it. The power management caused the fans to ramp in and annoying manner compared to my pervious build and the temperatures where not as good getting a bit too high under stress test conditions. The default boosting and core voltage where also all over the place and hence the fans. So I decided I dont really need such a small case and to swap it out for something bigger. I look at two options the Lian Li TU150 (ITX but can take a full sized Noctua cooler) and the Corsair 280x (mATX but smaller CPU cooler but with AIO support)

ARGB and mATX it was for me. I got a good price on the case and while not small it is not massive either. I took a opportunity to install a spare 3.5″ 3TB Hard Drive for extra storage and order an Arctic 360. Sadly that never turned up and got refunded. Instead I ended up with a larger Noctua air cooler (NH-C14S)

As you can see a much larger CPU cooler. The one downside of the Corsair 280x is that it did not support the largest Tower coolers. I will look at an AIO again with the next CPU upgrade, I manually set the CPU clock speeds to the boost speed and set an appropriate vcore to keep it stable (which was much lower than it was automatically setting). Final upgrades where a new curved high refresh rate monitor the Aorus CV27F and an Aorus K1 keyboard.

We shall see how long this build will last. The Q6600 system lasted 3 years and the i5-3350 lasted 7 and has found a new home. So this new build has a lot to live upto.

Having had the Corsair case for a while I don’t not recommend it if you are placing it under your desk. It is far too hard to clean the front filter (you have to pull the front panel off and its on push pins). However its looks and stays looking great if you keep it on top of your desk.

Bring Arts Nier Figures 2B, Kainé and Machine Lifeforms

Today we will have a quick look at the Bring Arts Nier Figures. Nier is spin off 2 game franchise by Square Enix. The 2nd one Nier: Automata was something of a hit and appeared on PC, PS4 and Xbox. Unfortunately if you want the play the first game in the series you need a PS3, however it is also almost completely unnecessary to understand automata aside from a few Easter eggs.


Bring Arts are 6″ Figures, however compairing them to other 6″ figures I have they are a bit on the small side. The first Nier release was 2B which also came with a machine. If we look at 2B first, she comes with a sword, unmasked head, Pod 042, swap able hands, weapon holding ring and a stand. Pod and the weapon ring can be attached to the stand but not he figure and as such the figure is really meant to be displayed with the stand.

The other part of the set is the machine lifeform who comes with a bucket. This particular one has the non-hostile eyes. This has a nice paint job and I just love the designs of the robots in this series.

The 2nd release was a 2 pack of machine lifeforms. They start as the same base of the one which came with 2B but has hostile eyes and loads of accessories. First up is one set of full size legs, which should be used with the supplied stand otherwise it is very hard to stand. Various weapons, a sword, replacements for the arms which mount a gun or saw blade

Finally we have Kainé from the original Nier game (RepliCant/Gestalt). Much like 2B she comes with the same stand, 2 Swords and swappable hands. She also comes with Emil’s head

As for other releases in this line, A2 and 9S are out in Japan at this point, a revised 2B is also on the way, as well as a Nier figure from Replicant.

Also widely available for whatever reason are Knock-Offs of these figures. So if you see one for sale for around $15/£13 its probably one of these. You can tell its a KO by the paint on the robot that is nowhere near as good as the original and the copyright information is not present on the back. KO 2B has loose hands that do not grip very well, the top of the stand is not textured but fully clear and just generally not a well made.

Knights of Sidonia Figma Garde figures

We are still waiting on news for when season 3 of Knights of Sidonia Anime series will be released on Netflix. In the mean time lets have a look at the Figma Garde Figures

We have two figures of the Garde, the space mech of the series. The Figma 261 Series 18 Garde (Blue with white) and the Figma 254 Series 17 Grade (white with red). These are basically the same design (and hence figure) but with restyle parts much like car is given a facelift.

The series 17 is numbered 704 and is the “hero” craft of the series know as the Tsugumori  piloted by Nagate Tanikaze , while the 18 is numbered 291 which is piloted Izana Shinatose of which many are represented with various different numbers in the series

The figures are designed to be used with the supplied stands, they are extremely difficult to stand without them, which is fine as there are mostly depicted as flying though space. Accessories and options include replaceable hands, alternative firing head, bladed arm guards, spear and rail gun. The boost pack is adjustable and extendible.

If you prefer a more hands on model there is also the Kotobukiya Tsugumori Knights of Sidonia. This is the animation version and is 1/100 scale. Unfortunately I broke the c-clip on the neck which is a rather strange part of the model. The rail gun has many extension so can be extended to a ridiculousless length.

Macross Delta Valkyrie VF-31 Model Kit

Not all transforming robots are transformers (or Go-bots). The original G1 Jetfire/Skyfire toys was actually a Bandai toy from Macross (also know in the West as the first 3rd of the robotech series). Well Bandai continue to make Macross products based on the series with the latest been Macross Delta. I started with the 1/72 scale model kit and quickly escalated.

And it transforms. Its almost perfect, one or two bits need to be added/taken away for it to work 100% and I did glue a few piece that have a habit of falling off. Also there is the visible cap in jet mode. But for a push together model kit it is great.

And if you want something a bit more premium you can also get a Bandai DX Chogokin action figure

Lego Super Star Destroyer

My Lego Super Star Destroyer which has was been prepared to be sent to ebay. A nice quite massive piece which is also quite sturdy, about the only thinks that fall off easy are vanity parts on the stand and the bridge. A bit tight with the mini figs though with only 5 in the set.

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The Big Binder of Instructions

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The Box

Vampire Minion

I like the “Minions”. Crazy little yellow things that run around with helpful intentions but are ultimately inept and kinda hopeless, it reminds my of something… I have 5 plush minions scattered around in various places. First time and have seen these about and I picked it up from B&M for £5. Technically its a Plush Clip-on, however you could always cut the clip off. There where about 5 different ones to collect and I got the Vampire one so I can go Bleh! Bleh! Bleh! with it

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Windows 8: Fixing it, Banishing the Metro UI

So for whatever reason you have ended up with a desktop PC with Windows 8/8.1 and you hate it. Now some people actually like it in its default form, congratulations to those people on trying to bring the PC desktop back 20+ years with its full screen apps and lack of actual ‘windows’ in the default metro ui, please stay away from our desktops and go buy a tablet or something.

For the rest of us fear not, Windows 8 can be saved and made useful again.

1) Upgrade to Windows 8.1

It a free upgrade, in order to get it on Windows 8 you will need to install the normal windows updates and then find this upgrade in the Metro UI Store.

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The download is over 3GB and seems more of a os reinstall than an upgrade. It is essential for some of the other fixes

2) Make it boot to the Desktop

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With 8.1 we also have more options now on how our system works and can make the system boot to the desktop

Right Click on the taskbar in desktop mode and click properties

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Then Click on the navigation tab and tick “When I sign in or close all applications on a screen, go to the desktop instead of start

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3) Add a Proper Start Button

You may have noticed the 8.1 upgrade has added a start button. It is not a true one as it does not bring up you programs (you can make it take you to you app list but as usual its just a full screen mess of limited usefulness). Fortuity there are several replacements and I started with this article here. All have a different appeal but I while I found start menu 8 to be quite fancy, it seems gear towards a purchase of the pro version. Start Menu Reviver is a new style of start and what you would call a metro title inspired start button.

I tried them all and picked Classic Shell and feel right at home. It is free with no annoying prompts and buttons asking you to buy the “pro version” and gives you the option of 3 era’s of start menu windows 98, vista, windows 7. Also you will no longer need an IT degree to work out how to shut down the computer.

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In Class Shell you can always access Metro via the start screen button.

These are all installed/uninstalled as normal programs and replace the start button in windows 8.1 on the desktop

4) Automatic login (Optional)

We need to run a program called netplwiz

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You can do this via the search box on our proper start menu. When it loads in the user tab, uncheck the “User must enter a username and password to use this computer”

5) Change the default Apps

For reason know only to Microsoft most things are by default opened with the Metro full screen versions of Apps (anyone who try to rotate a picture with the shipped windows 8 will tell you have awful they are; its does actually have buttons now but it is still full screen rubbish).

You will need some new programs to open some file types as they have no non-metro version.

In particular:

Adobe Reader (PDF)Picture viewer (Included with windows)

And that will do for now, there are other things but hopefully this will get you the desktop you know and love back, make you PC a productive member of society again and end the dreaming that one day Linux will actually “just work” when you bring home a new game/program.