Technology content trusted in North America and globally since 1999
8,458 Reviews & Articles | 65,052 News Posts

Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 2

Ask us a tech question!

Use the form below to submit a question for Ask the Experts.

Should I fix my streaming PC's USB issues or upgrade to something new?

Question by Joakim from Sweden | Answered by Tyler Bernath | Computer Systems | Posted: Sep 4, 2019 @ 12:11 CDT


I'm a streamer that currently uses my old build as a dedicated streaming PC. However, my gaming PC starts messing up every once in a while, with USB ports and slow load times so i think i need to replace my motherboard on that.

What would be the best decision for me? Is it worth keeping my CPU or should i upgrade that too? If i build a high-end Ryzen system, would i be able to get rid of my streaming PC, and keep the quality streams? Is it worth upgrading my GPU or should i wait for the next generation?

  • Gaming PC: ASUS Z270 Strix i7 7700K oc'd to 5.0GHz GTX 1080 Strix OC 32GB Vengeance DDR4
  • Streaming PC: Z97 Pro Gamer i7 4770 GTX 970 16GB DDR3

Thanks in advance!


I would start by trying to rectify the issue with your current "gaming" PC. Your symptoms of USB port issues and slow load times make me think you have an unstable overclock. Have you tried to run it stock to see if the issue clears up?


In all honesty, your current gaming PC is a solid build and should be able to handle streaming without the need for the second machine; what is your current storage situation?

As for building a high-end Ryzen; if you want to go this route, I would suggest you start your build by budgeting for an X570 motherboard and R7 3700X or higher for the added cores and SMT. You can keep your 32GB of DDR4 if its at least 3600MHz and your GTX 1080 is still a capable GPU.

Assuming you are going to part out or sell your two current machines to pay for the Ryzen build, you should be very close to coming out even or at the most out of pocket by around $100 USD.

AMD B450 or X570 motherboard for new build with Ryzen 7 3700X CPU?

Question by Omri from Israel | Answered by Tyler Bernath | Motherboards | Posted: Aug 31, 2019 @ 13:39 CDT

I'm about to build a system with an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X CPU.

I'm wondering which motherboard to get, ASUS TUF B450-Plus Gaming or MSI B450 Tomahawk? Is it worth going with an MSI X570-A Pro?

Hi Omri,

This answer is going to depend a lot on what you are using this machine for. If it's a standard gaming build, all three options you provided will get the job done. Some of the biggest differences between the boards are USB ports and speed. The B450 boards offer a single 10Gbps USB 3.1 port, whereas the X570 offers two USB 3.2 ports.


As far as m.2 slots go, the B450 boards offer one slot for SATA and NVMe drives, but the X570 has two slots - one supporting PCIe 4.0, hence opening you up to a world of very quick SSDs.

All of that said, I would be leaning towards the X570 if you can swing the increased cost. If not, either of the B450 boards you chose will get you by, but you may need to look into a BIOS update, as they don't list compatibility for third-gen AMD Ryzen processors.

Can the Corsair H115i cooler handle the Intel Core i9 9900K?

Question by Steven from Australia | Answered by Tyler Bernath | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Aug 27, 2019 @ 11:19 CDT

I'm having an issue with my PC where it idles pretty high and starts throttling immediately when put under load. I'm using my H115i from my old build, is it possible the cooler can't handle the 9900K?

Should I just buy another cooler? I can pick up a H150i or Noctua NH-D15 locally.

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the question! I'll start by saying a 280mm AIO should be plenty for a 9900K. That being said, you do need to check a few things, the first being the fan speed on the H115, are they running at all? If so, do you feel heat being pulled through the radiator?


My second thought is Corsair transferred their solutions over to iCue from Corsair Link a while back. Make sure the software is installed and the pump is running full speed to dissipate the heat more efficiently.

What's the fastest processor for the ASUS Z270 motherboard?

Question by Devin from United States | Answered by Tyler Bernath | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Aug 23, 2019 @ 12:53 CDT

I have had my current build for two years - ASUS Z270, Intel Core i7 7700K, 16GB of RAM, and GeForce GTX 1060.

I'm getting bored with it and want to upgrade. Can I get a better CPU without changing motherboard?


Hi Devin,

I know the feeling of getting bored with a build, I change parts a lot myself. With that said, Intel's Z270 chipset pretty much maxes out with the Core i7 7700K CPU that you have.


Not all is lost, though. If you are comfortable with it, you could likely sell your current setup and get enough to purchase a decent AMD X570 motherboard, then you will only be out of pocket on the CPU.

AMD's Ryzen 5 3600 will be comparable to your current 7700K, so you can start there with plenty of upgrade options in your future.

Should I leave some SSD capacity empty for best performance?

Question by Matt from Canada | Answered by Tyler Bernath | Storage | Posted: Aug 19, 2019 @ 12:34 CDT

SSDs slow down as they get filled with data, so I was wondering if there any percentage of the drive I should leave unused to keep my drive working at full speed?

I have an 850 EVO 250GB.

Hi Paul,

First off, thanks for the question!

SSDs come from the vendor with a certain level of overprovisioning (OP) baked in. Most drives are set somewhere around 7% capacity, this means your 240GB drive is 256GB and so on. Samsung Magician recommends users set OP to 10% for heavy workloads, but for typical gaming, the default settings work fine.


If your performance issue arises after filling the drive past 75% capacity, I would honestly look towards migrating to a higher capacity solution. No level of overprovisioning will help an SSD that's full of data.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER?

Question by John from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Aug 11, 2019 @ 22:01 CDT

Hey TT,

I'm wanting to build a new gaming rig and I'm having a hard time choosing between the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER and the new AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics cards.

Right now I'm using a 27-inch 1080p 60Hz monitor but want to buy a new 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor, and can't decide which graphics card to go for. I play all of the latest esports-style games like CS:GO, League of Legends, Rocket League, Apex Legends, and Overwatch.


Regards, John.

Hey John,

This is a hard one because now AMD has some great Navi-based graphics cards that make the decision between Team Red and Team Green that much harder... but there is no wrong decision here.


I'm a big fan of both the RTX 2060 SUPER (my review here) and RX 5700 XT (my review here) so it would come down to the monitor. I play two of the games you mentioned here (Apex Legends and Overwatch) and I have been doing extensive testing of both of these games in real-world testing on both the RTX 2060 SUPER and RX 5700 XT.

Both of these cards can handle 1080p and 1440p at 120-144FPS average if you dial some of the in-game details down, as you want to ensure you're hitting those high FPS numbers in esports games.


Amazon has the Samsung CJG5 monitor for $320, offering a huge 32-inch display with a native 1440p res and 144Hz refresh rate. This will work beautifully with either FreeSync or G-Sync, and will work on either of the graphics cards you're looking at.

Personally, I think the 30-32 inch monitor size with 1440p native res and slick 144Hz refresh rate is perfect. 27-inch is a little too small, and really - the 32-inch model is only $50 more. The 27-inch model is $268 if the $320 price is out of your budget.

Can I remove the heat sink on the Corsair Force MP600 SSD?

Question by Simon from Australia | Answered by Tyler Bernath | Storage | Posted: Aug 15, 2019 @ 15:35 CDT

Hey ATE,

I purchased the ASUS ROG Strix X570-E motherboard along with a Corsair Force MP600 SSD.

I just realized upon installing my motherboard that it comes with passive cooling for the M.2 slots. I am now wondering if the large heat sink on the MP600 can be removed so it will fit in my motherboard. Would greatly appreciate any input on this?


Hi Simon,

I'm not 100% familiar with the Corsair MP600 myself, but in gathering information, I did note several reviews where the heat sink was removed for testing. I would go out on a limb and say the drive likely has a set of screws mounting the heat sink from behind and no further adhesive is used to hold the two together.


That said, I would look around the drive to make sure there isn't a warranty void sticker before removing the heat sink. If you do decide to remove the heat sink, your drive should then be a familiar 2280 m.2 solution and should fit with ease into your X570 motherboard.

You may also want to do your own research first if it is a good idea to even remove the heat sink, as it is likely there for a reason and heat could become an issue and might decrease the life of the drive.

What RAM should go with AMD Ryzen 5 3600X and GTX 1660?

Question by Connor from United States | Answered by Tyler Bernath | RAM | Posted: Aug 11, 2019 @ 15:41 CDT

I'm building a PC and have decided on an AMD Ryzen 5 3600X and GTX 1660.

How much memory should I purchase and does speed matter?

Hi Connor,

We have you covered! From my own research and reaching out to my colleagues, speed certainly matters depending on the workload. I would recommend 16GB for a gaming machine and 3600MHz seems to be the sweet spot for DDR4.


Looking at kits, in many cases, a 3600MHz kit is going to be B-die by default, but it also could be E die which may have more room for tweaking.

Our memory reviews always list the die type so you can use that as a point of reference. Otherwise, selecting a kit specifically binned and targeted for AMD Ryzen 3000 parts would be a great choice, such as the recently announced G.SKILL Trident Z Neo kits.

Intel Core i5 9400 or AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, which one?

Question by Timothy from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by Tyler Bernath | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Aug 8, 2019 @ 10:41 CDT

I'm looking to build a new system in the next month. I've pretty much settled on the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X or Intel i5 9600KF.

Not looking for overclocking just want something that will last, can you advise me?


Hi Tim,

First off, you mentioned you aren't looking for overclocking, but have chosen two CPUs that offer unlocked multipliers. If you are serious about the no overclocking, I would suggest you save a little bit of money and look at the Intel Core i5 9400 and AMD Ryzen 5 3600.


Both of these CPUs offer 6 cores and boost to ~4.1GHz - the Ryzen has the multi-core advantage with 12 threads, so if you have plans to use this as a media editing machine, I would be leaning that way.

The new Ryzen 5 also has the slight advantage of PCIe 4.0 and X570 which promises to be a solid chipset. With current pricing, you would be saving around $60 USD or 50 pound, allowing you to invest in more RAM, a higher capacity SSD, or both.

All the best!

What's the best option for PCIe Wi-Fi cards at the moment?

Question by James from United States | Answered by Tyler Bernath | Networking | Posted: Aug 8, 2019 @ 1:23 CDT

Hello ATE!

I recently built a PC and with ethernet not being an option in my room. What's the best option for PCIe Wi-Fi cards?


Hi James,

Thanks for reaching out to us!


I have seen my fair share of wireless NICs over the years and ASUS has been the most reliable solutions by far. That said, right now, we are on the cusp of Wi-Fi 6 rolling out to the masses and several vendors should release their client adapters soon. If this is something you are interested in, I would grab a cheap USB adapter to get you by and towards the holiday season pick up the new PCIe solution from ASUS.

If you plan on staying with your current setup, which I'm going to assume is 802.11ac, I would 100% recommend the PCE-AC68 from ASUS or if your router is by chance 4x4 capable, the PCE-AC88.

Now, there are cheaper options namely the Archer T9E and T6E from TP-Link, but I have no hands-on experience with those. Hope this has helped!