The PRACTICAL Tech Transformation - Intel $5,000 Extreme Tech Upgrade
- It's Intel Extreme tech upgrade time! You guys know the drill. It's a $5,000 budget for one lucky member of the Linus Tech Tips team, and today it's gonna be Alex! - Hello. - We've got a great theme for the build today. It's Alex made his computer out of powerful but secondhand hardware, and it brokey, so he needs a new one.
And also there's a laptop for his girlfriend, which we need to unbox immediately because she can't do her work right now because Alex lost her charger as part - (laughs) No! of getting everything set up for this video. She thinks you lost it, and I tend to probably agree with her based on what limited experience I have. Let's just get this thing open and get on with this video, shall we? (upbeat music) This is a nice machine, a 1650 Ti, 16 gigs of, did you go over your budget? - [Alex] No, it was in budget.
That's a $1,500 laptop. - This is a $1,500 laptop, you've got a RTX 3080, you've got a Core i9 10850K, a new desk, new chair. I think we've got another Dennis situation here. - No, here's the main reason why this was picked. Linus, do you know what the Century Challenge is? - [Linus] Century challenge? - That's good, okay, anyway, this didn't survive New Year's, so that's why that has to happen. (both laugh) - Here you go. (laughs)
- So what do we got here? We got a brokey computer with a GTX 1080, we've got... - Well just look in there and see if you can spot what is properly wrong about this? - Oh, well there's a missing RAM stick for one thing. - Yeah, so there were four, and then the motherboard kind of went kaboom, and now one of those doesn't exist, and it's not been stable at all ever since. I talked to the guys at ASUS and kind of diagnosed what happened.
The most likely thing that killed it is the RGB on those. The motherboard came out like two years before that existed. It draws way more current than it was supposed to, chuck in overclocking and you have a bomb. - Yeah, all right. And then this is your panel-swapped broken monitor, but there's still works. - No, that thing's sick, that's staying.
- Okay, and then in terms of materials stolen from the office, let's have a look at how you're doing here. That's from the office. - Yes, Final Mouse did give that to me though, because mine broke.
- 3D Printer, I'm pretty sure you didn't buy a, oh my God, that's incredible. - Our Prusas were built by people that weren't us and are all broken. Now we just repair them, use them. And then when one breaks at the office, this one goes there and then I get a broken printer again.
- All right, so you're actually doing me a favor. - We have so much of that stuff it's a problem. This is leftover from when we did all of the face shield making. And we stopped when we got an order for 5 million from the Canadian government.
Industry stepped in, we're done. (laughs) - Fair enough. The last thing that I can see that was clearly taken from the office is this.
- That was won. - He did win this, it is a video work watching. - That's weird (bleep) under 2019. - Your cable management needs some work.
Is that something you're expecting me to help with today? This is very organized, good job. - Thank you. - All the clutter is on one floor. Even if you did go over budget, one thing I'm really glad to see as a new chair. I have no idea if Secret Lab.co is any good, but what I do know is that it's definitely better than Vertagear.
Some people even think like, oh, gaming chairs are bad. No, no, no, no, there are good ones. I'll be able to tell immediately from the quality of the foam.
Oh yeah, it's really good. - 420 bucks, not too bad. Before we get a bunch of stuff that needs to go into the room, should we remove the stuff from the room that needs to go? - Step one, Vertagear chair, to be clear, that is an older Vertagear chair, it's possible they've gotten a lot better. - There's a lot of stuff. - This is kind of a nightmare.
- Yeah. - I'm starting to notice a pattern in these Intel Extreme tech upgrades. It's not really about the money for these people. It's about having me come and work on their house.
- Having like eight hours of Linus' time, so good. - Is this monitor staying or is this just side of the road? - That one's getting yeeted like side of the road, it's a TN panel. This one right here is for work from home.
- This is a USB mic? No, this is XLR, where's your interface even? How do you even, where does this cable go? Alex, what are you doing? Do you even stream? - I don't stream. I just have really nice audio for people. - Oh, like for calls. - Like for Discord. - I got the mic for recording drums like years ago and it still just works really good. Don't get gaming stuff for audio.
Get used music stuff. The quality is incredible. - All right, that's fair. And then you just treat it like garbage. I mean, this cable could have been treated better.
Defies gravity. (laughs) - This guy can go. - Riparoni. - Yup, bits of it are coming out. Bits of it are good.
- Oh yeah, there's an eight terabyte drive in there, I'm sure you're keeping that. - Yeah, but I don't trust it. That's from the bathroom server.
- Yeah, no. - You know, it's funny, Dennis has the reputation for stealing all the stuff from work, but I think Alex is way out ahead of him so far. - You missed this, these are from the office.
- No, you talked to me about that, I was okay with that. - Yeah, they were moldy. (laughs) - They were moldy? - I didn't even realize that when I took them.
- Oh goodness. - Yeah, it was really gross. - The quality of gear that Alex gets when he gets it free, and the quality of gear Alex gets when he spends his own money. - I have this as well. That's my Rocket League controller. I learned how to play Rocket League on it, and I can only play Rocket League on that controller.
- Is this that DIY CPU that I paid for? - So this is the RAM circuit. Do you see how many wires there are in this? - Yeah. - I got one of them wrong, fried everything, and this took me like three days.
And at that point I was just like, no, it's done. - I'm over it, it was only like 200 bucks. - I think in total it was like 600.
- What? - When's the last time you used this wheel? It's clearly not plugged into anything. And given that you cable managed it, you must've known it was going away for a while or never actually plugged it in. - Whenever I do a high speed USB stuff, the computer shuts down.
So I plugged in the wheel and caput, like do an SD transfer, (crashing noise) - Well, I normally use that with the VR headset. So you plug in the VR headset and she's done. - Oh, I see, that makes way more sense, yup. Fun fact, you're apparently not supposed to spread them out like this.
Apparently they're supposed to go up like this. But don't quote me on that, so audience, let me know. Are you really replacing the G710+? - No.
- I saw a keyboard out there. - Yeah, that's the work from home keyboard. - Oh, okay, all right. Cause you couldn't possibly work from home on your regular desktop. - Sarah works from home so she steals my workstation, moves all my stuff around and then I have to come home and be like, oh, the mouse dongle, where is it? - So basically the theme of your upgrade is you're not good at sharing.
- Look at Winston over there, he got tired just watching us. - What a good project manager. - Time for a water break. Oh yeah, LTTstore.com obviously.
So how much stolen goods do we have in here? - I don't think any, those are mine. - Oh yeah, those are yours, all right, okay. There's the Ram that drew too much power. (laughs) All right, okay. Now this desk's coming out, right? - Yeah, so this is going to be a bit difficult.
- Yeah a little bit. It's VHB taped onto here. - Yeah, it is.
- So my thought is we use the hairdryer to try and heat the VHB tape up and hopefully we don't destroy everything when we pull it off. - Oh God! - Oh geez. Yeah, they're not very good.
- [Alex] (laughs) - That's a problem, how they come off the base like that. Sorry. If you guys want to know how strong VHB tape is, you saw how full this was. (yelling) - This is going to suck. (hairdryer running) - Yeah, that's what a hot day like today needed, a hairdryer running for no reason.
- Okay, that's going to take too long, let's get a hammer. - I could just give it the old shakey shake. Shake and bake. Seriously? - [Alex] (laughs) - Oh! - Oh yay we did it.
- We? - How is it? - [Cameraman] Eh, it's not bad. - Now where do we put this? It's a table with three legs. - Yeah, we really should've removed the other table first. - Okay, there's a drawer on the bottom.
Really, who uses a keyboard drawer in 2021? - No one. - The yeet pile has gotten a little big. I mean, I can't even get out of your apartment at this point.
How the hell do you have so much stuff? - Do you want to look at the list? - You can always tell when one of our reviewers does a spec list cause it's just like, yep, the 10850K, it's pretty much a 10900K but cheaper so I got that one. - Especially now that Rocket Lake's out, these things are a real great deal. (laughs) - Turns out 5,000 US dollars is a lot of money. - Winston is spooked. - Oh, I'm so sorry, you're right there. We have a strange relationship.
Okay, let's move you away from here. Aww, little guy. - I thought that there was a back in the shelf, it turns out it's open, and the pictures just had white walls behind it.
But that's fine, that makes running our Phillips Hue stuff way easier later. (laughs) Yeah, we do have one kind of a problem. - Oh? - So this was in the desk configurator and has the desk, but there's no mounting hardware.
- Oh, I see. - I think the solution might be just VHB tape and don't touch it. - Oh God. - Meanwhile, I'm going through that stage in Ikea furniture assembly that goes, wow, this is going great, look at all this progress I made, and then you get to the next instruction, it's like, yeah, that doesn't look too bad. Do this five times. So I'm assembling drawers.
- That's not as tall as I thought it would be. - Sup dog. Get it, cause he's a dog.
- G305, 35 bucks, best mouse that you can buy. - For 35 bucks, that's for sure. I mean, you can get a G Pro wireless. - Yeah you can get a G Pro wireless and then you have to charge it and crap.
This right here, you just chuck a triple A in it, lasts for like a year. - Yeah, that's fair. - Did you want your big drawers on the top, and your little drawers on the bottom by any chance? - Uh, no. - [Andy] He assembled it upside down. - Okay, so you want the big drawers in the bottom? - Yep.
- There we go, yep, okay. - That wasn't too hard. - Okay, all right, yep, see you later, thanks. - I'm removing VHB tape with a fork. And right now it's looking like removing this VHB tape is going to take longer than assembling that shelf did. - I'm fighting with these rails and trying not to slice open a finger.
- I love how I got the more difficult piece of furniture and I got the hand tool. - What, I asked you if you wanted the drill, you can have it. - Dammit, one of the feet came off. Wow, that's a lot of leverage. So this one goes on this right side here, right? - Yes, actually we should plug in the power strip right now.
- All right, plug this boy in. - Boom, all right. - This guy goes here I guess, at the very far end? - Yeah, the tolerances are pretty tight on this so I really hope it all fits. We're good, that wasn't even that close.
- Wow, hey, that's awesome, this looks so much better. - Yeah. - Now we've got to get your desktop though.
- Yes, oh, there's more VHB. - I'll take a shift. - There's no mounting stuff at all.
Let's just bring the table in here and see what it looks like. - Okay. - Oh, this is rounded on the sides. - Did they send the wrong table top? - Maybe. - You used way more VHB tape than you need to just like hold something. (laughs) - I did, yeah.
- I mean, I only know this because I've made the same mistake though. - Goes like that. - This is not what I was expecting (laughs) - We've got a plan.
Alex is just going to do a quick Ikea run, get some legs, and I'm going to start building the computer. Cause we've got an Extreme tech upgrade to finish today. And that's how it's, oh, sorry, sorry. That's how it's going to be.
- I asked for Madison and Sarah to laser engrave the side panel and I have no clue what it is. - Oh really? - Yeah. - Big moment.
- Rattlin' Dog. - Okay, so this is like a traditional Irish/Newfoundland song called Rattlin' Bog, but they instead took a picture of my dog and substituted dog and tell all of the lyrics. - Let's talk through some of the hardware choices. So Alex went with the Z490 ROG Strix Gaming for a couple of main reasons. Number one is it's a well-reviewed board that supports his 10850K motherboard.
And reason number two is that it's one of the cheapest boards in ASUS's lineup that supports BIOS flashback. It's one of those features that honestly for a home machine, not very likely to come up, but as someone who works with tech all the time, he certainly would appreciate having in the times when you do need it. It basically allows you to reflash a corrupted BIOS on the board, even without any hardware installed. Really nice to have. I alluded to this before, but the 10850K is an absolutely killer deal. 10 cores, 20 threads, boosts well over 5 GHz.
What's not to like? I mean, you could go 11th gen if you wanted PCI express gen four, but the reality of it is, Alex didn't even get an NVMe SSD. So clearly he doesn't care about that. Because of the RGB memory in his old system killing it. To be clear, it'd be fine today in the era of RGB. But because of that, Alex specifically went from memory with no RGB and went Crucial in particular because he wanted something with dyes that he knew he could match later on down the line. So these are Crucial Ballistics, they're using Micron E-dies, because crucial is owned by Micron.
And aside from being able to move to a 64 gigs in the future, this also means that if you wanted to, he could overclock the snot out of them. And now we've come to the point where we have to start scavenging from the old computer. I mean, who needs a new heat sync when you already have an HD15? It's not like it gets any better than that still. Unless you want to go really exotic. This may be one of the dumbest things we've ever done.
- I was trying to think of dumber things. - (yelling) - Dude, it's dripping. - Yeah, exactly. - Just give her a good blow. - There's some stamina here.
Jesus. - (sighs) - Alex, we got to top up the water. - Just a second, it's leaking really bad. - It's going to get all over the table if we don't top up the water.
- We didn't go there, not for this video. I noticed Alex didn't go for an M.2 boot drive, but that's actually because he's already using one on an add in card here. He's got a 480 gig phison controller, DRAM cache. Yeah, okay, (indistinct).
Perfect, so we'll just throw that on the new board. And that's not the only one, he's got another drive here. How the devil many drives does one man need? Got a 960 Evo one terabyte as well. That's a really nice feature on this case.
These drive sleds on this case are cable-less, so the cables are just at the back and they're pre-hooked up. Okay, that's all for old PC salvage parts. Let's go put these in the new one. It occurs to me though that with Alex at Ikea, we don't really know where the mounting hardware is for this socket. I can definitely install these SSDs while I wait though.
Andy found the mounting hardware, Alex came back, got me the thermal compound, ladies and gentlemen, we are making good progress now. - Just installing legs while being supervised. - Alex didn't choose the wifi model for the wifi, he chose it actually so that he could connect Bluetooth headphones more easily.
That's some good thinking. All right, I going to try real hard not to drop this. Certainly no one will sit here, on this clear thing.
- Dog might. - Yeah, I don't think the dog will break it though. - We almost got absolutely screwed again by the legs. So the hardware that it comes with is this long, which if you look here, would've gone straight through the table. - [Linus] (laughs) - Fortunately, I happened to have a bunch of framing screws around that will do the trick.
That could have been a little awkward. Good thing you checked. - Yeah, good thing I checked.
We will have to be a bit gentle with these legs. I imagine if you picked it up and tweaked it with these little screws it would come out. I don't think it will be a problem for just sitting there though.
Probably should have asked for help before starting this but - [Andy] You got this. - Yeah, I got it. I'm just scared because I'm afraid if I bumped one of those legs too much, it might pop off. But I think once it's down, it'll be good. All right, we did it.
- Now it's time for the secret sauce of this case...ouch. That's not what I meant to do. Right here, so it's a 12 volt only power supply that goes into the bottom of the case, and then it splits out and all the other voltages we need: 3.3 volt, 5 volt, minus 12 volt. They're derived from this guy right here that sits right here, so all our cable runs are as short as possible. Alex is going to have his computer up on the desk, like a good boy.
So we're going to go fan side down, get that nice, good ventilation for it. I mean kind of makes sense. A power supply manufacturer gets into the case business, they make a case with a lot of room for power supply ventilation. - Oh, that's a chonk.
- No way that that power supply will not get air intake working properly. (laughs) - Make sure it doesn't get too dark over on this side now that there's a shelf there. And installing some Phillips Hue strips. Hopefully I'll be able to do the whole thing with just a single strip.
- By the way, I know you said you want three hard drives in here, but it only has two cages. - Yeah, the other one can just like sit in there. Probably get double-sided taped in, like right here. - I'm not doing that. - Okay, I can do it.
- I won't do it. - I wouldn't even do that on my own system. That's too janky, nope. - I don't move it around. It doesn't matter.
That's exactly the problem. You don't move it around so you'll forget you did it and then you'll move it around that one time. It's time to get a NAS if you need more than this. Like that's the thing, if you need more than one or two hard drives these days, it's time to get a NAS because you're a data hoarder. How great is that cable management? Like that's it.
Boom, done, it's fricking awesome. What can I do for you? - This light strip is going in here. We should probably move the desk now that I think about it. That would make our lives a lot easier. - Okay. - How do we do that? - It's really rubbing the door now.
It's getting worse. Why is angling it making it worse? - Because the legs. - Oh, because the legs push it more. - Okay, so we need to bring this up. - Go, yep, you're good.
- All right, we did it. - There we go, we solved it. - That was way more difficult than it should have been. Oh! - This adhesive's just going to come off, Alex. - Yeah, I will have to zip tie it on later. - What if we did this way? So we actually stick them to the back.
Like that? That's not bad. Alex, we're doing this totally wrong here, let go. Yeah, why are we doing this? (both laugh) This thing weighs like four pounds. We haven't put it back yet, but I think it worked out great.
- Yeah. - Right there, awesome. - That works. - Yeah. That's great, okay, cool. I will go keep building the computer now.
- All right. - For this stage in the build it's looking pretty clean. Just go into the connect module right here. Boom, there's your motherboard connector.
Now I've just got to put it in the GPU. Alex chose the EVGA XC3 RTX 3080 because it was the 3080 we could get. That's basically it.
- I mean, in all seriousness, EVGA makes a mean 3080, no complaints. That's why we went with this particular model. - Apparently it's very cool. - Yeah, and quiet. - Yeah, very quiet. That was my one complaint with the one that I had before.
It was a rocket ship. It's not that this is the best looking build I've ever done, it's just that for how little effort I put into it, it does look really sharp. That's what I love about the Synchro. I feel like this is Intel Extreme tech upgrade, but I spent more time talking about the case, really is awesome. These Velcro ties that they include with the power supply could be better. I wish I had some LTT Store ones.
I got to get an LTT store tattoo at some point. Okay, you ready for this? Oh, there's no spot for it, don't bring it in. - What? - The tables right there. - I pinched my tummy fat, oh, all right. - Okay, I'm good.
What a transformation. - Yeah. - There we go, computer placed. - Oh, we forgot the VHB tape! Eh, it's probably fine. - It actually probably isn't going anywhere with the computer.
- Yeah, all right. I need a bigger desk pad. - Hey, LTTstore.com when they're back in stock. - Yeah, I should have asked for some. (laughs) - Get in line, Colin's still waiting.
I think David's still waiting. - All right, I do actually have a bigger desk pad. We can just have the editor turn it into the one of the LTT ones afterwards. - Okay, where you want these? - Inserting now, all right it's in.
- Oh yeah. - Go down. You'd have to be pretty firm here or it's going to come out again.
(laughs) - We good on that one? - Yeah, it seems nice and firm. - All right, now do it again. Harder. Oh man, this is going to look so much better.
I love it. Hey Alex, did you get the financing? - Oh, with the Dell! - Did you get the extended warranty, Alex? - I didn't det the extended warranty. Alex, did you get the onsite extended warranty? Did you get the financing at least? They're never going to live it down. - I just realized something unfortunate.
Both of these were on the ground. - Okay, oh geez. - That is scary. - No, it's fine, don't worry dog. Don't even trip.
I got this. If you could just put a stabilizing hand on there. - Okay.
- Oh yeah, there we go. Output plugged into the audio interface and then they need power and then I think we're good. I love how you don't even pretend to be all about that wireless life. I like this setup. It's just kind of like what I would do if I was on a fixed budget. I mean, this is like the stuff nightmares are made of.
I am the little man who lives under your desk. I hate this cable. It's the ugliest thing in this whole setup. Now that is night and freaking day. - Oh yeah, so much cleaner than before.
- Your mousepad is upside down. I think my brain might explode. - Yeah, but I don't like the logo, I want to far away. I'm just over here sitting this little work area up. We decided to go with the good old K845.
It's a mechanical keyboard, has brown switches, not Cherry brown's, just brown switches, but they feel good enough. And it's pretty high quality, I think it was 45 bucks. So we just put the Corsair mouse pad back here? - Yeah, I kind of want to move the monitor up a scooch as well. - Where does the work from home machine go? Like it's a laptop I guess, the one we unboxed. - Yeah.
- You guys are totally set up to LAN now. Like this is awesome. - No, this would be way too cramped. - No, I mean.
- This room with one person on a computer gets boiling. - All I'm hearing is you don't want to share your epic gaming space. Let's see if his stolen filament stash even fits here.
Oh yup, there we go. Here's your epic controller. - Oh yeah, I guess I should have made space for that somewhere. - Along with a Linus gaming tip, if you're only good at a game with one special controller, you're not really good at the game. - What, I can be. - (indistinct) - I guess all that we have left is the Surface headphones 2.
- Yeah, I couldn't help noticing we made it all the way through the entire upgrade without ever opening these. - Yeah, these aren't really for the upgrade. These are more so for just using with like a laptop. Noise cancellation, amazing on these. Sound quality is fine.
The real reason that I got them though, is because they pair flawlessly with Windows devices. I find, I think it's probably a Windows problem that other Bluetooth things don't, but those ones every single time, just boop, boop, boop. - That's how Microsoft got your money, was by making crappy Bluetooth pairing with everything else. - Yes. - The ANC is like...
- Yeah, really great for on a plane. I really liked the fact that this GPU is powerful enough that I can just play whatever game I want no matter how unoptimized it is or how stupid it is. And I just know it's going to work. It's going to run well, chuck it on high, your good. Valheim on my old GPU, normally getting like 90 FPS until me and the guy that I'm sending that GPU to actually build this mansion.
I was getting like 18 frames per second. Not ideal. Now we are getting what? Like 45? Yeah sometimes even like 50 FPS in the seventies conversation pit. That's exceptional.
Yeah, it looks a lot better. - I'm sorry, did you say you don't like your cable management? - Well, it's a little better. Alex tends to like nail things directly into the wall and I wanted, you know...this is the laptop. I like to be able to move things and use the desk for other stuff. - It's over there. - I normally like to put my computer over here.
- Oh well you can have wherever you want. Okay, hold on, hold on, no, we got this, we got this. - See, now everything's all (explosion noise) - No, no, no, see everything's fine.
Don't worry, you're good, you got this. You have two trained unics here to help you move around all your stuff. So that's it, that's the new digs.
This'll be taped down so it'll stop moving. It moves a bit right now. - So much leg room! The bar is gone.
- [Alex] That bar was so stupid. - [Linus] Okay, great, thanks Sarah. - Thank you Intel. So I think Sarah said it best, thanks again, Intel.
This tech transformation was absolutely night and day. It looks so much better in there. And I'm really looking forward to our next one. It's going to be Chase who is super hardcore into gaming. He's into streaming. He already has really cool stuff.
So I'll be really interested to see what he does. Again, courtesy of Intel. - And if you guys are looking for something else to watch, we've actually got about half a dozen of these things now, my personal favorites are going to be Dennis for sure, Andy's was amazing, I loved Riley's, David's...
David's is...it's something. - So all of them. They're all great. You guys love them too, I mean, don't take my word for it. - [Andy] And James.
- Yeah, James' is great. - We upgraded his house and then he moved two weeks later.