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how to build a server and host a website…easy

Let’s imagine a world where hosting a website yourself is as simple and reliable as browsing the web. You could host your company’s site, your personal portfolio, your email server, and even messaging apps, all from the comfort of your couch. The web would certainly be a more democratic place, from both an information-serving and information-browsing perspective.

Though the original vision for the World Wide Web included pieces of this idealism (e.g., directly showing filesystem content using hyperlinks), the reality turned out somewhat differently. Unfortunately, hosting your own website still has some serious obstacles, including dynamic IP addresses, bandwidth constraints, and electricity costs.

In this article, we look at how to host your own website on Microsoft Windows and on Linux, and also some of the drawbacks to doing this. For both platforms, we will install and use the AMP (Apache, Mysql, PHP) web stack. This AMP stack is commonly called WAMP on Windows and LAMP on Linux for obvious reasons.

Windows: How to Host a Website Using Your PC as a WAMP Server

First, let’s try hosting a website using your personal computer with the Windows operating system.

Step 1: Install the WAMP Software

To make this super easy, we’ll use a WAMP installation program (of which there are several) called WampServer. You could also opt to install each package manually, but this process requires much more work and is error-prone.

The WampServer package is delivered with the latest releases of Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

The WampServer package is delivered with the latest releases of Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

WampServer screenshot

WampServer is one of several environments available to create Apache, MySQL, and PHP applications on Windows.

First, download the 32-bit or 64-bit WAMP-binary here, and begin the installation. Just follow the on-screen instructions, and when it’s done, launch WampServer.

Note: There may be a port 80 conflict with your Skype software, but there’s a fix for that.

Step 2: Using WampServer

Upon installation, a www directory will be created automatically. You’ll likely find it here: c:\wamp\www

From that directory, you can create subdirectories (called “projects” in WampServer), and put any HTML or PHP files inside those subdirectories.

Main screen of WampServer

The main screen of your localhost in WampServer should look something like this.

If you click on the localhost link in the WampSever menu or open your internet browser with the URL http://localhost, you should be shown the main screen of WampServer.

Step 3: Creating an HTML Page

To test our WampServer, we can put an example file called “info.php” into our www-directory.

Go directly to this directory by clicking “www directory” in the WampServer menu.

From there, create a new file with the contents below, and save it.

1     <title>PHP Test</title>

Now you can browse to http://localhost/info.php to see the details of your PHP installation. You can create any HTML and PHP file structure to suit your needs.

Step 4: Configure MySQL

If you click on the phpMyAdmin menu option, you can start configuring your MySQL databases (which may be needed for a CMS like WordPress).

The phpMyAdmin login screen will open in a new browser window. By default, the admin username will be root, and you can leave the password field blank.

From there, you can create new MySQL databases and alter existing ones. Most software, like WordPress, will automatically set up a new database for you, though.

Step 5: Make the Site Public

By default, the Apache configuration file is set to deny any incoming HTTP connections, except in the case of someone coming from the localhost.

To make your site publicly accessible, you need to change the Apache configuration file (httpd.conf). You can find and edit this file by going to the WampServer menu, clicking “Apache,” and selecting “httpd.conf.”

1 2 Order Deny,Allow Deny from all

Replace the two lines above with the ones below:

1 2 Order Allow,Deny Allow from all

Restart all WampServer services by clicking “Restart all Services” in the menu.

The site should now be accessible from beyond your localhost. Confirm there isn’t a PC firewall blocking web requests. You may need to set up port-forwarding on your internet router as well.

Step 6: Using a Domain Name

To use a domain name, such as example.com, with your WAMP installation, we’ll need to configure some files first. Let’s assume our example.com domain has an A record in your DNS with the IP address 100.100.100.100.

First, we need to add the following line to the C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file:

1 100.100.100.100 example.com

Now, we need to edit httpd.conf again (accessible via the WampServer menu) to add a virtual host. Once that file is open, look for “Virtual hosts,” and uncomment the line after it, like this:

1 2 # Virtual hosts Include conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf

Now we need to add a file manually in “C:\wamp\bin\apache\Apache-VERSION\conf\extra\” (VERSION is your Apache version).

Then create a file in Notepad with the following content, and save it in that Apache directory.

1 2 3 4 5     ServerAdmin mail@example.com     DocumentRoot “c:\wamp\www”     ServerName mysite.local     ErrorLog “logs/example.com.log”     CustomLog “logs/example.com-access.log” common

Click “Restart All Services” in the WampServer menu to activate these changes.

Now your site should also be accessible via its domain name.

Linux: How to Host A Website on a Linux Machine

Let’s now cover how to set up Apache, MySQL, and PHP on a Linux system.

Step 1: Install Software

To start our LAMP software install, type the following in the terminal:

1 sudo apt install apache2 mysql-server php libapache2-mod-php7.0

During the installation process, you will be asked to enter (and re-enter) a password for the MySQL root user.

MySQL password memo

Have your MySQL root password handy during the LAMP installation process.

Technically, it’s not necessary (as it should have been done upon installation), but just to be sure, we will restart the Apache web server.

Any time you change the global configuration of Apache, you need to execute the command below, unless you do the configuration using local .htaccess files.

1 sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Step 2: Check PHP

To confirm your PHP server works and see what PHP modules are currently available, you can place a test PHP file in the web server root directory (/var/www/html/):

1 sudo echo “” > /var/www/html/info.php

We can now visit that PHP page by browsing to http://localhost/info.php.

You should see the currently running PHP version, current configuration, and currently installed modules. Note that you can later install other PHP modules using the Ubuntu package manager, as some PHP applications might require that.

To determine which extra modules are available, search within the graphical package manager, or simply use the command line:

1 apt search php | grep module

Step 3: Check MySQL

As most CMS systems (e.g., WordPress) use MySQL, we will also look at that part.

To see if your MySQL installation is working, type “service mysql status.”

1 2 3 4 5 $ service mysql status   ● mysql.service – MySQL Community Server […] mrt 15 13:24:09 host1 systemd[1]: Started MySQL Community Server.

We see that MySQL is up and running. If you don’t see this, you can type “sudo service mysql restart” to restart the MySQL server.

From here, we can use the MySQL command line client to manage databases.

For this, we need to use the admin credentials we typed earlier when MySQL was installed.

1 2 3 $ mysql -u root -p   [now you will be asked for our admin password and enter the mysql prompt]

From here, we can do anything we want with MySQL, e.g., create a new database:

1 2 CREATE DATABASE test; USE test;

Often times, the CMS will automatically create the database for you, but sometimes you need to do something to the database manually (e.g., create a backup or optimize tables).

PHPMyAdmin is a friendly database management tool most web experts will recommend.

You can install PHPmyadmin by typing the following into the terminal:

1 sudo apt install phpmyadmin

Finally, configure the /etc/phpmyadmin/config.inc.php file using the steps described here.

Step 4: Configure DNS

To use your own domain (e.g., example.com) for your local web server, you’ll need to configure Apache to accept web requests for your domain.

First, make sure your domain’s DNS has an A record (which points to a specific IP address) for your domain name, e.g., www.example.com. Your DNS hosting provider will have online tools to correctly set up these DNS records.

Once that is done, you should be able to see something like this using the dig tool. To request the A record for www.example.com, type:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 $ dig www.example.com A   ;; ANSWER SECTION: www.example.com.  86400 IN  A 100.100.100.100   ;; AUTHORITY SECTION: example.com.    86398 IN  NS  a.iana-servers.net. example.com.    86398 IN  NS  b.iana-servers.net.

Here, a web link for http://www.example.com would be directed to the server with IP address 100.100.100.100.

Step 5: Configure Apache

Now we need to tell Apache to accept web requests for our name www.example.com and from what directory to serve content when we get those requests.

First, we set up a directory for our example.com domain, then we create an example index.html file, and finally, we set some filesystem permissions:

1 2 3 4 5 sudo mkdir -p /var/www/html/example.com   sudo sh -c ‘echo “<title>example.com</title><h1>This is my self-hosted site example.com</h1>” > /var/www/html/example.com/index.html   sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/example.com

To see this page, the last step is to set up a Virtual Host file for Apache for our domain.

1 sudo cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/example.com.conf
1 sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/example.com.conf

Now edit the file to look like this (the optional comments are not shown here):

1 2 3 4 5 6     ServerAdmin admin@example.com     ServerName example.com     ServerAlias www.example.com     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/example.com     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

Now reconfigure and reload Apache for the changes to take effect:

1 2 sudo a2ensite example.com.conf sudo service apache2 reload

Edit your local /etc/hosts file by adding a line with your IP address and domain name. Be sure to change the “100.100.100.100” to match the IP address of your domain:

1 100.100.100.100 example.com

We should now be able to visit our self-hosted site by going to http://www.example.com.

Step 5: Install Your CMS System of Choice

You can install a CMS platform of your choice — popular options being WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal — either manually or by using the package management of Ubuntu.

Why We Say Hosting a Website Yourself is a Bad Idea (1 Pro, 4 Cons)

So we’ve covered that it’s doable — but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Let’s look at the pros and cons.

The Up Side (1)

The upshot: Setting up your own website and its hosting is not just a highly educational experience but it’s rather fun to execute. It’s a geeky project, sure, but if you’re reading this, you probably fall into the category of folks who would call that fun. So there.

Once you’ve done it, you will have the power to make any system changes you desire. A lot of folks have gone from learning to host a site locally to learning more about programming, web design, and online commerce. The experience is the biggest draw.

The Downsides (4)

Unfortunately, there are still quite significant downsides to self-hosting your website:

  1. You’ll experience slow connections compared to professional hosts. Your ISP upload speed is likely much slower than your download speed, so serving content to your website visitors will be very slow, too.
  2. You have to deal with an ever-changing (dynamic) IP address. Though there are DNS configuration tools to help with this somewhat, this can potentially cause problems at any time.
  3. It costs a lot of electricity and you’ll run into power outages often.
  4. You’re responsible for hardware and software maintenance.

So you can see why we highly encourage investing in a quality web host for your site or application. And we have you covered there, too. Take a look at the types of hosting available to see what hosting options are out there and within your budget.

Alternatives to Hosting a Website From Home

Instead of trying to host a website locally, you can go through a hosting provider and manage the servers yourself. Dedicated or VPS options are a much more cost-effective means of taking physical ownership of your web presence.

Best Dedicated Servers

The perks to dedicated hosting include as much RAM and processing power as you want, complete isolation so a neighboring website’s demise won’t bring down your own, and the best uptime and performance stats money can buy — and we’re not talking a boatload of money. While dedicated servers are the priciest of the server types, they’re a dream when compared to the costs of hosting a website yourself. Below are a few top-recommended dedicated server plans

Best VPS Hosting

You could also host with a VPS instead. The primary advantage here is scalability — and the fact that you can scale up resources only as you need them, making it cost-efficient, too. You get maximum flexibility, whether you choose a managed service or opt to handle server configurations and maintenance yourself.

HostingAdvice runs on virtual servers, and we manage them all in house, which gives us utmost control over server resources and performance. Check out reviews of the VPS providers we recommend if this alternative sounds up your alley:

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Adata XPG Spectrix D41 RGB Value At DDR4-3600 review

data has finally established itself as a performance-value brand in the U.S. by assuming the lead in recent performance memory price drops with its RGB-enhanced D41 DDR4-3600 kit, which is priced well below that of recent competitors. This isn’t the best DDR4-3600 that any amount of money can buy, but it may be the best DDR4-3600 many builders can afford.

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Lenovo Release Intel Cascade Lake Xeon CPU processor Lineup

Even though we’ve finally got word from Intel about Cascade Lake server processors, the release schedule for Cascade Lake-X is kind of a mess.

There are some Cascade Lake Xeon processors hitting the street today. Intel has released, the Xeon E-2100 line processors, aimed at small businesses, with up to 6 cores. Intel also hinted at up to 48-core server-grade Cascade Lake processors hitting the market in early 2019, according to a report from Ars Technica. We can’t wait to see what those higher-end chips can do.

That’s all we know for now, but something tells us that there will be much more to Cascade Lake over the next few months, so stay tuned for all your Cascade Lake release date information.

 

 

Coincidence or not, Intel made two processor announcements one day ahead of AMD’s Next Horizon event. The Santa Clara chipmaker disclosed its intentions to expand the Xeon family of processors with the upcoming Cascade Lake-AP (Advanced Performance) and Xeon E-2100 entry-level processors.

Intel also recently announced its Cascade Lake-SP (Scalable Performance) processors, but its announcement had very little technical information. The company also kept quiet about the planned models. Intel probably won’t reveal those specifics until the official launch, which is supposed to be at the end of the year. However, Lenovo did the work for Intel and listed the entire Cascade Lake lineup with detailed specifications.

 

Lenovo’s listing includes up to 39 different models from the Xeon Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum product lines. Curiously, Intel’s confirmed 48-core Cascade Lake-AP monster wasn’t among the processors listed. It’s a good indication that the 48-core part isn’t ready yet, and Intel is probably still putting the final touches on the chip. Cascade Lake-AP is expected to come out sometime in the first half of 2019.

Intel Cascade Lake Xeon Platinum Processors

Model Cores
Base Clock TDP
Intel Xeon Platinum 8280M 28 2.7 GHz 205W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8280L 28 2.7 GHz 205W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 28 2.7 GHz 205W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8276M 28 2.3 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8276L 28 2.3 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8276 28 2.3 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8270 26 2.6 GHz 205W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8268 24 2.9 GHz 205W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8260M 24 2.4 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8260L 24 2.4 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8260 24 2.4 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8260C 24 / 20 / 16 2.4 GHz / 2.6 GHz / 2.8 GHz 165W

Intel Cascade Lake Xeon Gold Processors

Model Core
Base Clock TDP
Intel Xeon Gold 6252 24 2.1 GHz 150W
Intel Xeon Gold 6238T 22 2.0 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 6248 20 2.6 GHz 150W
Intel Xeon Gold 6230 20 2.1 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 6254 18 3.2 GHz 200W
Intel Xeon Gold 6240 18 2.6 GHz 150W
Intel Xeon Gold 6240C 18 / 14 / 8 2.6 GHz / 2.8 GHz / 3.1 GHz 150W
Intel Xeon Gold 5250 18 2.9 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 6242 16 2.8 GHz 150W
Intel Xeon Gold 5218 16 2.3 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 5128T 16 2.2 GHz 105W
Intel Xeon Gold 5117 14 2.0 GHz 105W
Intel Xeon Gold 5215M 10 2.6 GHz 85W
Intel Xeon Gold 5215L 10 2.6 GHz 85W
Intel Xeon Gold 5215 10 2.6 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 6244 8 3.7 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Gold 5217M 8 3.0 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 5217L 8 3.0 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 5217 8 3.0 GHz 85W

Intel Cascade Lake Xeon Silver Processors

Model Cores
Base Clock TDP
Intel Xeon Silver 4216 16 2.2 GHz 100W
Intel Xeon Silver 4214 12 2.2 GHz 85W
Intel Xeon Silver 4214C 12 / 10 /8 2.1 GHz /2.2 GHz / 2.3 GHz 105W
Intel Xeon Silver 4210 10 2.2 GHz 85W
Intel Xeon Silver 4215 8 2.5 GHz 85W
Intel Xeon Silver 4209T 8 2.2 GHz 70W
Intel Xeon Silver 4208 8 2.1 GHz 85W

Intel Cascade Lake Xeon Bronze Processors

Model Cores
Base Clock TDP
Intel Xeon Bronze 3204 6 1.9 GHz 85W
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AMD Ryzen 7 2700X vs Intel Core i7-9700K processor Which CPU Is Badass ?

Both AMD and Intel have compelling consumer CPU platforms. In a previous article, we compared AMD’s second-generation Ryzen against Intel’s new 9th generation Core processors to see which platform deserves to capture your hard-earned money. Looking at the company lineups as a whole, we concluded that Intel’s Core i9-9900K is the fastest consumer-class CPU available for almost anything.

However, many people—even enthusiast gamers—can’t justify spending $499 (£432.59) on their processor. Presumably, most people shopping for a higher-end consumer CPU would be more inclined to consider a less-expensive option than a Core i9-9900K, like Intel’s Core i7-9700K or AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X.

To help you choose, we put the two popular processors through a seven-round face-off, based on their features, overclocking, coolers, motherboards, performance and value.

Features

AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X is an eight-core 16-thread 3.7 GHz processor, with a top stock Precision Boost speed of 4.3 GHz and a 105W TDP. It is AMD’s top-of-the-line second-generation Ryzen processor.

AMD’s second-generations Zen architecture features support for DDR4-2933 memory, whereas first-generation Ryzen platform officially supports DDR4-2667. The new architecture also includes improvements to AMD’s SensMI suite, which dynamically adjusts the performance of the CPU to ensure maximum performance efficiency.

SenseMI consists of five components: Pure Power monitors temperatures, voltages and currents, and adjusts the power delivery in real time to limit power usage; Precision Boost dynamically adjusts the CPU’s frequency in 25MHz increments to match the performance needs of the current task; XFR (eXtended Frequency Range) works with Precision Boost to unlock a higher clock ceiling if ample cooling is detected.

The Ryzen 7 2700X features AMD’s second-generation Precision Boost 2, which can address core clocks individually, and it includes XFR2 technology, which now unlocks up to 7 percent more headroom.

  Intel Core i7-9700K AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
Architecture Coffee Lake Zen+
Socket 1151 AM4
Cores / Threads 8/8 8/16
Base Frequency (GHz) 3.6 3.7
Boost Frequency
(Active Cores – GHz)
1 Core  –  4.9
2 Cores – 4.8
4 Cores – 4.7
8 Cores – 4.6
4.3GHz
L3 Cache 12MB 16MB
Process 14nm++ 12nm
TDP 95W 105W
Memory Speed DDR4-2666 DDR4-2933 (single rank)
DDR4-2677 (dual rank)
Memory Controller Dual-Channel Dual-Channel
Integrated UHD Graphics GT2
(Base/Boost MHz)
350 / 1200 no iGPU
Recommended Customer Pricing $374 – $385 $329

After trailing AMD’s eight-core 16-thread Ryzen CPUs in core count for a couple of generations, Intel gave its Core i7 and Core i9 9th generation CPUs the same eight physical cores. Unfortunately, the new Core i7-9700K doesn’t support Hyperthreading (that technology went to the new i9-9900K only), which means that it has half as many threads as its AMD competitor.

The Core i7-9700K features a base frequency of 3.6 GHz, which can reach a boost clock of 4.9 GHz in single threaded applications, 4.8GHz across two cores, or 4.7GHz across four cores, and 4.6GHz on all eight cores. Intel’s 9th Generation Core architecture supports DDR4-2666 memory speeds, which is somewhat lower than the new Ryzen platform. Although, you should have no trouble running much faster memory. We ran DDR4-3466 for our review of the i7-9700K.

Base
1 Core
2 Cores
3 Cores
4 Cores
5 Cores
6 Cores
7 Cores
8 Cores
Core i7-9700K (GHz)
3.6 4.9 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6
Ryzen 7 2700X (GHz) 3.7 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3

Intel’s 9th generation Core processors now also feature solder-based thermal interface material (STIM), which in theory should improve heat dissipation. The improved thermal interface doesn’t enable much extra headroom for overclocking, but it allowed Intel to add two extra cores without deploying a smaller manufacturing process. These new chips are built on the same 14nm++ manufacturing process as the 8th generation CPUs.

Winner: AMD. In a matchup between the Core i7-9700K and the Ryzen 7 2700X, we have to give AMD the slight edge because both platforms offer dynamic core clock adjustments, but Ryzen features eight cores and 16 threads, whereas Intel’s i7 doesn’t offer thread doubling like AMD.

Motherboard Options

Intel’s 9th generation Core processors share the Intel 300-Series chipsets with the 8th generation processors, which means you have several possible motherboard options to pair with a Core i7-9700K.

Intel’s H310 is the company’s budget-class 300-series chipset. It technically supports the top-tier Core i9-9900K, but it forgoes features such as Optane memory support, PCIe 3.0, and more than two DIMMS for memory to keep the costs down. The Intel B360, H370, and Q370 chipsets offer varying features for different situations, but you shouldn’t even consider those options with the Core i7-9700K, because none of them let you overclock.

Intel doesn’t allow you to overclock your processor unless you have a motherboard equipped with one of Intel’s top-tier Z-series chipsets. The Z370 (with the latest BIOS installed) supports the new Core i7-9700K, but the new Z390 chipset offers additional features such as native USB 3.1 Gen2 ports and integrated Wireless-AC 2×2 160 MHz WiFi hardware.

AMD also offers a wide selection of chipset options for different use cases. The A300 and A330 chipsets are meant for budget-minded consumers who require just the bare minimum. The B350 and B450 chipsets are performance-oriented options that don’t support multi-GPU configurations. And the X370 and X470 are the high-performance options with all the bells and whistles, including support for dual-graphics card configurations.

AMD doesn’t limit overclocking to the top-of-the-line hardware, though. Every Ryzen processor comes unlocked from the factory, and you can overclock them with any motherboard with any chipset, save the lowest-end A320. However, we wouldn’t expect to see the same kind of performance gains as you would with an enthusiast-grade X470 motherboard.

Winner: AMD offers the better platform for motherboard choice. Intel’s options are restrictive and somewhat elitist, which arbitrarily raises the entry costs for Intel-based setups.

MORE: AMD Ryzen 2 vs. Intel 9th Gen Core: Which CPU Deserves Your Money?

MORE: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2 vs. Intel Skylake-X: Battle of the High-End CPUs

Overclocking Potential

Intel and AMD both support overclocking, but each company has a different philosophy about the practice. All AMD Ryzen processors come unlocked from the factory, which means you can take the cheapest Ryzen CPU and push it to new limits. Intel, on the other hand, restricts overclocking to the expensive K-variants of its CPU lineup.

AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X features a base frequency of 3.7 GHz, and we managed to get another 500MHz out of our sample before hitting the voltage limitations. Intel’s Core i7-9700K starts at a lower base frequency of 3.6 GHz, but it’s not uncommon to hit 5GHz or more on all eight cores.

More importantly, overclocking an Intel CPU nets a substantial performance increase in most tasks, whereas overclocking a Ryzen CPU doesn’t offer much in the way of noticeble performance gains because AMD’s Precision Boost 2 technology already dynamically pushes the CPU to its performance limits, provided you have a capable motherboard and cooler.

Winner: Intel. With higher maximum clock speeds and more performance gains, an Intel Core i7-9700K offers better overlocking potential.

Cooling Solutions

AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X includes the company’s top-of-the-line “Wraith Prism” cooler, which features four copper heat pipes and a downward firing fan. The Wraith Prism also offers two modes; “L” mode is rated for 116w and operates at 2800 RPM, and “H” mode can dissipate 124w of heat and operates at 3600 RPM. And for the RGB fans out there, the Wraith Prism also features three RGB zones which you can control independently.

The Wraith Prism isn’t the most powerful cooler available, but it certainly gets the job done. In our tests, the cooler kept all eight cores of the Ryzen 7 2700X below 83°C even under our most extreme load tests. Most workloads don’t push your CPU to its limits like our stress tests, so you would likely see somewhat lower average temperatures. You could even manage a moderate overclock on the stock cooler.

However, the Wraith Prism’s performance comes at the expense of sound. AMD said the cooler should produce approximately 39 dB of noise, which is true at idle. But under full load, we recorded 44 dB coming from the bundled heatsink solution.

The extra noise that the Wraith Prism produces isn’t enough to knock it off the podium in this matchup, though. Intel doesn’t even offer a stock cooler for the Core i7-9700K, which means you must factor in the cost of a cooler when budgeting.

Winner: AMD, without question. Although, you should consider an aftermarket cooler if you wish to overclock your CPU to its fullest.

Gaming Performance

If raw gaming performance is what you’re after, the choice is abundantly clear: Intel’s Core i7-9700K tramples the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X in almost every game we tested. And in several cases, the i7 with stock clock speeds outpaced our overclocked Ryzen

 

, but the Ryzen CPU doesn’t compete on the same level as Intel’s latest offerings. In fact, Intel’s Core i5-9600K often outperforms the Ryzen 7 2700X in our game lineup.

That said, the Ryzen 7 2700X still falls within the upper range of the best gaming CPUs that we’ve tested over the years. And keep in mind that once you start raising your gaming resolutions above 1080p, these performance difference tend to shrink as the GPU becomes the bottleneck. When gaming at 4K with the same high-end graphics card, frame rates between the Intel and AMD CPUs here tends to be about the same.

Winner: Intel. Intel’s Core i7-9700K is the best overall gaming CPU. The i9-9900K may outperform it in some cases, but the extra costs overshadow the small performance delta. AMD’s CPUs aren’t as competitive at the highest level of gaming performance.

Productivity Performance

The battle between Intel’s Core i7-9700K and AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X gets much more interesting when you factor productivity into the equation. AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X is better at certain tasks, such as rendering with Cinebench and Blender and compressing files with 7-Zip. However, some tasks, such as encoding with Lame or Handbrake, run faster on Intel’s Core i7-9700K.

Intel’s latest CPUs also favor

inner: Tie. Both Intel’s Core i7-9700K and AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X offer ample performance for day-to-day productivity work. AMD’s higher number of threads give it in the advantage in some applications, while Intel’s higher clock speeds help in others.

Value Proposition

While its true that Intel’s Core i7-9700K offers more raw performance than AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X, AMD’s chip offers the better value overall because of its dramatically lower price. When you factor in the cost of a motherboard and cooler, a PC based on Intel’s Core i7-9700K can easily cost $130 more than a system equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X ($329/£299.99). For most consumers, the extra performance you get with the i7-9700K isn’t worth the money.

Intel’s Core i7-9700K currently carries an MSRP of $385 (if you can find one), but these chips are in short supply and are currently selling for closer to $420 (£499 in the UK) and you need a Z370 or Z390 motherboard to go with it to unlock the CPU’s true potential.

AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X is much cheaper, and these CPUs have been available for a while, so you shouldn’t have trouble getting one at a reasonable price. At press time, we found the 2700X selling for as low as $295 in the U.S. and £295.99 in the UK.  What’s more, AMD’s decision to enable overclocking on most chipsets means that you can pick up a compatible motherboard for well under $100, or £80. We even found a couple of B350 boards for under $60 in the U.S. and under £50 in the UK. You can expect to pay $100 and up for a Z370 motherboard in the U.S. and usually more than £90 in the UK.

Winner: AMD. The Ryzen 7 2700X offers much better performance for the money, especially when you factor in the cost of a cooler and motherboard.

The Bottom Line

Intel’s Core i7-9700K excels in two areas that AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X can’t touch: raw gaming performance in games and overclocking potential. If you’re after the absolute highest frame rates in your games, then the choice is clear: The i7-9700K is stronger in most games than a Ryzen 7 2700X. And if eking out the most performance by overclocking is important, you should stick with Intel’s platform.

However, Intel’s hardware comes with a hefty price premium. Not only is the CPU quite a bit more expensive than AMD’s option, the Z370 and Z390 motherboards that you need for overclocking are also costlier than AMD’s alternatives. And to top it off, you also need an aftermarket cooler for the i7 processor, which widens the price gap even further. And, as of this writing, Intel’s new processors are in short supply, so if you manage to find one, you’ll probably pay significantly more than the MSRP for it.

AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X is a much more reasonable option for most people. With its eight cores and 16 threads, it should have no trouble crunching through any task you throw at it, including video rendering, audio encoding, image editing, file compression, and modern gaming. Intel’s chip is faster in some tasks, but we’d rather run AMD’s platform and spend the extra $100 (£80) or more on other components than brag about a few extra FPS in our favorite games.

Overall Winner: AMD

Round Intel Core i7-9700K AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
Features
Overclocking
Stock Coolers
Motherboards
Gaming Performance
Productivity Performance
Value
Total 3 5
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Deepcool Gamer Storm New Ark 90 Best Review it Design Favors Looks Over Function

Elegant. That’s the first thing that comes to mind upon seeing Deepcool’s New Ark 90 case. The next thing is probably ‘fingerprint magnet,’ but that’s expected from any chassis with multiple tempered glass panels. The most unique aspect of this case chassis is its built-in 280mm all-in-one cooler. The downside is integrated cooling significantly increases the cost of an already expensive case and severely limits your cooling options when it’s time to upgrade.

Specifications

Type Mid-Tower ATX
Motherboard Support Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX (E-ATX support up to 12 x 10.7 inches)
Dimensions (HxWxD) 21.5 x 9.1 x 20.9 inches (545.5 x 232 x 530mm)
Space Above Motherboard 3 inches (78mm)
Card Length Horizontal: 12.2 inches (310mm), Vertical: 25.75 inches (400mm)
CPU Cooler Height 7.4 inches (186mm)
Power Supply Format Standard ATX PS2-style PSU
Weight 31.8 lbs (14.4kg)
External Bays
Internal Bays 3x 3.5 inches
3x 2.5 inches (+ 3 convertible for a total of 6)
Card Slots 8 + 2 vertical
Ports/Jacks 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB, 1x audio jack, 1x mic jack, 1x fan speed switch
Other Integrated 280mm all-in-one cooling
Front Fans ✗ (Up to 3x 120mm)
Rear Fans 1x 140mm
Top Fans ✗ (Up to 3x 120mm)
Bottom Fans
Side Fans 3x 140mm on all-in-one cooler
Dampening
Warranty 3 year, limited

The chassis’ built-in all-in-one cooler means you are giving up your choice of CPU cooler. Less obvious is that because the cooler is integrated into the chassis, you can’t easily swap out the all-in-one cooler for a different brand / style without possessing above average modding skills and a significant amount of effort. Put it this way: if the cooler fails for any reason, it is almost easier to swap out the entire case than to put in a new cooler.

Exterior

There are tempered glass panels on the top, front and side of the New Ark 90. Constructed of steel painted black inside and out, it measures 530 x 232 x 545mm (L x W x H) and weighs in at a rather hefty 31.6lbs. Overall, this is a very attractive case.

The top of the chassis is divided into two sections with a half-inch wide metal mesh area for ventilation between the two sections. The tempered glass panel covers roughly three-quarters the width of the top of the case. The remaining quarter is made of steel and is home to a pair of USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, an HDD LED, an LED controller button and power and reset buttons. Directly below the top panel are mounting locations for three 120mm fans.

The front of the chassis mimics the look of the top panel with a tempered glass panel on one side and a metal panel on the other. Nestled into the half-inch ventilation channel separating the two panels is an RGB-lit vertical tube that spans from the top to the bottom of the front of the case. This tube also acts as a flow indicator.

The full-coverage tempered glass side panel is darkly tinted and held in place by rubber-coated locating pins and thumbscrews. The opposite side panel is stamped steel and features ventilation holes that cover an 18 x 6-inch area at the panel’s leading edge. Oddly, this chassis is designed in such a way that these large vent holes actually exhaust hot air from inside the case. We will talk about that later in this review.

In the rear, you’ll find an opening for a bottom-mounted PSU, seven expansion card slots, a standard motherboard I/O area and an exhaust fan mounting location equipped with a 140mm fan.

On the bottom are two 6-inch plastic mesh filters. One is removable from the front, the other from the rear. The four square, rubber-coated feet elevate the case approximately 0.25 inch.

The fan filtration system is almost non-existent. The entire front and top and side of this chassis is unfiltered. In fact, the two bottom filters are the only ones. Considering that the rear filter covering the PSU measures just 6-inches-long, servicing it shouldn’t be an issue. But the overall lack of filters is unacceptable in a $300 chassis. The vent holes in the steel side panel directly behind the integrated all-in-one cooler also lack any form of filtration.

There seems to be a some serious oversights in regards to this case’s ventilation system. The fans mounted to the all-in-one cooler force the warm air inside of the chassis through the radiator before exiting the case through the vent holes in the side panel. If you flip the fans to draw cool air in, you lose the majority of the fans’ RGB lighting effects.

Ideally, it would have been best to have the all-in-one cooler fans pulling colder outside air into the chassis where it can be vented out the rear. Adding insult to injury, these issues could have been avoided simply by installing the integrated cooler in the fan mounting locations in the front of the chassis.