Question New Build: Mobo Installation Question and Initial Startup

Jul 15, 2019
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I'm expecting the final shipment of parts for my new build this afternoon. My current computer is more than nine years old, so it's been a while since I've done a build.

For reference:

CPU: Ryzen 3600
Mobo: MSI X570 Gaming Plus
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 3600 (2X8GB)
SSD: 1TB M.2 Patriot Viper VP100
HDD: 2TB Seagate FireCuda
PSU: Antec HCG750 Gold (rebadged Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 750)
GPU: Gigabyte NVidia 1050 OC (already in use for a month in my current computer)
Case: be quiet Pure Base 600

First, the case has only 8 standoffs for mobo screws. Instead of a standoff in the center of the ATX board, there's a pin. That makes some sense, as it would seem to make it easier to align the motherboard properly when installing it. Once the pin is in the hole, it's just a matter of rotating the motherboard until all the holes line up with the standoffs.

The problem is this particular motherboard uses that center hole to mount an M.2 heatsink. That shouldn't matter for me, as the SSD has its own heatsink. I'm not using the mobo heatsink, which won't even fit over it. But should I remove the pin anyway and install a standoff and screw? (I have a few of those left over from previous builds.)

1. If the build is successful, I assume I'll see some sort of splash screen from the BIOS? Since there would be no bootable media, I assume I'll have to press DEL when I see that splash screen, or else POST will fail with the "Boot" LED? I've bought a little speaker for easier testing, but the manual doesn't specify any beep codes.

2. I will partition and set up the (non-bootable) hard drive with my current system, and copy all the non-system data to it so everything will be there once I've installed Windows. I know that when installing Windows 10, only the SSD to which Windows will be installed should be present. But would it be a good idea to install the hard drive for that initial startup to be sure the BIOS can see it (and unplug it before installing Windows)?

3. After the BIOS comes up, I next plan to boot a thumb drive with MemTest to verify the RAM before I try to install Windows. The RAM is 3600MHz. Should I first adjust the RAM setting in the BIOS to run at that speed? Or run MemTest at whatever setting the BIOS defaults to, set it to 3600MHz, and run it again?

4. There has been one BIOS update so far for the X570 Gaming Plus, released on July 2. If the mobo doesn't ship with the latest version, at what point should I flash the BIOS?
 

ConanLock

Commendable
May 22, 2019
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It isn't necessary to use every standoff. As long as the motherboard isn't touching the case, it's alright.

With no bootable media, the only thing you can do is mess around in the BIOS. You will have to press the BIOS button (del, f12, etc) when prompted. If you get to the point where it tells you there is no bootable media, ctrl+alt+del should restart the PC, otherwise just hold the power button down then turn the system back on.

It doesn't really matter whether the HDD is in beforehand or not. If it works in your current system, it will almost be guaranteed to work in your new one. Windows and the BIOS will ultimately recognise it either if you try it before installing Windows, or after doing so.

You should enable the RAM to run at its full speed before running Memtest. This ensures the RAM is stable at the speed it is advertised at, and not just at slower default speeds.

You should typically only update the BIOS when something to do with it isn't working, or when you want a new feature included in the update.
 
Jul 15, 2019
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Thanks!

You should typically only update the BIOS when something to do with it isn't working, or when you want a new feature included in the update.
I know that would normally be the case. But the CPU is a Ryzen 3600.

AMD unfortunately released the Ryzen 3000 family with incomplete, essentially beta AGESA and BIOS support. Anyone who buys one now is paying full retail price for the privilege of volunteering as a quality-assurance tester for AMD's product. The premature release is surely a good deal for the marketeers, executives, and shareholders, but not so much for users who aren't quite so eager to serve as unpaid testers for AMD.

Thus, every BIOS update a motherboard manufacturer releases incorporates all that volunteer effort customers paid to donate, with improvements that bring it closer to the production-release product AMD should have provided when they put the CPUs on the market. (That's why I bought an X570 -based motherboard, even though a B450 would have served my needs just as well at a lower cost. The X570 was designed for the Ryzen 3000, and supposedly runs it straight out of the box. Getting it to run on an older motherboard involves more effort, peril, and gambling.)

With that in mind, should I flash the BIOS during the initial startup or wait until I've installed Windows?
 

ConanLock

Commendable
May 22, 2019
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I believe some x570 boards are already being shipped with newer and more stable BIOS updates, so if yours is one of these then it might already be on the newest revision. What you should keep in mind is that if a lack of full stability causes the system to crash during Windows installation, nothing will actually be physically damaged, and you only have to restart the installation.
However, if BIOS update is released to address existing stability issues, I think it would be a good idea to install these beforehand, just to avoid the potential frustration later down the line. If this is your first time updating the BIOS on MSI, be sure to follow the instructions they made carefully. They have also released lots of videos on YouTube to show how to do it.
 

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