Description

This is my current gaming & Photoshop rig, which I built in Q4 of 2019 from parts I almost exclusively purchased from MicroCenter in Tustin, CA and Newegg in City of Industry, CA. It was originally an upgrade over my Intel Core i7-6700 + GTX 1080 machine.

My Acer Predator XB271HU was a gift from my late neighbor, Frank, who passed away this past Fall. It's the crown jewel of this build and why it's named the Franken Predator. I'm deeply thankful for his 30+ years of friendship, mentorship, and I'll remember/miss him every time I boot up this machine.

The CPU + motherboard selection was part bargain ($50 combo discount at MicroCenter) and partially predicting poor scaling PC ports from next-gen 8-core consoles. This is the first AMD CPU I've run in my daily driver since 2008 (Athlon X2 5200 "Brisbane" days). My last 3 builds were ASRock boards, so it was a natural choice to get another. Already familiar with their UEFI and cant complain about their ongoing support. Decided to stick with the Wraith Prism for CPU cooling as it's more than adequate and I consider it a significant value add when bundled with the CPU. Then there's the fact that it just looks good!

Memory was originally G.Skill DDR4-3200 CL16 taken from my Skylake build, but I've since upgraded to Patriot Viper DDR4-3600 CL17 (Hynix CJR dies) and tightened the timings down to 16-19-20-36-56 with the help of the Ryzen DRAM calculator and Thaiphoon.

The video card was originally a Gigabyte GTX 1080 ITX that I took from my Skylake build. Then in October I sold it for $380 and bought an open box reference Gigabyte RX 5700 XT for $360 from MicroCenter! This was the first and only time I've ever actually made a profit on an upgrade. A few weeks after that, I moved the 5700 XT to my wife's PC and upgraded again to an open box Zotac RTX 2070 Super for $450. I had some ebay bucks and a free Corsair H50 lying around, so I used that to get a NZXT Kraken G12 for next to nothing, and water cooled the RTX 2070 Super. Dropped my load tempatures from 81C to 50C.

The Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX-TG was a very deliberate choice. I had the steel version of this case for my Skylake build and I loved the ease of use, accessories, and fans that came with it. Unfortunately, Phanteks skimped on the TG version of the case by not including the 200mm front intake fan, among other cost cutting measures (e.g. screws and accessories). Luckily, I had a spare Phanteks 200mm intake fan from a RMA, so I didn't pay anything out of pocket for that.

The Seasonic Prime Ultra PSU was a bargain too good to pass up. Grabbed it during a Newegg sale for $80 after an instant coupon, and got a $20 rebate VISA card a couple months after. So all in, $60 for this PSU is just bonkers. It has a hybrid fan mode for quiet operation during low power draw states, which is basically any time I'm not gaming.

Lastly, most of the storage was taken from my Skylake build as well. I boot off the Crucial P1 and run most of my games off the variety of SSDs. If I could do it over again, I probably would have waited for the Inland Premium NVMe drive as I ended up spending basically the same amount on a QLC NVMe drive, which is vastly inferior to the Inland Premium TLC + Phison E12. Overall, I'll never notice the difference anyway with my workloads, so it's no dirt off my shoulder.

So how does it perform? Well I can basically max out any game at 2560x1440 and find myself using 120% DSR in a few games to sharpen the image a little more while maintaining 90+ fps. Currently playing Witcher 3, Destiny 2, and dabble in Total War: WARHAMMER 2, FarCry 5, and a few other games. I do occasional rendering in Photoshop and found that my 3D raytracing renders take about half as long to render on my Ryzen 3700X compared to the i7-6700. Very happy with this build and it's great to have the AMD powerhouse back!

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Comments

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Nice build - I'm looking at a simlar setup - what the noise like from a system like this?

  • 21 days ago
  • 2 points

Prior to the stock Zotac RTX 2070S, the Wraith Prism was the noisiest part of the system. Considering the Zotac RTX 2070S Twin fan did not have a 0db idle mode, modding it with the NZXT G12 did wonders for the thermal and noise performance. Now the only thing that is really audible is the Wraith Prism, but it's adequate and a great boon considering it's "free." Overall it's still relatively quiet and if I can get my hands on a cheap D15, Assassin III, or Dark Rock 4/DRP4, I'd go for it.