Designed with 4K and RAW video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC and DaVinci Resolve, for video media from most cameras. At date of build, the i9-9900K had the highest performance scores in at least PrPro compared to other competing processors (Ryzen (except for R3D media), and Intel X series) according to Puget Systems' benchmarks & hardware tests. I also use it for Photoshop, Lightroom and Bridge.
The other priorities were quiet/low-noise, and ability to overclock in the future. There are no drives included in this build because I already owned a 480 GB SSD and 2 x HDDs (1x2TB; 1x4TB).
The Fractal Define R6 (without tempered glass) is insanely silent in its default configuration. As soon as you remove some of the panels or open the door, you can hear noise gush out, proving how effective it is at trapping it in. When I power the machine on in the morning, I sometimes am not sure if it is actually on, if it weren't for the LED, it's that silent.
It was my first build in about six years so basic tasks like seating the motherboard, installing the AIO cooler and placement of fans took several tries. Build time was 6-8 hours. The thermal paste on the CPU needs to be redone because I lifted up the AIO cooler a few times to adjust its placement and smudged the paste.
No overclocking performed yet. Temperatures are fairly cool. CPU idles at 33C, GPU at 40C. No benchmarking or heavy load, although while doing some rendering using PrPro/Media Encoder I saw the CPU hit 55C.
I recommend this build or with similar parts to someone interested in:
- Best possible performance from Premiere Pro without stepping up to thousand-dollar Intel X series CPUs
- No super heavy gaming but still need for GPU-accelerated CUDA tasks or 3D rendering
- A quiet machine
It could be improved by:
- Including an M.2 NVMe SSD, high write/read speeds to use to store your current projects on and make previews much faster
- Including a higher performance GPU (GTX 1080 Ti, RTX 2080 Ti, or even Quadro lol) that has a higher amount of VRAM
- Jumping to 64 GB RAM to improve the amount of video layers or effects rendering that you might throw at it
Larger than you think. Easy to install fans on either side of the radiator. Don't peel off the plastic case around the CPU mount until you are ready to expose the thermal paste. If first time, practice positioning the mount, the radiator and all cabling while the plastic case is on.
I think its USB connection via a mini or micro USB port is kind of clunky and awkwardly bends at a right angle, but I will never look at it, as my case is closed up with no windows, and at the time of writing am not even making use of Corsair's cooling software.
Easy to access SATA ports. Well designed layout. Two USB3.1 headers, so you can add some other type of device that might use them (like an internal card reader). Not yet tested its overclocking features. If you are going for a budget and need to trim down on costs, open up the specs page for this Extreme4 and ASRock's Pro4 side by side in your browser, go section by section, and determine if you really need the Extreme4.
At the time of purchase, this was the best value: highest MHz speed versus price, and available in 2x sticks so that you still have space to upgrade to 64 GB with the remaining two slots. Comes in a pack without blue-coloured ESD-safe plastic bag, not sure if necessary but might seems like cost cutting I suppose. Runs fine and haven't encountered any issues so far.
You may be able to save money by choosing a lower speed set of sticks. Not a lot of testing has been done by Puget to determine if RAM speed has a performance improvement for Premiere Pro or other apps (that I have seen).
Not a lot to comment on yet. There's no DVI port so make sure you have a HDMI or DisplayPort cable.
Excellent design and extremely quiet. Lots of room for customisation and ability to remove parts. Manual explains clearly how to remove things. HDDs and SSDs all require screws to mount them to their trays, which is less convenient than cases I've had in the past which have toolless installation and easily swappable trays. If you get the USB-C version, make sure your motherboard also has an appropriate header for that, otherwise save money and skip it. Only space for 1 x 5.25" drive bay, which is one less than offered by the Define R5. If you fill this bay with an ODD, expect that cable management is going to become tighter in the top corner, and will require more thought. The limited number of LED lights are not intrusive and are perfect for people who don't want a flashing disco to be taking place at night, especially when leaving the machine on overnight to render.
Heavy, beware of back pain and carry it properly, especially after your components and HDDs are inside. Recommend paying for a courier to ship this, it was far too heavy and wide for my arms to carry. If you can save money and do free instore pickup for the rest of the components, pay to ship this.
Well-labelled cables and input slots for modular cables, and strong construction of case in general. Includes a tester addon, which I assume allows you to power on the PSU by itself with a power plug when you don't have a motherboard. Includes lots of cable ties and velcro wraps to help you manage the cable layout. Most cables are flat. Includes an additional CPU and GPU cable but I don't have a use for them (not sure who would, at this low wattage, a 2nd GPU or 2nd CPU (lol) aren't likely). The unit iself comes in a velvet bag, interesting but necessary touch?
No comment on reliability, efficiency as I can't properly test those myself.