Description

Built a workstation around photo editing in Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop and multitasking to replace a 9-year-old computer. The parts I selected were optimized for CPU performance, silence, and utility. Coming from an aging Phenom II X6 1100T and Radeon HD 6950, this build is blazing fast and whisper silent. I can only hear a quiet hum if I put my ears close to the intakes at the front.

Part Reviews

CPU

As my workstation is focused on photo editing in Lightroom and multitasking, selecting a powerful CPU was paramount. The R9 3900X comes out at the top of consumer CPUs in Puget System's Lightroom benchmark, and it definitely does not disappoint. Importing large collections of 30 MB RAW photos from my Nikon D750 is extremely fast, and I can quickly flip through photo previews with ease. The CPU also does well in handling photo previews of large panoramas >100 megapixels. A definite recommendation for productivity-centered builds.

CPU Cooler

The Dark Rock Pro 4 handles the thermal load of an R9 3900X with ease. Idle temps are a cool 36°C, temps jump to around ~40-45°C while working, and load temperatures (100% CPU load) are at a comfortable ~80°C. The fans exhibit a low hum that is not hard on the ears. I did notice that the fans tend to ramp up and down, but this is not noticeable when sitting at a regular distance from the CPU cooler.

Motherboard

This motherboard has a solid VRM, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, plenty of fan headers, and a front USB 3.1 Gen 2 type C header. While I was worried about the chipset fan being loud, I cannot hear it at all at idle or load. Probably not as a great of a buy for gamers, but for those looking for a full feature set and rock solid stability without the frills, it is a great motherboard.

Memory

I purchased these for stability, as DDR4-3200 is the maximum native speed supported by the R9 3900X. Passed Memtest with no issues on DOCP. I hear these are good overclockers. One thing to note is that these are fitted with special heatsinks that match Asus' TUF series of motherboards - I didn't expect that at all from the pictures.

Storage

Fast and works as expected. Not sure if I will benefit from NVMe speeds yet, but it doesn't hurt to futureproof.

Storage

Good NAS drives at an affordable price point. I can edit off of these directly in Lightroom without a hitch. The lower spin speed of these also reduces any vibrations they make. When not in use, they tend to spin down to reduce power consumption and vibrations, so they do take a few seconds to spin back up - after which the performance is fast.

Storage

From a previous build. They are fast, although do have a bit of vibration that was quite noticeable in my older case. If you are looking for silence, anti-vibration rubber mounts will help a lot.

Video Card

Excellent graphics card and performance for the price that doesn't require you to pay extra for RTX. The fans don't run most of the time when I'm working. Even when they do, they are fairly quiet. Also supports Nvidia's Studio drivers that can output 10-bit color.

Case

Extremely satisfied with this case. The build quality is solid, which is expected from a $160 price point. The case is easy to disassemble, which made routing cables and installing components a breeze. The case also sports an impressive and modern front I/O. I appreciate the large amount of space for internal hard drives, and the anti-vibration mounts work very well. I specifically didn't want to pay extra for RGB or glass panels, so it's nice that Fractal gives you the option of a solid side panel. The included X2 GP14 fans are surprisingly quiet and are very effective at pushing air through the front filter (I tried to replace them with NF-P14s 1200PWM fans, but they exhibited an annoying sound profile as they ramped up and down. The Fractal fans do not.) Definitely worth the extra cost over the Define R6.

Power Supply

Good power supply - the fan doesn't run most of the time, which is impressive. The capacitors in the wires may bother some, but it isn't a deal breaker.

Monitor

Excellent monitor for color accurate work. I chose this over the PD3200U because I didn't need the 4K resolution. At 27 inches, 1440p is plenty sharp (I would need scaling above 100% at 4K). The monitor stand is study and supports lots of adjustment. Games run well from my GTX 1660 Super. I also appreciate the integrated USB hub and SD card reader and included monitor hood. The hardware calibration works great - using an X-Rite i1Display Pro, I achieved an average ΔE of 0.56 and maximum ΔE of 1.08 at panel native (i.e. maximum gamut).

Mouse

Excellent mouse - wish it had a USB Type C connector (changed in the MX Master 3).

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Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

very nice

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Did the CPU cooler cover any of the ram slots?

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Hi, yes, the Dark Rock Pro 4 covers the RAM slots. However, the maximum clearance is ~46mm when the fan is raised slightly up (~40mm in my configuration with the fan parallel to the heatsink). I had no issues with my Crucial Ballistix RAM.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

How are you liking the case? I'm worried it'll be a bit too big, but it looks really nice.

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 point

Case is great, it's super quiet. The case fans push a lot of air and I rarely notice any fan noise coming out of my PC. It is a relatively large case. If you don't need the hard drive support, I'd suggest looking at another case.

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 point

wow such nice!