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Build

Black, White, and Ryzen all over

by falconpunch3D

24
15 Comments

Details

Date Published

May 21, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

3.0GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.12GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.0GHz

Description

Upgraded my case & GPU a few months ago, but was still running a (gasp!) Pentium G3258. It won't run Mass Effect Andromeda at all, yay!!! -_-

So I kept the white NZXT case and black RX480, building the B&W theme off those and upgrading to a Ryzen 1700

Main uses are general computing stuff, scientific workstation work that will take advantage of all 16 CPU threads, and of course 1080p/60Hz gaming. At some point I'll swap out my GPU and monitor to go to 4K gaming.

Notes on individual part choices:

Gigabyte Aorus X370 Gaming 5 motherboard: With Ryzen's frustrating memory compatibility, I wanted something that would run 3200MHz RAM out of the box... without spending $200 on RAM. This fit that great as several different sources have said it works with 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance 3200 C16 ($140). It also has dual BIOS, physical reset/CMOS buttons, and error coding, which are great features to have since Ryzen BIOS updates are still rolling out.

GTX1080 GPU: Yeah, yeah, I know it's overkill for 1080p/60Hz, but it was barely more money than a 1070 and I didn't want to wait for a Vega GPU.

Plextor NVMe Came down to this or a Samsung EVO since the EVO has come down in price a bit. But Tom's Hardware said the heatsink on the Plextor actually works, and the Gigabyte M.2 slot is placed horribly. Also Plextor gives a 5-year warranty vs Samsung's 3-year warranty for it's 10% higher price...

Part Reviews

Motherboard

Looks great even without the fancy lights on. More importantly, it runs cheap RAM at 3200MHz (Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200) with just a simple pre-loaded BIOS profile. Debug codes and dual BIOS are great, might not be able to go without them again!!

A few nitpicks: --M.2 is in almost the worst spot possible. Right under the GPU. Seems to be a common problem though. --The gimmicky "clear plastic design/removable RGB thing" is placed super poorly too. That's right where the biggest cable in the PC (24-pin) has to pass in front!! PLUS the front USB 3.0 and in my case 2X fan cables. --Temp sensors are nice but the cables are WAY long. I ran one like 3 inches to the NVMe drive and had to wrap up a huge wad of cable in between. --RGB software already crashed a couple times. Looks like it's "extreme rainbow pulse" for now...

Oh and "all lights off" leaves one fairly prominent dark-orange LED on... -_-

Memory

The easiest choice of my whole build. On the QVL for the Gigabyte GA-AX370-GAMING 5 (although Gigabyte made it confusing by only citing the larger 32 or 64 kits...). It does work right away at 3200. Just need the latest BIOS and set to "Profile 1" and bam, no more Ryzen memory speed worrying.

Storage

Working great so far. Just make SURE to use a very current Windows boot disk/USB. Somehow a Win 10 disk I made in January wasn't "updated enough" because it caused massive problems loading on this drive. Crashing 5-10 minutes after booting. Then a current (May) Win 10 copy worked great... it doesn't make much sense to me since NVMe drives were prevalent in January too... but other people have had the same problem.

Storage

I've had this 4 years or so, still going strong. Of course you don't want to even think about putting program files or an OS on it, but it's great for media & long-term storage!

Case

Such a great value for $70. Really nicely laid out and the metal sides are thick. I was even able to sand and spray-paint one pink for my girlfriend! That was easier than most other cases would be.

Power Supply

Totally overkill and unnecessary, but I wanted Titanium efficiency and the available ones didn't differ much in price. Wish they had upgraded the cables (only the 24-pin is braided, the rest look OK but are stiff) instead of including the velvet bag and mirrored accents on both the PSU and box...

Case Fan

These are great!! Really solid-feeling and they look nice. Just wish they didn't have the branded stickers (the back sticker has cables & stuff underneath so I just blacked it out with a Sharpie)

Right now I'm running them on low RPM (controlled from mobo) and they're super quiet. Will ramp them up later when I OC.

Comments Sorted by:

ItsJustTurtles 2 points 6 months ago

Black, Purple ,Red, White, and Amd all over

good build and good enough cable management

maybe consider cable extensions off ebay you can get a 8 pin mobo and gpu and 24 pin for like $30 or less i got 24 pin cpu and gpu 8 pin and io extensions for £35 on ebay uk from a seller with 4k stars

falconpunch3D submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Haha yep, when I took the pictures the stupid RGB program had crashed (I think it's still in beta...) so I was snapping them while it cycled.

As for cable color, I just honestly don't care that much. Wanted the black and white build so it would look good with any light color, so as long as the components are all black or white that's all I'm really going for.

Skimby 2 points 6 months ago

This build's brighter than my future..

falconpunch3D submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

C'mon don't sell yourself short :)

Skimby 1 point 6 months ago

:)

a_random_ai 2 points 6 months ago

How's the mobo working for you? I'm eyeing that one, and want to know what it's like in person.

falconpunch3D submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

It's been pretty good! It was a bit hard to start up at first. Kept throwing a memory error (actually the number shown wasn't in the manual, but there's a second set of 4 lights which showed it was a RAM issue). I re-seated the RAM multiple times before it started successfully, then when it did there was some lag on the post time.

The lag on startup is a consistent gripe I see on X370 boards, it went away most likely because I flashed to the F5 BIOS.

falconpunch3D submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Overall the mobo + RAM price was the same I was looking at with boards $20-30 cheaper, since this one can do 3200 on the common (relatively) cheap Corsair RAM. It's nice to have that money going to a few extra features on the mobo rather than, I dunno, a tiny bit tighter timings on expensive RAM.

Oh and it's cool that this one (Gaming 5) is the same as Gigabyte's top-of-the-line flagship (Gaming K7) except for the BCLK chip, and that isn't as important on CPUs as OC-friendly as Ryzens.

The naming convention is super super confusing though. It goes Gaming K5 << Gaming 5 << Gaming K7. The K5 is significantly cheaper than this "5" and doesn't have the dual BIOS, debug, reset CMOS switches this one does. Then from 5->K7 is just the BCLK modifier like I said. Also this is the only white one of the three, it's different from their Intel color schemes I think?

Cooe 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

I've been up and running with this same board since the Ryzen 7 launch (I was up and running by March 13th, 10 days after launch). That entire time despite being victim to the same growing pains all the AM4 boards have gone through, I (and many, many reviewers) found it to be the most stable AM4 board around in the early days (which is a major reason I picked/bought it), which is something that has remained constant to this day. The UEFI BIOS interface isn't my favorite, but it's far from poor either and easy to understand/get around. And with having one of the most high end VRM setup's to be found any X370 board (identical to that on the Gaming K7 (which only differs in it's on board BCLK generator (which makes >3200MHz DDR4 clocks possible with lots of tweaking), and is only topped by the ASUS C.IV Hero which costs a bunch more; don't get fooled by ASRock's "doubled phases" nonsense, the phases themselves are total garbage), the CPU overclocking experience has been a dream from the jump. I have my R7 1700 running at 3.95GHz with 1.38V, rock solid as a freaking tank.

The biggest issue (as with all AM4 boards) had been memory compatibility & stability, which has been almost 100% addressed and fixed with the most recent BIOS update (F6) & it's AGESA version (1.0.0.6a) for the vast majority of 3200MHz and under DDR4 kits out there. With it, most all kits at or under 3200MHz will function completely fine by simply loading up the built in XMP profile or similar. (This isn't universal though, some high capacity, dual rank 3200MHz DIMM's (which is most 16GB sticks, aka 32GB kits) still have trouble pushing past 2933MHz to their rated speed/ AM4's DDR4 clock ceiling, most esp. on non "X" chips like the R7 1700 or R5 1600 due to weaker IMC's (like my 32GB 3200MHz CL15 TridentZ kit & 1700 for ex (currently @ 2933MHz, CL14) but I'm sure this will all get ironed out too in time, just like all the rest).

By and large, this board is FANTASTIC piece of hardware, and in HW terms (features, build quality, usability, design, aesthetics etc...), is one of the very best AM4 motherboards available (and at a great price). It's problems (like most other AM4 boards) were almost entirely software related, and by this point in the game, you're jumping aboard after practically all of that has been fixed/taken care off. From this point in the AM4 mobo hierarchy you lose a TON by moving down to the next tier (low end X370 boards like the Gaming K3/K5 (which use the same, vastly inferior VRM setup as on their B350 boards, among other vast differences from the 5/K7) or the ASUS Prime), but also gain very little by moving up any further to the actual flagship boards like the Gaming K7 or Crosshair VI Hero unless you REALLY need BCLK control. In my opinion (and I've built 4 AM4 PC's at this point for people (inc. mine) the high end AM4 sweet-spot. Nearly everything you could ever want/need (and a beefy VRM setup built to last the 4ish years the AM4 socket will be receiving compatible CPU upgrades) but w/o paying for features you'll likely never even touch (like the BCLK). For my AM4 builds going forward, this is my default X370 option for those wanting a little more (with the C.VI Hero being a "I have serious $ to splurge secondary-option", along with a few "maximum bang/$" B350 boards I like (inc. GB's Gaming G3).

falconpunch3D submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Haha everyone here loves cables!

I don't think I'd want to do extensions... there are already a ton of bunched up cables in the back/bottom of the case. Maybe at some point I'll do a white set of these, but $50 isn't exactly cheap just for cables :/

https://store.cablemod.com/product/cablemod-se-series-xp2-xp3-km3-fl2-basic-cable-kit/

pengxs972 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

True... They are pretty expensive, but I would not eat for a day just to get those cables. LOL

Bobplay 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

This build is oddly satisfying to just stare at. I love the blank, marblesque look of the case and all the shiny lights inside...everything I want my current build to be and more.

+1 For such a clean, impressive build. Love it.

falconpunch3D submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Hey thanks! I do love the white S340 case. That's what made me go white with the motherboard and RAM... also because I figured I wouldn't want to stick with one color like an all-red or all-blue build

sysbuild 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

Can you please tell me the Corsair 3200 kit number. i tried multiple kits and still no luck at 3200. i also heard this comes in both samsung and hynix dies. Please tell me your Ram version also. is it 4.31 or 5.xx ?