Description

Potentially more final-ish rebuild of a rebuild of endless rebuilds in this case. It began life as an 18th birthday/sendoff gift (I wanted something to do with PCs that also wouldn't be outdated or switched out as I hop from platform to platform, case fit the bill), has had a Pentium, i5, X58, X470/2700X, and maybe a couple other based systems in it, but those are the main ones. Moved to X99 in my main rig around February 2019, when I got my X99 Classified for $99 on a B-Stock sale.

There's no real reason for this rig though, other than I just like the hardware. I game on a 25" 1080p 75Hz ultrawide, my 1660 Ti handles that perfectly fine. This has just been a slowly evolving reflection of my passions, and hopefully this will be the last configuration it's in for a while. There's really not much more I could do to it other than get a custom cable kit and add more SSDs (would need to figure out BIOS modding to enable bifurcation if I want to use the PCIe card for multiple drives though). 6950Xs remain overpriced, so there's nowhere higher to really go.

Also sadly my pics aren't super nice since I have a smartphone and uh... a 3 bulb floor lamp, did the best I could with that before my patience ran out.

EDIT:

Forgot the loop components lol:

  • EKWB D5 pump/res combo

  • 2x Hardware Labs Nemesis 360GTS rads (360x120x30mm slim rads)

  • Heatkiller IV Pro Acetal CPU block, EKWB Radeon VII Acetal block

  • EKWB EK-ZMT tubing, EKWB nickel stubby barbs, plain black zip ties, assorted EKWB 90 degree and other random fittings (oh and a Bitspower drain fitting)

  • 6x Noctua iPPC NF-F12 iPPCs on a Phanteks fan hub

Aaaand currently stability testing my CPU overclock. Had it about 98% stable at 1.27v vCore, but it hit an instability at some point during the night, running ASUS Realbench. Upped vCore, set it to run an 8 hour stress test, when I get home from work I'm hoping to see that it passed. Current settings are 4.7Ghz/3.7Ghz 1.28v/1.1v core/uncore, with a 1.925v Input Voltage (IIRC, I may have upped it to 1.95v but I forget). Temps are maxing at about 72C package, hottest core goes up to 74C.

EDIT: needed to increase vCore to 1.3v for 100% stability, it'll hit the 80s under some loads, usually if the GPU is loaded as well.

Part Reviews

CPU

It's a 5960X. 40 PCIe lanes vs the 28 my 5820K has, so all the slots on the board are happy. This specific one is a j-bin, pretty decent one compared to other j-bins (4.5Ghz at 1.2v, currently 4.7 at 1.3, may be able to push it a bit higher or else tune voltages slightly), godly compared to the majority of non-j-bin 5960Xs. Still slaps all my games pretty easily, and hits harder than my 2700X did while being... 4 years older IIRC?

Motherboard

Excellent overclocking board. VRMs are damn solid, UEFI is really easy to use, I personally think it's on par with the usual ASUS UEFI (which is best in class most of the time, same as their BIOS back on X58), may actually prefer it a little, but part of that would be my EVGA fanboyism coming out. Looks gorgeous too, I'm a fan of clean, simple boards.

Mine does have funky SATA ports though, and the M.2 slot is only an x2 due to this being one of the earlier X99 boards (my newer X99 Micro2 has full x4), thus the 4 stars. I use a PCIe card and a 1TB SSD so that's not really a massive issue for me, someone else might mark it down more for that.

Memory

It's RAM. Snappy, runs XMP with 0 issues (I don't push it any farther because Haswell-E IMCs can be iffy), looks really pretty. Which is the main reason I got it, it's a nice clean kit that's still visually interesting. Non-RGB version because my rigs have basically become anti-RGB at this point.

My kit is actually the 3200Mhz CL16 one though, PCPP doesn't have that kit listed. It does also have a 3000Mhz CL15 XMP profile though.

Storage

A little overpriced compared to the SX8200 Pro, but it's a 970 Evo. Typical Samsung quality and reliability, I've had 0 issues with the drive and as expected, it's extremely snappy.

Video Card

It's a Radeon VII. I have a love-hate relationship with this card. My specific RVII was actually straight from AMD, ordered it 3 hours after launch and had it overnighted. It's a bit of a funky card, but to be fair most of the funk is due to the drivers. You can't use the card properly without them though, so it gets a drop to 3 stars for that. It has a lot of overclocking headroom if the drivers decide to let you actually use the damn card, but they often don't. Adrenaline 2020 is a wreck, 2019 lets me actually use Afterburner without blackscreens (Wattman is consistently broken), but the card still won't do over 2000Mhz, and that's with higher voltages and power targets than allowed out of the box (I use MorePowerTool and have the card on water). I've had it do 2100Mhz (2030-2050Mhz actual) for a 3DMark run, at 1.218v (max allowed at stock) and 120% power target (max allowed at stock). But unfortunately I didn't mark down which version of Adrenaline 2019 I was running at the time, and the current version just decided to veto any higher clocks.

To be fair, it's more of a prosumer card than a gamer one (same as the Vega FE, which I also had), but I'm an idiot and insisted on keeping it. Not clocking to a specific number above stock isn't a massive mark against the card for most people, but I bought the Radeon card specifically because they typically allow for better OCing and allow you to break more rules than Nvidia cards. Not being able to beat my friend's Liquid Devil 5700XT is disappointing though.

I have heard that later units behave better, maybe if I can be arsed to drain the loop again sometime in the future, I'll slap the stock cooler back on and RMA it.

TL;DR: Card that makes a lot of impressive promises, but due to consistently messy drivers it can't always deliver. Once you find a version that works, you should probably just stick with that till there's an actual need to update. If you're a prosumer and not planning to OC the card at all, and are doing workloads that favor the compute performance Vega has, then it's an excellent card, especially at current pricing. If you're a gamer, just get the 2080 Super, or even for the same price the 2070 Super, which when OCed is almost as fast AFAIK.

Case

It's an Evolv. Wanted one since I saw LTT's video a good while back, one where Luke (who is now with Floatplane) built his main rig in one. It's a gorgeous case, it fits a lot of hardware by hook or by crook (take that PCPP, saying my motherboard won't fit), and despite the complaints of bad airflow I've never had overheating issues. Well, I did once, but that was with a 980 Ti and only a single fan in the front (which was also in the top), meaning there wasn't actual airflow to the GPU.

It's well built and has survived an insane amount of rebuilds and tinkering, IDK what all else to say. I like it, it's an excellent case, and the new Evolv X looks like a worthy successor.

Power Supply

It supplies power, has 0 issues, all the cables I need. Being able to see power consumption is handy, mostly because I'm a stats nerd at times. Does it through iCUE too, which I have installed anyways because of my headphones and keeb.

Custom

Excellent piece of hardware, gives me full x4 bandwidth so I'm not bottlenecking my SSD at all. Sadly I can't use the full features of the card due to my platform not supporting bifurcation without a BIOS mod, but hey it looks pretty so I call that a win! Has active cooling and preinstalled thermal pads too, so if you're a pro who actually needs a blazing fast NVMe raid cache or something similar, there's no worries about temps when you push the SSDs hard.

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Comments

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 points

Nice rig man !! love the R VII

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  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah! Should put the loop components in the OP lol. It's EK-ZMT, hella nice stuff. I run it with just plain old black zip ties on nickel EK stubbies, never had a leak with this combo in the multiple rigs I've built with this tubing. It's super flexible and nice to work with, easy to cut, seals incredibly well, and it's really cheap too. Also the clean black is damn good looking IMO.

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  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I did my best to run the tubing as cleanly and simply as possible. It's not all that much harder than just leaving more play in the tubing, but it looks much cleaner. Whole rig at this point is pretty much clean anti-RGB lol. Might look into accent lighting to just illuminate the internals with the side panel on, but most kits don't diffuse the individual LEDs enough IMO. Rn the only parts to light up other than mobo lights are the power and little bar on the front (stock with the Evolv), I set those to whatever accent color my keyboard/mouse/streamdeck are at the time.

Also ooooo just checked the rig on your profile, good lord that is c r i s p y clean. I have a Define S too, they're such clean and just well made cases. Do actually block out a lot of noise too, I ran my Folding rig in mine for the LTT Folding month. Need to build a PC inside that again tbh.

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  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Indeed. Hardline can look really damn nice, but it's more work and harder to do maintenance and such (I can technically remove my CPU without having to remove the tubing and drain the loop).

I had a full RGB stage too, still have my RGB headphones (yes lmao, headphones, the Void Pro RGBs) and keyboard/mouse (K70 Lux RGB and the trusty G502). Oh and I have the matching RGB stand for the headphones. I usually ran a solid color though, rainbow puke is well, rainbow puke. Actually looking into some Phanteks Neon RGB strips now, to mount around the window just to light up the components with a clean white, or maybe purple/pink. Those strips actually properly diffuse the light, it's nice and soft and hopefully they're dimmable.

And hell yeah, Ryzen is a pretty noice platform if you're not into OCing. Manual OCing on my 2700X was just utterly depressing (when you get worse performance in games with an all-core OC than you do at stock, it hurts) so I didn't have a good experience with it. If you're not an oddball who wants to OC purely for the heck of it, they're pretty noice. Had a lot of teething issues, but most of them are sorted out now. Zen 2 chips are pretty nuts too, close to Intel in games (ringbus chips still win out slightly though), faster in most other multicore stuff. Beefier IPC too, they can post better single core scores at lower clocks.

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  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

IIRC new Intel stuff is just gonna be 9000 Series But More Cores 2: Electric Boogaloo. Slightly higher clocks, same IPC, more cores. Though they'll likely have more manual OC headroom too, so if you think you'll wanna mess with it and can afford to wait, there's not really much to lose.

iCUE is pretty solid now, but yeaaaah old iCUE was pretty iffy. I used to run Vengeance RGB on a Crosshair VII, and AURA and iCUE fighting over whose turn it was on the RGB got old pretty quick. Part of why I'm over full RGB, if I do get lighting I want it to have it's own controller, or work with iCUE since I already use that for my headphones and keeb (Logi's mouse software isn't really a bother). Phanteks makes a controller with it's own buttons though, so I don't need to use software, especially since I just want a clean solid color.

And yes bright RGB needs to stop. I just want clean accents please, I don't need to go blind attempting to admire my hardware :(

Sucks on the AIO. I had an EVGA one, was pretty noice but yep, air coolers are a better value and often quieter. I have a couple Cryorig coolers, they are really damn nice. Just avoid the slim 140mm fans, the bearings die and make nasty noises pretty quick. Replaced the one on my H5 Universal (IIRC that's the model) with the thicker fan (same one that comes on the Ultimate) and it's been fine since. Never had the pleasure of using an R1, but I do have an NH-D15S and that is typical Noctua excellence.