Description

The time had come to upgrade my existing rig, which was really starting to show it’s age, both with general desktop applications & gaming.

By holding off until Ryzen 3 settled down a bit and the 3rd party Navi cards hit the market, I was able to properly research everything to make sure I got the best bang for buck.

I finally pulled the trigger at the end of August 2019, with the new rig intended for use with Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere & After Effects, Microsoft Office as well as some ‘casual’ gaming, predominantly FPS shooters such as Apex Legends, Titanfall 2 and Rainbow 6 Siege all running at native 3440 x 1440p (75Hz) on an LG 34" Ultrawide IPS monitor.

The PC also connects via HDMI to my 55” LG OLED 4k TV through my Denon AVR-X3500H home cinema receiver to act as a high-end media player/streamer. I have a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos speaker setup consisting of 5 KEF speakers, a Mission subwoofer and 2 Yamaha Atmos in ceiling speakers, so it needs to handle 4k, HDR & Dolby Atmos to service the home cinema properly.

As it would sit pretty close to the TV, I didn’t want the case to have any RGB or side windows that would distract my viewing. This limited my case choice but going down this route let me choose components based purely on performance rather than looks. I’m not that ‘blingy’ anyway and prefer subtle RGB use, as can be seen with my keyboard, mouse & headset.

This build was an absolute breeze and I never encountered any problems putting it together. I personally like how stealthy it looks and the fact that it usually goes unnoticed sitting on the floor, which was my aim from the outset. A real wolf in sheeps clothing!!!

* UPDATE 27/09/2019 *

After a couple of weeks use I decided to swap out the original MSI X570 A PRO motherboard for a Gigabyte Aorus Master X570.

There wasn't much wrong with the MSI, however in hindsight I probably went a bit cheap with it considering all my other components and didn't really think about future upgrade opportunities should I decide to buy what was my first choice of a 3900X (or even a 3950X) a year or two down the line. So far I'm delighted with the Aorus, which is better built than the MSI and much more feature rich... mind that's what you would expect for the significant increase in price.

Part Reviews

CPU

I initially intended to get the 3900X, however I couldn’t find it in stock anywhere and in all honesty, it was probably overkill for my needs. The extra 4 cores also came at a hefty price increase over the 3800X which is a good sweet spot for me. It performs as expected and boosts without any problem while keeping below 75 degrees with my Noctua D-15 air cooler.

CPU Cooler

This cooler is huge… I expected it to be big, but nothing prepared me for the size this thing actually is. I had made sure my case and RAM would all be compatible with it, so I didn’t really worry about its size. It’s not the prettiest but it’s an amazing performer and is hidden inside the Define S case so no-one can see it. Despite its size it was an absolute breeze to install and is genuinely silent in operation… I love it!

Motherboard

I upgraded to this board from my original purchase which was an MSI X570 A PRO. The difference between the two is night and day, however you would expect this when you consider the Aorus was more than twice the price of the MSI. This Aorus board has received rave reviews and I'm certainly not disappointed with it. My overall build is bench marking better than it did with the MSI and VRM temps are better too which is nice.

I'll probably stick a 3900X or 3950X on it in a year or two once they're more readily available and prices settle down a bit and have no doubts the board will handle either chip without any issues.

Memory

I have four of these sticks giving me 32GB that all runs at 3600Ghz without any problem, pairing really well with my mobo. There's not really much else to say other than this RAM just works... no RGB either which is nice.

Storage

This thing is seriously quick. Installed it onto my PCI 4.0 M.2 slot 1 and everything is just instant with my Adobe suite running so slick it’s an absolute joy to use.

Storage

Not as quick as the M.2 but used for my STEAM, Origin, Wargaming and Uplay libraries all my games load really fast. Crystalmark 6 reports a sequential Read speed of 544 MB/s and Write speed of 488 MB/s which is a considerable upgrade over standard SATA.

Storage

These store all my media, music and archived photos. They don’t need to be quick, but they do need to be reliable and long lasting, which I’m sure they will be.

Video Card

I had to wait for stock to become available, but the wait was worth it. Great benchmarks from this card and it’s really well made. I went for this over a 2070 Super as I felt the Nvidia cards were at the end of their life while the Navi cards were just starting out so I’m hoping as drivers develop the performance will increase even more.

Case

This is a great case to build in, very understated with good soundproofing and internal airflow. Lots of cooling options available with easy cable management. Looks premium and isn’t flashy with only a single blue LED letting you know what’s going on inside.

Power Supply

Probably more power than I’ll ever need but at least I’ll not have to think about changing it any time. Very quiet, excellent quality and smaller than I thought considering how much power it delivers.

Case Fan

They're big, grey, work really well and can spin at 400rpm as well as 1500 for silent options. I replaced the 3pin Fractal fans that came with my Define S with these 4pin PWM ones and I'm perfectly happy.

Case Fan

They’re made by Noctua, they’re not brown and they’re very quiet. All the fans have custom profiles configured in the BIOS and I never hear them.

Keyboard

Solid mechanical keyboard with some nice RGB options. This thing feels substantial and is really well made with a removable USB cable at the rear and a USB charging port which is a neat feature.

Mouse

Very nice optical gaming mouse that goes well with my keyboard. Very smooth in operation and again very well built.

Headphones

I can wear this headset all day and not suffer from any fatigue as its very comfortable. Sounds great too and I’ve not had any complaints regarding the quality of the built-in microphone, which slides inside the left ear cup when not in use.

Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Noctua <3

The only reason I have RGB anything, is because through budget constraints/sales they were the most economical choices.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I see Fractal Design Case with Noctua <3 noice

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

The is very helpful, thank you for posting!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Absolutely gorgeous build, ultimate living room media room!!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks...

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Was considering a similar build using the Define but instead went with the Meshify. We both used lots of Noctua's though :)

Very sleek and stylish build (and room)

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I looked at the Meshify too but the case front didn't look 'plain' enough for what I had in mind. I really just wanted a black box which is why I ended up going for the Define S.

The Noctuas rock... I've never been a fan of AIO coolers so it was a no brainer for me.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice and understated. While I appreciate the bling, I think it would get old after awhile. I've bookmarked this build for future reference. I might make some changes to storage but that's just a personal preference.

People say for a gaming rig (which is only part of what you are doing) that 32 GB is over kill. Not really if you mess with X-Plane. Some of the scenery add-ons suck up a lot and the more the better to reduce stuttering.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah... I'm really not a fan of bling and the build fits in really well with the surrounding kit and furniture. Now I've swapped out the mobo and replaced the included Fractal fans with 140mm Noctuas I wouldn't change anything about it.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow, love those photos! Great build :)

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Love this, I'm super envious of the setup you have going on there. Everything fits together really well & the build itself is beautiful.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks... I'm really happy with the build. I took my time deciding on all the components and I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

How are the temps with the d15? The 3800x is a hot chip and I was wondering how it fairs.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

The CPU has never gone above 73.9 degrees.

My custom fan profile for both fans on the D15 is set to ramp them up to 100% only when the CPU reaches 75 degrees, so neither fan has ever maxxed out.

I know the chip can run much hotter than that without any problem, however there's next to no noise from the Noctua and I'm happier keeping temps well under control.

The fans hit 80% at 65 degrees so there's still 20% left on both that I've never had to utilise.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Just about to start a very similar build myself, same CPU and Motherboard combo. Thought I’d try the stock cooler, in the first instance, in a Meshify case, lots of Noctua case fans, and will install a NH15 CPU fan, but figure that run stock and unoverclocked it might not be necessary.

And I’m puzzled, does it matter which M.2 slot I insert my boot drive NVME into? I can’t seem to find anywhere it specifies?

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

If you're using the Auros Master all the M.2 slots are PCI 4.0, however you'll lose the use of SATA 5 & 6 if you put your M.2 drive on the bottom slot 3. I was always advised to start at the top and work your way down so my M.2 is in the top slot, as is my graphics card.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

It is.

And I’ve gone with Slot 1 based on your earlier comment when I saw it. Also I’m waiting for a Noctua NH-D15S based on your other comment about the stock cooler.

Now trying to find another M2 drive, around 2TB for slot 2.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I went for a fast 2TB SSD to store my Steam & Origin libraries rather than a 2nd M.2 drive. It's plenty fast enough for my needs and I got twice the storage for the same price as my 1TB M.2, which is my main boot drive.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Could you tell me which chip this LPX uses by checking on Thaipoon Burner or CPU Z? Could you also confirm if it is the 3600 model with 18-22-22 latency?

THX

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Not sure about the chip, however I can confirm the RAM is clocked at 3600 with 18-22-22 latency.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

bro, I'm planning a build exactly like this! But, I'm waiting a year or so for various reasons, and the main difference between our builds is mine is based on a maximum air flow design. looking at your build gives me a lot of confidence in the parts I picked, so thank you d=^=b

  • 2 months ago
  • 0 points

I was gonna comment "Get Chromax for NH-D15", but then realized you probably care way more about performance than look given all those redux fans. But since your case does have a glass side panel, chromax would look amazing, also some custom sleeved psu extension cables would look very nice too.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

The case is completely enclosed with no glass panel or any external RGB lighting. I really wanted a 'stealth' build with performance over looks as my main priority. No point in adding custom sleeves or a Chromax as no-one's gonna see them? If the case had a side window I would've definitely made it 'prettier' on the inside.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh, for some reason I thought the case had a glass panel, my b. but yeah, if you can't even see what's inside, then no need to worry about aesthetics.