Description

Built to last - focus on highest quality, well cooled parts to maximise lifespan (Arrhenius), this is a high performance build I plan to keep for 6-10 years (like my previous build). It targets high end gaming as well as general purpose use.

Main features are the Ryzen 3800X coupled with DDR-3600 RAM for a solid processing base, the best aftermarket RX5700XT, 1TB NVMe4 SSD (peaking at ~20% of the RAM speed) for OS, drivers and main games, a "slower" NVMe3 for data and non critica, and based on a motherboard with enough heat sinking to never warm up. It also has a HDD for weekly backup, a quiet case with good cooling reputation, the best downflow CPU cooler (as that also cools the RAM and VRM on the motherboard), and a few extra fans. All backed with a PSU which is rated to cover the peak loads and has a good efficiency rating.

The goal is to not overclock (except memory, and factory OC parts), to keep parts cool and use the machine heavily but probably not to it's limit of capacity. I'm looking forward to putting this to use

This has been the most difficult build of my life (going back to the 80s) because of some mechanical challenges. because the PCIe slot 1 is between two mobo mounts, the GFX card is heavy, and some questionable tollerances: when tightening the GFX card slot screws it very slightly shifted out of position, and caused some issues. It took a few days to figure the screw was the issue. I also had challenges getting the NVMe to not short the board with the heatsink, the back tightened CPU cooler, and with the investigation on the startup - had to unplug and replug things in more than every other PC i've had combined.

Still, got it working in the end, installed windows in 6 minutes flat, and now getting it up to full glory with my favourite games installed

If you don't like the cost you can probably switch out the graphics card, downgrade the CPU to a 3700, and maybe get a lower end mobo - but I say keep the Aorus SSD - the disc speed is worth it

Part Reviews

CPU

Good fast processor and very competitive. Only downside is it comes with a heatsink I'm really not interested in - I'll always go 3rd party downflow cooler and shipping with a (good but not as good as I like) stock heatsink is just wasting materials

CPU Cooler

A little fiddly to assemble, and annoying to mount because it tightens from the back (while you have to support the weight from the front). Otherwise it has everything else you could ask for and is a very solid downflow cooler

Thermal Compound

Same as always: spreads controllably, performs well, applies nicely. Never had an issue with this one

Motherboard

undeniably high quality. Hard to install because it is so heavy and has no sensible point to lift it by. The software utilities are clunky as always but the actual build is high end. Only concern is the built in heatsink for the NVMe is not making good contact with the SSDs - i removed the heatsink and used a dedicated one for my primary SSD, but the other may not get the cooling I'd hope.

Memory

Fast, cheap, low profile. However, the XMP profile for 3600 actually comes out at 3630 and it seems to not be stable at this speed. It may be my batch isn't even hitting 3600 at all and I've had to knock it down to the next level (3570?)

Storage

certainly fast, and part of why i installed windows 10 in 6 minutes flat. However, beware of putting an all encompassing metallic heatsink into an m.2 slot. The motherboards do have devices under the m2 slots, and that heatsink is the best way to short them... I had to put a strip of electrical tape on the underside to insulate it from the mobo.

Case

undeniably a good case but there are a few flaws I'd point out.
- To save weight the mobo support is actually quite thin. When you take off the back SSD bay to fit a cooler the mobo support is a little flexible. Same for when you push in a heavy 2kg graphics card. This is one thing you want to be rigid! - The preinstalled standoff screws had one screw miscrewed and it had crossed the thread.
- The PSU bay, while nice, means you have almost no finger space to install the cables. An external fitting PSU adapter is meaningless since the cable length stops you doing that - The removable dividers for the PSU bay are big - I'd like to remove them in smaller parts to customise air flow.
- There is no way to pick up the box - it's big and heavy (my poor back) but the front panel slides off, the bottom is a sliding air filter, so you have no grip point - The PCI vertical installation slot (option I didn't buy) looks like it installs with very little room for big coolers, or airflow into them. It would be better to get more air space for that

In spite of this - the end result is the roomiest, quietest and best airflowed box I've ever built. The modularity and number of places to hide SSD/HDD, position fans and route cables is superb and while it is huge it is also stable. In particular I like being able to put a low fan to put some airflow in the bottom PSU area and a bottom fan joining it to blast cold air directly at the GPU's fans - getting air that is traditionally not so easy

Power Supply

reliability we'll see in time - but it is solid, cables are good lengths, and easy to work with.

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Comments

  • 7 days ago
  • 1 point

Why did you choose to go for a motherboard of that caliber? Seems like you could have saved a lot of money by getting even an Aorus Master or something.