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Crystal Clear-Threadripper 2950X

by nahnahgames


I built this to replace my old Dell XPS. I wanted a future-proof system that will handle anything I throw at it and looks good--aesthetics are important to me. Primary use is as a workstation for content creation, rendering, some gaming, and general productivity. Went with air instead of AIO for longevity and worry free (AIOs do sometimes leak). Since I am not overclocking my TR temps are just fine--even after multiple stress tests the chip reached a maximum of 63C (even rendering won't push it this hard ;-). It idles at around 31C, and during general use hits 35C, so I am quite happy with it.

The 1080ti is not the greatest overclocker (still tweaking it...), though it has amazing memory overclocks. Should have picked it up back in August when they still existed in the wild at reasonable prices (heavy sigh). Almost went with RTX, but a roughly 20% improvement for an extra premium, and practically useless ray-tracing was a big deterrent. Happy to have avoided the RTX issues as well--perhaps Nvidia will add more ray-tracing cores to next-year's models, and more software will be ready for it by then.

Hope you enjoy the build!

Part Reviews


An absolute beast of a processor. Boosts consistently to 4.3 GHz. Stays within reasonable temps on air alone :-). The 2990WX was tempting, but thus far ALL operating systems remain unoptimized for handling so many cores/threads (outside of limited use-cases). Sixteen cores is the magic number, and the price-per-performance cannot be beat in a single system.

CPU Cooler

Lovely, and love to hate the colors. I'll save the fan for my next wood-themed build.... Keeps my TR4 from throttling even under synthetic stress. Note: pay attention to case size, as this cooler is pretty tall (e.g., it will not fit in the Lian Li 011).

Thermal Compound

I keep ordering this stuff, and it keeps on working!


An absolute monster! I confess that the Tai Chi is more aesthetically pleasing to me, but the Aorus Xtreme is growing on me. Superb vrm cooling, wifi, ports for everything, and so on.... My only complaint is the Fusion software--as it changes my settings inconsistently and does not play nice with my RAM kit.


Decent memory, looks good, 'nough said.


Superb performance, and thermals seem to be just fine so far.


Not the first Barracuda, and likely not the last. Not a bad spin-drive for storage.

Video Card

This particular card does not overclock well--EVGA apparently maxed it out on their end. The memory overclocks are amazing, however. Fantastic performance.


A beautiful case! I was originally planning on the Define R6, but changed my mind when I saw this gem. A delight to build in, mostly: getting the cable-management right in the back was challenging, but it worked out well-enough. As the back is also tempered glass, all cables are clearly seen!

Power Supply

Handles everything in my system well. Has not broken a sweat even maxing out my system during stress tests.

Case Fan

Beautiful fans and functional--perfect for a clear case.

Case Fan

Engineered by the best. Best of all, they are not brown! Picked up two for a push-pull configuration on the CPU and added a y-cable for connecting them to the MOBO. Note: Chromax does NOT come with their own y-cable. Though Noctua states that this part does come with one, they must be referring to the ugly duckling counterpart.


Connected everything easily, works like a charm.


Picked this up primarily for the lighting controller, so the additional RGB strips were a bonus. The ICue software works really well.


Looks good and is functional. Note: it will not work well for all GPUs, depending on cooler design, as some are rather irregularly shaped (e.g., the Aorus Xtreme).


A perfect fit for my build. Used all the cables except the molex, and did not need to add any others.

Comments Sorted by:

TotalInsanity4 1 point 3 months ago

Oh wow, that's really pretty

AshtonBoi 1 point 3 months ago

I wish I had that money, maybe someday lol

AshtonBoi 1 point 3 months ago

But nice PC

tannerman1000 1 point 3 months ago

Please move the gpu up two slots, I feel like the power supply shroud is inhibiting air flow.

nahnahgames submitter 2 Builds 2 points 3 months ago

I had the same concern initially. Slot one places the backplate of the GPU right up against the CPU cooler. After benchmarking the GPU for several hours in a closed case its temps never rose above 72C. So far so good.

[comment deleted]
nahnahgames submitter 2 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

As an experiment I moved the GPU up to the top slot, after adjusting the Noctua cooler up by 6mm. Benching showed slightly better results for the GPU, but the CPU now runs a bit warmer. The GPU backplate radiates a lot of heat, and due to its proximity to the CPU fans that heat gets sucked through the Noctua fins. Not a deal-breaker either way. Too bad the MOBO is x8 for the second PCIe slot, as it would otherwise be perfect.

SlackPackSam 1 point 3 months ago

Move the GPU up to one of the top 2 slots; those slots have 16 PCIe lanes instead of 8. Since your GPU was made to use 16 PCIe lanes, its data transfer will be handicapped in the bottom two PCIe slots.

nahnahgames submitter 2 Builds 2 points 3 months ago

The order of the full-size PCIE lanes on this board, from the top down, are: 16, 8, 16, 8. For more details see the manual (https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/X399-AORUS-XTREME-rev-10#support-manual).

SlackPackSam 1 point 3 months ago

Really? That's incredibly strange; sorry for the misinformation then.

Rocketguy53 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

So the Noctua cooler is doing a great job for you? And in a relatively packed box? I am finishing up a high end WS for a buddy with a 2950 and 128GB of memory. I am also using that cooler and the parts are in a very large and well cooled tower. I ran a stress test in that configuration chugging the CPU at 100% and was getting a temp reading using AMDs utility of about 62 C. Even though he chugs a machine I doubt even his numerical analysis programs will stress it that much. Would you say that is a safe temperature to run the system at the few times it might operate near 100%? Your system looks great.

nahnahgames submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Thank you, I am glad you like it. I have had no thermal issues. Under normal every-day load I rarely hear the CPU fans, and then they are pretty quiet. When benchmarking I stressed every component for long periods, both incrementally and all at once in order to heat the system up as much as possible (CPU, GPU, RAM, M.2)--I did not observe any throttling, though it did get toasty ;-). I am very happy with my Noctua, and am also very happy that it will never leak. The box was tighter to build in than I anticipated, but everything fit just fine once my fat fingers were out of the way, and it boasts plenty of ventilation. All the best on your friend's build.

MEB006 1 point 1 month ago

How many ports does the fan hub have?

nahnahgames submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

It is a 1-8 port hub.

MEB006 1 point 1 month ago