Description

  • After being a laptop user for many years while building/upgrading/repairing a number of PCs for family and friends, I decided to finally build one for myself. While I feel myself more than adequate when it comes to hardware, I never touched the realms of modding before - so I thought it's time to make some attempt on customization, too.
  • Choosing a theme was a no-brainer: when it comes to gaming, I spend most of my time in the - literal - Universe of Elite : Dangerous. Although my in-game character is an independent space cowboy, I am quite fond of the imperial ship designs from Gutamaya. I thought at least the colors scheme should reflect that. Well, it's mostly grayscale with some blue lights and accents, so I didn't really put the bar far up high, did I? :D
  • The platform was of no question, either. Since the first Ryzen chips came out I wanted to build a system around one. The 2400G currently serves as a placeholder in the build, while the market of discrete graphics cards are settling: AMD's R5xx series are getting old, Nvidia's new RTX cards are way over my budget (and they haven't been proofing their worthiness yet either, in my opinion) and the price of GTX1xxx series cards have not yet been dropped that much, so I'm still waiting out for a while. Maybe for a new AMD Navi GPU, or a yet-to-be announced middle range RTX, or a well priced 1070ti/1080 - I still don't know what comes. Until that, the 2400G performs similarly to my laptop with it's i7-4720HQ/GTX960m and I'm okay with that using a 1080p/60Hz 24 inch monitor.
  • EDIT: meantime I bagged a liquid cooled MSI Vega 64 second-hand. More than plenty for my current needs, was quite tight to fit in this case. Now the pump is the noisiest component in the system at idle, not too disturbing, but still noticeable. Another recent second-hand purchase is a 32", 1440p/144Hz HDR600 Samsung monitor, that is absolutely stunning in both size and image quality, very happy with it! I also replaced the 2400G with a 3700X right after the launch of Zen 2 generation.*
  • The case is also something I was keeping eye on for a while. I admire its compact size and unconventional layout. With the current setup it almost feels empty, but certainly it has enough space for planned future upgrades. The white variant also fits nicely to the theme, I took the grilles out to give them a dark grey coating instead of the factory black. Only trained eyes notice the difference, though. ;)
  • Let's get to the airflow: the case has a number of options for fan setup. Since this machine sits in the corner of the living room where usually other people and animals are present, it needs to be silent while staying relatively cool. I went the 'more fans, less RPM' way: using a reverse airflow scheme, a total of seven PWM case fans were installed. I choose Arctic Cooling's great price/performance ratio products for the task. The back mountings sports two F8s as intakes close to the CPU, two F9s, one on each side close to the RAM and the (soon to be) graphics card also as intakes, while two F12PROs on the front (EDIT: had to take one of them out to make room for the graphics card radiator) and a third one on the bottom panel are serving as exhausts. Since all of these fans are PST variants, no additional fan control hub was necessary, all of them are chained onto the readily available three mobo case fan headers. Setting a custom fan profile in BIOS, they are hardly noticeable during normal use and gaming even by sitting close to the machine on the desk at ear-height. I also determined with smoke test that the case now have a completely neutral pressure in it's normal working conditions while it turns into a somewhat positive pressure chamber when all fans are at 100% (never actually happens, though). The CPU also got it's Arctic treatment in the form of an Alpine 64PRO - while it has a similar basic aluminium heatsink like the stock Ryzen cooler, it weights about 40% more and rated for 90W TDP instead of 65W, not to mention it also have a PRO series fan attached. It keeps the CPU around 30˙C idle, 40-45˙C during moderate usage and about 65˙C during gaming.
  • The motherboard was also chosen based on it's price/performance ratio while also considering its looks. The B450 chipset just came out as I was planning the build, and MSI's B450 Mortar seemed up to the task while the Titanium variant looked just right to my eyes. It has a solid, 4+2 phase VRM layout that allows some safe overclocking without having to worry about increased currents, and has all the necessary headers and I/O ports I was aiming for. The hottest part of it is the 2 phase SoC VRM that has been left without any dedicated cooling by MSI, but I ordered some 14mm passive heatsinks from Fischer those will be fixed on the MOSFETs with adhesive thermal pads to counter this weakness. There is a very good youtube review about this board, that basically reinforced my findings.
  • As for memory modules, I aimed for speed more than capacity within the confines of my budget. I learned from my usual activities including gaming that memory usage barely breaking 8GB, so even if considering that the integrated Vega 11 GPU chunks off max 2GBs as dedicated video memory, 16GB will serve me well for a while. Knowing also that Ryzen loves fast memory, I opted for a pair of 3200MHz Corsair Vengeance LPX modules. White ones, because, yes, the theme... At this moment, they are running stable at 3400MHz with 1.4V and stock timings, I haven't had much time for tinkering any further with them.
  • I bought a 256GB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe drive that hosts the OS while also having enough space to put currently installed games on it for quick access. The reason for choosing Samsung is that I've been using a 512GB 840Pro as the main drive in my laptop for more than five years and it's been a reliable device with excellent performance for all that time. Now, at 94% health with more than 25TBs written and 1100 days running it is going to serve as secondary drive in this build. I hope its younger bro will live up to the family name.
  • But why on Earth need this build that 750W PSU, you might ask. Well, it doesn't. I calculated that with any possible future upgrade the power requirements would top at about 500W, and by being a better safe than sorry person, I originally specified my needs at 650, generously giving the healthy 20% surplus to the system. I also previously pinned down Corsair's TXM gold rated series for it's appealing specs and p/p ratio. Then, I found only one retailer offering the 650W variant at that time (in my country, Hungary anyway), for about the same price than the best offer was on the 750W. More juice for the same money? I'll sure take that... :)
  • Since I never actually done any cable sleeving before, I decided to make my own extension cables rather than possibly ruining the ones on the PSU (ATX and EPS are fixed on this series, only PCI and periperials are modular). I covered whatever I could with MDPC-X white-carbon sleeves, one exception being the onboard front USB3 cable. I'm still looking for suitable connectors to make an extension for that too, anyway.
  • Some additional decoration vinyls were ordered from a local print shop - making the poor guy re-do the window foil three times, first because I did not specify the orientation of the cutout, secondly parts were missing from the shape (frosted glass foil is a ***** to work with, I learnt), third time he made it right and I also managed to apply it without creasing or tearing.
  • Ah, yes, the RGB part. To be honest, I don't really care about RGB'ing everything. Even less than willing to pay the RGB tax on the parts. So, beside the mobo's LEDs I just slapped on some 5050 strips remained from a home decoration project, connected to one of the motherboard RGB header and called it a day. MSI Mystic Light is taking care of the rest - not that it'd need too much effort, they are set to medium-light blue for most of the time, anyway.
  • This is it for now, thanks for reading, I'll update the build log with any future changes and upgrades.

Comments

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

awesome but for a $1500 build without gpu is mind boggling.

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

The price for the samsung 840 SSD $466.88 is not realistic. Obviously its a very old ssd which is out of stock so it will show high unrealistic prices and prices for ssd now are pretty low. Im pretty sure by reading the description that he took the five year old one from his laptop and use it in this build.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

I was also shocked by this

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

When I clicked on this build I wasn’t expecting a college thesis... Good build and it looks nice though!

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

While I'm not sure whether the thesis part is sarcasm or compliment from your end, thank you for reading it through and commenting. :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Excellent build. $1500 worth of quality for not $1500. It looks like you spent way more on it than you did, because of all the extra effort that went into the details. Nice job :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I just edited the price list in order to reflect actual build costs.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

If you read the description he is using an old ssd from his laptop, which because is so old is showing that price which is ridiculous. (samsung 840 SSD $466.88). So he didn't spend that much on the build.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

I have indeed read the description, and entire comment thread, including the comment where the poster said they spent only $800. I meant my comment more as a humorous take on the confusion in the comments, and, ironically, inadvertently added to the confusion.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

How quiet are those Arctic fans? I've always been disappointed in case fans, but my ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 is quiet enough I've been considering redoing my rig with a bunch of their PST F12 fans.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

For the price... arctic fans are amazing.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Well, although with an uncalibrated device, but I measured 27dB on idle - I had to evacuate the crickets (livestock for my gecko) from the room because they ruined my experiment. :) A custom profile also helps to keep things quiet: case fans are running between 600 (F12Pros) and 900 (F8s) RPM on idle and set to progressively ramp up based on enclosure temp readings. I could not push system temp higher up than 45 degrees even with extensive benchmarking - of course there's no discrete GPU yet, that would surely put some more heat out. CPU fan runs at 900 on idle and also set progressively ramp to 100%@75˙C. I also used Freezer tower coolers in a couple of builds for friends, and I'm very satisfied with their performance, especially considering their price range. I also used quite a lot of their case fans for other applications than computing, for example, promoting active airflow in refrigerated display counter cabinets. They are widely available and really inexpensive where I live. I did actually get the CPU cooler for six bucks, brand new. I highly encourage you to use some Arctic case fans in your build. Be aware though, that Pro variants can only be used as exhausts due to their one side restricted mounting.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow! Thanks for the work you put into the response. I think I will try to get that 5 pack of PST F12 fans... The ones in the 5 pack I was thinking of are only the regular PST variety, so I suppose they could be used for intake and exhaust.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Indeed, the value pack of 5 is a really good deal. Non-Pro variants are unidirectional just like any other conventional case fans out there. With the PST you can easily sync their running profiles, basically set one curve for a number of fans chained onto a specific mobo header. Pay attention not to overload the motherboard's fan driver though, by chaining up too many on one header, I'd advise max four fans per header. More than that you might need consider getting an active fan hub that runs on separate power from the mobo.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Good call on not hooking up too many fans, I'll probably stick to chaining the two or three intake fans and then the two or three exhaust fans to two different headers, depending on what motherboard and case they ends up on. The active fan hub is also a good idea!

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Really nice build!

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

I have been rocking a DeLacy build for years... https://imgur.com/rQ5Wrj8 Notice the cables everywhere...

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

At a point in the building process I was thinking 'screw the sleeving and routing, I leave them cables loose with some duct tape here and there' :D

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

Does this case have feet on the side you have facing down? or is it just metal?

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

The 4 rubber feet comes in a bag with self adhesive tape applied, one can place them on the side of choice.

  • 15 months ago
  • 0 points

There are plenty of builds on here that don't have gpus in it.

He described exactly what his intentions/motives are. It's a beautiful build.

My only issue is you spent $1500 and are going to eventually get a new gpu, but are limited to 60 fps because of that monitor :( A build like this mixed with a quality video card will give you high frame rates. On top of the gpu, you'll probably be looking for another monitor.

Love the looks of everything though. I've always been attracted to that case.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

If you read the description he is using an old ssd from his laptop, which because is so old is showing that price which is ridiculous. (samsung 840 SSD $466.88). So he didn't spend that much on the build.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Calm down there cowboy. Cool, he spent $900 instead. My comments still stands. After he spends money on a gpu, he is still limited at 60fps.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Not true.. it all depends on games and resolution.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

60hz monitor. Sure, his setup will produce frames higher than 60fps, but he will not see them. Sorry if this comes off as talking trash :p

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! I bought that monitor like seven months earlier, it has freesync up to 72Hz and has decent enough image quality for my current needs. Anyway, now deleted from the part list, also edited prices to reflect actual costs. Not sure if I will replace the display in the future when the GPU comes or go straight for a VR headset. By playing a lot of E:D it would make sense, but I'm not that attracted towards VR as of yet.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you for reading through and understanding my intentions correctly. I do wanted to make some future-proofing here and this is what I figured out. Actually, I did consider about getting a 2600 paired up with a lower grade discrete GPU (like a 1050ti or RX560) but then I must've been cutting back on other essential components like RAM.

The prices listed here are also way off from what I actually spent, it's more like about $800 with all nuts and bolts, modding components included. The 840PRO is a more than five years old purchase, I got the 1TB hybrid drive just lying around here for a while - don't even remember where it came from exactly, must've been a leftover part from someone's laptop upgrade I made some time ago - and my Samsung display is about seven months old. There are also some discrepancies on smaller things like the CPU cooler. I bought it brand new for about $6.50, not even close to $20.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks, edited! I didn't know I can do that, never used the site before, I usually just visited to browse existing builds for some inspiration.

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[comment deleted by staff]
  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

The price for the samsung 840 SSD $466.88 is not realistic. Obviously its a very old ssd which is out of stock so it will show high unrealistic prices and prices for ssd now are pretty low. Im pretty sure by reading the description that he took the five year old one from his laptop and use it in this build.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

That's it, precisely. Even back in 2013, when I bought it I haven't payed that much for it, more like about $265. It was a grey import but it checked out on Samsung's genuine product verification.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

You should manually put the price to 0 so ppl stop talking trash.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks, just did that and edited the rest to reflect actual costs. Appreciate your persistent assistance in responding to comments! ;)

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Tell me where someone talked trash.

It becomes trash when someone hasn't even read his post.

How did you manage to spend $1500 with a 2400G and no GPU... then complain that RTX cards are overpriced...

awesome but for a $1500 build without gpu is mind boggling.

My first reaction, he spends $1565 and no discrete GPU ?!?!! This guy got a screw loose. And all those fans! What in the world is he doing?

My only issue is you spent $1500 and are going to eventually get a new gpu, but are limited to 60 fps because of that monitor

[comment deleted by staff]