Description

Last desktop build was in 2010 with an AMD 5000 series card, Intel i5-750 and Coolermaster Sniper tower. This is a terrible time to build a new PC with inflated prices but here we are. Most of this build was bought at MicroCenter so the price here isn't accurate.

This system will be used for gaming, Plex transcoding, virtual machine labs and general use by the family. With Intel's recent security blunders and shady business practices, plus my dislike of how they SKU unlocked chips separately meant I was going AMD. Luckily, they're competing again.

CPU/AIO - Go big or go home. Coming from a dual-core machine to one with 16 cores is ridiculous in a good way. This beast allows me to run some VMs in the background and game at the same time with no worries. There's no better cooler at the moment than the Enermax. Though I'm not overclocking now, I have it in place when it's time. Build quality on it is fantastic and mounting was a piece of cake. I read mention of the thermal paste they include not being enough for TR. They must have been frosting it on because there is plenty with lots left over. Rad is set up in push/pull at the moment with the case Aer fans in pull and Corsair ML120 Pros in push.

Motherboard - This one took me a bit to pick. Ended up going with this one for the good reviews, good power delivery and built-in 10Gbps NIC for future proofing. LEDs are minimal. Dual USB2 headers came in handy so I didn’t need a hub. Tons of rear USB ports which I definitely need with this build. RGBSync is second class citizen to Asus Aura.

Memory - Speaking of ASRock’s RGBSync, their website lists Team’s Night Hawk RGB RAM on their RGBSync page. It does not work. Their support told me it’s in the works still. I ended up having to download Team’s Blitz Control software to control the RAM RGB and the software on their website doesn’t work. I got a different link from their support along with some undocumented instructions on a different way to install the software. After all this, Blitz recognized my RAM. Besides that though, the memory itself looks amazing in person, good price relatively speaking and after enabling XMP 2.0 profile in BIOS the memory runs at advertised 3200Mhz. Easy. With all of the DIMM slots I thought 2 sticks would look silly and I wanted to enable quad channel memory anyways, so 32 GB it is. Also comes in handy for virtual machines.

Storage - 960 Evo speaks for itself. Boot drive and room for a few applications that will benefit from the speed. Otherwise, went with the 8TB drive due to a great sale price which will hold the bulk data. I listed the Crucial MX500, however I am actually waiting for their m.2 1 TB version to launch and will be getting that. I love m.2 for the lack of cables. This motherboard sports 3 slots so I’m good to go for a while.

Video Card - Good lord this one. In the height of the mining craze I had to find a video card. I used the NowInStock.net website to keep an eye on all 1080 Tis and lucked out one night. This hybrid card popped up as the only one in stock and was only there for about 20 minutes. Luckily I had read reviews on it previously so I bought without hesitation. Temps are outstanding as you’d expect. The radiator fan isn’t manually controllable, only the blower fan is. It also ramps up and is a bit louder than I would like so I have ordered a Corsair ML120 Pro that will be plugged in to the last channel on the CAM smart device and monitor off of GPU temps there. I may end up setting a fixed low RPM though as the cooler here is very efficient.

The Case - Of all parts this one took me the longest to decide on. It was between the h700i, Fractal’s recently announced Define R6, the Fractal Meshify C and the Corsair Crystal 570x. I think being able to see this in person at MicroCenter helped sell it. I love the white and black combo. Very easy to build in, great cable management options, tempered glass is high quality. No part fitting issues at all. The ventilation slots at the front and top are definitely adequate for air flow. Let’s talk about the infamous smart device then. I haven’t set up the “smart” part of it yet because I found the built-in profiles are fine for now. No, the con is that I didn’t notice that the device only has 1 RGB port which by default runs the RGB strips. Since I picked up AER RGB fans, it was either run the fans or the strips unless I wanted a totally separate Hue+ unit. I opted for the fans obviously so the RGB strips go unused. Other than that, I actually really like CAM and I don’t see all the hate some people throw at it. It’s easy to use, well laid out and hasn’t crashed once on me.

Monitor - Amazing quality build and picture is superb. I ended up arm mounting it on a Freedom HD. Why the HD? Shortly before this I had the 49” Samsung CHG90 and this mount did the trick with that beast. Ended up returning it due to screen separation from the bezel. The only thing I wish the Alienware had is HDR otherwise this monitor is perfect.

Speakers - I have the HyperX Cloud headphones but wanted some speakers that didn’t take up a lot of desk space. Figured a sound bar would work perfect right under the mounted monitor and the Katana had some pretty good reviews. Plus more RGB of course! This sucker is can get very loud… Bass is acceptable for a passively powered unit. * See edit below.

Overall I’m psyched about the build and expect it should last a good 5 years or so. I’m a married adult with kids, and I like RGB…

Thanks for reading my thesis.

--EDIT-- Had more time with CAM. The gaming overlay doesn't work in most games, though I think every game launcher + Nvidia has an overlay so not missing much. Also, forget the smart profile for now. I had to run it 4 times before it would complete and the profile it came up with was backwards. It would run my fans full tilt during idle and turn them off on load. Yeah... Stick to manual fan profiles. Also, the EVGA power supply is easily the loudest thing in my case. I would suggest going Seasonic or Corsair here.

I ended up moving the Katana to a secondary TV in a bedroom where it continues to amaze. I found that I use headphones 99% of the time at the PC so I upgraded from the HyperX Clouds to Audeze LCD2C for open-back and Campfire Audio Cascade for closed-back, late night music listening. Audeze Mobius on preorder for gaming. Schiit Audio Modi 2 Multibit + Vali 2 headphone amp stack.

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Comments

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

The RAM ~water drop emoji~ ~water drop emoji~ ~water drop emoji~

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Raise the gpu to the top pcie slot! Gives you the most lanes :)

  • 26 months ago
  • 4 points

with threadripper it doesn't matter. The 64 PCI-e lanes means he can get 16X in that slot.

  • 26 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. That slot is indeed 16x. I went with that slot because the "wings" of the RAM come closer than I'd like when in the top slot. Plus the bottom would look empty :)

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

had no clue thats awesome

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build with a creative name. I really like the look of that case. Very nice setup!

+1

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much. The case really is great all around. Even more so for those going all air-cooled since it comes with a loadout of air flow fans.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

"Wallet-Ripper" Sounds about right! +4556

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

WALLET RIPPER. BAAHahahahahahahaha. I almost peed my pants laughing. +1 well deserved...

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

haha nice name +1 awesome build too

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, Timelincoln my Threadripper build did the same thing to my wallet also the sad part about it mine was still in my back pocket ouch LOL beautiful build man and I'm an Enermax AIO owner myself how are your temps looking with it installed?

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

LMAO! Thanks for the laugh and compliments. Temps are 28c idle and 54c load going by true CPU temp. I do run push/pull though. It's not needed for temps but I wanted low temps + low noise + the Aers in pull can run fast and pull some sweet cool air toward the GPU as well instead of relying on the push fans to blast through the rad and to the back of the case.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for the name

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Btw, how did you disconnect the top RGB strip?

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the extremely late reply. At the end of the strip there is a pin out to the cable. I disconnected it there to leave the strip in place for future use.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

That's a nice build and a clean setup~

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you much.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

have you already try running VMs? If so, are you using vmware workstation or virtualbox? Thanks,

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

I prefer VMware workstation as we use ESXI at work.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

I like the name!

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

This thing is beast. Good job building it

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you much.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for that processor

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

how many 4 pin connectors are on the mother board?

  • 26 months ago
  • 0 points

You had me at the name. So whay is the correct total price?

Thumbs up.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

About $4700. The site didn't price in the GPU but I paid way less for the monitor and CPU.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool deal. It's a killer pc.

  • 26 months ago
  • 0 points

+1 for the name... nice rig as well. ;)

Might I ask your idle and load temps with that AIO? I'm part hunting now to build my Threadripper rig.

  • 26 months ago
  • 2 points

Sorry for the delay my dude. Idle is 28c and load is 54c true CPU temp. I will say however that I have Corsair ML120 Pros in push and moved the NZXT Aers to be pull. This keeps these lows temps while also being able to run nice and quiet.

  • 26 months ago
  • 0 points

Well said. Great build, I'm excited to see more and more builds inside this awesome case!

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much.

  • 25 months ago
  • 0 points

Pretty cool build man! Can you give me a more detailed review of the monitor now that you've thoroughly used it? I'm considering getting it myself and I heard that the shadowing on the top right corner is pretty noticeable, but in your picture it seems nonexistent. Do you have any issues like that?

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the extremely late reply. I have not heard of nor experienced shadowing in any of the corners. I'm still very happy with the monitor this far in and have no regrets. There is only 1 small negative issue that I have, and that's back light bleed in pitch black scenes. You'll get fairly heavy bleed around the edges.

Also, the monitor is too light for my Ergotech Freedom HD arm. I originally got it to support the Samsung CHG90 when I had it. Even on it's lightest setting, the Alienware will raise itself up to the position seen in the picture.

  • 25 months ago
  • 0 points

Nice build! I have the H200i and really like it.

You might try flipping your EVGA hybrid so the tubing barbs are on the bottom of the radiator. This is the preferred mounting orientation according to EVGA. It should result in quieter operation.

  • 26 months ago
  • -1 points

Damn that is some ugly ram.. of course just my opinion xD nice build man

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

No comment

Good build, but I agree

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