Description

Edits below

This is my second build using the Corsair Crystal 280X case. My aim with this build was to create a 1440p 144hz reference machine that will run every game I throw at it for years to come.

I decided months ago that the build would be based around one of the upcoming AMD Zen2 chips. I purchased the Strix 2080 OC (a powerhouse of a GPU), and then I started sourcing the rest of the parts with (probably too many hours) research going into every purchase.

The last purchase was the Ryzen 3800X. Knowing that the next generation of consoles will use bespoke 8 core Ryzen Zen2 chips drove my decision to eventually settle on the higher rated 3800X. The high boost clock should mean that it is a competitive processor for years to come. Early tests show all cores are boosting between 4450 and 4525 Ghz with basic PBO enabled in the BIOS.

I chose the B450M Mortar motherboard as it has high rated VRM's, dual m.2 slots and as a bonus I really liked the grey/white/silver aesthetic.

The only other thing that remains from my original build is the Cooler Master ML240L. I did replace the stock fans on the AIO with matching LL120's which reduced the noise level and tied the internal look together. The radiator cables are a good fit in the mATX case and early temp levels are idling around 40 degrees and so far maxed out at 72 degrees under load.

The 32GB RAM is running at 3200Mhz under A-XMP config with no additional tweaking needed. The OS and some games are running off the Samsung 970 Evo 1TB NVMe, with all other game and media storage running off the other Intel 2TB NVMe.

I have the Strix 2080 OC running in Quiet mode and I've adjusted the fan curve in the BIOS for the system fans to bring the whole system noise level to close to inaudible when idling in the OS.

The cable extensions are from Shakmods found on eBay. The keyboard, mouse, monitor and headset are all unchanged from my first build.

I'm really happy with the finished result. Early gaming benchmarks are already really strong and should only get better with further BIOS and OS optimizations.

I hope you like the build and let me know if you have any questions.

Edit 1: I temporarily had a 3600X installed. I changed my mind and got a full refund on that CPU, and went for the 3800X instead, which I am keeping and definitely not swapping for the 3900X.....

Edit 2: I've overclocked the RAM to 3333Mhz 16-18-18-36 which seems to be stable. If I push it any further it fails to POST.

Part Reviews

CPU

With basic PBO enabled all cores are hitting between 4,475 to 4,525 Ghz. BIOS and OS optimizations should hopefully boost its performance further.

CPU Cooler

I love this AIO! The cable lengths make it a perfect fit in my mATX case. I did replace the stock fans though with LL120's to match my case and also slightly reduce system noise levels.

Motherboard

A great looking, highly reviewed motherboard (VRM's are best of any mATX AM4 board). I've also successfully used the flashback option when I broke the BIOS playing with memory profiles. Having 2 NVMe slots helped me decide on storage plans as well.

Memory

Running 4x8GB of these is most definitely overkill for current gaming demands, but what was I supposed to do... leave 2 DIMM slots empty!! High class, heavy duty RAM that runs at 3200Mhz out the box when paired with the 3600X.

Storage

Blazing fast, class leading NVMe that I use for my OS and a handful of games.

Storage

I swapped my 4TB Western Digital HDD for this NVMe and I have no regrets. It obviously runs dead silent and is quick enough for my gaming needs.

Video Card

The Quiet mode is superb! It blazes through every game at 1440p Ultra settings and looks like an absolute beast of a GPU.

Case

I love this case. This is my second build using it and I still never get bored looking at it. The cable management means I throw all the mess in the hidden chamber and keep a really minimal look in the main area. 4 x LL120's running a subtle white light give it the finish I was looking for.

Power Supply

Runs dead silent and the full modular cables means I leave most of the mess in the box it came in.

Monitor

A great 1440p 144Hz screen. The heavy metal stand give it a real premium feel and the 27" size is perfect for gaming.

Keyboard

No RGB, just fantastic build quality and design. Two USB 3.0 ports make plugging in thumb sticks super easy for quick access.

Mouse

Battery life isn't great, so I mostly keep it hard wired. Other than that it is perfect for my gaming needs.

Headphones

I've had countless wireless headset, but I'm sticking to wired after using this headset. It's supremely comfortable even after long gaming sessions, and I never have to kick myself because the batteries are dead!

Speakers

I bought these to match the clean lines of the 280X case. I don't think I've ever pushed them over 50% and they sound great with huge bass coming from the sub.

Comments

  • 5 months ago
  • 3 points

Hi daft,

First of all fantastic build. +1

Secondly, I am incredibly interested in this build as I am soon going to build a very similar pc myself. The only difference being the GPU which is going to be the 1080ti, from what I understand the performance of the 2080 and 1080ti is infact quite similar.

I am interested to know what you think about the 3600x as I am conflicted between it and the 9600k given that they are quite similar. The only reason being that I have always used intel and I dont know sort of changes to expect when using AMD.

Also another thing with the mobo, i dont know if i should wait for more x570 micro atx motherboard, other than the one offered from AsRock, or go for the b450 platform. I do plan on using NVME drives and so the newer chipset is inticing, but expensive.

What sort of overclocks have you managed with your AIO as I have the NZXT x52 and would probably expect similar temps to yourself. I have seen reviews where an OC of roughly 4.4GHz is stable but im not sure if this is a good or simple OC.

I have also seen that in PCPP system builder there is an possible incompatability warning where the mobo might require an older generation ryzen to update the bios for the 3000 series. Was this true in your experience?

Thanks, Swift

  • 5 months ago
  • 4 points

Hi Swift,

Thanks for your feedback. I have also only used Intel up to now, my last CPU being a 4690K. My first impressions of the 3600X are very good, but I'm really looking forward to Gamers Nexus giving it the full review to hopefully justify my purchase over Intel. They really liked the 3600, so I'm hoping the improved boost clocks will only improve their opinion for gaming purposes.

If you can stretch your budget you might want to wait on for the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Impact X570 board. This a mini-DTX board that I really liked the look of, but it still has no planned release date and could cost at least 3 times as much as the Mortar. For me, the Mortar is a perfect choice. The support for 2 x NVMe drives is great and I don't see myself having any need for PCI 4.0 devices for the foreseeable future. PCI 5.0 and PCI 6.0 are already known entities, so when the time comes I know there will be a new platform waiting for me.

The Mortar can be flashed without a CPU. You just download the latest BIOS, rename it to MSI.ROM, copy it to a thumb drive and plug it into the assigned USB port. Power up the machine and press the BIOS flash button and 5 minutes later you will have a Ryzen 3000 motherboard waiting for you.

Core Temp 1.14. is recording lows of 35 degrees and highs of 72 degrees on the CPU. I've only had the CPU 24 hours so I haven't stress tested it much. I've enabled PBO in the BIOS and I can see HWiNFO64 reporting the cores boosting to the full 4.4 Ghz, but rarely all 6 cores at the same time. I'm waiting for someone with much more experience post their own guide to maximise the performance of the 3600X.

I hope this helps. Let me know if I can provide any more input.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build! In regard to the ram choice, AMD states the sweet spot of frequency-to-latency for the Zen 2 is 3600 CL16. What were the major factors that led to your decision to go with 3200 CL16?

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! and it was primarily the price. Early on it was announced that 3200 was out of box support for Zen2, so when I was able to pick up 32GB for less than price of 16GB 3600 CL 16, I went for it (and I really liked the Dominator Platinum heavy look). I will try and play around with timings further and see if I can get past 3333 CL16 which I am running now. In real world use, I don't know what the difference will be between 3333 CL16 and 3600 CL16, my guess is very little.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you get some problem of compatibility for the motherboard like flashing the bios because of compatibility because i think i will do a R3000 and B450 combo as i don't need pcie 4.0 .

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

No, but I flashed it first using a 2600X. Since installing the 3600X I have caused the BIOS to fail and not boot because I have been trying different memory profiles. When this happens I use the same method you can use without a CPU where you put the downloaded BIOS on a thumb stick, rename it to MSI.ROM and flash it using the flash button on the motherboard. Here is the official video from MSI on the steps needed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTkXunUAriE

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, I am going to build my desktop with a 2080 coupled with a 3600 and the same PSU as you. I was wondering if your PSU tends to struggle because of the 2080.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I've not performed any detailed testing in my set up to see if it's getting close to upper levels, but I can say I've had no problems so far and I would definitely recommend. 650W is fine, no need to go 1000W crazy.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. This has been gnawing at me ever since I bought the PSU and even considered returning it and getting a 750W one.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, I really like this build. I’m going to be doing a partially similar build soon and I have two questions, if you don’t mind answering them.

The first question I have is how well does that AIO perform with your 3800X? I’m going with the 3700X and I’ll be using the same AIO as you, so I’m just wondering if it performs well since I’m a little hesitant about it. But if it cools the 3800X well then I definitely don’t need to worry.

The next question is have you done any RGB tweaking on your gpu? I’m going to be pairing an MSI motherboard with an ROG GPU as well, and I want to make sure there aren’t any complications when it comes to addressable RGB

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi,

I have HWinfo64 running and it's giving me a average CPU temp of 52.9C with a maximum of 73.6C since it's been measuring today. I've reduced the fan curve, if I set it back to standard it may drop a few degrees.

I have iCue, Aura and Mystic Lighting running simultaneously and I haven't had any problems so far. I'm not using the RGB header on the motherboard. I am using the spare RGB header on the GPU to hook up the AIO RGB and that keeps them in sync together as designed.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

such a clean and fantastic build!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Is this an good CPU cooler?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I need to post a full update because I actually had to swap out the cooler as I found it was leaking! I've installed the stock Wraith Prism for now. I really liked the CM cooler bit I couldn't recommended it again now.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, I really like your build, it's lit !!! It actually motivated me to build my next gaming/programming rig in the same corsair 280x.

I'm also planning to get asus rog strix card, but rx5700xt, which is the same size as yours, but I also wanted to fit a wi-fi card.

I wonder if there is any space to plug a small wi-fi card (i.e. small PCIe slot x1) under the rog GPU in your build??

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm going to say yes. I had the same GPU installed on a different mATX board in the same case and I was able to install a pcie m.2 extension card in the slot below the GPU and it worked ok. Just understand though that it will restrict some air flow from the GPU fans, but probably not enough to worry about.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Great, thanks! :)