This is my first build and it was nothing short of awesome! I purchased most of the parts right before thanksgiving and have had them sitting in my room until I finished the semester. I literally took my last final and that same day came home and built this bad boy. I did run into a couple challenges during the build process but it was overall a great experience and, coming from using a mac for producing music and console for games, i'm looking forward to the greater flexibility and wider options for upgrades in the future. I'll be using this PC for audio production, school, and gaming with the possibility of streaming if time permits. I named it Symbiote like venom from spiderman.
During the build I ran into a couple problems. The first problem I had was that I applied too much thermal paste on my initial attempt to attach the cpu cooler. I had to remove the cooler, wipe the excess paste with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol and reinstall. The Cryorig H7 cooler with AM4 bracket is extremely difficult to install and virtually impossible without the help of someone else. Also the fins on the H7 are very thin and sharp and I cut myself several times trying to get it installed and reaching in the case around it. Lastly, after lining up the motherboard to the I/O shield and stand off screws, later in the build I noticed the USB 3.1 port in the back had a thin metal piece covering the port. I had to remove the motherboard and bend the metal prong back up and carefully reinstall motherboard as to not encounter the same interference. Other than that and the time spent on cable management, I'd say it was a fairly straightforward build and an overall great experience.
I haven't dabbled much with overclocking any of the components of this build yet since I have no experience with overclocking. I did however update the UEFI/Bios of the ASRock X370 Taichi to the latest bios. I also selected the xmp profile for the ram to set it to 2933 Mhz with the timings 15-17-17-35. I'm not entirely sure but I think this put a slight overclock on the cpu automatically because now when I check hardware monitor it says its running at 3.7 ghz at 1.4 volts. That being said I ran some benchmarks at the current settings and on Cinebench I got a CPU score of 1245. I also ran AIDA64 Stress Test on the CPU for a little over 10 minutes and the temps stayed at 60 C throughout. (AIDA64 reported 79 - 80 C but I'm attributing that to the 20 C in-os misread that occurs with Ryzen X chips from what I've read.)
As for financial constraints on Symbiote I managed to stay roughly in budget seeing as I sold an apple mac pro and monitor for more money than this cost and I got some decent upgrades in doing so. I think I got some pretty good deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday and I have about $70 in MIR that I'm waiting on now as well. Also a side note, I did take the k55 keyboard back to microcenter and bought the logitech G810.
Great CPU and is able to handle anything I've wanted to do with it so far. I do plan on overclocking it once I have a better understanding of how to safely do it.
I'm giving this CPU cooler 2 stars because it was extremely difficult to install and I couldn't have done it without the help of someone else. The "snap to fit" am4 setting on the scissor like brackets were very difficult to get exactly into to place to screw it in. The instructions were not clear and it took me a while to figure out how to snap the brackets into place. When installing the H7, it is very hard to screw it in evenly without making the thermal paste spread to one side. Another gripe with this cooler is that the one I got has a slight rattling noise coming from the fan. Also, I cut myself on the fins several times. The reason I'm not giving this just one star is because it does look aesthetically pleasing with the black and white theme, and it gets the job done for cooling this CPU at a mild overclock.
So far so good, does what it's supposed to do
I really like the look of this motherboard, although I could do without the gear aesthetic. I have updated the bios and installed all the latest drivers. I haven't messed around with overclocking so much yet so I cannot speak on it's VRM capabilities but I did change the XMP profile for the ram to 2933 to go with my LPX 3000 ram. The bios is a bit confusing and I think you have to use offsets for overclocking which makes things a bit more tricky so I'm going to have to do some more research before I oc my CPU. I do like the wireless network adapter included in the I/O along with the Bluetooth connection as well. My only complaint is that on the I/O shield there is a small prong that sticks out above the USB 3.1 Type A slot and if your not careful when installing the mb it can get bent down and block the port. I made this mistake and didn't realize it till about halfway through the build and had to pull everything out and try again. But I guess you could chalk that up to user error so I'm still giving this 5 stars.
So far so good, does what it's supposed to do. I check to make sure this ram was compatible with the ASRock X370 Taichi before purchasing. Once I updated the bios and all the drivers, I was able to get the ram to clock at 2933 with the appropriate timings.
Great SSD, really fast and an amazing price on black friday. If you can get this on sale for under $250 I would highly recommend it.
I have not got around to overclocking this GPU yet and I don't quite know what it's capabilities are as far as that goes. It can handle every game I've played so far at the highest settings and still get over 100 fps. GTA V looks incredible and runs very smooth. I was worried my CPU might bottle neck this gpu but I haven't experienced any issues so far but I will be running benchmarks in the near future and will update. I do have a bit of GPU sag but nothing too dramatic and I've seen worse sag on other cards so I can't really complain too much. I mean, it's a pretty massive card, what do you expect?
Amazing case! I love it! I have a love hate relationship with the front mesh design. I would like something a little more simplistic looking but at the same time, it does look pretty cool so I'm okay with it. I got this case for $70 on Black Friday and with all the great reviews, I couldn't pass it up. The cable management in this case was a breeze and I love the rubber grommets and main cable channel on the side. I did buy another fan to put in the front for extra airflow and to create positive airflow throughout the case.
Great PSU that is extremely quiet. I love the eco mode and the fully modular design. All the cables it came with are very sturdy and with a bit of cable training, will bend to where you need them to go. My only gripe is that i don't care for the Sata Power cables included with this PSU as they are a bit harder to manage in the back with the three connections on one cable. Other than that I would highly recommend this PSU especially if you're able to get a good deal on it. I got it for $100 with a $20 MIR.
Great little mouse and awesome for the price I got it at, coming in around $43. I love the rgb settings and it pairs well with the G810 keyboard. It is extremely light and the added weight does not make much of a difference so if you're looking for a heavier mouse, this is not the one for you. The wireless connection is nice and I have not experienced any hindrance in response time. You cannot stray too far from the wireless usb dongle though, which is a disappointment if you plan on gaming on a TV from a distance. I like the design and shape however, it does not fit my hand that well and I did not come to this conclusion until after being past my return period. I get cramps in my hand after only about 30 minutes of gameplay but for casual internet browsing and everyday use it's great.