Built to replace my wife's very dated Dell Dimension 9100. Its purpose is primarily her new workstation with four monitors, and secondarily as a multimedia machine with a bit of light gaming. Perhaps I will talk her into a beefier card at some point.... Most of the parts were purchased through Amazon (all Prime) except the mobo (New Egg). Two additional drives were added from her original system (an inexpensive SSD and mechanical drive). The mobo only has four SATA ports, and the build needed at least five, hence the SATA pcie controller--an easy solution.
The only build issue was minor. Before the Phanteks cooler arrived I contacted them for an AM4 adapter--though they responded quickly, the one they sent did not fit. After looking at the brackets that came with the unit itself I happily discovered a correctly sized AM4 bracket ;-). So, even though it is not advertised as Ryzen ready, mine was. Temperatures for both the CPU and GPU are well under control, even under several hours of synthetic stress-tests designed to create heat (Aida64).
The Fractal Design R5 is an absolute joy to build in, could not have wished for more. Cable management was easy as well, making everything look crisp. In spite of the larger cooler and case fans, the build is fairly quiet, even under load.
The mobo bios updated without a hitch, is intuitive, and works very well: the R7 1700 easily overclocked to 4 GHz at 1.35 v (silicon lottery jackpot ;-), and the memory kit now runs at its advertised 2400 MHz using the bios' built in multiplier. The GPU overclocked to 1961 MHz on the core clock, and 3579 MHz on the memory clock.
NOTE: The MSI Tomahawk Arctic employs a different bios than the Tomahawk bios (see the MSI support page for this mobo)--the regular Tomahawk bios will not work on the Arctic version of this board.
My only wish regards MSI Mystic Light, which is very bare-bones for this mobo: color options are limited, etc. If RGB is your thing, you might want to look elsewhere or install a more expensive solution. My wife wants ambient and steady blue, so not a big deal for us.
Hope you find this build informative!
Overclocked to 4 GHz at 1.35 v--won the silicon lottery with this one ;-).
Though not advertised, contact Phanteks for AM4 bracket. They responded immediately to me--make sure it fits when you get it! It is also possible the unit itself already has an AM4 bracket in its hardware kit, so double-check.
Best non-conductive paste currently available.
Great looking board with many helpful connectors for the price. The BIOS is intuitive and works well. Four stars instead of five for the following reasons: wish it had more than four SATA ports, and the Mystic Light RGB software lacks many basic options, including full RGB control and the ability to dim the LEDs. Overall very happy with it.
Runs at 2400 MHz with MSI B350 automated timings.
Best cost per performance for a boot drive.
Best cost per performance for a bit of storage.
Surprisingly has some decent overclocking headroom for such a low-power card; runs cool. Inexpensive all-purpose graphics solution, easily and simultaneously supports four monitors (full HD).
Excellent case, easy to build in, easy to adjust modular bays, easy cable management.
Primarily attracted to the price and the good looking black sleeves. Based on helpful feedback it looks like the G2 or G3 would have been a better choice based on better voltage regulation. Nevertheless, this unit comes with a 10 year warranty, and works just fine.
My second CyberPower UPS (the first is still in use), and not disappointed. Easily supports the full system plus other peripherals (modem, router, etc.).
Works great, comes with extension cables, looks sharp. Perfect for simple and inexpensive RGB.
Practically plug and play. Did not need to manually install drivers--Windows 10 took care of it automatically.