Description

EDIT #1: Upgraded around Black Friday 2k18 to a barely used GTX 1070 I got for $217 and I also got a 256GB M.2 NVMe drive to eventually use as my boot drive. Also upgraded to a Ryzen 7 1700x for $143 new from Microcenter.

EDIT #2: Decided to add RGB LED's to the Zotac Logo on the front of the card & also modded the TDP limit of the card for a nearly 3x increase. Reddit post detailing all the mods HERE

EDIT #3: Got an AOC G2590FX 1080p 144Hz monitor, this thing is a beautiful beast!

EDIT #4: Upgraded CPU Cooler to the Scythe Mugen 5, amazing cooler significantly lower temps than my Hyper 212 Evo.

EDIT #5: Upgraded PSU to a 750W Corsair CXM I got refurbished for $42. Also got a Creative Audigy FX SB1570 Sound Card, literally just for oscilloscope music.

EDIT #6: Bought 16GB more of T-Force RGB RAM for $60 and the RGB looks amazing, also got a G502 Mouse for Amazon Prime Day & I love this thing! It feels amazing and the adjustable weights are surprisingly useful to tune the weight to your liking. Had to bump the dram voltage to 1.36V to get the 32GB to run without errors in MemTest86 at 3GHz, but its all good now.


This build is actually just an upgrade from my old one which you can find HERE, I recommend you read that before continuing because it covers most of the uses of this computer.

Upgraded to the R5 1600 because of its amazing multi and single core performance and cause Microcenter had a very nice deal on it, $169.99. It was pretty much in between the 1600 and the i5-7600K but in the end I went with Ryzen because of the higher core count and my need for speedy renders. Overall im pretty happy with its performance I can tell that programs like F360 and Photoshop are definitely a lot quicker and less laggy as well as the way faster model loading and rendering compared to the 8320.

The STRIX B350-F was chosen because it was the only price range applicable AM4 MB at Microcenter at only $84.99 with the -$30 CPU+MB combo deal. I didn't expect a lot from this board though ive actually been blown away by some of its features and premium feel for only $85. To start the heatsinks and overall feel to the PCB are just great and feel, very nice and sturdy. The onboard "Asus Aura" RGB section does get pretty much completely covered by my GPU though thats not a problem because of the RGB strips I added inside the case. The added functionality of the Aura RGB headers running on just the simple 12V, R, G and B pins makes it super simple to add any kind of off the shelf LED strips which is another great feature. Another thing I didnt realize existed until I visited the B350 webpage was the option to 3D print addons to the MB like an IO cover, Main Power connector cover or even cable combs. I do own two printers so I may try and print the IO cover but other than that I think its a little more gimmicky than anything else, its still a nice touch though. The BIOS is awesome and super easy to use though most of them are these days, but another cool feature is how on startup the only screens I get before Windows starts are these awesome Republic of Gamers logos and nothing else, no AMERICAN MEGATRENDS screens or whatever, just sleek ROG. One thing I do wish was different is the fan headers, I wish there were just more of them and towards the middle of the board or around the main power connector as well.

16GB of Team Dark DDR4 was chosen because it was the cheapest option available, at $140, for 16GB of RAM during the tragic worldwide NAND shortage that I hope to god will be over soon. Took a little bit of fiddling with in the BIOS to get running at 2933MHz but its been running well so far. Clearance is also not a problem even with the giant 212 EVO cooler on it so another +1 to the B350-F.

Other than that I haven't changed to much from before except for a couple more fans an extra 256GB SSD and a new keyboard. Below is a short list of benchmarks.

As you might imagine FurMark saw literally no increase because its solely GPU based so the score stayed pretty much exactly the same.

OLD SETUP: FurMark; Score: 5418 (FPS: 90) 1920x1080 8xMSAA

Now Fire Strike on the other hand saw a HUGE performance increase on the Physics side, over twice the Physics score at 16,059 compared to the 8320's 6,768. NOTE: I haven't overclocked my GPU yet so thats why the score is a bit low.

Fire Strike; Score 10,235 | Graphics Score: 11,570 | Physics: 16,059

OLD SETUP: Fire Strike; Score: 7,991 Graphics Score: 11,384 Physics: 6,768


Black Friday 2k18 Upgrade Benchmarks:

w/ Ryzen 1600 & 1060 3GB:

Fire Strike; Score 10,235 | Graphics Score: 11,570 | Physics: 16,059

New Score with 1700x & 1070 8GB:

Fire Strike; Score 15,237 | Graphics Score: 18,930 | Physics: 18,709

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Got this cooler for $47 and it was an amazing upgrade from my Hyper 212 Evo. Temps dropped by over 20°C from my Hyper 212. The mounting for this is a little odd and you'll need the included screw driver to install it, but otherwise its a breeze. This cooler is significantly bigger than the Hyper 212 as well weighing in at 762g with no fans or mounting hardware, while the 212 weighs 453g.

Motherboard

Purchased this board in November of 2017 for $89 at Microcenter and its been running fine for almost 2 years. This board is definitely the best bang for your buck if you're looking to build an AM4 desktop as its feature packed and affordable. The built in RGB on the chipset heatsink is nice, but if you have a long GPU it will be completely covered by it which just seems like a design oversight. However the RGB headers on the board make it extremely easy to add your own RGB LED Strips to your case which makes up for the chipset LEDs. The only downside about this board which PCPP did warn me about, but I didn't notice was when the M.2 slot is used it disables 2x of the Sata ports which leaves you with only 4x Sata ports and the M.2 slot. This isn't a huge problem as if you need the extra Sata ports you can get a PCIe to M.2 adapter for dirt cheap however its a bit annoying and I am currently using all the Sata ports myself which means I might need an adapter myself in the future. Overall its a great board with a few minor problems, but makes up for it with its affordability.

Memory

Got this in november of 2017 during the NAND shortage for $140 when I was building this computer, looking back now when this ram is $60 is unfortunate, but I can't complain as this stuff has lasted almost 2 years with no errors or problems thus far. The stuff looks great and runs fine in my Asus B350-F motherboard with a Ryzen 1700X @3GHz with only a slight 1.36V increase to keep it stable. Would highly recommend however I just purchased the T-Force Delta which is the RGB version of this ram and it looks amazing so if there price points are similar I would highly recommend the RGB version!

Case

What a case, I love it and everything about it! The main feature and reason I bought it was the PSU cover which makes all the difference in the world for how clean your build looks. The front door is super useful because you can still have the external bays for optical drives or in my case a fan controller but you dont see it from the front constantly because of the door. Overall its been my favorite case to work in and I would highly recommend it.

EDIT: 2.5 Years later and this case is STILL kicking! Looks brand new and has had pretty much two entire rebuilds inside of it, can't recommend enough!

Keyboard

Love this keyboard, i've had it for at least 2 years and its still going strong! The main complaint i've seen about this keyboard is that technically its a membrane board however it feels more mechanical than usual. For me I love this as I personally don't like fully mechanical keyboards like Cherry MX's or whatever and I also don't like membranes, this is a perfect middle ground that is very comfortable. While this keyboard is RGB it IS NOT fully addressable, there are only 5 RGB zones that can be configured in the Logitech software, however at this price point that is acceptable. TL;DR if you like fully mechanical board this isn't for you, but if you like an in between you'll love this board!

Comments

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey did you like the mouse , keyboard and the headset? Thinking of grabbing all three

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah actually I've loved all three! The headset I really love just because of the deep bass rumble feature, it really makes the bass feel unique. The G300s mouse I still love and I actually bought another one for my laptop at work as the programmable auto select macros are great for F360 and games like Arma 3.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Thats great, are your hands big tho? Because the mouse looks big and i have moderately big hands and cant decide whether its gonna fit me right or not..

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey sorry for the late reply, wish I would get email notifs for comments, oh well. Anyways I have relatively large hands, however I think this mouse would fit most people, but its hard to say. Recommend just buying it on Amazon and then returning it if it doesn't fit.

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok thanks.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

I have the same Motherboard and it is a great board. Did you update the bios?

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I did, I think it helped with my memory stability at 2933 but not sure.