// INTRO // I was planing to build a new system to cover all of my needs. Before building this system I had a 8700k / 1070 gaming system home, but I wanted a machine capable of streaming. Looking futher in to the requirements of streaming, I highly considered to have 2 x systems (current gaming PC + streaming PC. Then the idea came along to build everything in a single system. I choose to go with a TR4 platform, and sav great value in the 1st gen Threadripper products. This opened up a new oppertunity for me to combine a workstation / gaming / streaming PC.
// THE BUILD // After I decided to go with the TR4 - X399 platfrom I went scouting for parts. X399 offered me alot of PCIe expantion capailities. This combined with the core count possibilities of the platform and pricing, was what landed the decition for me to go with X399. I landed on a Threadripper 1920X, a 12core 24thread part who offered great value and upgradeabilities for the future if the need was there. The motherboard choise was decided by 2 factors. I wanted a motherboard with maxed out PCIe lanes for the TR4 platform and decent VRMs (for overclocking and upgrading to newer parts in the future). 2nd reason I went with the AsRock X399M Taichi was the micro-ATX form factor, I wanted a motherboard who would fit in a micro-ATX case so I could pack the system into a smaller more portable case in the future. I brought in some parts I already had from the old i7 8700k / GTX1070 system: - G.skill Trident Z 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4 3400MHz - Samsung 960 EVO 500GB M.2-2280 NVMe SSD - NZXT E850 W 80+Gold PSU
I wanted to take advantage of the 3 x M.2 slots on the AsRock X399M Taichi and of the StoreMI software on the TR4 platform. I purchased 2 x Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2-2280 NVMe SSD to fill the last 2 spots. All the 3drives would have a special assignment, here is how i ended up configure it: - 970 Evo: Main Drive for OS, critical software and programs. - 970 Evo: Media Drive for storing CAD projects, creative work and other media - 960 Evo: Game Drive for storing all of my games With one M.2 drive for each category, I could easly add additional storage and configure it in the StoreMI software to expand upon the M.2 Drives and use it as cache for my most used assets within the diffrent categorys.
This ment I was gonna need a PC case with some HDD bay capacity. I wanted a simplistic modern design with good cable managment capabilities but also good airflow. I was unsure if I wanted to watercool the system with a custom loop, but wanted to keep the option open. The case choise landed on Fractal Design R6, it had everything I was looking for in a clean looking design with the TG blackout edition beeing my choise.
At this point I had both of my displays home: - Dell U2717D (27.0" / IPS / 2560x1440 / 60Hz) for colour accurate work and my main display for productivity tasks. - Dell S2719DGF (27.0" / TN / 2560x1440 / 155Hz) for gaming I wanted a GPU who could take better advantage of the 155Hz gaming display, my dilemma was that I also wanted a GPU who could help me accelerate my compute intensive workloads. The options I concidered where: - Keep the 1070 and spend big on a new Quadro/Insinct workstation card. - Get a Titan V - Get a Radeon VII With the huge price on Quadro/Instinc and Titan V GPUs, I decided to go with the Radeon VII. It filled my needs for acceleration in compute intensive tasks, and gave me a huge boost in gaming performance. With 16GB of blazing fast HBM2 I feel this is a card I will have a long time.
I keept my Logitech G stuff from the old system since all of them are very comfortable to use and allow for multiple profiles to be used in different configurations for diffrent tasks.
// THE RESULT // As the tech nerd I am, I ended up overclocking my system. With the help of the Enermax LIQTECH TR4 II 360, I managed to clock the AMD TR 1920X to 4.2GHz on all 12cores @ 1.38V. One thing I noticed with the Radeon VII GPU during the overclocking, was the cluncky way the stock cooler on the GPU was dicepating the heat. Radeon VII have a 3fan downvdraft + heatsink confuguration. The problem with this is that the heat needs to exit the card from the sides and in the back. In the back is fine, this has the same effect as a blower style cooler card. The amount of heated air who escapes from the back is not everything tho. The rest of the air wants to exit form the 2 open sides of the card. The side facing out from the motherboard have a very small cut out due to the illuminated Radeon logo. This leaves the card with disepating most of its heat towards the motherboard witch restricts the air flow signifently. After facing this problem, I came up with a unconventional solution. I got the Fractal Design Flex VRC-25 (vertical gpu bracket). This allowed the air on both sides of the cards to disepate properly into the case air flow. Normally a vertical gpu bracket in most PC cases is mounted to close to the side panel and result in a worse overall thermal result for the GPU. In my case I ended up with better GPU thermals due to the earlier restricted air flow directly towards the motherboard. I managed to hit 1975MHz on the core and 1200MHz on the HBM2 memory with the fan arround 2200-2750rpm.
The system ended up covering all my needs, with plenty of upgrade options for the future if i should need so. Iam very happy with the result.
// PLANS FOR THE FUTURE // First thing on the agenda is 6 x HDDs, 2 x HDDs for each M.2 drive to expand with the StoreMI software. I am tempted to upgrade the CPU, so I am following the development of a rumored Threadripper 3000 part. For now I am fine with the current 1920X part. Another thing I am following closely is the Radeon VII price development. With the new Navi parts out (RX5700 / RX5700 XT) its likely that Radeon VII will go on sale when eventuall RX5800/XT and RX5900/XT parts comes out. Lastly I have a dream to make a custom watter cooling loop with 1 x 360mm and 2 x 120mm radiators, monoblock for CPU/VRM and waterblock for Radeon VII.
If you have any questions to me regarding the build, my experiences with the parts etc. feel free to leave a comment and I will reply as best as I can! Sorry for my "engrish" cheers everyone!
Exceptional value if you want a entry level workstation CPU with 64PCIe lanes unlocked! I managed to overclock my sample to 4.2GHz on all cores with 1.38V and cooling provided by Enermax Liqtech II TR4 360 AIO. With the 4.2GHz OC, the CPU does well in gaming, but when gaming in 1440p the CPU plays 2nd role after your GPU of choice anyway. Killer CPU for streaming from a single system - Highly Recommended!
Best option for 360 sized radiator AIO cooler for TR4. It does it job well, but I changed the fans to Noctua fans for maximal performance with as low as possible noise levels. Only 4/5 stars because of clunky RGB controller. Cooling performance is excellent, I managed a 4.2GHz all core OC on my AMD Threadripper 1920x 12core part with 1.38V. Temps are arround 67C at full load. Recommend!
Simply the best performing and most concisten paste on the market, 5/5 - Highly recommended
This is one of the few, if not the only micro-ATX TR4 motherboard? Regardless, this board offer huge value in terms of what you get for your money! 3 x PCIe x16 slots 3 x M.2 PCIe x4 slots - ALL wired directly to the CPU to take advantage of the Threadripper platforms massive PCIe offerings. The board have decent VRMs, and overclocks nicely while keeping temperatures cool, the IO has all you can ask for + wifi. Overall great value for the money you pay for it. It's not the absolute best TR4 motherboard out there, but it's definitely best in its class (form factor + price range)! 5/5 - Highly recommended
As a pure gaming card I would give this a 4/5 - it's a little bit expensive for gaming only. Radeon VII offers more than just gaming performance, and that's the ONLY reason you should buy one (if you can take advantage of this). The card offers excellent value when it comes to its compute + gaming performance combined, its also a tweakers dream with lots of gains in performance, thermals and noise levels to be had if you are willing to spend some time on it. Out of the box for gaming only, there are better offers out there! But if you are planing to build a workstation + gaming build, the Radeon VII is absolutely worth taking a closer look at! 5/5 - for workstation + gaming builds (great value) 4/5 - for gaming only (there are better options)