Well after 4.5-years I decided it was time to build another rig. I was using an AMD FX-8350 Black Edition, an Asus Sabertooth motherboard, 32gb of DDR3 in a Cooler Master Cosmos II with a custom fabricated acrylic side panel so this new rig was a good step up.
When I was putting my components together here on PCPP I initially had picked out an Intel Core i7-8700K and a Gigabyte z370 Gaming 5 motherboard. I had come to realize that if by getting an Intel chip that to have the temps that I wanted I was going to have to delid it and that was even more money. Another expenditure I wasn't really looking forward to. Huh! Speaking of money, I originally had budgeted $3000 for this build and when it was all said and done I wound up spending $6700- OUCH! Thank goodness for tax refunds!
At the last minute though, maybe a week before I was going to make all my purchases I decided to get the AMD Ryzen 1800x and a Gigabyte x370 Gaming 5 motherboard. I knew that AMD chips ran quite a bit cooler than the opposing Intel chips do but I was still weary because I had read so many troubleshooting threads on the forum and most involved Ryzen chips and other incompatibility issues with the memory or no display issues.
Once it was all put together and I first clicked that power button, everything booted just fine, in fact the motherboard immediately recognized the NVMe SSD installed on it and the Windows 10 installation was a breeze.
For those wondering, the mini display will cater to an assortment of Rainmeter widgets keeping me informed of CPU and RAM utilization as well as GPU. It will keep me updated on network monitoring as well as drive usage. If your interested in doing this for your rig THIS DISPLAY is only 5” and is what I used. It has an acrylic border/frame that’s bi-colored. I needed the frame black so I just bought some Krylon satin black spray paint and painted that and the white plastic screws to keep the frame together. If you don’t want your HDMI and micro USB to stick out on the side I bought THIS HDMI with a hard 90 degree angle on it and THIS mini USB with a hard 90 angle on it.
In case your wondering or come across any mention that these displays can be powered by HDMI only... NO, unless you solder a couple of leads together. I didn’t want to mess with solder and being powered by USB was no problem since I have two USB headers on my motherboard. You’ll need a USB header plug to standard USB Type-A plug to connect to your motherboard and THIS adapter is what I bought. I also bought a HDMI Coupler and this Ultra Thin HDMI cable for ease of routing purposes. Here’s a VIDEO of the possibilities of a mini display running your stats.
I also got the JDS Labs: The Element AMP/DAC & OL Switcher PreAmp. Nice crisp, clear & defined sound. The Element has a pair of line outs that go to the OL Switcher PreAmp that controls volume for my studio monitors and sub. With the switch of a button on the back of The Element it switches it over to my headphones. I couldn't have a nicer setup, I love it.
This CPU is great. It OC'd quite well to 3.9GHz and it stays relatively cool all the time, even under load. I got it to 4GHz but stepped it back a tad just for the hell of it, besides I'm not looking to try and push the max out of it. While encoding in Handbrake the temperature never rose over 53°C. Man I can encode a video quick with this thing.
I bought the 1800x because I only ever upgrade between 4-6 years so it's pretty much future proofed. What else can I say other than it performs like it should.
This cooler is awesome, it keeps my temps well within reason. Aesthetically, it's pretty neutral but performance wise it's very good at what it does. I took the stock fans off and replaced them with Corsair's LL120 fans in a push configuration.
It's very convenient that the cooler has it's own little fan hub and because of that I only had one cable to have to deal with and that was the one coming from the block. That was easy enough to manage as it conveniently came off the bottom of the block and was easily routed behind the video card and terminated on a AIO header on the bottom of the motherboard.
All-in-all I'm very happy with this cooler.
Well, I’ve had Gigabyte motherboards in the past and they’ve performed quite well actually. The board itself is designed fairly decent but the only caveat I have is that the M.2 slot sits directly under the video card which could possibly increase heat to the SSD but I haven’t researched that yet so I’m not quite sure on that aspect.
All the connectors are well placed and it’s nice that it has a dedicated AIO fan header that’s rated at 3A. That was actually one of the deciding factors because the ASUS board I originally had picked out, only the CPU_FAN header was rated at 2A. Since I changed the fans out on my Fractal Design Celsius s36, the pump and the three Corsair LL120’s rated a little over 2A so I needed a board with a higher amperage rated fan header and this Gigabyte board fit the bill.
One of the deciding factors on buying this board was that it included a dedicated Sound Blaster X-Fi software suite specially designed for this motherboards audio chip. I was sorely disappointed when I tried to use it though as my JDS Labs: The Element AMP/DAC connected via a USB cable so The Element became my default playback device and the X-Fi software required the audio chip as the default playback device so it didn’t work. Was a little disappointed to say the least.
Not much you can say about RAM. Being RGB the colors are rich and vibrant. It performs as most memory does.
I bought this little guy as a scratch disk for my video save-to location when I use Handbrake as well as my Photoshop and Premier Pro scratch location as they require a location for cache files and quick saves.
I also bought a custom RGB SSD cover for it over at JMmods.
I decided to buy this drive for my OS drive and the motherboard immediately recognized it and because of that my clean install of Windows 10 Pro was seamless. Unfortunately it sits behind my video card so you can’t even see it but at least it’s there and working great.
I throw all my installation files on it and relocate all my user folders to various drives including my Dowloads and Pictures directories to my HDD data drive inside my Dropbox directory so it will sync up to my gaming laptop.
This drive was a carryover from my previous rig as it used to be my OS drive. Now it’s main purpose is to house my Steam, Uplay, Origin & BattleNet games as it gives them a slight loading increase and quicker access times. I have noticed a dramatic improvement over having my games on it rather than on my HDD from my last rig. Old but true to its purpose.
This drive serves just as a storage based drive and to house all my Dropbox files.
I also bought a custom RGB HDD cover for it over at JMmods.
What can I say about the GTX 1080 Ti, it’s a fantastic video card to say the least. Presently I have two 144Hz, 32” monitors as was as my mini display hooked into it. So far it has done me well. The pictures don’t show it but i’ve ordered a custom RGB backplate for it but I haven’t received it yet. You can find those over at JMmods where they’ll custom design just about any design you can fester up and they’ll put it to custom fabricated acrylic and RGB goodness.
As far as games are concerned, this will play all my games at either high or ultra setting and I’ll get anywhere between 70-120 FPS in them. In The Division at Ultra settings it’s buttery smooth and I get no jerks or stuttering whatsoever.
It’s difficult deciding on what case to go with don’t you think? At first I loved the look of the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Tempered Glass case but then I kept seeing review after review of its restricted airflow so I decided not to buy it. There are literally thousands of cases to sort through in order to find just that special one because it’s your centerpiece, it’s the first thing people see when they get a glimpse of your computer so it has to be an eye catcher.
About that time a couple of cases started emerging with all tempered glass and boy was I hooked. I must have watched every single video on YouTube about this case and I definitely wanted it. The only thing that made me pause in getting it was that the PSU shroud was open on the end and that there was only one cutout at the bottom of the motherboard in the shroud and I’m sorry Corsair for saying this, that’s poor designing on your part.
I set out to find someone that can custom fabricate a better designed PSU shroud for it and I hit gold with a company called Savant PCs and they will customize a better PSU shroud for your Corsair 570x. I had two slots placed at the bottom of the motherboard and another placed front and right for the GPU cables all with grommets. They also put an end cap on it so my PSU cables don’t come through the side. They also made a cutout for the Corsair logo in the front and topped it all off with a nice flat black powder coating. Once I got it I drilled out the rivets on the original PSU shroud and riveted in the new one, you can’t even tell it didn't come stock that way.
This power supply was a carryover from my last rig. It has a 7 year warranty and I’m only 4-years into it so might as well make the best of a good thing and continue using it.
I still had the ugly black braided cables for it and I asked myself do I want to design my own custom cables or outsource for some, I decided on the latter. I started looking at CableMod then stumbled across Ensourced and started looking at completed builds that used Ensourced cables and I kept seeing issues with uniformity where the cable bunch looked disarray. So I looked some more and went to my old source for supplies at MDPC-X and noticed that they now had online resellers and found Mod-One located here in the USA. I was in hog heaven being able to get all the nice rich colors and they did the sleeving for me and for my PSU too.
The custom cables we’re expensive that’s a given considering they’re the best so I bought my SATA power cables and EPS cable first. Then on another order I bought the VGA cable and on my last order I finally bought the 24-pin motherboard cable and that one was expensive as hell to get.
The pictures show some be quiet! Silent Wings 3 fans but I ended up returning them and getting two sets of these Corsair LL120 RGB fans giving me a total of six fans. I couldn’t be happier. I’m quite sure that they wouldn’t have been as quiet as the others but with my Custom fan curves set to quiet I don’t even hear them.
Wow! They are definitely loopy, RGB in all its glory. Unicorn fodder to the fullest.
Wow! It took me a long time to finally decide on a monitor that I actually liked. Like PC cases, there are so many out there to choose from that it makes deciding very difficult. When I bought this it had only been released 2 months prior so it's a pretty new model.
LG make some damn fine monitors and that was a big deciding factor when I bought this. At first I thought that it was way out of my price range and there's no way in hell I'm going to be able to afford to buy it but once I seen how much I was getting back on my tax refund I was like "Hell Yeah!".
I needed a 32" because it sits kind of back a little ways up on a raised platform on my desk. Also it has G-Sync and it's 144Hz overclockable to 165Hz. The colors are rich and vibrant and it definitely helps at content creation and editing as well as gaming.
Now I have two 32" monitors and a little 5" mini display as my stat screen.
I was looking at this and the Razor Orbweaver Chroma and ultimately decided on this because this was way less expensive and I've had issues with the Razor Synapse software and consider it to be a little buggy.
I play a lot of Diablo III and this thing rocks with that game. I don't have to drag my full keyboard out from the sliding tray and place on my desk, I can just connect my G13 and go at it, it's very convenient.
Coming from a wireless HP keyboard that worked off the 2.4Ghz frequency where every little thing interrupted it's signal and I had so many mistypes that it's not even funny, in fact it's downright infuriating. The G1810 is a great keyboard, I love the Romer-G switches. This is the best keyboard I've ever had.
You just have to admire the complexity of a Logitech Gaming Mouse. This G502 is just Wow! I do admit that some of my past Logitech mice have had a case of double click issues but not this one. This mouse is built like a tank. I know the RGB isn't that great on it and I'm coming from a Razor Chroma Naga with all the bells and whistles but the Razor Synapse software is very buggy and I just had to get away from it. I love my G502 though, it's awesome!
This is my first "audiophile" grade headphones and they are superb! I'm mostly a movie buff, but I also enjoy music. While my Sennheiser 598 HD's have been great for gaming, movies and music for the last 2 years, the music was meh. After countless hours reading and watching reviews of different DAC/Amps and headphones that would be great for both music and gaming, I found these, recommended by most sites, but especially Zeos.
I cannot find a fault with these headphones. The craftsmanship is superb (German made) and the sound is stellar. They are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time and are very sturdy. I wouldn't worry if they dropped on the floor. They feel that solid. They come with two sets of pads. I switched out the Balanced pair and attached the Analytical pair due to more softness and sound presentation. Paired with a good DAC/Amp ( I use The Element), they have been a real joy to listen to.
When I bought them from the Musician's Friend online store they were taking forever to ship, I had paid for them with PayPal so I couldn't figure out why. I made a big mistake when I bought these. I had never ordered from Musician's Friend before and I forgot to check the reviews on them before I made the purchase. I got on the Reseller Ratings website and looked them up and I was like "Uh Oh" they have a 1 out of 10 review rating. I thought "damn I'm going to get burned on this purchase", but low and behold they finally shipped and then a few days later I received them. I was like "Whew!".
Bought a custom cable for them too at Mimic Cables
I felt like I was taking a risk with these Mackie MR524's. There are very few reviews online (newly released product?), but the price was right ($108 for one and $150 for the other one at the time (each sold as a single unit), and the specs seemed just a tad nicer than the Swan M200MKIII set which is what I originally was going to get.
The frequency response is very even, there's no noticeable resonance, their volume is pretty strong, and they have some controls to adjust some of the tweeter/woofer gains. The LED isn't terribly flashy, which is a good thing. It's a single green light on the front (which maybe turns red when it clips? I haven't experienced that yet).
They sound pretty great: The highs are crisp, the lows are full-sounding, but everything is very well balanced. As a reference monitor, they are top-notch. There is also no residual noise like in some monitors when no sound is playing, it's almost weird, you can't even tell they're on.
I added this sub to my pair of MR524. All that I had to do was adjust the crossover a bit. It blends so well with the rest of the audio spectrum. I am very happy with what I am hearing out of the Mackie MRS10.
Looks like Mackie's thought process behind this sub worked out pretty well because you won't see flattering specs w.r.t freq response or wattage but it excelled when it actually came to its performance. Used some Richard Elliot's tracks to tune it and sure enough I'm a happy camper.
Awesome piece of hardware, I control half my fans speeds and all my lighting throughout the case for the exception of the motherboard. Was a little tricky getting it setup as you have to upgrade the firmware right out of the box and you have to add each fan individually to your setup and no it doesn't auto detect until after you add each fan and each light strip.