Description

First post in here after lurking for so long. I intended for this entry to serve as an archive so I could look back in the future and see how my builds evolved over time.

After 4+ years running an Intel 4790K and R9 290, I was craving for something more modern and powerful. A few months and most of my savings later, I achieved Nirvana.

Bought most of the parts locally in Singapore, except for the motherboard which was ordered and shipped from Newegg because the local distributor here for some reason decided that a mid-range TRX40 board that was neither lacking in features (ASUS Prime Pro) nor priced at 4-digits (Zenith II) was not worth importing.

Now before you say anything, yes I know I don't keep things tidy when I build the PC. I am to neatness what a coal-fired power plant is to clean energy. Sometimes I even wonder how I manage to find things in the mess I create.

  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X CPU

This CPU cost nearly as much as my monthly salary and is actually the entry level model in the Zen 2 Threadripper range. Nevertheless, it is a beast with 24 cores and 48 threads running at nearly the same frequency as my old 4790K. More than a week after building the rig, I still haven't done anything that would remotely tax this boy! Temperatures vary wildly between 40 °C at idle up to 75 °C under load, which is on par with my old Intel cooled by a Cryorig H5 Universal.

  • Cooler Master ML360 TR4 Edition AIO Cooler

With Zen 2 Threadripper running at a TDP of 280w, I wanted a cooler that would at least be robust enough to keep the CPU warm rather than hot. Unfortunately many of the TR4-specific coolers were either rated for lower loads (bequiet! Dark Rock Pro TR4 @ 250w) or were infamous for reliability issues (Enermax LiqTech TR4 and the gunking issues). I happened to come across this AIO for a good price and I decided to give it a go. So far it keeps temperatures low enough for my liking and nothing appears to be leakingyet.

  • Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Paste

After swearing by Arctic's MX-4 for all my previous builds, I decided to buy the Kryonaut when I caught sight of it during one of my window-shopping sessions in Sim Lim Square. Even though the performance delta between thermal pastes can be as little as a few degrees, every little bit helps in cooling a CPU that can easily top 85+°C when loaded to the max, and this paste has a good reputation among overclockers, which is saying something about how good it is as the point of contact between the CPU heat spreader and the AIO cold plate.

  • ASUS ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming Motherboard

As mentioned earlier, I was looking for a TRX40 motherboard that have features I want (Built-in WiFi, black aesthetics, LiveDash OLED) without having to spend two arms and legs. I went for ASUS specifically as I was familiar with their UEFI (I ran several ASUS boards in past builds) and I wanted to make full use of my case's RGB Lighting since the Dynamic XL only supported Aura Sync. Build Quality is good and navigating the BIOs is easy, and I appreciate how I can easily refer to temperatures with the LiveDash display.

  • G.Skill Trident Z NEO 3600Mhz (2x2x8GB) Memory

Local shops here do not stock quad-channel kits so I had to improvise by buying two dual-channel kits of the same frequency and speeds. The Trident Z NEOs were my first choice as I loved their look and were priced pretty well. So far no issues, XMP Profile running them at 3600Mhz C16 stable.

  • Samsung 970 Pro 512GB M.2 SSD + Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD + Western Digital Black 1 & 2 TB HDD

Bought Samsung for both my boot drive (970 Pro) and Main Gaming Drive (860 EVO) so that I only need to run one application from the same company to view the status of all my drives. Only bought them last year so I can't speak for their longevity, but they do run as advertised. Western Digital was one of my go-to brands for HDDs since the two times I deviated from them to buy other brands (Seagate, HGST), something went wrong with my drives. The Black Series were the bee's knees for performance platter drives back in 2010 so they have quite a reputation I would willingly buy into.

  • Zotac GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Triple Fan Graphics Card

Even though it would make more sense to go with the ASUS Strix Model for Aura Sync compatibility, the Zotac Triple Fan was going for a good price on an e-commerce website (Carousell) that I couldn't pass up on. Triple Fan Cooler, binned chip (TU102-300A) and like the Threadripper 3960X, I could not find anything that would cause the card to struggle at 1440p. It is hefty though, and since the motherboard's fancy shroud meant that I could not use the included Lian Li GPU Bracket, I resorted to a Cooler Master stand to rectify the sag.

  • Lian Li 011D Dynamic XL White Full-Tower Case

This was one of two mistakes I made in this build. I thought having a white case would contrast nicely with my black peripherals and components, but it turns out the whole thing ended up looking more conspicuous than a live band in a library. Nevertheless, it is large, easy to build in and with the room lights off it gives a damn good view of the lightshow inside.

  • Corsair AX1600i Power Supply

This is the second mistake I made. Even though HEDT builds tend to consume more power than their mainstream counterparts, there really is no argument to pick a monstrous 1600w power supply when a 1000w that cost half as much will still be more than enough. Even so, I chose the AX1600i based on reviews of its performance, build quality and because the notoriously fastidious gentlemen at jonnyguru recommended it and its predecessor. Plentiful power, excellent build quality courtesy of Flextronics and the fan dosen't even spin up most of the time so it is quiet as well.

  • Corsair LL120 RGB Fans

I am a huge fan of Corsair's iCUE software ever since I bought a M65 Pro RGB Mouse back in 2016 and played around with its lighting effects. The Lightloops were chosen not because of their performance but for their lovely light effects. Unfortunately as you can see in the last picture I mounted 3 of them such that their exhaust side which dosen't have the "ring" is facing towards the table, but it still beats having monotone or no colours anyday.

Feel free to comment if you would like to know more about this build, or if you like to lambaste me for the sheer cheek of posting this build here.

Part Reviews

CPU

Expensive, runs pretty warm but very powerful. This card-sized monster of a CPU is the perfect choice for a HEDT build.

CPU Cooler

One of the few TR4-specific AIO coolers out there. Decent build quality, easy to mount and does a good job of cooling a 280w processor.

Thermal Compound

Easy to apply, comes with a nozzle to spread the paste thin and neat and unlike many other thermal pastes, comes in a plastic resealable pouch that is smaller and easier to keep.

Motherboard

Mid-Range board with High-End features and Low-Endish (For a TRX40 motherboard) pricing. Looks great, feels sturdy and has a intuitive and easy to navigate UEFI.

Memory

One of the best-looking RAM modules on the market in my opinion, runs as advertised through XMP with no issues.

Storage

The smallest and fastest OS Drive that I've ever owned. Mounting screw could have been easier to install but it's not really the fault of the SSD but of my massive ogre hands.

Storage

Excellent price-to-storage ratio, faster than my WD Blacks and fits snugly behind the cable partition of the case.

Storage

(Reviewing for both 1TB and 2TB drives) Speedy platter drives that unfortunately feels sluggish now next to any SSD. Planning to upgrade to bigger capacities soon.

Video Card

One of the cheapest RTX 2080 Tis on sale in Singapore (SGD $1,635) that features the binned TU102-300A chip. Runs every game I throw at it on max settings at 1440p without a hitch.

Case

An absolute unit of a fish tank computer case that is spacious, easy to build in and has decent thermal performance. Plus, all that glass allows you to see your PC's guts in all their multi-coloured glory.

Power Supply

More powerful than some air-conditioning units and build better than some military-grade electronics.

Operating System

It was either this or Linux I guess... Good OS, but I am not a fan of the updates system (slow to download, no option to skip updates permanently).

Case Fan

Excellent lightshow, good acoustics and average performance.

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Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice Build!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build but you should post some pics with full rgb especially at dark

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Working on it! Problem was when I tried it previously it was a little too bright for me.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks great and I bet it plays great too. Awesome build.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I can play Quake II RTX at 40fps ;)

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Noice build! Just one noob question did you connect those case fans to the motherboard directly or the controller, if you did on the controller how did you do it? sorry i am a newbie

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, I connect my case fans to the Corsair Commander Pro which I mounted behind the motherboard tray. It's pretty straightforward, the Commander Pro has up to 6 4-pin male PWM connectors which you will connect the fan headers to, while the RGB headers are connected to a RGB hub which is then connected to the Commander Pro via another cable.

So it's basically like this:

Fan Header --> PWM Cable --> Corsair Commander Pro

RGB Header --> RGB Cable --> Corsair RGB Fan Hub --> RGB Cable --> Corsair Commander Pro

A better picture of how to connect the cables can be seen here, courtesy of localhost8000. Just look at the RGB Hub to the left and the Commander Pro in the middle and follow the coloured lines.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I am more of a newbie to this pc stuff and this website. How to do italics and the strikeout??

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I think when you write the comment you can press on “formatting help” and it’ll answer your question

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thx

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Do you need 512 gb storage for a boot drive? Or will 250gb suffice? Also wanted to know the benefit of installing that 10th fan to the back, seems like it would be better off at the bottom pushing the airflow up through the radiator...

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Honestly, 250GB would have been enough for me. But the 512GB drive was on promotion when I first bought it which brought it quite close to the 250GB drive so I just said why not?

As for the fan, I'm not used to the idea of bottom intake since all my previous builds (See the 4th picture for one of them) were optimized for front intake and top and rear exhaust. So it's really just habits and familiarity. I also took reference from GamersNexus on how best to put the fans and he tested a similar configuration to mine (3x120 side, 1x120 rear) which works well so I had no issue keeping things the way they are.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Is that LED light on the outside of the case stock? It looks like one of those new flexible ones, i believe from Lian Li?

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

It's part of the case itself. The Lian Li only supports ASUS's Aura Sync so it connects to a ARGB header on the motherboard. It does have the option of switching between several different modes of lighting if you use it with a non-compatible brand.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Think iCue will adapt all aurasync systems? I know asus motherboards all work with iCue now

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

You've got a similar build to mine, but I'm constantly shopping for cooling changes. Unfortunately I'm stuck with the Enermax TR 280 and I'm already on my second one (last one pump died after a year). It kept my temps relatively low on a 1950x but it's mediocre on the 3970x (temps now peak around 70C on all core loads).

How's your cooling working out? You didn't list temps. I too tried the Dark Rock Pro and it thermal throttled at 85C but seems to do reasonably OK rehomed down to my 1950x server.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Temperature-wise, I'm getting ranges from 40°C at idle up to 65°C+ for strenuous tasks like rendering. Highest I saw was 72°C when I ran Cinebench R20. Haven't faced any instances of thermal throttling based on my usage so far.

The entire setup was stock aside from using Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut so there might be improvements to the temperatures if one uses better fans (E.g EK Vardars).

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

How is the ram treating you? The ram isn't listed on the QVL for the motherboard but a lot of people seem to be using it for TRX4 builds.

Your build will be very similar to mine. How much power is the full build consuming? I'm getting a 1200w PSU.