About the Build
This PC is an updated version of The Turtle, which was repurposed from Office PC for My Little Sister. The SSD is the only part left from the original build back in 2016. I was trying to think of a decent name, when I remembered the Venom trailer and instantly came to a decision. Venom is, in my opinion, the coolest villain in the Spider-Man universe. I included an image of a Venom comic I have for fun. :)
For $900 I am really happy with how this turned out! I have no further plans to upgrade for at least a year, but my goals are to update the GPU, purchase a 1440p 144hz ips panel, and purchase a larger mid tower case.
I was fortunate enough to receive sufficient funds from my tax return to set aside for these upgrades after putting a majority into savings and the remainder for other responsibilities. Symbiote was designed for gaming in 1080p on a 144hz panel. However, if needed, I can use this as a secondary workstation for development in Visual Studio. My main workstation is an Asus GL502VM.
I originally had a budget of $300, which turned into $500. My original part list contained all retail parts and a lateral upgrade of higher frequency RAM in a 2x4gb kit. Then Newegg was like "Hey, listen!! Those G Skill modules you really wanted are on sale!" so I bought those in a 2x8 kit. I justified spending $80 more than I wanted to on RAM by finding an incredible deal on a Ryzen 5 1600 on Craigslist that included the cooler for the 1700 for $100. The post had been up for less than a day and I emailed him immediately. He lived two hours away, so I offered him $10 for gas if he could meet me after work and he accepted. I picked up my motherboard on sale, saving around $50.
My aesthetic and cooling upgrades were meant to be done at a later time, but I thought about it and decided to just bite the bullet now. This brought me outside of my $500 budget, pushing my costs to just over $600.
Testing & Thoughts
I booted the system before putting it inside of my case and everything looked good! I finished up my build and took it home (built it at my dads house). Sadly it was nothing but a headache afterwards. I spent a majority of my Sunday troubleshooting. Any time I would start up a game I would lose display signal to both of my monitors. I tried DDU in safe mode, reinstalled drivers, did a clean install of windows, adjusted power settings, adjusted settings in control panel, checked the cables, reseated the gpu... and after all of that nothing fixed it. So it was 1030 at night and I really needed to go to bed for work in the morning. I decided to plug in my 430w EVGA power supply and there it was, working perfectly fine booting up Overwatch. I determined at this point that my brand new Seasonic Focus G power supply was faulty. I decided to go with Corsair instead, though I'm sure I wouldn't have had the same issue a second time with the same model. My only regret was not checking the length of this power supply before purchase.. it's quite a bit larger than the Seasonic and cable management was extremely difficult with my case.
Additionally, I may add an LED strip in the case, but I'm pretty happy with it as it is for the time being. While I really like this case, I know that a larger mid tower is in my future.
My desk has an open air cabinet for a PC, but I decided not to use it because I love staring at it. I felt it would be a shame to hide it away.
Below are my testing results:
Time Spy Score: 3815
Graphics: 3630 CPU: 5368
Fire Strike Score: 10256
Graphics: 11523 CPU: 15335
I have only played Overwatch and Divinity Original Sin 2 so far, as I don't have much free time to game right now. However, they run very smoothly compared to my limited G4400. I get over 120fps in Overwatch on High presets and the issues I had before with populated areas and highly active battles in DOS2 are no longer an issue with this processor.
Edit: I get 75-90 FPS in Fortnite on Epic settings.
I attempted to overclock the CPU to 3.7ghz on 1.25v and tested it on Aida64, only for it to fail. I had to shut down and take out the CMOS battery. I reset to stock in the BIOS and installed AMD Overdrive to test the overclocking capabilities of that. I had to restart after install, but unfortunately I got stuck in a failure to launch windows loop. I had to reset my PC (getting tired of doing that..). I also tried using XMP to get 3200mhz on the memory, but at some point had a weird boot on startup and setting it back to auto fixed that. I just decided I'd try again later as I don't want to spend more time failing overclocks than playing games with what little free time I have. For the time being stock speeds are not hindering my use of the PC whatsoever since I use this purely for gaming.
As far as temps go, this system doesn't get very hot. I have a custom fan curve keeping the fans at 50% for the sake of noise until CPU temps reach 70C (which they never do).
For those of you curious about my peripherals:
Headsets - SteelSeries Siberia 800 & Kingston HyperX Cloud gen 1
Mouse - Logitech G Pro
Keyboard - Cooler Master Masterkeys Pro S (brown switches)
Mousepad - Corsair MM400
Top Monitor - LG 25UM58-P
Bottom Monitor - LG 24GM79G
Desk - Forgot the model, but I got it from Wayfair
I'm moving in a week, so cable management for my setup wasn't a high priority. :)
I can't comment on the overclocking just yet, but will update with my results.
I have always had Intel rigs, but decided to make the plunge with my more constrained budget. Not to mention this platform has an amazing upgrade path. The stock performance for me is fantastic for my gaming rig. Temperatures are very good under the stock cooler for the 1700 (which is also quiet on a standard fan curve). I have yet to go above 50% usage while gaming. Coupled with the fact that I got it for such a good price, I couldn't recommend this more.
I was skeptical after reading some reviews, but I got a great deal on this during a Newegg sale. It looks nice and has great features, especially the wifi at this price point. I can't comment on its overclocking capabilities at this time.
It's pretty (expensive).
It's a high quality power supply and I had no issues with it. I bought this as a replacement for a brand new Seasonic Focus G that was faulty. The cables in my opinion could be much better as they are really thick. The sata power could use an additional plug to make it 4 per cable. Limiting it to 3 that are very close to each other is pointless unless youre plugging in stacked drives.
It looks amazing and their cooling potential is very good. A bit loud though above 50%. I couldn't run this on the silent profile in my bios as it would make an annoying noise on that low of an rpm. Increasing the fan speed to 50% fixed that for me.
They look amazing and their cooling potential is very good. A bit loud though above 50%.