Description

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:

Stock Settings

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).

Other

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. :)

Part Reviews

CPU

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.

Motherboard

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.

Memory

It's pretty (expensive).

Power Supply

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.

Case Fan

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.

Case Fan

They look amazing and their cooling potential is very good. A bit loud though above 50%.

Comments

  • 18 months ago
  • 3 points

Wow a amazing build like this at that price (I would've thought it would be so expensive due to cryptocurrency mining)

  • 18 months ago
  • 0 points

I bought the GPU used from someone in December.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

First build I see on here that the RAM cost more than the GPU haha

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Depressing isn't it? Lmao.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build, mate.

If I may ask, just for some peace of mind, I ordered a similar case (Phanteks P300 Eclipse) and 3 Corsair White 120mm fans on Amazon for my new build (it's only my second PC, I've been out of the game for a while), however, I might've forgotten to throw in a 140mm fan for the front portion.

I'm planning on using a H100i CPU watercooler to go with it, do you think I can still install those 120mm fans on the front part of the case or should I go for the 140mm for better airflow?

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

If I understand your question correctly, you want to install the fans on the front directly behind the panel instead of the back of the radiator? Or are you going for a push pull configuration? I'm assuming you're referring to a 240mm radiator, so correct me if I'm wrong.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend mounting the fans directly behind the front panel. They might be a little starved for air that way.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Apologies for the tardy reply, I really appreciate the answer, even though I may have worded my question terribly. You could say I'm a bit new to all of this.

I was suddenly considering a push/pull configuration for those extra 3~4C temp gains according to a few tests I saw performed with a H100i v2 watercooler, seeing as I have 2 extra 120mm Corsair fans lying around.

Considering the size of the case, do you think it'll fit by any chance or if it's even worth it?

  • 17 months ago
  • 0 points

Okay, like I said it will fit, but your airflow probably won't be the best since you'll have to mount two of the radiator fans on the front of the frame. It also depends on the length of your graphics card. Dual fan cards should be okay, but anything larger than that won't fit with a radiator in push pull.

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

Remember when RAM cost $60 for 16gb

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

I 'member.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Too much paste.

  • 18 months ago
  • -1 points

nah it's fine

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Very well done although i would reccomend you switch the 970 with a rx 580 or a gtx 1060

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

The 970 and 1060 are almost equal in performance and considering you can buy a 970 for less than $180 when most 1060's are roughly $300 new, I wouldn't agree with your suggestion.

However, at the end of the day it doesn't matter because I have already replaced it with a 980ti. :) (I am waiting on a few things before posting my updated build).

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Im excited to see it :)

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

I love the black and white. Nice build