Description

Built without delidding or otherwise voiding warranties. External CPU TIM used is Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra.

CPU achieves 4.5GHz all cores (4.0 with AVX2, 3.8 with AVX3). Automatic frequency and voltage scaling are still enabled, this is a daily driver. CPU VID set with -0.060V offset, reaches 1.182V at max clockspeed. ~392W TDP under max AVX2 load (small FFT prime95, VID at around 1.064V). All other CPU settings left at default, RAM is running at its nominal XMP profile.

NovaBench: 4414 (https://novabench.com/view/1344426) -- not convinced this is a great benchmark tool overall, but it is a world record by over 8%. CineBench R15: 4360 cpu score

My excuse for the GPU is: It's 2 years old, from my last PC. I currently have no compelling uses for a bigger one and don't want to upgrade only 1 generation.


Update: Some minor instabilities in some instruction paths leading to bluescreens led me to make some minor tweaks to the OC profile. These occurred during tasks like benching media performance in Sandra and, of all things, the final steps of the Java Development Kit 9 installer. These BSOD were typically of type WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR. VID offset is now -0.032V for a full load voltage of 1.211V, and AVX is now 100MHz slower (for thermal reasons). I'll stick a picture of the BIOS settings in there for reference.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Caveats! An edit to the review.

This cooler stopped working correctly after about 8 or 9 months. The pump does not seem to be moving much fluid any more; an RMA is in progress.

Regarding other issues:

I highly recommending using software like SIV64X to control the fans/pump/LEDs over the stock software, because Corsair's software is kinda major CPU-hogging junk. SIV64X also gives significantly more control options.

The biggest problem with the fans wasn't necessarily their noise level, but the fact that when they don't run at QUITE the same speed (which is always) there is a quite obnoxious high-pitched acoustic beat (look it up on wikipedia if you are confused) between their blades that is between difficult and impossible to be rid of. I now drive the device with a pair of Noctua PWM fans that are far quieter in both ways.

Original review text follows:

Corsair's drivers are unsigned, all their software is pretty janky. They are clearly a hardware company, and fortunately very good at it, because the software is 6/10.

The fans are loud at max speed, but if you look at stats they go up to almost 100CFM. You don't need to get custom fans really, just turn it down.

I haven't noticed any weird noises from the water pump.

Motherboard

Highly adequate motherboard. CPU VID is very stable under varying load, seems to have no issues with a respectable overclock on the single 8pin CPU power header.

Overclocking is stable but adjusting the settings is weirdly buggy. Some settings seem to persist even though a mode may no longer be activated. This can cause the CPU to be stuck at a flat 1200MHz (or even, on one boot, 700MHz). I recommend: 1. Loading default BIOS settings 2. Load XMP profile for your RAM, set any minor unrelated settings as directly as possible. 3. Save the BIOS profile in one of the user profile slots. 4. In as few changes as possible, make the desired adjustments to your CPU overclocking profile. 5. Save the config in a new slot.

If you want to change something more than a minor number tweak, like changing the core speed or voltage mode of the CPU, start by reloading the default profile from step 3 or you may end up with some weird remnant behavior.

Overall, responds well to a careful touch when overclocking and hasn't exhibited any issues. Other than the OC config weirdness, extremely straightforward device that works as well as I hoped.

Update: As time goes on I'm not seeing many people getting as good an overclock as I've managed on other, more expensive boards. This may be up to the silicon lottery on the CPU end, but I'm not about to fix what ain't broke, and this motherboard dishes out the clocks.

Update 10 months in: For a brief time there seemed to be an issue with the secondary SATA controller, the one that controls the two ports on the left edge. I run an awful lot of drives, and periodic issues with what appeared to be bizarrely dead drives were eventually cleared up when I changed to a configuration that uses neither of these ports. So, you know, be aware of that.

Memory

6/5 stars, minus one star because pcpartpicker does not correctly support UTF8 emoji in review text.

Storage

I've had this drive for so long (pre-2011 Thailand flood) that I forgot what brand it was and originally put a Seagate here. Long-lasting goodness.

Case

All my previous cases have been second hand trash, lovingly hacked together into awful messes. This case was very easy to work with and turns out very neatly organized. No cable guides behind the backplate, but even with the extra long and kinda stiff AX1500i ribbon cables everything wraps around and organizes very nicely.

The dust catcher tray under the PSU does in fact rattle, as one NewEgg reviewer pointed out -- but a small square of well-placed electrical tape, or partially unseating it so it sits more snugly, is an easy fix here.

The dust filters themselves are... not great, however. I've ended up purchasing aftermarket dust filters as the ones built-in either don't really work at all (top) or work kinda-sorta, but also have tacky glue on the back and will tend to get permanently fuzzed (front). Removing the mesh and cleaning the tack off the front has been an adventure, but aftermarket dust filters are desirable if that's something you care about.

Power Supply

da bes

10 month update: still da bes

also i'm not even sure the fan has turned on a single time

Mouse

they're good buttons, bront

Comments

  • 23 months ago
  • 5 points

7980XE

980Ti

REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  • 23 months ago
  • 7 points

REEEEEEEEEEEEhonestly though, if I wanted to optimize for gaming I would have bought an 8700K. I'm not that much of a gamer these days, I make software.

Where we're going, we don't need GPUs

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

yeeeeeeeeee

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

y e e e e e e e e e e e

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

y e e e e e e e e e e e

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build! I have a couple of questions about the M.2 drive directly beneath the GPU. What kind of temps are you seeing and do you know of or experience any thermal throttling during file transfers?

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

It's like 2 degrees warmer than the others. Total non-issue.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

So did you just put 5 stars on everything because you are too lazy?

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I mean, I'm not the pickiest. I have no real, actual complaints about any of these components yet. Keep in mind my ownership of most of the core components is very short so far, but there isn't really anything here I wouldn't recommend.

I'm also taking price into account here. It's possible for, say, the case to be much better than the one I have... but that would cost a lot more money. There are probably also better motherboards, but I didn't spend $600 on this one, and the guy who did do that noted horrible stability issues in his review. I feel I was very well treated for the point on the price curve I hit on all these components.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

How are you getting this to 4.5 GHz on all cores without temperature issues under 100% load? I put mine at 4.4 GHz on all cores and was hitting over 90C at full load with a Kraken X62. I had to click it down and use a per core setting.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Much of the power consumption (and heat generation) comes from the voltage it runs at. If all you do is uncap the multiplier for all cores to 45, it's gonna jump to like 500 watts and you will almost certainly get thermal reboots under load in a very short amount of time unless you take cooling to the next level (delidding, sub-ambient coolant, etc.).

I achieved this by reducing the voltage, then slowly increasing it over several iterations, keeping a close eye on load temps, clocks, and voltages using CPU-Z and Intel's "Extreme Tuning Utility", and loading the system with Prime95, Cinebench, and Sisoftware Sandra. (Actually changing voltages with ETU was a bit of a mixed experience; it did work, but I'm not sure I trust the results entirely and it isn't persistent -- setting it in BIOS over a reboot is the real way to go).

I also had to put some real effort into finding the sweet spot for AVX2/AVX3 clock offsets -- when the processor activates the power-hungry AVX instruction blocks (such as when running Prime95) it will underclock itself by some set multiplier offset, lowering the cap from say 4.5 to 3.9 GHz to avoid burning itself up.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

The rest of it is up to the TIM you use, cooler installation, and of course the silicon lottery.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice, well done! Would you mind sharing the final settings that worked for you? I'd like to try the same with my system and see if I can get better clock speeds.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Any tweaks to the BIOS besides the ones in your screenshot?

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I turned off boot logo, other than that I don't think so.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

I just built this sys amazing like yours, never having seen your list. Asrock OC Formula, H115i, 750d case, 64GB 3733 C17, 1080ti SC2, 500GB SM970 EVO boot drive. I am still trying to optimize and retain the settings. I found also that BIOS settings retain stuff, and XTU sometimes has to be run several times to load all changes. At the moment, I have this at 4.5 GHz, 1.125v, AVX 3/5.

My mode so far is to default the BIOS, set up what I want for multiplier, memory, AVX and power limits, turn on Tweaker bench optimizer, then use XTU to comfirm these and set Vcore to 1.125v static. Shorter benchmarks are good, temps under 88 deg for 4350 Cinebench , 84 for 32600 CPUMark. After reading it was better to exhaust at top, I got a few deg improvement. Still a way to go, but your story helps.

I took a chance and bought the cpu new off Ebay at a BIG savings, and it seems fine.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Correction to a few numbers; they were with adaptive v. With static, 85 deg for 4250 CB, max power 285w; 79 deg for 32600 CPUMark. Cache ratio 24X; offsets 0.

Not sure pushing cpu air helps; probably about the same. I replaced the front 140's with Corsair PWM's pulling. Back with 150 Noctua pushing. Added a 120 Noctua pulling at the bottom. The case is the Airflow version. 1000w Seasonic Platinum.

Kinda new at this; suggestions welcome. .

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Even if you don't need the GPU power, why not just Make Sure? +1

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

still waiting for that 1180ti :crumbling_skeleton_emoji:

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

What about Volta though?

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

It isn't even out yet. And it looks like it might be geared to GP rather than gaming.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I wouldn't OC that without a 360 rad with a good pump. A Fractal Design S36 with EKWB F4-120s should be enough for this monster of a processor.

You can also get higher OCs if you take out half the sticks (64GB should still be more than enough) cause my personal experience on X79 is pumping more voltage to get 8 sticks stable degrades your processor VERY RAPIDLY.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

4.5 all-core stable is plenty good enough for me TBH.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

You can achieve that with much lower voltage if you take out half the sticks. X299 may have 8 RAM slots, but it works best when only 4 of those 8 are occupied. This has been the case with X79 and X99 too.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

But why on earth would I do that? Like, I can probably get more mileage out of my car if I tear out the air conditioning and seats. But what does that achieve, realistically?

Contrary to what you might believe, I actually want to own a better computer, not just get the best possible combination of numbers that barely affect me.

  • 22 months ago
  • 0 points

Voltage REALLY affects CPU degradation on 8 sticks. Your engine will be purring longer if you don't need as much stress on the component to run it. 8 sticks of RAM puts a ton more system stress on than 4 sticks. I've experienced it. I managed to rapidly degrade a CPU by pushing things on 8 sticks. 4 sticks is a much safer bet.

I'm coming from the perspective that since this is such an expensive CPU, more care should be taken not to overstress the component. The only way I will say "go ahead" is if you have the disposable income to replace it.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

OMFG... too many M2 and HDD...

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

What RAID configuration?

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

None. I value general reliability over performance, and haven't found RAID configs to generally carry over well from machine to machine or indeed save much trouble overall when you have fewer than 5 or 6 of the same device.

Throughput in pipelining data from one device to another makes having independent devices valuable; separating load when running multiple tasks, such as database / bulk copy / virtual machines also benefits. I find myself wanting that much more often than I actually want increased throughput.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Basically RAID gives you one of two things: increased throughput at the expense of durability, or increased durability at the expense of throughput. It also does very little to increase random IOPS throughput, often harming the overall performance there.

For local durability I'd rather run a zpool in a dedicated NAS host when it comes to that, as it's overall much more efficient, portable, flexible, and tunable. For throughput... I don't really feel the need.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey there, what are the temps for the 7980xe? Is it delidded? Thanks!

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

The sensors report ~24ºC idle to between ~58ºC (standard 100% workload) to ~78ºC (burn test). This is with about 22ºC ambient temperature (quite warm). I already addressed delidding in the description.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks a lot for your response man. Going nuts here researching. Would you consider this okay or is it a waste? https://siliconlottery.com/collections/all/products/7980xe42g?variant=47949930700

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

So I'm a little torn about this. It wasn't available and I wasn't going to wait at the time I purchased my system, so it wasn't relevant. However, I did have a look over their site -- they have a nice little one-time-replacement proxy warranty for their delidded units through their own stock (because the Intel warranty has obviously been broken), but there are caveats in the terms that rule it out if you use liquid TIM on the external surface. You would have to go with a typical high-end paste.

This will still work well, though it's something to think about on top of the manufacturer warranty that's already being broken. I've heard Intel is being pretty generous about replacement warranties these days.