Description

I like AMD. Not as much as I like my wife, mind you, but I DO like them. Perhaps it's the underdog dynamic of their company, being the PC world's David against Intel's Goliath. But, for all the past inconsistencies and a product roster that was a thrilling as a wet spaghetti throwing contest in an old folks home, Ryzen promised me something that I didn't see coming. Not only do they match Intel, in some areas they manage to beat them! Now, I know it's not perfect and there are some issues with it as a new architecture, but I have faith that they've learned and are applying that to consumer-friendly product...and let's be real - for budget builds, Ryzen is spot-on...

1) AMD Ryzen 5 1600 - I'm not sure there's a more perfect sweet spot for mid range CPUs, and if there is, I haven't seen or heard of it. THIS thing is PERFECT! I'm running all cores at stock speeds with the stock cooler and not so much as a hiccup. I pondered previously if I should get an 1800X but honestly, I didn't need it. Some triple A games, video editing, and a LOT of CAD and 3D modeling (I am an engineer, after all...) and she fits the bill. I haven't overclocked it beyond this and unless I see a need to, I probably won't.

2) G.Skill Trizend Z RGB - I haven't played with the timings yet, so it's running at 2133 MHz. Funny that I don't seem to mind as of yet. I know Ryzen is finicky so I can be patient. Oh, and for the record...on ASUS motherboards with Aura Sync, load ONLY Aura. If you don't want your lights to crash, do NOT load CPU-Z from their standard website. Go through ASUS to their downloads page and use the ROG enabled CPU-Z or GPU-Z. The regular one crashes Aura Sync, but the ASUS ROG version does not!

3) OCZ RD400 NVME SSD - How does THIS sound - 2143 MB/s read, 619 MB/s write. I think it speaks for itself.

4) ASUS ROG STRIX X370-I Gaming Mini ITX - THIS is the piece' de resistance, ladies and gentlemen! In my opinion, ALL Ryzen ITX motherboards have shortcomings. I don't care if it only has one PCIe port, as I don't plan on SLI'ing the damned thing anyway. But this - this - this board! WHOA!

First the good news: Up to 3600 MHz DDR4 RAM capable, TWO (not one) M.2 NVME slots, Aura Sync ready, addressable RGB header, standard 4 pin RGB header, water cooling pump header on board, illuminated motherboard and audio jacks...I mean, who the hell doesn't need illuminated audio jacks!?! USB 3.0 and 3.1, WiFi, Bluetooth on board - how could anyone NOT like this board?

Now, the bad news: I had to be very careful in my installation as to not RMA the thing because this ASUS board is not sold by ASUS anywhere in North America...this motherboard came from France by way of the United Kingdom, so if I mess something up, I'm RMA'ing this back to Europe. Can you say 17 days? Plus, it's $300...but somehow, that didn't stop me from buying it.

5) ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Overclocked - I don't need to elaborate on this as there are so many YouTube videos showign benchmarks on this paired with a Ryzen 5 1600 and the frame-rates don't lie. I am in love with this card.

6) Phanteks EVOLV Shift case - I love ITX cases, because I love a challenge to build in. I love this case because it is absolutely gorgeous (see accompanying photos). Yes, I'll admit that I fit and re-fit components inside three times before getting it proper, and if you have even DECENT cable management in THIS case? Well then you've done something. But I am completely satisfied with it and if you like a challenge, buy this case. It's annoying on some levels, but you will be so satisfied when you have a good build with one.

As for the remainder - external Blu-Ray writer with Power DVD 17 full 4K Blu-Ray playback software, (2) AOC 1080p monitors and two Logitech keyboards. The reason for that is because I don't mind gaming on a mechanical gaming keyboard...but typing on one sucks! So I have my other Logitech with chiclet keys for writing, typing and posting. Hopefully, one day, Logitech will invent a chiclet style mechanical short switch keyboard with Aura Sync compatible RGB.

I'll update this post with thermals as time passes, as I only completed this build two nights ago. Hope y'all like it, but I am open to constructive criticism.

(UPDATE - December 24th, 2017)-

I've had a few friends and some people I do not know who were interested in a few more build pics, as they had questions about cable management, thermals, and the addressable RGB strip that I had put in. In the previous photos, I didn't show the addressable RGB strip because (like a dummy) I plugged it in backwards and the motherboard didn't recognize it in AURA SYNC. So, I have taken some more photos at my office in much better lighting than I have in my home office, which adds about 39 photos to show various aspects such as cable management, my voltages and thermals in ASUS AI Suite and ASUS GPU Tweak.

So if anyone wishes to do any builds in this case and have any questions, I will be more than glad to assist. Also, I need to give a shout out to the Mrs. who allowed me the budget (since I don't make grandiose financial decisions without her) and encouraged me to do this build...and yes, that's her on the updated monitor photo...

Comments

  • 20 months ago
  • 7 points

Hah. AMD ITX. with an AMD and an ITX case.

FUNNY.

  • 19 months ago
  • 2 points

Can't blame a man for trying...

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

.

wut

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

well...I tried! LOL!

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  • 20 months ago
  • 3 points

Awesome build, but a quick question; how on earth did you get that mobo?!

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Well, I looked at the other AM4 ITX mobos and found:

Biostar's lacked too many features for its price. Gigabyte's VRMs had a tendency to overheat. ASRock's only came with its red color scheme which I really didn't want.

And I thought - why hasn't ASUS made an AM4 ITX board. SO I googled it one day and found that they actually DID! (the X370-i Gaming and B350-i Gaming)

I Googled it and found the weblink, but when I tried to locate a reseller, none came up in North America. Further research led me to discover that it was only sold in Europe, Asia and Australia. So I found a reseller out of the U.K. on Ebay and took a chance. The rest is history, as they say.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Lookout Mountain is AWESOME!

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Woah, hold up. Is that a Logitech G300s Gaming mouse with 8 programmable buttons and a limited selection of RGB colors for the little line on the mouse? I have it. It was only $25. Its a good mouse for the price.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

OK that's amazing. I usually prefer the derps, but that tower of power that makes want to build one like that real bad.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

I loved building in it. A few pointers, should you decide to build in one. First, you only have to worry about ONE front panel connector (for the power switch only) and the USB 3.0 header for the two case side ports...that's it. It has a button on the top for the built in RGB control if your motherboard doesn't support it. Also, use ONLY SFX power supplied in the Shift (non-X version) as power supply cables make a SHARP 90 degree turn on the way out. And believe it or not, I had a 120mm rad in there at one point with some older FM2+ components I re-purposed for my son's build. It's a great little case. Just requires a lot of patience.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm glad that you like your wife more than a faceless tech company but then I did a double-take at your desktop background.

In all seriousness (or at least more seriousness), I really enjoyed going through your write-up. It has that same engineer's touch of technical details and quirky humor that I know so well. The dirth of AM4 ITX mobos is a real bummer. For my sister's computer, I tried to grab an AsRock, but Amazon didn't have it so I went to the Gigabyte one with reservations about the layout. However, in the case we went with, the layout wasn't a problem. I'm going to keep coming back to this build as a lesson in PCPP writeups.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

I appreciate your comment. My wife took those earlier photos. LOL! I did put her in my updated ones, though...

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

I think it's supposed to (A)dvanced (M)icro (D)evices (I)nformation (T)echnology e(X)tended.

But don't let me piss on your bonfire. You do you.

+1

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

He has taken "artistic license" and damn man look at it. He should.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Temps?

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Right now, moderate use - no games but a little CAD, 7 browser windows open, and on Skype:

CPU temps: 39.8C Motherboard/VRM: 38.8C Chassis fans are running at 1227 rpm GTX 1060 fans at 0rpm

CPU is currently at 3.4 Ghz, voltage at 1.188v Power usage on CPU at 14.6 watts

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Hellblade for an hour and a half = 53.6 degrees C

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  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow man really like the build :) in 2 days my shift'll be coming in, also chose for a fan based build.

I'm only wondering wat kind of fans you put in the bottom? 120 or 140mm? and still no high temperatures with the shift?

thanks in advance :)

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I used a Cougar 140 mm at the bottom, drawing fresh air in, and two Cougar 120mm fans on the side, also drawing fresh air in. I let it exhaust through the top. I've been pushing a consistent 90 fps with my Oculus Rift (had it for a little over a week now) and CPU temps hit around 59 degrees. GPU temps around 56 degrees. So far so good!

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

wow nice man! thanks for the quick response, I'm planning the same and you're helping a lot :)

goung to begin building it this weekend, hope I'll get the same results :)

do you maybe got some building tips for the case?

thanks for the help man!

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

1) First things first - make sure the motherboard is outside of the case. Install processor, memory, any M.2 drives and CPU fan (or liquid cooling solution) outside of the case. Take my word for it - you do NOT want to try to install those things once its in place. Also, pay special attention to the height of your CPU fan (if you're not water cooling). There is a fan clearance of 82mm lid to glass which is why if you're going to air-cool your CPU, your selected fans should be no taller than the Ryzen Wraith Spire.

2) Before you install the motherboard, install your two side fans first. (not the bottom fan). My personal preference was to aim them all so I was drawing cooler outside air INTO the case and let the heat rise and exhaust itself out of the top. That way, you 're using positive pressure to help exhaust system heat. It's managed to keep mine at a comfortable 57 degrees C max (gaming for four hours straight on Lone Echo/Oculus Rift, 1080p all settings maxed on an ASUS GTX 1060 OC STRIX.

3) Install the power supply next BEFORE you install the bottom fan. If you install the fan first, you'll have some difficulty getting the power supply to seat properly. Plus, it helps to NOT have it in the way.

4) Install the motherboard. Plug in the PCIE 3.0 extension cable. Thankfully, you'll only have to worry about one front panel connector - the power switch. Connect that and the USB 3.0 connector next.

5) Carefully route your power supply modular cables and plug them in, running the mains along the central cable tray. It'll make for a clean install.

6) Install the graphics card in the vertical cradle. It is better to keep the card fans pointed INTO the case. Also, with the Evolv Shift, as long as your graphics card is no wider than two slots and no taller than a three fan ASUS GeForce GTX whatever, you should be fine.

7) Cable management. Just look at the photos I posted. Routing is everything and if your power supply cables are long enough, finding nooks and crannies along the back and front cover plates should be a snap.

I sincerely hope this helps you have a very successful build, and if I can offer any assistance, feel free to message me at your convenience.

  • 19 months ago
  • 2 points

thanks alot man for all the info! this will really help and save some frustration xD

the motherboard shipment has some delay but I'm still hoping to start the build this weekend, I'll keep you posted :)

btw I see you used 120mm fans. It's also possible to use 140 mm fans right? I think I'll go for the 140mm if possible.

again thanks for the detailed instruction :)

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

You're quite welcome. All the fans can be 140mm. The only reason I used (2) 120mm on the side is because Microcenter only had (1) 140mm and (2) 120mm fans left, so I just took a chance. They move some pretty substantial CFM's which is why the case stays reasonably cool. Noise isn't that big of an issue either.

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 point

Hey, great build. How are temps under load with a fully air-cooled build in that case? I hear it's a bit warm but really like the design. Unfortunately I'm also a sucker for silence and currently run both my CPU and GPU passively daily. This is in a mid tower though and I'd need a new CPU cooler along with a motherboard if I switched cases. I'm considering a low profile passive option (my CPU TDP is only 53W so think I might be able to manage it with some tweaking) but I think it'd be pushing the case to its limits. What are your thoughts based on your experience with the case?

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  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. That was the way I was thinking - to allow the case's volume to create positive air pressure through the top of the case.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm thinking this really is the optimum set up in the Shift. I'm still waiting on the fans I want to come into stock (Cryorig XT140's, the slim ones for better clearance) but I'm going to run my fans (two case fans, one as extra on top of my radiator) all as intake like yourself.

On the RAM speed issue, I've got the same Asus motherboard and G.Skill RAM (DDR4-3000) as you and I've tried bumping the RAM clock and voltage but to no avail (BIOS 3401). The machine test boots a couple of times then ends up back in BIOS with the stock/auto clock of 2133. I think perhaps bumping the CPU voltage might help, but I'm unsure. I've not had more time to test this. I'd be very keen on your findings when you get around to trying to obtain the RAM speed you paid for. ;)

Otherwise, great build.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I'm going to check to see if anyone outside of the U.S has had any success.

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