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Road Less Travelled

by jamesthebard


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Jan. 1, 2019

CPU Clock Rate

3 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.44 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

1.89 GHz


This is basically my home office computer. It started out as The Precursor, but I wanted to change some things out as I was fighting the motherboard at every turn with respect to stability.

So the fight began.


First up was to get a board that could push a Threadripper 2990WX which netted me the MSI MEG X399 Creation. Unfortunately, the first board was bad and had to be sent back. The second one, however, is working perfectly.

Graphics Card

Next, I wanted to go 100% AMD. I already had a Vega Frontier Edition GPU, but I wanted to run two of them on the build. There are enough lanes to make this a decent idea from a "why not" perspective, but unfortunately, again, I had a bad card. This means we're going solo Vega on this build.

Motherboard and SSDs

The MSI MEG X399 Creation comes with an M.2 expansion card which allows me to connect an additional 4 M.2 SSDs to the computer, and the card is completely populated with four HP EX920 512GB SSDs in RAID 0 for a scratch drive. This helps out with video editing and the occasional benchmark run.


So, the real fun: the case. I decided to go with the Lian Li O11 Air as it had fans in the front and ample room for a thick top radiator. Now, it's not quite as popular as its brother (the O11 Dynamic), however after fitting a Thermaltake CL360 radiator in the top, and a Barrow Dabel-A radiator on the side, and two intake fans on the front, I'm pretty satisfied with the air flow in the case. I'd definitely recommend static pressure fans for intake as the dust filters severely limit airflow.

Networking and Storage (Part 2)

I had a question on a previous build about why there were no hard drives in the build. The computer is connected via a 10GbE fiber connection to my NAS which holds ample storage, and is fast enough to make the 10GbE link actually useful (around 500MB/s). Also, there wasn't much room after installing all of the stuff to have room for hard drives as there was a radiator in the way.

Other Stuff

Everything that can have a waterblock put on it does have a waterblock on it. XSCP handled the CPU, EKWB handled the GPU, and the EPDM/ZMT tubing looks great. I used a Corsair Commander Pro to handle RGB duties (which translates to "used for white lighting on the sides"). The motherboard's MysticLights RGB software controls the Bora fans pulling air through the side radiator.

Also, I'm using a Aquaero 6 LT to control all of the fans and to monitor coolant temperature in the loop. All of the fans are also using that coolant temperature to figure out how fast to spin.

Comments Sorted by:

ThriftStoreRaider 9 Builds 3 points 3 months ago

Wait, how did I miss this? There is no way that i'm actually looking at a 2990wx, VEGA Frontier custom loop! Love the build, and the PCI-E M.2 card. What do you use this for exactly? And how are your temps?

jamesthebard submitter 5 Builds 3 points 3 months ago

It was kinda weird, this build snuck underneath the PCPP radar it seems...lol. I use it for development work, virtualization, video encoding/rendering, and streaming. The temps are very, very good, but I seem to have a bad Vega FE card which kinda sucks as I had to pull it from the loop leaving one GPU.

Bryce_ 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

What exactly is wrong with the VEGA card? hopefully you can fix or replace it :(

jamesthebard submitter 5 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

To be honest, there are still some ghosts in the machine. Most of this will move into a Thermaltake View 71 once the Radeon VII GPU drops.

Bryce_ 1 Build 2 points 2 months ago

weird how everyone missed this build, two words.

Very nice

ps also have the same keyboard mouse setup ;)

Meechie 1 point 1 month ago


question: Is the fan on the Xpander Aero quiet? Kyle from HardOCP mentioned that the fan was a little noisy.

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jamesthebard submitter 5 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Thanks Levi, appreciate it. Still wish I had both FEs in there, but I can't really complain overall.

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