Description

Reposted with better pictures.

Izuna is now 2 years old! Some things from the original build stuck, other decisions turned out to be not-so-good. The main highlights here are the new case and a big GPU upgrade. Definitely considering a 1440p monitor to take better advantage of the extra graphics power.

Benchmarks suggest that there should be around a "15% bottleneck" at 1080p, depending on how you look at things. Really, that stuff just depends on use case, and it doesn't particularly worry me.

Changes from 1.2

  • Switched case from Cooler Master Elite 110 to Fractal Design Define Nano S
  • Upgraded GPU from MSI RX 460 to Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT
  • More storage

But why is the PSU 450W??

I wanted to keep the PSU from v1.2 since it's a high quality unit, so I did some digging around to guess at power draw numbers for the upgraded GPU. I concluded that although probably not ideal, the 450W PSU would handle things fine, especially as it's a quality unit. Doing a bit of stress testing confirms that the system is receiving enough power, and no over-current protection is being triggered. Awesome.

Linux and Navi thoughts

As a Linux user, I've had good experiences with AMD's recent drivers for GCN cards. That said, Navi is a new architecture, and with new architectures come new bugs. Hooray! As of right now (October 6, 2019), using the RX 5700 XT with Ubuntu 18.04 is an interesting experience. I've found that the drivers are usable and mostly stable, but there are a couple of minor issues, and at least one game (Sekiro) is totally broken. The main monitor occasionally wakes up slowly, and sometimes displays static before waking up. Occasionally, the HDMI audio also glitches out, which can be worked around by killing and restarting PulseAudio. #JustEarlyAdopterThings. There are probably tweaks I can do to address some of these in the short term, and I expect to see these problems resolved in the near future.

Part Reviews

CPU

Still awesome, still great value. Now that you can get them for $100 or less, every budget builder should consider one.

Storage

Very cheap and performs well enough, while also not being a DRAM-less turd. A word of warning - this drive can be a bit loose with those SATA cables that have the metal clips. I'll probably get a friction-fit cable instead.

Video Card

Great value card, and already quite usable on Linux. However, the driver situation at the moment is not-so-great. Most notably in my case, some games that require Proton won't start. For Linux users who expect their GPU to Just Work, I recommend sticking with Vega for now.

Case

Good noise dampening, great cable management, comes with a couple nice goodies. Fractal Design definitely won me over with this case. However, it's also huge and a bit heavy for ITX - around the size of some microATX cases. So make sure that's really what you want.

Power Supply

It's been good to me so far. However, the stock cables are very short, so I had to get extensions for my case.

Keyboard

The keycaps are kinda crappy. For the price, it's been decent; however, there are better mechanical keyboards for cheaper. Only consider this if you find it at a steep discount.

Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 3 points

The 1600 is great, I wouldn't worry about it. You could still go all the way up to a 2700X with that motherboard at least.

Great build!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Yah, my 1600 is still killing it with triple A games. It’s a seriously underrated gaming cpu.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! And yeah, I even considered a 3900X.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you have any troubles getting the 5700 XT into the case? I've read that it shouldn't really fit, but no one can confirm whether it does.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

No trouble at all for me. Granted, my power supply is SFX, so there is more clearance for a thicker card.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah cheers, yeah im going sfx too, so that's all good. Thanks

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you need any extension cables for the PSU ?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

The PSU cables are long enough that I could have used it without any extensions, but they are much too short for cable management. So I used extensions.