Description

This is a re-post from 5/31/2018. I couldn't change my username so I had to create a new account and re-post my build.

Hey everyone! This is revision one of my new build. I hope you enjoy!

Use Case

I am going to be using this system every day as my personal workstation for my job as a software engineer. However, more importantly, this system was built for my hobbies. I do 3D modelling in Fusion 360 and Blender, and music creation in Ableton Live and FL Studio. My daily driver prior to this system was a Lenovo X1 Carbon 5 to which I hit the limit of what a dual core laptop with integrated graphics could provide (at least for my hobbies, especially 3D modelling).

This system is also going to be used for gaming, albeit less often. I will be playing titles such as Stardew Valley, CS:Go, Metro Last Light, GTA5, and Overwatch among others.

Parts

CPU: AMD Ryzen 2700X

I have been planning this workstation since 2017 August and I've put together a lot of parts lists - oh so many parts list. This most definitely would've been an 8700K/z370 system if Pinnacle Ridge wasn't released when it was. The 1700X was enticing to me but I needed a computer I could rely on and I received mixed reviews/opinions on this topic. However, when the 2700X dropped, I was very impressed by the improvements Zen+ brought to Ryzen's overall system stability and thought I'd take a chance. I also really like that AMD will be supporting their AM4 chipsets for more than one or two CPU generations. It's nice that I will be able to slot in a 3700X or 4700X if I wanted to do so in the future.

However, as one of the main priorities of this build is stability, I also picked my components with compatibility for Intel in mind. This will allow me to switch to a Coffee Lake CPU and z370 motherboard or their successors with relative ease if the need arises.

Motherboard: Asus Crosshair VII Hero

I picked the C7H because of der8auer’s and buildzoid’s coverage. I also liked that this motherboard has eight USB 3 Type A ports as with other options I would've had to use a hub to have access to all of my required peripherals and devices. I opted for the non Wi-Fi/Bluetooth model because first and foremost I heard from others in the community that the Wi-Fi enabled model wasn't as stable. However, a secondary reason I justified the compromise was because this computer will always be connected to my gigabit router which is less than two feet away from my desk. I also removed the plastic heatsink over the I/O as I personally thought it looks cleaner without it.

Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB

I would’ve preferred a non-RGB memory kit but decided to go with this G.Skill kit because it was the only Samsung b-die kit I could find in Canada with rated CL14 (14-14-14-34) timings at the time. I opted for 32GBs because I often maxed out the 16GBs of memory on my last PC.

CPU Cooler: Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4

The cooler that comes with the 2700X would have sufficed. Full stop. However, I personally dislike the aesthetics of the Wraith cooler enough that buying an aftermarket one was worth it to me. Since I went with SilentWings 3 fans for the rest of my build, I decided to go with a Be Quiet! Cooler. I would’ve preferred the Dark Rock 4 but I was limited to what was available in Canada at the time. The installation was relatively easy and I’m using Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut TIM.

Storage: Samsung 970 Evo 250GB NVMe SSD

My storage solution is incomplete with this revision of my build but I'm still very impressed by this drive's performance. Everyone says M.2 drives are "the size of a stick of gum" for reference but oh boy was I still surprised by how small this drive was! Technology is amazing!

I plan on adding a Samsung 970 Evo 1TB NVMe SSD to my build in the next revision.

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW

I managed to get a GTX 1080 for CAD $660 including shipping and taxes during the mining craze. The card was originally purchased for a build that didn’t happen and sat in the box since March this year unused. I got this card for $300 less than retail (on Newegg.ca) at time of purchase. It's overkill for my use case and I may switch it out between now and when I publish my revision 2 build log.

I am currently using a 27” 1440P 60Hz monitor from Dell and I’m getting over 60 FPS in all of the games I play and awesome performance (no lag so far) in my 3D modelling programs. It’s honestly incomparable to the performance I got with integrated graphics.

Accessory: FSLabs Graphics Card GPU Brace Support

My graphics card is heavy and I needed something to help with the sag. I would not recommend this bracket. It wasn't strong enough to hold my EVGA 1080 FTW and I ended up returning it to Amazon since the sag was equally as bad without it.

Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA G3 750W

I needed a good, reliable power supply and this model was recommended to me from a lot of folks in the community across different forums. I purchased the 750W model for additional leg room and because I plan to add a second graphics card for workstation/Linux purposes.

Custom Cable Kit

My custom cables are from CableMod. They’re CableMod’s Pro series Nylon cables in Silver, Grey, and Pink. I got them in 700 MM (24 Pin, PCIe) and 750 MM (EPS) lengths to not limit my future options in terms of compatibility with other cases. I also got a coupon with my C7H which arrived after I made my order with CableMod. I contacted support and they applied the coupon/refunded the difference anyways. Their customer support is excellent. While some folks would say the cables aren’t worth it because of their price, I think they are! I’m not a huge fan of RGB but still wanted to add a pop of colour to my build.

Case: Fractal Designs Meshify C White

I wanted an ATX enclosure that had good airflow, wasn’t needlessly large, and wasn’t gaudy. I decided to go with the Meshify C because of the all mesh front panel and small-ish form factor. I have some case mods in mind which I will be doing in June/July and I’ll definitely update the post with more pictures once I have completed those. I chose the white model because my colour scheme is white, gunmetal and pink.

Fans: Be Quiet! SilentWings 3 120mm PWM

I currently have three SilentWings 3 fans around my chassis; two in the front as intake and one in the back as exhaust. There are also two additional SilentWings 3 fans helping my Dark Rock Pro 4 cool my CPU. They are so quiet, it’s honestly amazing. I’m also considering adding two additional SilentWings 3 fans to the top of my case but I haven’t decided yet, will need to do more testing.

As a side note, I’m looking to sell two Fractal Designs Dynamic X2 GP-12 DC fans.

Performance

I am quite happy with my system’s overall performance but I still have some tweaking to do. I will probably let XFR2 do it’s thing but I want to manually overclock my GPU. I will update here once I have the chance to do so and make sure it’s stable. My memory is running at 3266MHz with 14-14-14-34 timings.

Here are some results from benchmarking tools I ran:

  • Cinebench CPU: 1735
  • Cinebench GPU: 120.96
  • 3DMark: 7962, GPU: 7761, CPU: 9340
  • Geekbench CPU: Single Core: 5057, Multi Core: 28806
  • Geekbench OpenCL: 184278

And here is some data about temperatures:

  • CPU Idle: 35C
  • CPU Load: 64C
  • GPU Idle: 34C
  • GPU Load: 43C

Summary

This is my first custom build that I made for myself and it was a lot of fun planning and building this system but it's not final and I'll definitely be sharing the progress as it happens! Additionally, I would love to hear from you all about what I should name my build.

Thanks and happy building!

Part Reviews

CPU

My build most definitely would’ve been an 8700K/Z370 system if Pinnacle Ridge wasn’t released when it was. However, when the 2700X dropped, I was very impressed by the improvements Zen+ brought to Ryzen’s overall system stability and thought I’d take a chance. I also really like that AMD will be supporting their AM4 chipsets for more than one CPU generation. The performance is great and is very stable so far as I dial in my custom memory settings, overclocks, etc.

CPU Cooler

The installation process could be improved but it looks great and provides awesome cooling performance. I've paired my Dark Rock Pro 4 with a Ryzen 2700X and Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut TIM.

Motherboard

Great build quality and performance. The BIOS is one of the best and the quality really shows with the software and the hardware.

Memory

Awesome memory! Looks great and runs great! I'm currently running this kit at 3266MHz at CL 14 14 14 34 and my 2700X system is stable.

Storage

This drive is very fast and worked right out of the box. No complaints!

Video Card

This is an awesome choice for 1440P gaming and hobbyist rendering/working in Blender, Modo, and Fusion 360. In games, at high settings, I get over 60FPS in almost all situations.

Case

This case was very easy to build in. It also provides awesome airflow and looks great while doing so. I definitely recommend this case.

Power Supply

The fact that it's fully modular is appreciated as I'm using custom cables from CableMod. This unit was recommended to me from folks in the Gamers Nexus Discord. I was originally going to go with a Be Quiet! unit but I was introduced to the idea of what 12V rails were and why they matter. The G3 750W has only one 12V rail providing all 750W on one rail instead of it being divided between multiple rails. I also like that this unit is backed by a 10 year warranty but I hope I won't have to use it!

Operating System

It's Windows. It's okay but I wish was better. I purchased my key from SCDKey based on recommendations from folks in the community. I received my key/confirmation email immediately after I paid.

Case Fan

These fans are shockingly quiet. I have a total of five SilentWings 3 fans in my chassis, commonly running at 700RPM (except when under full load). Two with my Dark Rock Pro 4, two for intake, and one for exhaust. My system is silent during light usage (such as browsing the internet, watching YouTube or Twitch, etc) and only slightly audible under load (such as compiling/rendering large code projects/3D models, or in some games).

Custom

Easy application and great temperatures.

Custom

I would not recommend this bracket. It wasn't strong enough to hold my EVGA 1080 FTW and I ended up returning it to Amazon since the sag was equally as bad without it. And I'm now using a Founders Edition card which fortunately doesn't sag so I don't need one of these anymore.

Comments

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks like a very powerful workstation. I imagine you won't have any problems doing just about anything with it

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah! I'm very happy with it, although I do have some improvements/adjustments planned that I can't wait to do to make it perfect. :D

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

What's the monitor and keyboard? Otherwise great build

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

The monitor is the Dell UltraSharp LED Monitor. It's model number is U2715H, and it's 27 inches diagonal, 1440P resolution, and 60Hz refresh rate. It's pretty good considering I got it for free (my work provided it to me when I started) however I'm planning on replacing it with a higher refresh rate 1440P panel at some point.

The keyboard is a Vortex Race 3 75% mechanical keyboard with MX Brown switches. I really like the stabilizers but the layout is a little odd. Because of the large escape key, basically no custom key cap sets will support it. Planning on switching it out with the Vortex Pok3r or doing a custom build at some point as well.

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

Love the build first and foremost... it has a lot of system mass! In terms of monitors... I just myself an Acer Predator XB271HU and holy mother of pearl... you need one if you are even considering it. The common issue though is that all monitors with these specs use the same panel and you can get a bad one, and since you are a workstation user I'd recommend picking up the Viewsonic panel since they are known to get the better binned panels. Anyways, great build and I hope you can get and enjoy a high refresh rate monitor as much as I do! +1

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check out these monitors when doing my research before buying my new monitor. I'm excited! And thanks for the kind words. :D Additionally, I made some revisions to this build and posted a revision two a few days ago, take a look at it here if you're interested: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/b/fjsZxr. :)

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

And thanks for the kind words btw!

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

No clearance issues with the G. Skill Trident Z ram and the Dark Rock P4 cooler I'm guessing?

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

yup! works perfectly.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

This is a re-post from 5/31/2018. I couldn't change my username so I had to create a new account and re-post my build. I wanted to move over some of my responses to comments so that additional information I provided isn't lost.

Question: How is the motherboard?

I'm quite happy with it. This is my first experience with a high end, enthusiast motherboard but the build quality is amazing compared to what I'm used to. I've been comfortable with the VRM temperatures. I did disable the RGB effects on the board and removed the plastic heatsink over the I/O as I mentioned above; personally I wish they made a variant without RGB. A few other things, I did have some troubles updating the BIOS using the BIOS flashback button but then someone informed me that I could do it in the BIOS GUI and it was seamless from there. It's a great motherboard overall in my books.

Question: Did you find the GPU brace helpful?

My build definitely needed a GPU when I was using the GTX 1080 but the one in the pictures and in the build notes is terrible. I wouldn't recommend that bracket. It wasn't strong enough to hold my EVGA 1080 FTW and it kept sliding into the fan. I ended up returning it to Amazon since the sag was almost equally as bad without it. Now I'm using a Founders Edition card which fortunately doesn't sag so I didn't need to buy another brace.

However, if you're in the market for a good brace, I've heard a lot of great things about the Mnpctech's GPU support brackets (https://mnpctech.com/gpu-support-bracket/) but haven't tried them personally yet.

Question: What keyboard is that?

It's a Vortex Race 3 75% mechanical keyboard with MX Brown switches.

Question: Why did you choose a GTX 1080 for workstation purposes? Why not a Quadro?

I was considering the P2000, P4000, and P5000 along with the GeForce options. They were in my budget but I didn't want to invest a lot of money into hardware that would be obsolete in a few months with Volta/Turing coming.

So I bought a 1080 so I could flip it for my ideal GPU situation which is a Quadro or Radeon Pro card for workstation tasks and a GeForce card for gaming.

Question: Since you are doing gaming and workstation tasks, why not Vega? It performs close to a 1080 and has much better value as a workstation card.

I was heavily considering buying a Vega 64 but there were none in stock anywhere I looked in Canada that didn't have ridiculous prices (over $2,000 CAD). I may buy a Vega card once the second generation cards drop but the whole pricing/availability problem may repeat itself.

Question: How do you like the fans?

They're phenomenal. It's honestly amazing to me how quiet they are. As I mentioned in my review for them, my system is completely silent during light usage and only slightly noticeable under heavy load.