Description

This is my first major upgrade in more than 5 years. My last build (SENTINEL) was built starting in 2011 after the release of the i7-2700k and I've been using the same chip since then. ORION is meant to be a similar "future proof" build as I plan on using this platform as long as possible.

I had so much fun putting this machine together. It's been way too long since I've been able to get elbow deep in building machines and I'm really impressed with the build quality of the parts I received. The built-in cable management in the case was awesome!

I may be competent with building computers, but apparently I am less than competent with a camera.. My apologies for the bad image quality.

All comments are welcome, and any suggestions for improvement are more than appreciated!

Part Reviews

CPU

I've been excited to use the Ryzen platform ever since I saw it coming up to release. I debated long and hard about Ryzen vs the Kaby Lake processors and I decided to jump to Team Red because computing (gaming especially) is quickly moving towards being multi-thread, which AMD has been ahead of Intel on for quite some time, while lagging behind in the Clock speed game. The Ryzen 1700X was my choice mostly based on price at the time (I got a great deal on Amazon) and for what I need this rig for the 1700X is actually overkill, so the 1800x wasn't really in my mind.

CPU Cooler

I've wanted this liquid cooler since I heard about it. It was almost impossible to find (I had to order one delivered to NCIX Mississauga from their depot in BC. I know I ordered a 360mm, but I'll admit I didn't really think it through when I also ordered the case. I knew 360mm would fit in the case (Thanks PCPP!) but in order to do so I had to remove the front and top panels, and the mid-plate in order to accommodate it. Quite an adventure getting this thing in but once inside it fits like a glove!

Motherboard

For my motherboard I went with the ASUS Crosshair VI HERO. One major reason is that this is the board all of the reviewers I watched got their hands on and worked with for OC'ing their setups. This means I'll have lots of info to go by while attempting to OC for myself. Other reasons include the number of USB ports (14 including 1 USB-C) and just how damn good it looks. One negative I came up with while building around this board is the USB 3.0 Header placement is not very cable-management friendly in my setup. I had to really massage that cable into the right shape to fit in like it did without worrying about the pins being bent to ****.

Memory

Corsair Dominator Platinum. Highly recommended by tonnes of reviewers as the best for quality and speed, and this was one of those "I need the best" kind of purchases. Plus aesthetically I really like how it looks with the ASUS board. Ryzen/AM4 is still working towards full RAM compatibility, so I stuck with 3000mhz for price as well as current support from AM4 (Ram is running at 2933 at the moment). Only negative about this RAM is that the LED strip running underneath the medal shroud is barely visible while the ram is powered. Would like to see something flashier from the Dominator RAM and I may mod it myself down the road.

Storage

For storage I recycled my Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD and a 4TB WD RED NAS drive. the EVO has been awesome to me and I have no need for it to stay in my old build. I would love to hear suggestions on alternative mounts in this case for the WD RED, as right now it's preventing me from installing the third fan on my 360mm Rad. It can stay with this build for now while I find a better over-all Storage solution.

Video Card

This is another recycle from SENTINEL: My MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G. An amazing card, and due to lack of budget for a replacement I decided to re-use the 970 for now until I have budget for a new card. I'm also waiting to see how VEGA stacks up price-to-performance against Nvidia's 10* series.

Case

Coming from a Fractal Design Define XL R2 to this Phanteks Eclipse P400S was certainly a challenge as I haven't worked in a mid-size case for quite awhile. I love the design of this case. The tempered glass panel looks amazing, though I admit I find it a bit of a hassle to get on and off without my blood pressure going through the roof -- It would suck to have to deal with a broken panel. The compatibility with ASUS Aura is a bonus, though the case didn't come with the RGB_HEADER adapter to plug into the board. I don't think it would cost Phanteks too much to include these adapters for ASUS and MSI RGB.

Power Supply

FINALLY a Modular power supply! The EVGA SuperNOVA G3 was highly recommended to me and I will NEVER get anything but modular from now on.. What a breeze to work with! Zero complaints about this product on design, setup, or anything!

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Comments

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

If you were willing to fork out any extra, I'd suggest moving all on the HD to a M.2 SSD, it's so minimal in space and will function faster too. The only drawback is the cost of a 1TB M.2 SSD is quite high currently.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

I was thinking about an M.2 for "Phase 2", which will also include custom cables and a new GPU. Thanks for the comment!

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

i'd consider getting an external bay for the 4tb drive if anything.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Not a bad idea. It would allow me to remove the HDD bay from the bottom and fit the third fan on my AIO. Only thing I'd be concerned about at that point is IO... Can you recommend a decent external enclosure?

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

Here are a few options: The hard drive drop style, I have this personally and works well for backup drives that get swapped around: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817659021 A usb-c cabled enclosure which would work with your onboard usb-c slot for highest speeds: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1DS5RB6010 A usb 3.0 standard cabled enclosure, which should still provide fast speeds but keeps your usb-c open for other devices. https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182347

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks very much for the info! I'm a big fan of the "toaster" docks for when you have multiple drives you need to swap out / use for archiving, but for this I'll probably take an enclosure... Great options, thanks again!

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

I go one step further. eSATAp with 12V support. Getting an eSATAp cable from Monoprice and a eSATAp bracket from Lindy UK (Only available in the UK, BTW) allows you to externally run bare drives with 12V power just by turning on your system. For all your system knows, it will still think the eSATAp drive is internal, because it's literally SATA protocol going over the cable along with 5V and 12V power straight to the ports of the drive.

If you can get someone to ship Lindy UK stuff to your country, it's well worth a shot. Startech unfortunately doesn't offer this, and I really wish they did.

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

You stole my build name! Nah just kidding, have a +1.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL! I debated long and hard about the name of this build.. I'm still not 100% decided on it, so maybe you can have your name back ;)