Description

Replacing an i7-3770k system with a new CPU


Brand new parts:

  • CPU

  • Motherboard

  • RAM

  • SSD

  • Case

Reused parts:

  • Everything else in the list

Despite the B450 BIOS being quite new for 3rd gen Ryzen, it works fine so far. I've had no real trouble with CPU boost, 4.375 GHz under low thread count loads. Idle voltage is high (1.45v or so) and actually drops under load, but I've been told that is normal for these CPUs.

RAM dropped right in and works perfectly with its XMP profile.

SSD is great as well, fast, good endurance rating, and not very expensive.

The Lian Li case is a dream to build in, lots of space and the cable routing is basically perfect. Airflow and temps are great with 3 side fans, I don't see any reason to add more on the top/bottom.

I love the Arctic P12 PWM fans, they have a range of about 800 - 2000 RPM and even at full speed are quiet enough to not bother me with a fairly open case sitting on my desk. The PWM 'PST' sharing connectors are fantastic as well, as I only need 1 fan port for all 3 of them.

Scythe Mugen 5 is a great cooler as well, same performance as $100+ coolers for <$50, cooling as good as most AIOs. The fan is extremely quiet at full speed, and the mounting system is a breeze.

The motherboard I do have some issues with, particularly with MSI's software suite which is very limited and has some problems;

(MSI Command Center) No fan curve ramp time or averaging to smooth out speed changes, can't change temp source from CPU, can't place curve points closer than 6C together, it will sometimes reset to default on its own, the 'graph' of the fan speed is also useless as it literally goes backwards sometimes, and there's no way to just type in temp/speed values, you have to drag graph points around. The whole UI is clunky and not easy to find things in.

You actually get more fan customization in the BIOS directly, there are ramp times (although limited, only 0.7s maximum), you just type the values in which is nice, and you can change the temp source to CPU, Board, PCH, or VRM, but GPU temp is not an option either way which is the main downside.

(MSI MysticLight) Window is massive and cannot be resized, lights operate in steps of 16; for example an R value of 16 is the exact same brightness as a value of 31, this makes it hard to get the right colors, or dim the lights down enough. The 'fade' profiles also have obvious steps because of this and aren't smooth at all.

General Annoyances;

  • The motherboard LEDs really need a diffuser of some kind, they are spaced far apart and it's obvious there are individual LEDs there.

  • There's no optical audio port, it's a weird thing to leave out even on a budget board.

Part Reviews

CPU

Very happy with this CPU. I'm not using the included cooler so I don't know how well that performs, but with a Mugen 5 it runs very cool at 75C load. I'm seeing a max boost of 4.375 GHz, but that may improve as the BIOS updates come out.

CPU Cooler

My favorite CPU cooler. Fans are near-silent at full speed, and the mounting system is very good.

~75C load on a Ryzen 7 3700x.

Motherboard

My main complaints are with MSIs software suite for adjusting the fans and the LEDs (Command Center and Mystic Light).

In Command Center the fan curves are very limited, there's no ramp time, you can't pick the temperature source, you have to drag the points around (can't type them directly), you can't add/remove points (locked to 4), and the points sometimes reset on their own entirely.

Mystic Light has a huge window when open that cannot be resized, and the light brightness steps are 16 despite being able to change them by 1 point at a time, which gives only 16 distinct brightness steps (0-255). This makes getting the colors you want very hard, and means you can't dim them very much (as between 0-15 value is just off).

I do wish the board had an optical audio port, I didn't realize when I ordered that it did not.

The motherboard LEDs are space pretty far apart and don't have a diffuser, so it's obvious that there are 8 individual LEDs there.

As far as good things go, the board works perfectly fine, the VRMs handle a 3700x with zero issues and stay very cool, the VRM heatsinks aren't in the way of anything, it has plenty of fan headers if needed, and it does have 2 RGB headers even though it's very much a budget board.

Memory

No complaints here, XMP profile works fine on an MSI B450 Tomahawk board with a Ryzen 7 3700x.

Storage

Very fast, good endurance, inexpensive! It's not often an SSD ticks all 3 boxes.

Storage

This has been my storage drive for a few years now, performance is fine and it doesn't run hot. The only downside I can find is it's fairly loud when seeking.

Video Card

Good solid GPU. It's well built with the backplate and overall construction, I get zero GPU sag.

The cooler has no trouble keeping the GPU at 70C, but it is fairly loud above 50% fan speed and that's my only complaint here.

Case

This case is a dream to build in, everything is ridiculously easy to access and there's lots of space for cables in the back. All the cutouts are in just the right spots for routing cables, and it just looks great.

Airflow is also good, I really like the side mounted fans and I see no reason to add more fans on the bottom or top.

Power Supply

I've had this PSU for something like 7 years and it's still going strong, fan still works fine without any noise too.

Monitor

Great VA panel. Typically VA has an odd shimmer effect and rather nasty black smearing, but this one doesn't have either in any noticeable amount. ~99% sRGB after calibration (it was very, very close out of the box already).

OSD is great, easy to use. And the monitor works perfectly with FreeSync enabled on my GTX 1080.

Custom

My go-to fans. The 'PWM PST' models come with a dual connector that lets you daisy chain multiple fans off of a single fan port. They're quiet, don't vibrate, and don't make any kind of whining noise at full speed.

Comments

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

Clean ! looks very nice. Been seeing more of those scythe mugen coolers recently. One of the best 120mm air coolers out.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

How well does your pc perform at playing games at 1440p?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a 24" 1080p panel, do you think this one would feel too big? I sit 2 feet away from my monitor.

Also the ppi of this panel (93ppi) would be similar to my 24" 1080p (92ppi), does it still look crisp compared to 1080p?

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Since the PPI is the same it should look the same to you (same detail, same text size, etc), just with more space on the screen and a larger screen.