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Build

Pascaline - Ultrawide on a Budget

by Cefizelj

7
1 Comment

Details

Date Published

Dec. 10, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

3.2 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

52.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.09 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7 GHz

Description

This is my first build. It will be primary used for work and study, gaming comes second. My priorities were value for money, silence, longevity and upgradability. I plan to upgrade GPU and probably memory when prices drop a bit and change heatsink for something beefier. In few years, when I move to next machine, this will most probably get repurposed as a NAS.

Aesthetics was not high on my list. This computer is tucked away under large office table with USB hub at work area for connectivity. Black and white colure combination just sort of happed, I wasn’t really planning it. Some pictures are with ASRock x370 Killer motherboard, which turned out to be DOA, so I swapped for Thaichi. Other than that it was good experience building this PC. I will add another picture or two, when I’m done with cable management.

Part Reviews

CPU

A fantastic CPU. Haven't overclocked yet, but even at stock it scores 1145 in Cinebench R15. Included heatsink is fine, much better than Intel. The only complain I have is that the sock heatsink is a somewhat tricky to install, because the screws are a bit too short and it is necessary to apply considerable force to compress the springs far enough that screws even start to tread.

Motherboard

A very solid motherboard. Lacks some of the comfort features that you will find on competing Asus motherboards, like Start and Reset Button. No big deal, although dual BIOS would be really nice. On upside it has VRM like miniature nuclear power station and high quality Japanese capacitors all round. RGB features are quite subdued for 2017, with only a few LED lights around the chipset. For me that is a plus. Wi-Fi is also nice feature.

Memory

Yeah, it is 2400 MHz, but I got this one before prices went up, and I'm not paying more than double the price for few hundred MHz of memory speed.

Storage

Noticeably cheaper than 850 EVO for not particular noticeable performance drop. It is worth to get larger capacity like this. 525 GB model has massive 51GB of overprovisioning and large SLC dynamically allocated cache. On smaller models is much smaller and apparently you can get them on wrong foot if you are copying large file and SLC cache gets full. On 525 and up you should be fine, and dumping more than say 30+ GB of sequential data (an it has to be from another SSD, because HDD are too slow) while simultaneously doing random writes is very rare scenario. It only happens in benchmarking really. Otherwise it also supports AES-256-bit hardware-based encryption which is usually missing on budget oriented SSD

Video Card

I got it before this build. I’m only casual gamer, so this is sufficient for now. I will upgrade to Vega 56/Gtx 1070 class GPU when prices return to normality. I have FreeSync monitor so I was hoping for mid-range Radeon card, but I mining craze derailed this particular plan.

Case

Overall I’m satisfied with the case, but it is not without weakness.

Pros.: 1. It is made in Germany and it is built like a tank, with noticeably ticker steel than on competing products. 2. Inside of the case is fully lined whit very highly density sound dampening material. No light foam that you find in a lot of other silenced cases. All of this makes case very heavy. 3. It also has a lot of drive cages (5 x 3.25 or 2.5 and 3 x 2.5) and three 5.25 inch bays. 4. In Europe it is very good value but looks like prices are a bit higher in US. Probably because of the transport costs, this thing really weights a ton.

Cons.: 1. Design is somewhat dated. Case is quite large for mid ATX. It is longer and taller but narrower than something like Fractal Design Define R5 or S. Those dimensions are more suitable for installing radiators. Personally I’m in air cooling camp so that is less of a concern. 2. Other old-fashion oddity are rubberized holes for external water cooling, which I really don’t see any use at all these days. 3. Side panels are very heavy because sound dampening material and difficult to take on and off. 4. Cage for 2.5'' drives and one of the 3.5'' cages can be removed, but other 3.5'' cage and 5.25'' drive bays are riveted, so you can’t free up space in the front for 240 mm front radiator. Those can be mounted in top, but you will loose some of the sound dampening. 5. Power on switch is way too bright ant it pulsate when is's in sleep mode, which is annoying if you have bed in the same room as PC. 6. Front fans are difficult to reach. 7. The most annoying thing for me is that fans have 3-pin connector. Case is comes with all the necessary cables for plugging the fans directly to the PSU and using two little sliders behind the front panel to control them manually, but I think that most people, who buy heavily silenced case would like to use headers on motherboard to plug in the fans and control them in UEFI or use motherboard utility. Fans should be 4-pin. 8. Also, no tampered glass, if you are in those sorts of things. I couldn’t care less.

Overall this is 70's Mercedes of cases. Affordable, well built and quiet, but probably not what most people want these days.

Power Supply

Fantastic PSU. I’m surprised there are not more reviews of this PSU. Obviously I didn’t test ripple suppression or open the unit, but as far I can tell build quality is super high quality. It carries 12 years warranty, although in EU you only get 10.

Unlike most of the competitors SeaSonic, doesn’t skimp on bulk capacitors, which means very good hold-up time. This seem to me to be more important for safety of your components than last few mV in ripple suppression. It is dirty little secret of the industry, that on most PSU, even better ones like EVGA G3 or FSP Hydro G, hold-out time will go out of spec, if PSU is fully or close to fully loaded, when power goes out. That means that your motherboard might not have enough time to shut down the computer as it should or that UPS will not have enough time to switch to battery power. Some PSU will even send OK signal to mobo, after voltage has gone out of spec. All of this is really bad for any kind of sensitive electronics and shouldn’t happen with this unit.

It also has hybrid mode that stops the fan for silent operation during light usage. The only complain I have, if any, is that cables (which are black and sleeved) are quite stiff and, if you are building in ATX case, a bit on the short side.

Monitor

If you want to join the ultrawide master race 3440 x 1440 and 34’ is it the way to do it. I’m not sure ultrawide is really worth it at 1080p, but this is in completely different league. It is great spend a lot of time writing and researching things on the internet. Space wise it’s like having two monitors but much more elegant. Pixel density of 110 PPI is prefect for me. LG really nailed this form factor.

I have no complains about this monitor. No backbleed to speak of (much more common on curved models), no dead pixels. Stand is sturdy and has very smooth height ant tilt adjustment, but no swivel. It got Freesync and two Thunderbolt 2 ports. On downsides speakers sound a bit thin and it isn’t curved. Curvature is nice feature at this size, but in my opinion not worth the premium (about 250€ at the time of purchase).

60 Hz refresh rate will be deal barker for serious gamers but otherwise this is very nice monitor for productivity, movie watching and casual gamming at reasonable price

Comments Sorted by:

luigiinferno 1 point 13 months ago

some parts can be swithced out to make it cheaper

[comment deleted]