fwiw, the linked review is for the old WA7 which uses a different DAC than the new one which uses a fairly standard ESS SABRE DAC. In any case, tube amps always measure terribly because the "tubey" sound is just coloration/distortions so I don't think the new version would objectively measure that much better.
I demoed the WA7 against solid state amps that were measured objectively better by Amir at ASR, such as the Grace m900, and couldn't really tell any meaningful difference. I'm on the list for a tour of the new Okto DAC8 which is the current THD+N king at ASR, so we'll see how that goes. If it makes a significant difference I'll probably get one of those or the RME ADI-2-DAC; if it doesn't I'm keeping the WA7 because it looks better than anything else out there at the price range. Who knows, I might even prefer the tube sound.
It is fine at stock for anything besides P95, even with the restricted airflow of this case. If you have heavy AVX workloads you may want something beefier.
It’s an IKEA Hammarp countertop that I sanded and gloss finished (super easy to do, never worked with wood before and just needed two cans of gloss finish and some sandpaper), on top of two IKEA Alex drawers.
GPU is fine at stock (75-78C max).
CPU is fine for everything besides P95 (80C max). P95 just kills it though.
All the reviews I read indicate it should be fine, ITX + restricted airflow is just a different beast.
They are custom cables from Ensourced. They barely fit, originally was using them in an ATX case so had excess length to deal with.
It looks good and it's very easy to build in, but yes airflow does seem restricted. The dust filters are outstanding but that also contributes to the restricted airflow.
Cable management space is very tight and I'm only using 3 cables. A few more mm of space behind the motherboard tray definitely help with this case.
I also want to nitpick and say the tolerances aren't that great because there's very very tiny gaps with the bezels and where panels fit together, but that's really to be expected from an aluminum and tempered glass case in this price range.
I don't think my ears are good enough to differentiate between higher end DACs/amps; I kept the WA7 mainly because it looks pretty. That said, the first time I demo'd the Utopia it was paired with a Chord Dave and it sounded divine, so if I win the lottery down the line I'm picking one of those up.
Haven't really had a chance to push it yet, but Prime95 small FFTs still cooks my 9900K @ stock. My CPU has always ran super hot compared to reviews so I don't think that's particularly indicative of the U12A's performance (and I'm also only using the U12A with one fan).
I love music. :)
Got the 2700 for $160; couldn't pass that deal up. Planning to upgrade to next generation of Ryzen or switch to Intel when I move cases.
It was because of the dual m.2 drives. It can support one m.2 drive at gen 3 x4 just fine. Unfortunately this seems to be an issue with most Ryzen ITX/mATX motherboards.
I used the VIVO aluminum single monitor arm - https://www.amazon.com/VIVO-Aluminum-Adjustable-Articulating-STAND-V001Q/dp/B01LYVCEIB.
It feels like it's at its limit with this behemoth of a monitor but still holding steady. I love the drop-in mechanism it has for mounting the monitor, makes it super easy to mount and take out.
I have it set at 4k 98hz to keep full 4:4:4 chroma for now. I'm sure it can hit 144 with less demanding games, AAA games are going to be in the 60-100 range.
Decided to just go ahead and be a baller instead of being financially responsible. :D
It tends to have problems saving profiles. Not the best software I've used, but at least it works somewhat. I'd much rather go through hardware BIOS control but muh fancy LEDs. :(
I used the Riing Premium fans before and the ring looked better aesthetically but the LED was also dimmer.
The GPU uses the 16 lanes available to the CPU, and the m.2 NVME SSD uses 4 of the 24 lanes available to the chipset. The other 2 SSDs are SATA3.
Thanks for the kind words!
To be honest, it was much more the camera than me. I'm shooting JPEG with a Sony RX100 IV on auto. This was actually my first time using anything nicer than a cell phone camera.
I bought most things used/discounted so it's hard to say, but I imagine somewhere in the vicinity of $7K.
Yeah I had to do a ton of research to find a rad that would fit out of the box - there was this one and an Alphacool one that were short enough to be able to line up with the mounting holes.
I honestly can't tell very much of a difference between 28" 4K and 34" 3440x1440 in terms of pixel density. 100 hz looks so much smoother though, as does the colors with TN vs IPS.
Haven't been gaming much recently, there's always games that don't play nice with ultrawide but there's usually workarounds.
Thanks! I might look into doing the same for mine. I just can't find any builds where a 360mm rad fit without any problems or additional modding.
Awesome build. I'm also looking to watercool in this case - did you need to modify the case at all to fit your rad, or is it plug and play? I was originally looking to use an EK 360mm rad but apparently those need modding to fit in the case.
No problems at all. Pretty much plug and play.
Thanks! Honored to be included in that thread. Some crazy builds in there.
Let me have my glory :P
I use them with an external DAC, but I believe they can be plugged in directly to the PC as well. They're great speakers for the price.
That's too bad, it does work very well in situations that the mounting/form factor concerns can be met.
Gosh I have no idea... I just know it's made by Bush. Got it many, many years ago.
Nope, just running them normal as storage drives.
Thanks! If I have some crazy color schemes in the future that I want to do, I've also heard good things about Ensourced.
It's the Midnight Blue version of the case, which comes with white LEDs. It's a limited edition case (only 45 made) so out of stock unfortunately now. :(
I think there's other people that have modded LEDs on the H440/Noctis 450 before though.
I'm using 3M mounting tape (the one rated for 10 lbs). Great stuff.
One at a time (and a couple of impulse buys).
After I got the X34, it's been mainly an indie game called Rebel Galaxy (constant 100 FPS) and Fallout 4 (generally 80-100 FPS, dipping to 30-60 in some unoptimized areas).
Prior to the X34, I was gaming @ 4K and getting pretty much constant 60 FPS on Metal Gear Solid V, Star Wars Battlefront Beta, modded Skyrim/Fallout: New Vegas, and a few other games.
Once I finish FO4, going to jump into The Witcher 3 and also see how Star Citizen looks in ultrawide.
It's mounted at the top of the case.
Hmmm, I should probably look into re-seating my CPU cooler. The Kraken and the H105 should be comparable from what I've read. What sort of overclock do you have on yours?
(obligatory "but that would involve having friends" comment)
That's very helpful, thanks for the link!
That's the peak temperature from 8 hours of AIDA64/Intel Extreme Tuning stress testing (Prime95 doesn't play nice with X99). When I turn the overclock down it tops out at around 80. Either way there's no thermal throttling, it's within the operating parameters of the chip, and during most usage scenarios I end up at like 65 max so no worries here at least. :)
Next time I dust the case I'll look into re-seating the cooler and replacing the stock Corsair thermal paste.