Description

Build Goal: Mid-range overclockable gaming rig for simracing and entry VR. I cut some corners where i thought the cost savings outweighed the performance difference. Overall i am quite pleased with the system i have built. the cooling system sucks up everything the i5 can generate at 4,9ghz and doesn't even need to crank the fans up to keep the coolant below 32c and the chip temps well under control. I wish the RGB system were more impressive, but that's bells and whistles stuff. I did ok in the silicon lottery, not fantastic but definitely able to go above stock clocks. 2 things i had to circle back and spend money to correct. i didn't anticipate running out of usb2.0 headers. who needs more than 2?? lol. and the PCIe extension cable. the weight of this card is definitely considerable. soon after installing directly on the board i began to notice some sagging. luckily, the thermaltake case has the facilities and brackets designed in to mount your video card vertically. unfortunately, i needed to order the extension cable to make that happen. that should arrive today and i'll post up some pics of my (sort of) completed build with it's christmas RGB theme.

Case: Thermaltake View 31. While i have only tried a front mount with push fans, the front panel definitely restricts airflow. i only have 1 140mm case fan pushing out the back, with the power supply fan facing upwards and always on. With the front panel off and the fans at 1200rpm, the coolant temps are around 28.5c. if i put the front panel on and change nothing else, within 30 minutes coolant temps will be 32.5c without putting any other load on the system. Mounting the 280mm to the top with the fans blowing through the rad and out the top of the case, and changing the 2 140mm case fans to intake, it idles at 28.5c again. the case is well built. the drive sleds lock into the alternate positions securely and the quick attach design holds a 3.5 drive as securely as would ever be necessary. would have been nice if they would have included a pcie riser cable for the alternate video card mounting position. fans seem to perform ok. this is not the RIING model, so it comes with blue solid led 140mm fans, which are nice and quiet at low rpms.

Power Supply: Thermaltake 650W RGB. what can i say. great price, fully sync capable RGB fan inside the power supply with a zero fan under low load switch. the cables are a little cheap, but i guess cablemod needs a reason to exist, right?

Motherboard: Z390 Extreme4. This stupid board is what started the whole RGB thing. now, the board is awesome, but it is what got me looking in the unicorn cum infested glory hole that is the RGB market. 6 sata ports on the intel controller with 2 more on a 3rd party chipset make for plenty of sata ports. bear in mind that with this board, every NVMe controller in use will disable 2 sata ports. the RGB capabilities are pretty lackluster.

CPU: i5 8600k. I wanted a, unlocked intel processor. i7 really provides no advantage over i5 in most gaming applications, so the extra cores aren't worth the extra $130 for me.

RAM: G.Skillz trident RGB. pc3000, CLS16 memory. I initially bought into the CLS craze and has the CLS14 modules on my list, but researching it has shown that the difference between CLS14 and CLS16 on the same brand and model of memory produce no noticeable and very little measurable difference in performance from a purely gaming perspective. i did splurge on the RGB models and am kind of disappointed. While the ASRock RGB software will integrate and sync the memory, the modes available are heavily restricted when synced with the memory modules. when the memory modules are plugged into a2/b2 as needed for higher speed dual channel, the G.Skillz software is unable to even see the memory modules. UPDATE: i have updates the g.skillz software and it works as advertised now. more lighting options than the rgb software on the board, however the sync between the memory modules and the board seems to have broken. not sure who to point the finger at there between g.skillz and asrock, but the sync between the ram rgb and the rest of the rgb system breaks on closing the configuration software.

CPU Cooler: CLC280. it has kept cpu temps well below 60c, with spikes of 70 under benchmarking with the i5 processor overclocked to 4.8G. Idles at 28C, which is 7C over ambient. i think one of the key performance metrics that are overlooked when evaluating LCS is the coolant temps. how much thermal load can the system eat and still maintain before the coolant temps start to climb. given all the airflow the fans could want, i have yet to hit 40c coolant temps. when i get my GPU i plan on finding the overall limits of the machine, but i don't think this i5 processer alone is going to be able to press this very hard. it is a temporary solution to skirt the cost of an open loop system for the time being, but the ability to keep up with the thermal demands of the cpu won't be why it is replaced. the RGB does not sync with the ASRock software, and the EVGA rgb control is... well, weak. it does have the ability to change colors with programmable thermal limits based on cpu or coolant temps. being as it won't sync with the rest of the system, this is the mode i use.

HDD: Samsung 970 EVO/WD Blue. 500GB NVMe system drive with 1tb Games and Storage drive. that should be plenty.

GPU: Zotac 1070ti AMP! Extreme. given that the current generation of nvidia gpu's is commonly referred to as the silicon lottery, meaning there is no way to determine the quality of the silicon wafer used in the making of the gpu based on card manufacture or model, it comes down to price, cooling, and what else the manufacturer might have done to improve on the FE design. the Amp Extreme cards have great cooling on the power mosfets and increased power phase count made this particular card attractive. ok the RGB splashed all over might have played into it... yes, the hole is deep. i picked this card up used for $275 + shipping. it was probably a crypto mining card, but that's not always a bad thing. I was originally targeting a 1080 hybrid FTW card, but christmas time competing with a desire to have a completed gaming rig brought you the sacrifice of the zotac 1070ti. I currently race on a gaming laptop with a gtx950m. If i could push 3 displays or VR with my Lenovo y710p, i would have never had to build this thing. UPDATE: with the card i got, i am able to run stable at +230mhz chip and +550mhz memory with voltage at +40% and the thermal throttle and power limits set to max. even overclocked as high as i can go with this particular chip, the massive heatsink and triple fans keep the gpu temps at 60c. i have a custom fan curve, and 60c is the step point to 100% fan speed, and it only ever kicks to 100% for a few seconds before dropping back to 80%

Future upgrade paths: if i can't find a way to run the front cover on this case without killing airflow, i'm going to have to change it out. should have went with a fractal. i will definitely be changing out the AIO with an open loop system and adding a GPU LCS heatsink to the loop. I'm not sure i ever will, but with the z390 chipset i have bought a good bit of future applicability for upgrades within the 9th gen intel processor. i may double the ram to 32G, or swap it out for a lower CLS module, if i find myself hitting a performance wall somewhere, i'll look at stepping up to a 1080ti, or even an rtx if they ever get those thermal issues taken care of. when i go with a new case, i might go with cablemod custom cables. i hate trying to figure out what to do with 15" of excess cable.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Using arctic silver 5 on an i5 8600k that hasn't been delidded, it has kept cpu temps well below 60c, with spikes of 70 under benchmarking with the i5 processor overclocked to 4.8G. with the pump at it's lowest speed setting, and the fans on a custom curve that has them spinning at 1200rpm at idle, it idles at 28C with the 8600k overclocked to 4.5Ghz, which is 7C over ambient. when i get my GPU i plan on finding the overall limits of the machine with benchmarking and long distance stress testing, but i don't think this i5 processer alone is going to be able to press this very hard. it is a temporary solution to skirt the cost of an open loop system for the time being, but the ability to keep up with the thermal demands of the cpu won't be why it is replaced. the RGB does not sync with the ASRock software, and the EVGA rgb control is... well, weak. it does have the ability to change colors with programmable thermal limits based on cpu or coolant temps. being as it won't sync with the rest of the system, this is the mode i use. would be nice to have a transition along a color range as opposed to the hard color switch currently utilized, but at least it can serve a purpose since it won't sync with the rest of my rgb.

Memory

G.Skillz trident RGB. pc3000, CLS16 memory. I initially bought into the CLS craze and had the CLS14 modules on my list, but researching it has shown that the difference between CLS14 and CLS16 on the same brand and model of memory produce no noticeable and very little measurable difference in performance from a purely gaming perspective. i did splurge on the RGB models and am kind of disappointed. While the ASRock RGB software will integrate and sync the memory, the modes available are heavily restricted when synced with the memory modules. when the memory modules are plugged into a2/b2 as needed for higher clock speed/overclock dual channel capabilities, the G.Skillz software is unable to even see the memory modules. I haven't overclocked the memory extensively to see how it holds up, but it runs at 3200 beside an i5 8600k running at 4.8G without any issue.

Case

While i have only tried a front mount with push fans, the front panel definitely restricts airflow. i only have 1 140mm case fan pushing out the back, with the power supply fan facing upwards and always on, drawing air out through the psu. With the front panel off and the fans at 1200rpm, the coolant temps are around 28.5c. if i put the front panel on and change nothing else, within 30 minutes coolant temps will be 32.5c without putting any other load on the system. it may effect temps less if the rad and fans were top mounted pushing through and out, with rear and front fans pulling in. i haven't tried that yet. other than that, the case is well built. the drive sleds lock into the alternate positions securely and the quick attach design holds a 3.5 drive as securely as would ever be necessary. would have been nice if they would have included a pcie riser cable for the alternate video card mounting position, but i don't think i'm going to have enough clearance to use it with the 2.5 slot size of the amp extreme video card. this is not the RIING model, so it comes with blue solid led 140mm fans, which are nice and quiet at low rpms. i have them slaved to the motherboard temps which have remained rock steady, so they haven't ramped up during normal duty cycles. when set to full speed, they generate less noise than the fans for the aio cooler. good cable routing with plenty of tie down points. plenty of radiator mounting options and plenty of space for custom open loops. just wish the front cover wasn't such an airflow restriction.

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Comments

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

This is close to my build, im using the 1070ti (different card), i5-8600k, and the z390 board, only differences in power supply, case, cpu cooler, RAM, and storage.