Description

I play RTS such as TW:W2 and TW:3K, also classic games like Skyrim and Far Cry 3/4, plus I use the PC for home business, social media, my wife's home sales, all sorts of prosaic odds and ends, plus photography. It began life in 2017 with a Ryzen 1700, RX480 8GB (Strix), Asus Prime X370 Pro Motherboard, a Corsair CX750M (v2), Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200Mhz RAM (Hynix die!) and a 1080p 60Hz display, with the cooler master mastercase pro 5. The case has survived but not a lot else! The RX480 was swapped out for a Vega 56 Strix, the RAM got changed to GSkill Trident 3200Mhz, because of QVL issues, the display became a 1440p 144hz AOC AGON Ag271QX and I bunged a Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 cooler on. Then I managed to brick the Motherboard updating BIOS unnecessarily (still miss that board!), so I decided to switch to a B450 Tomahawk to tide me over. Ugh! Hateful thing. I know a lot of people like them but i despise that MOBO! Probably no coincidence that I then started having RAM issues, LiveKernelEvent 141 Black screens of death with fans pinning themselves to 100% etc. BIOS updates disappointed me, fan curves and bloatware were annoyingly inconsistent, support on the MSI site was non-existent, I tried investigating the GPU, repasting it, swapping out thermal pads, nothing worked. Finally my patience snapped and I flogged the RAM and CPU, and instead I bought what you see here now. I'm much, much happier! New ASUS Prime X570-P, proper no-frills board, Seasonic PSU is amazing, GPU is powerful, cool and silent, RAM works at the right speeds without needing to faff with timings, and the CPU is much cooler and more powerful. The whole thing makes me much, much happier.

Part Reviews

CPU

Very good CPU, coming from Ryzen 1st Gen it's a big increase in performance. If you have £200 and you need a CPU, then you need this; it's really that simple. Intel's offerings cannot compete. Indistinguishable from far more expensive i5 and even i7 parts in single core gaming performance, and streets ahead in everything else, including longevity of the platform, value and security.

CPU Cooler

A very good aftermarket cooler, extremely quiet and with premium construction . However, you do have to pay a premium for that, so there's other coolers to be considered if price is a concern and of course, if you're not doing overclocking or going for the near-silence that this heat sink and fan combo brings, then AMD's own stock cooler does the trick. However, the construction has declined in later versions of those, so this cooler will last throughout the AM4 platform life-cycle.

Thermal Compound

A good quality non-curing paste. So far I have no complaints, but I think that Arctic Silver 5 does as well as this does and possibly better given curing time.

Motherboard

Only loses a point for no BIOS flashback option, otherwise, this board has got it where it counts - good VRM and Heatsink package and actively cooled chipset. Solid BIOS and no frills, with great temperatures. Strong upgrade potential to more powerful CPUs in future. Hope it lasts me yonks!

Video Card

I can't really think of any real negatives for this card. It's powerful, pretty quiet and also cool. It's better value than any of the 2060s and the 2070, plus the 2070 Super founders edition is too much more expensive for not that much more performance and also more noise all-round. It could maybe use bigger fans to decrease perceived noise above 2000rpm and might benefit from a second BIOS switch, but these are minor concerns I think. A toned down fan curve will still give a quiet, powerful performance for not much more heat (82c stock at 2000rpm vs 87c at 1300rpm when benched at 1440p) and the card is plenty powerful enough not to need overclocking that much.

Case

A nice big case with lots of room for anything you can think of and cable management, but the side panel is a bit cheap and the value isn't as good as some other cases on the market. 4 stars - just!

Power Supply

I think this is possibly the best power supply I have ever encountered and I look forward to many years of use in different builds.

Monitor

Has encountered dead pixels intermittently and a lot of flickering when Freesync is activated. Struggling on with it but a little hacked off to be honest.

Keyboard

This keyboard is a better keyboard than I am a typist! Brown keys work well for me, but may not suit people who don't like strategy and RTS games so much and who purely game shooters or other e-sports like titles; red or black would probably be the ideal for them. Hysteresis is occasionally an issue. Maybe I will try reds one day and see how I get on with typing. Bought TKL to fit a cramped keyboard pad, don't often miss the number pad either TBH.

Mouse

It's ok but the customisation interface is fiddly and it seems hard to return to the default "feel" once you've messed around with it a bit. Not the most expensive but then again, not the best either.

Speakers

Great speakers and still going strong after nearly 20 years! Mine are an older version of this model. The rubber on the volume module is a bit sticky now and the leads sometimes flex a bit, leading to crackly sound but the speakers and sub-woofer are still in perfect working order. I'm no audiophile so if you're like me and you just want a quality bit of kit, these have stood the test with me.

Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

How does the gpu work? +1

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, it's going great! I've capped the rpm to 1300rpm and i can hardly hear it and it gets to around 90c or just under, or i can let it have free reign and then the temps stay in low 80s (junction temps). No crashes or bugs so far! About 30% faster than my old vega 56.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Cool. I'm planning to use it in my build.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Jeez, that case is as big as your desk. Is it getting good airflow down there?

And nice specs too, the 3600/5700XT is a great combo for like.. anything, or everything.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Yes, it just fits in horizontally, but there’s no vents on the sides, it all goes in the front and out the back. Plus it has two inches clearance on the bottom and five inches on top so the whole thing is well ventilated, I can assure you. Mind you, I was relieved when I bought it and found out that it fit, I knew the dimensions but was a little...apprehensive?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

wow those gpu's run hot. Ive never seen my 2070 manually overclocked get above 68C after hours of gaming.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

That’s true, comparative to nvidia cards AMD cards tend to run hotter but they also cost less and perform better per dollar, so swings and roundabouts. It’s not like the card can’t take it. I’d still rather save a hundred pounds and get performance just shy of a 2070 super or on a par with a 2070 and put up with a little bit more heat. Anyway, winter is coming! 😂

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh and bear in mind also that I’ve capped the fans to 1300rpm or thereabouts in wattman (AMD GPU control software) so it would usually be lower than my figures, but still around 20c higher than the 2070 at 80-82c and about 15c higher than your overclocked model. EDIT - because I like a quiet PC. I could let it do what it wants but I’d rather take a little more heat and show it who’s boss.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice. Yea no dogging the card was just very suprised at those temps. You save about 80 dollar vs the 2070 too.