2020 Ryzen 3900X Quarantine Build

For many weeks now, there have been some discounts on the AMD Ryzen 3900X CPU. More than likely, the cause would be the Ryzen 3950X and possibly the release of the Threadripper 3000 series CPU. I’ve been bouncing bettween building a 2000 series Threadripper or Ryzen 9 3000 series. Even thoughts of Threadripper 3000 series. The prices are very reasonable and the performance is outstanding. I eventually went with the 3900X 12-core CPU because of a Best Buy deal. For $450, you get the processor and 500GB Western Digital SN750 NVMe drive. Not bad in my opinion.

Ryzen 9 3900X, Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master
Western Digital SN750 500GB NVMe

Next was the motherboard. I was torn between the Asrock X570 Taichi and Gigabyte X570Aorus Master. I spent the extra money and went with the Gigabyte board. This was the board that many reviewers got from AMD as part of their press kit. For what I was looking for, both motherboards were close but I preferred the look of Gigabyte more than Asrock. My older Intel 5820K build used an Asrock motherboard – cost and features were great but software experience was lacking.

Finding ram took longer than expected. The cost at time of purchase was not bad, it has been rising a little bit. I have decided that I wanted 32GB capacity. I think it will pair nicely with 12 cores. I will mainly be developing on this machine and using virtual machines. Deciding what speed and CAS latency took some thinking. I could save money and get 3200MHz and CAS 18. Or was it worth getting 3600MHz and CAS 16 for my use case? I will hardly game on this machine and if I do, rarely will I play FPS (first person shooter) and recent games. I decided to get a 3600MHz with CAS 18. I ended up with TeamGroup T-Force Dark ZA.

Next is the tower. I wanted a tower that had good air flow, cable management, and 5.25″ bay. All of this has a starting price of $150. Fractal Design just released their new Define 7. I have a 4 and 5 and really like the series. They are just heavy and if you lose parts, they are not available (drive cages). I don’t need it to be heavy and durable. It’s just going to sit on the floor and I can do without the 5.25″ bay. I’ve been interested in the NZXT H510. I really like the cost and features. Only down side is the air flow. Well, I decided to go close loop water cooling – that takes care of that.

3x 3.5″ drive cage, nice cable management in the back
Removable radiator mount on the front makes installing easy
So fresh and so clean

I was very surprised at how great this tower is for only $70. It’s been a while since I built a computer using more recent cases. Lots have changed. The cable management in the back is really nice. The removable plate for front mounting the radiator is a nice touch. The power supply shroud is nice. The three 3.5″ HDD drive cage on the bottom is great. This case really has a lot of functionality at a great price. It is also light compared to the Define R series. This case also has a USB3 and USB Type-C port on the top of the case.

Next is cooling. There have been many reports of difficulty with dual 140mm coolers. To avoid this, I went with the Corsair iCUE H100 Pro XT dual 120mm cooler. I don’t care for RGB and wish they made coolers without them.

Finally, the power supply. I really like EVGA and have used them in the past. I also wanted modular. I picked up the Supernova 850W Ga 80 Plus Gold.

You can check out my complete build at pcpartpicker.com.

Here are some other parts from old builds and some new I bought.

  • RAID5 drives
    • 2x Seagate Barracude Green 2TB
    • Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 2TB
  • 2x Noctua NF-P12 redux-1300 120mm case fan. I wanted to get quieter fans.
Mount 3x 3.5″ hard drive

Shout out to @edgarcreates for hooking me up with the featured image.

I built an AMD Ryzen 2600 PC in 2019

AMD Ryzen 2600 and MSI B450 Tomahawk

Yes, the Ryzen 2000 series CPU was released in 2018. Why have I just built one in 2019? Prior to building this computer, I primarily was using the Intel 5820K as my main computer. Recently, I started feeling its age. I noticed lag when playing some games even after upgrading my EVGA 780 to an EVGA 1070 card. I also started noticing just slower performance with every day tasks. Initially, I thought my NVME drive had issues but I ran some diagnostics and it reported no abnormalities.

Then the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs released and the previous generation processors went on sale. I figured this would be a good opportunity to check out the AMD chips for a more than reasonable price. I was able to find the Ryzen 2600 about $126 (back in July 2019, it is now available for a cheaper price at time of writing this). I don’t plan on overclocking so the stock heatsink works fine.

AMD Ryzen 2600
AMD Ryzen 2600

It runs at a modest base clock of 3.4GHz and has a boost clock up to 3.9GHz. I paired it with a MSI B450 Tomahawk. One of the biggest benefits of the AM4 socket is the huge compatibility between the Ryzen CPUs. It’s compatible with the 1000, 2000, and 3000 series processors – with the correct BIOS version of course.

MSI B450 Tomahawk
MSI B450 Tomahawk

This motherboard is priced just right for the features it comes with. It’s one of the more popular choices. The VRM should be able to handle faster, more capable processors, should I choose to upgrade in the future. I will have to upgrade the heatsink though. It’s a plain board with no RGB. It has M.2 x4 slot and 2 SATA ports. An additional 4 SATA ports are available through the chipset. However, you lose 2 of those when using the M.2 slot. My only complaint is the number of USB ports. There are 2 USB2.0 ports, 2 USB3.1 Gen 1 and 2 USB3.1 Gen 2 type A and C. I would like more. It doesn’t have to be the fastest, just more. There is a USB3 header I have connected to the front of the case. I am using an old case and not all the ports work on the front panel. I plan to add a few more ports using the USB2 header.

The ram I chose is the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) 3000MHz. It has pretty good timings at C15. Setting the profile in the UEFI, it’s not exactly 3000MHz but around 29xx something – close enough. Not a big deal for me and my use case. People recommend using 3200MHz ram for Ryzen 2000 series. So far, it’s been running well for me. I plan to double the ram once prices go down.

Corsair Vengeance LPS 16GB (2x8GB) 3000MHz
Corsair Vengeance LPS 16GB (2x8GB) 3000MHz

For the case, I used my old Fractal Design R4 case. These cases are great. They are well built. I have the R4 and R5. My only complaint is they don’t sell the replacement drive cages separately. I also wanted a case with a 5.25″ drive bay since I have a bluray drive. I had it in an external enclosure with my previous computer but hated having cables and another thing to plug in. As I mentioned before, one of the front panel USB port is broken and I’m worried that the others will soon follow. I have considered looking for a new case but many of the cases no longer come with a 5.25″ bay – well there are not many good cases with the big bay.

Fractal Design R4
Fractal Design R4

I used a Noctua NF-P14s for the rear intake and Noctua NF-F12 for top exhaust. These bad boys circulate a good amount of air and they are near silent. The only time I hear them is if I stop and actually listen for it and it’s a faint sound. The CPU temp is about 41-43*C on light load, like creating this post and having Photoshop running to crop the photos used here. I also have a VM running Ubuntu 19.10 (not server) on Virtualbox.

I have done some transcoding with Handbrake. While only having this program run, the temps reaches around 77*C and 100% CPU load. Wattage goes up to about 140-142W. This definitely runs more efficient than my previous Intel 5820K and 3930K (I know, it’s a newer architecture).

Not final result…

So the picture above was taken before I swapped out the video card and power supply. I ended up putting the Cooler Master PSU and EVGA 780 with my older 5820K build. I took the EVGA SuperNova 1000 G2 PSU and EVGA 1070 video card.

I didn’t take a photo of the latest build since the tower is in its place and I’m lazy to pull it out and take a pic haha. Maybe when I do my annual cleaning – follow me on Instagram.

Finally, the drive I’m using for the OS is a Sabrent Rocket NVMe 512GB drive. Nothing fancy but faster than the usual SATA SSD.

Sabrent Rocket NVMe 512GB
Sabrent Rocket NVMe 512GB

I’ve been using this PC since end of July 2019. I’m just posting about it now in November because I have been having a great time with it. No issues at all and performance is great.

I generally use it for development. I’m running one or two VMs, playing video games, light photo editing, and the usual internet stuff. I’m very happy with the set up. I am considering adding more ram so I can allocate it to VMs. I may even wait to upgrade to the Ryzen 3900X (12 Core) once the prices go down. But as for now, it does more than what I need it to at the speed that exceeds expectations and at much better cost than my last two Intel hexacore build.