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Tactically Inept

THE16. The new build.


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"All the best swords builds have names, you know."

I didn't want to make a lot of noise about it but it happened. I'm still working on it but it's setup enough to start talking about it.


MOBO: ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Pro-M
GPU: Gigabyte GTX 1080
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k cpu (OC @ 4.4GHz)
RAM: G.SKILL Trident X 8GB DDR3 @ 2133
CASE: Cooler Master N200 case
PSU: Corsair AX860
SSD: Samsung Evo 850 1TB
COOL: Corsair H100i + Gentle Typhoon AP-45


MOBO: ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Gaming-ITX/ac
GPU: (same)
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X (OC @ 3.8GHz)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws V 16GB DDR4 @ 3200
CASE: Fractal Design Define Nano S
PSU: (same)
SSD: (same)
COOL: (same)

OC picture: See attachment.

Info in FAQ-style format:

Why Ryzen?
I don't game as much as I used to, and sometimes not as much as I would like to, but if gaming was my one and only priority then there was no point in even building a new PC at all because my 2500k @ 4.4 was still competitive in games (there are whole review articles proving that point). Moving to something with lots more cores and threads (from 4 to now 16) opens up some use-cases that I may not have previously considered and I'm building with the future in mind. I want this build to last a long time just like my 2500k build did (over 6 years). AMD has publicly committed that they will support AM4 through 2020.

Why not wait for Intel Coffee Lake? It's coming so soon!
The high end for that (8700K) is going to be 6 cores/12 threads which is less threads than the 1700x which brings up again the use-case argument. The 8700K is probably going to cost more (even from Microcenter) than I paid for my 1700x and I'm still likely to run into GPU limitations more often than CPU limitations in gaming. Ryzen is slower at gaming but it's "good enough" for gaming especially at resolutions above 1080 (when you start running into GPU limitations). I don't think pricing (on all sides) will change much when Coffee Lake lands.

Why did you keep so many parts between builds?
I wanted to keep the cost of this build low since I did not have a lot of justification for it right now. It also helped that I had a number of very decent quality parts and I had no real reason to abandon some of them. I have no interest in having a second PC right now either.

Why a 1700x instead of 1700?
Price difference between the two was not big enough. I used existing discounts and coupons to bring the price down pretty low. The 1700x are binned higher than the 1700 and I wanted to give myself a little higher RNG % that I get a good chip that can do a decent overclock. There is plenty of documentation that on average 1700x can get higher or the same overclocks as 1700 at the same or lower voltages. It's just RNG.

Why a 1700x instead of a 1600x?
1600x is sort of a "half step" upgrade in my mind but yes it would have saved more money. The answer overlaps a lot with why I went with Ryzen in the first place and why I didn't want to wait for Coffee Lake.

Why a new case if you were trying to minimize cost? Why such a typical/large tower for an itx build?    
Main answer is because it allowed me to keep my existing cooling and PSU without issue. It was on sale too for pretty cheap. Another issue is that there have been some slightly annoying problems with my existing case that this solves. I'm also not super happy with the current lineup of ITX cases. Workmanship alone is a full step up from what I had before.

What's the story with the overclock?
With where it is at now, 3.8, it's already higher than a stock 1800x so there is value there. I'm not 100% sure if it is stable but I did some quick testing and it seems stable enough to work with right now. Right now it would not be considered anything special at all (3.8@1.35 is considered a "standard" OC for almost all Ryzens). I will try to push for either higher frequency or lower voltage later after confirming if this is stable. Of course I have to deal with the wonderful temp offset that AMD designed (/s). I have to balance the noise of cooling too. It's a neat feature that the case has some small sound dampening panels that may help with this.

Did you pay a pretty penny for that memory?
Just like everything else in this build I waited for an opportunity to get it as low as possible because I really wanted Samsung B-die..... but.... still.... yes.... unfortunately. That being said, I was able to set it to 3200 speeds right away, before I ever even booted into an OS for the first time and before I updated the BIOS to AGESA , and it is working without issue. I still want to stress test it though to be 100% sure.

Why the ASRock Fatal1ty X370 itx?
I have had a fatal1ty board before and it served me well and they have a solid reputation for good price-to-features ratio. All the x370 mATX boards are a joke. I'm not reverting to full size ATX. The other itx boards don't interest me much or have issues that bother me. ASUS has also been very vague about coming out with an x370 itx and it will for sure cost more.


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A question I forgot but was thinking of.

Why not Kaby Lake i7 7700k? There has to be discounts on that right?

That's true. I could have purchased a 7700k for about the same as I paid for a 1700x and there are mature, solid itx options for this too. There are some decent OCs for that too. Long term support for the socket is pretty unlikely though. Replacement has already been announced. It would "only" bump me to 8 threads so a lot of the same argument as "why not the 1600x".

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As you mentioned the matx mobo options for ryzen completely blow right now.  I wonder if that form factor is being replaced by mitx now that there are very solid mitx options.  While I understand the appeal of mitx I'd really like the option of adding something in the expansion slot like a soundcard or something silly like a pcie ssd. 

Your new build looks pretty sick.

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With the greater core being the primary use-case argument, I feel that you made the choice that was right for you.

With our huge supply parts though our upgrades are typically rather low cost. My last build was ~$1250 and I sold my old PC parts for about $550 so my net cost was closer to $750. If you do this regularly (3-4 years), you can get pretty cost effective in your PC needs.

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Tried 3.9 @ 1.375. Booted. Got into windows. Started bench and it restarted. So that's a no go on that but that might have been aggressive with the voltage. I should probably bump it up to maybe 1.425 and retest. Some people hit 4.0 with their 1700x at that voltage.

I did some benching, some short game test and other activities and 3.8 @ 1.35 seems solid. No restarts, crashes, etc. but it is a pretty "safe" overclock and cooling and noise is fine.

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  • 7 months later...


On 8/21/2017 at 10:47 AM, kuhla said:

Why the ASRock Fatal1ty X370 itx?
I have had a fatal1ty board before and it served me well and they have a solid reputation for good price-to-features ratio. All the x370 mATX boards are a joke. I'm not reverting to full size ATX. The other itx boards don't interest me much or have issues that bother me. ASUS has also been very vague about coming out with an x370 itx and it will for sure cost more.


anandtech - https://www.anandtech.com/show/12569/the-asrock-x370-gaming-itx-ac-motherboard-review

Hey look they reviewed my motherboard.... I have just owned it for like.... many months....

Note to self: I need to factory reset and update the BIOS sometime in the near future. There have been a few updates released.

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  • 3 months later...

Dear Diary, I might update my BIOS this weekend. I'm one major version behind and multiple minor versions. I'm so far behind I cannot do a direct update. I have to make an intermediate update first. Factory reset will clear my overclock so I will have to reapply that.


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  • 11 months later...

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