Description

This PC will mostly be for video editing using Adobe Premier PRO and After Effects, Applications development, and also running RC Helicopter SIM apps (RealFlight and AccuRC).

This is my third build using Gigabyte motherboards. I typically use ASUS when building for friends and relatives but for my personal use I prefer Gigabyte. The build went smoothly, also this is my first build with mostly SSD drives... HDD is mainly only for storing video files.

First thing I did after the build was to update the BIOS to F11. This is my first Gigabyte with a UEFI BIOS... Not too bad even when compared to ASUS' BIOS. I also am surprised the Windows 10 RGB Fusion 2.0 was pretty good. I typically don't install Gigabyte software but installed RGB Fusion to satisfy my curiosity.

Overall I am very happy with this build.

EDIT: I actually ended up with two Samsung Evo Plus NVMe drives... 1TB for OS and Apps, and 500GB to serve as Scratch disk for video editing. I also decided to replace the HDD with a 2TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD. The final build also uses a Corsair RM750x PSU. This build is so quiet compared to the desktop it replaced which had 4 x 7200 rpm HDDs.

Part Reviews

CPU

Excellent CPU... No problems running the apps I use which are mostly Firefox, Chrome, Thunderbird, Adobe Premier PRO, Adobe Photoshop, Visual Studio 2019 and AccuRC (Steam) which is an RC Helicopter SIM.

This CPU is a lot faster than the old 1st Gen Lynnfield i7 that was on the old desktop I was using. It can render YouTube 1080p videos at more than three times the speed of the old CPU. With all cores running at 90-100 utilization when rendering/exporting 1080p videos in Premier Pro, the temps never go higher than 62C per core using HWMonitor. This is using the Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition cooler.

I'm very happy with this processor.

Motherboard

No complaints with this board. It came with the F10 BIOS installed which I then updated to F11 downloaded from Gigabyte's website to a USB key. I then updated the BIOS within the UEFI BIOS itself. The F11 BIOS added refinements to the UEFI interface making it easier to navigate and find things like setting up fans and enabling XMP on the RAM among other things.

Enabling XMP automatically set my Corsair RAM modules to their rated speed of 3200. The board has plenty of headers for fans. I am using 4 fans total... Three 140mms (two in the front one in the rear) and a 120mm for the CPU. The BIOS can control fan speeds depending on how hot certain components are (CPU, PCH, or you can use the supplied temp probe) as long as the fans have three or four pins. My two front fans only have three pins each but the motherboard is still able to vary their speed depending on how hot the PCH and the CPU are which is what I set their speed to respectively. The rear exhaust fan I pegged the speed to the CPU temp just like one of the front fans and the CPU fan.

I am using both NVMe slots (for the Samsung 1TB Evo Plus and the 500MB Evo Plus) which means only three SATA ports are usable. This is fine with me as I only use three anyways... One for 2TB Samsung 860 Evo, one for the 4TB WD HDD, another for the DVD-RW drive.

I have to mention the sound quality from the integrated audio chip on this board is great. I have an old Logitech 560Z 5.1 system which can decode Dolby Digital (DD) 5.1 and is hooked up to this board via optical connection. When I use the Windows 10 Netflix app, PCM sound is streamed via the optical connection and is decoded in DD 5.1. The Gigabyte Realtek Audio Console for Windows 10 is somewhat barebones but is very usable. The important thing is I get distortion free sound whenever I play games, watch movies, or stream music from Spotify or Youtube. It allows you to control either the Digital or Analog input stream applying effects, equalization, etc. to which ever you are using.

The integrated Wifi / Bluetooth on this board is also great... The board comes with a folding antennae that has a magnetized bracket making placement on the top rear of my case very easy. I am using the built-in Bluetooth to connect my mouse.

In addition to the Gigabyte Audio Console, the other Gigabyte software I am using is the RGB Fusion to control the RGB lighting on the board itself and the case. I am using both the 12 V RGB headers (to control the lights on the CPU and Case fans) and 5V Addressable RGB headers (to control the LED lights that provide additional highlights to the case). The Addressable RGB LEDs enable more effects with each LED on the strip able to display a different color.

I have no complaints with this board at all. My previous PC which was my desktop for 9 years also had a Gigabyte motherboard. I am hoping this board lasts as long.

Memory

Had no problem getting this to run at the 3200 Mhz rating after enabling XMP on Gigabyte's UEFI.

Storage

With all the apps and services I have installed on my PC, it could boot up from off to the Windows 10 Pro desktop in less than 15 seconds. Apps and games launch almost instantaneously. What more can be said?

I guess I have to add that I installed the Magician software and enabled the default Over Provisioning options on all my SSD drives (Samsung 1TB and 500MB Evo Plus and the 860 EVO). This mainly reserves 10% of the space on each of these to optimize data access and prolong the life of the drives. The Magician also allows you to run benchmarks on your SSD and Hard Drives and displays SMART information such as Drive Health and Temperature via a Dashboard which you could also drill down to for more details.

Case

Excellent case... Here is the build thread: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/b/37KBD3.

Air flows freely from the front fans to the motherboard, GPU, and CPU area. The two provided 140mm fans are quiet and effective. They can go to a max of 1200 rpm. I programmed them via Gigabyte's BIOS to spin at ~888 rpm when the CPU is idling. At this speed they are mostly inaudible. The RGB Halos frame on the fans are very effective when mated to the white fans making the the fan appear more like a colored discs.

Cable management is also made easy with this case. There are a total of four oval openings lined with rubber grommets. Two on the right side of the motherboard, one on top and one on top of the PSU enclosure. There are three hook and loop velcro straps at the back of the case to hold down the wires to the case.

The case also has its own RGB controller for the supplied RGB Halos frame for the front fans. When using the Phanteks RGB controller, you need to connect the 12 volt SATA adapter to a 12 volt source from the PSU. You can also wire the Phanteks RGB Halos directly to your motherboard RGB headers in which case you need to disconnect the 12 volt SATA adapter and power the lights directly from the motherboard headers.

The only gripes I can think of are:

(a) Phanteks should have supplied another fan / RGB Halos combo for the rear exhaust port. (b) It would also be nice if the case came with a speaker to allow easy debugging during bootups.

Power Supply

Fully modular PSU that came with all the necessary cables needed including 2 x 4+4 EPS power cables. It is quiet with the fans typically not even running when the PC is not being stressed. The only complain I can think of are the supplied SATA power cables. With PCs needing less SATA drives nowadays, it would have been nice if at least two of the three supplied SATA cables only had one or two connectors at most but this is nitpicking.

Other than that, this PSU looks good, is very stable, is efficient and quiet.

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Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 4 points

Very clean and solid build! Went with team blue tho :( Should have gone with 3700x or 3800x

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! The next build for my SO might be with team green :). Force of habit I guess which is why I went with Intel. My very last AMD build, an Athlon with an nVidia chipset, was more than a decade ago (sometime 2003 if my memory serves me right).

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! The only question I have is why did you go with 970 pro not evo or plus? There's only a slight difference in performance between the 970 evo and 970 pro, but the evo is way cheaper.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

If you look at the third pic which shows the nvme SSDs on the motherboard, they are actually 970 Evo Pluses... 1x1TB (OS and Apps) and 1x500GB (Scratch disk). I went with the evo pluses precisely because of what you said... bang for the buck. I will edit my comment to specify the parts that went in the final build. I wanted to edit the parts list but I find it confusing to do so. I also added a Samsung 860 Evo for data storage.

I also went with the Corsair 750W PSU as it was heavily discounted on Black Friday. This build is so quiet compared to the old desktop it replaced which had 4 x 7200rpm HDDs.