* Mail-In Rebates:
Unfortunately my concerns regarding the Enermax quality control were realized when the water pump stopped working after 9 weeks. The temperature at idle would quickly reach 67 degrees before the CPU would throttle. I adjusted the bios fan setting to see if I could change the water pump rpm, but it had completely failed. Fortunately, after emailing Amazon, they accepted the return even past the 30 day return window.
I picked up the mid-range TR4 Noctua Cooler - NH-U12S. Compared to the NH-U14S that was returned, the heat sink was noticeably smaller, but unlike the 140mm fan - the 120mm fan cleared the Trident RGB RAM. I picked up another NF-F12 fan to mount on the heat sink to improve the cooling. Idle temperatures are more inline with expectations and are stable around the 40 degree mark.
After a few weeks testing a 4GHZ core overclock, I started getting paranoid about CPU temps and the smaller surface area of the EVGA branded Asetek cold plate compared to a dedicated threadripper CPU cooler solution. The hardware itself was well built and high quality as expected from EVGA, but I did not like the USB connector on the block and the flow control software was awful. Between the buggy RGB lighting sync feature, and the low 60 degree max fan curve (not accounting for the 27 degree offset of the Ryzen X) , the software was unusable in its current form. I ended up using custom fan profiles in the bios, but I also started looking at the Noctua NH U14s and the Enermax 280 Liqtech AIO.
I picked up a Noctua NH U14s from Amazon, and was very impressed by the build quality of the heat sink, however I had to return it since the fan did not have enough clearance for the Trident RGB ram and moving the fan a few notches up to clear the ram would exceed the case width of the Meshify C mini.
Reluctantly going with another AIO - The Enermax due to concerns about multiple points of failure, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the hardware out of the box. I had read mixed reviews regarding quality control, and had concerns about the water pump longevity and the stock fans dying after a few weeks. Before installing, I upgraded the fans to 2 Corsair ML140 Pro fans in a push configuration.
I also had a chance to add another 2 fans on the case, one cold air intake - the Noctua industrial PPC 2000 and upgraded the exhaust fan to a Chromax NF F12 PWM which seem to have improved case temperatures by a few degrees.
After my original PS3 died that was being used for streaming duties for the past 10 years, it was the perfect excuse to build a high-end PC which could also be used for streaming, gaming, and productivity (3D modelling/rendering and compiling code)
I had been interested in Threadripper, since it seemed incredible value for the power and I wasn't too impressed with the price of the higher end Intel chips. At the time x399 was only available in ATX and I was looking for a small form factor build, I was debating between a micro ATX z370 or x299 build but hadn't decided. A few of my coworkers recently built their own mini ITX gaming PCs and had some difficulty working with the case size, so I decided to go a little bigger with a mATX.
When ASRock announced their mATX x399 board at CES, this seemed to be the perfect option. After waiting a while - it appeared on New Egg and I snapped it up last week.
I am waiting to hear when the new Nvidia cards, so I will be running 2x 1070tis in SLI for the time being. This severely limited my mATX case options, and having ruled out the Phanteks Evolv mATX case due to airflow - I found the Fractal Design Meshify-C Mini to have the exact specifications I required in a case.
I'm running this on a TV for now, and going to hold out on the monitor until the 4k GSync 144hz monitors become more readily available.
I'll update the description with the performance once I break in the build.
The first mATX Thread Ripper board to hit the market, the build quality on this thing is amazing. An abundance of m.2, SATA, fan headers and 3 x 16x16 PCI-E slots, this thing is a beast and ideal for a full-fat SLI set-up with a 1 slot spacing for improved air-flow. My only gripe is that some of the bios options are not documented too well. Although the majority of options are self-explanatory for the average user the more in-depth 'enthusiast' options could use some more documentation. The fan tuning UI is also a little clunky, but it does the job. These are relatively minor criticisms for a fantastic board.