After a lot of time researching the build and deliberating whether to go for Desktop Replacement Laptop or an ITX build I took the plunge in December 2019. Though it was a close thing, I was considering a Clevo P775 but that would have tied me to an Intel CPU and would have taken away the enjoyment of doing the build myself.
It's my first AMD Ryzen CPU and I decided to go all out with the 3950x, the reviews suggest it cools as well as a 3900x with similar temps at stock with 16 cores. Based on the air flow (or lack of) I went with a RTX 2080 with a built in AIO , a moderate amount of RBG, plenty of storage (7TB - 2x1TB M.2, 5TB for the Sata mechanical drive), 32GB of RAM, and an AIO config for cooling the CPU. I went for the ASUS ROG Strix X570-I mobo, which I understood had excellent VRMs to power higher end Ryzen chips like the 3900x and 3950x. It also had a lot of I/O for an ITX board and nice aesthetics. I complemented it with ROG Ryuo 120 AIO, again it's aesthetically pleasing and has a built in OLED display which I can customize with my own images or choose to throw up system information on it . I selected 32GB of Corsair Vengeance RBG Pro memory which is 3200 CL16, with nice RBG effects. I could have spent more in this department and looked at AMD specific memory parts from both GSKILL and Corsair, but it didn't give me good value for money in my view. Corsair also provided the power supply, a SF750W 80+ Platinum part which is probably overkill even for this system. Based on the prices I'd seen, I decided to go with a RTX 2080 rather than the 2070 Super or 2080 Super. There were two options for the graphics card an MSI Seahawk 2080 or the EVGA 2080 Hybrid, both featured a built in AIO but I went with the EVGA based on price and also overall looks. To round off the build I went with 2x1TB Samsung 970 Evo M.2 NVME drives for system software and games and a Seagate BarraCuda 5TB 2.5 drives for data and misc software. To house it, a silver Phanteks Shift ITX case was selected, its not the smallest ITX case nor the newest but it looks modern, sleek and minimalist. It has good cable management, enough space for harddrives, lovely glass panels and won't look out of place either in the bedroom or living room (I plan to move it around).
Once I decided the spec and parts, I priced watch online like a mad men for a month. I collected parts and got reasonable deals for each part, the best bargain I got was the EVGA 2080 Hybrid (built in AIO) which I got for approx 570 GBP. I didn't price watch the 3950x, that was a purchase as soon as stock was available and it was RRP.
I'm very happy with the build, its my first ITX and graphics card aside it was not difficult. Your need to spend a lot of time with cable management, but the case is capable of providing clean results.
I intend to use it for VMs, Development, Video and Gaming. I've uploaded images of benchmarks like 3DMark and Cinebench, these were run on stock with no OC or changes to the BIOS. I noticed 60-73 Celsius on the CPU while running these benchmarks, 40-50 Celsius running light loads. This is an approximation and will need a deeper investigation, the GPU also needs to be looked at more closely. Any feedback on the numbers would be appreciated.
Some handy tips for the case based on my experience
Expect that the graphics card installation to be a struggle if you use the AIO on the front of the case. The GPU power cables will push up against the AIO fan making the fit difficult, I ended up brute forcing the card in - Uncomfortable -. I'd advise replacing the standard 25mm fan using a slim 15mm fan, if this case concerns you.
if you're aiming to use a 2.5" sata drive and don't want to mount it on the back of the case I would recommend the internal bottom bay, the top bay will interfere with the GPU riser cable.
For cable management use the area with the magnetic door and grommets, you can fit more than you think in the area. Also ensure you run any cables behind the silver back case panel, run them bottom to top.
- I'm looking to mod the front panel to improve airflow and temps. The mod will mean cutting slots and/or patterns into front panel.
- I'm looking to replace the 140mm fan with either a Corsair ML Pro 140 or Noctua PPC 140.
- I'm looking to replace the front AIO fan with a slim 15mm fan from Noctua.
- I'm looking to add a 4TB Samsung 860 QVO.
- I'm looking to add an RBG strip which the case supports.