Description

I needed to build a new PC, where the primary usage is for work (software development, etc.). However, I do play the occasional game when I have the change/opportunity. This is replacing an older PC, my first build that was an Intel i5 4690k, 16 GB DDR3 Ram and a GTX 750 ti. Overall I was happy with this build, but it was starting to show signs of wear (most USB ports no longer worked, downside of living very close to the ocean).

The case was a Nanoxia - Deep Silence 4. Overall the case was fine and really silent. My biggest gripe was that you could not easily remove the front panel to get to the dust filter (control board was attached with very little wire slack).

So I purchased the Fractal Design Define C as a replacement. It is so much easier to work with and access the filters. I also did not want to go down the glass side panel/RGB road, it just isn't for me.

Overall the build went smoothly and no problems were encountered. I did use the Samsung 850 SSD from my old build just for additional storage. I purchased everything over the last couple of months looking for decent deals. The prices reflect the total price paid (including tax & shipping).

Unfortunately one of the two monitors does not work (no power at all) so I will have to get that exchanged.

Here are my User Benchmark results

  • Game 65%, Desk 110%, Work 105%
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X - 99.8%
  • GPU: Nvidia GTX 1660 - 59.5%
  • SSD: Intel 660p NVMe PCIe M.2 512GB - 204.3%
  • SSD: Crucial MX500 500GB - 119.9%
  • SSD: Samsung 850 Evo 120GB - 106.2%
  • RAM: Adata DDR4 3000 2OZ 2x8GB - 88.1%
  • MBD: Asrock X470 Master SLI/ac

I ran Unigine Valley 1.0

  • FPS - 106.5
  • Score - 4457
  • Min FPS - 21.1
  • Max FSP - 180.1

I struggled a bit setting up the Bios to utilize Precision Boost and XMP but finally got it all squared away. The fan profile for the case fans was all set to low, but that is now resolved. I was hoping to like the included Wraith Spire cooler, however to me it is loud and is constantly fluctuating in fan speed. That being said it looks great and does the job.

After a week of use and playing around with various settings I ended up changing the AMD Wraith Prism cooler with the Noctua NH-U41S. My main incentive for doing so was to reduce the noise, I was definitely spoiled by last build. I thought about a more substantial cooler (e.g. Noctua NH-D15S) but after reading numerous reviews/benchmarks it appeared like there would only be a 1 - 3 degree improvement vs the NH-U41S. You can see the difference in the coolers in my uploaded pictures.

The new cooler is extremely quiet. In other words, I cannot hear it, even under load. It was extremely easy to install on the AM4 motherboard, there was no need to remove the board from the case (which was a nice bonus). Finally, I'm seeing about a 9 to 13 degree improvement vs. the stock Wraith Cooler.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

I have the AMD Ryzen 2700x in the Fractal Design Define C case. I'm using the standard AMD Precision Boost settings. I was hoping to like the included Wraith Spire cooler, however, to me it is loud and is constantly fluctuating in fan speed. That being said it looks great and does the job.

After a week of use and playing around with various settings I ended up changing the AMD Wraith Prism cooler with the Noctua NH-U41S. My main incentive for doing so was to reduce the noise, I was definitely spoiled by last build. I thought about a more substantial cooler (e.g. Noctua NH-D15S) but after reading numerous reviews/benchmarks it appeared like there would only be a 1 - 3 degree improvement vs the NH-U41S.

The new cooler is extremely quiet. In other words, I cannot hear it, even under load. It was extremely easy to install on the AM4 motherboard, there was no need to remove the board from the case (which was a nice bonus). Finally, I'm seeing about a 9 to 13 degree improvement vs. the stock Wraith Cooler.

Noctua has excellent instructions and includes everything you could possibly need for the install, with the exception of isopropyl alcohol to clean off any prior thermal compound. I would definitely recommend this cooler.

Monitor

I bought two of these about a month ago from B&H Photo (price was $149/ea at the time). One of them would not power on. I initially tried Acer support but they did not have a solution without me sending it back to them (customer support was good, free return shipping). I then contacted B&H and doing an exchange was painless.

These are used as a dual monitor setup for work (90%) and gaming (10%). The monitors are perfect for work and I really like the 1920x1200 resolution after coming from a 1920x1080. These monitors have a refresh rate of 75hz which I consistently hit when playing games (GTX 1660). They also have adaptive synch (e.g. FreeSynch) which also works with Nvidia over DisplayPort.

The stands are much better than I expected. They allow for a wide range of vertical adjustment, they swivel, tilt and can rotate from landscape to portrait. Acer anti-flicker and bluelight are part of the package. They also have USB 3.0 pass-through (two USB ports on left side of the monitor. They come with all cables: DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, 3.5mm audio.

The speakers are exactly what you would/should expect in a monitor. They work fine but are far from ideal.

I'm extremely happy with these and I think they are tough to beat for the price.

Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Built 4/20 guaranteed extra frames.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Not sure about the extra frames but I'm sure it guarantees something :).

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I believe I figured out the CPU "issues" I was having. I went back into the BIOS settings and realized some of my changes must not have saved. I changed the following (for now):

CPU Frequency & Voltage: previously set to "Auto by AMD CBS", changed to "Manual". Set frequency to 3700 MHz and voltage to 1.21250 V.

DRAM set to XMP 2.0 Profile: DDR4-3000 16-18-18-36 1.35v

Vcore Offset Voltage: -100mV

Cool & Quiet: Disabled

Core Performance Boost: Disabled

XFR Enhancement - PBO: Disabled

With these changes, everything is now on the low end via HWMonitor. I know it is not ideal and I have more work/learning to do but I wanted to get it under control for now.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Figured I should post again in case anyone actually reads this. I did some more "research" on the Ryzen CPU and precision boost. I decided to start from scratch and reset my motherboard back to the defaults. I left those as is with the exception of the XMP profile for my RAM (DDR4-3000).

I adjusted the CPU fan profile in Asrock A Tuning to stay at 40% up to 50c and then ramped up to 100% at 80c.

I ran the computer all day at work and then played some games for the last hour or so. It ran much quieter than before. I left HWiNFO running all day as well. Here are some numbers:

Vcore Voltage

  • Min - 0.762v
  • Max - 1.513v
  • Avg - 1.202v

Performance

  • Min - 1500 MHz
  • Max - 4340 MHz
  • Avg - 3200 MHz

CPU Temps (used the Tdie value as this is accurate one)

  • Min - 27.8 c
  • Max - 64.0 c
  • Avg - 47.5 c

So, I'm now happy and much less worried about the system. It appears to be running exactly as intended.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Why the lower resolution monitors?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I wanted to stay in the 24" size range. At this size, you are ideally using 1920 x 1080. I found a great deal on the 1920 x 1200 monitors (slightly higher resolution, more vertical space).

I would've had to go with 27" to use 2k or 4k resolutions

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

For some reason, I read that as 1920 x 900... that explains it lol.