AMD Ryzen 9 3900X EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Super FTW3 Ultra Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master
First build in over a decade! I needed a new machine for indie game development so this will be heavily used for Unreal, Unity, Blender, etc. Went for a Zen2 CPU after seeing the multi-core performance.
The build itself was easy on most of the parts but frustrating on a few points.
First off, the X62 Kraken AM4 bracket on the hardware revision v02 sucks. I get that it's the standard bracket now, but still difficult. It has 2 hook points to the motherboard, so you have to hook one side on while smearing the thermal paste unevenly, and then try to hook the opposite side on with a very short hook that took way, way too much force (uncomfortably) to get it actually hooked properly to the motherboard before I could tighten the screw.
After installing all the hardware, I crossed my fingers, powered up and posted on first go, although it took a noticeably long time to actually get through the first post, but had no issues with posting. The stock BIOS (F4 with AGESA 1003a) was super slow, buggy (keyboard/mouse froze and had to replug them) and did not let me set the XMP profile at all. I would set XMP profile and it would not stick. I then flashed to the latest available after Robert from AMD posted a community update about idle voltages, etc. This was F5k BIOS for the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master. Also installed the chipset 188.8.131.52. Setting XMP profile worked immediately after flashing the new BIOS. Had all settings on stock and changed PCIe setting to 3.0 instead of Auto as I heard there were issues with PCIe 4.0/auto not booting properly.
After having troubles with a corrupted ISO for my bootable Win10 usb installation, I finally got it to work after many, many hours. At this point, I was just ecstatic to have a working machine without any major crashes. After finally installing Win10, BIOS update F5L came out and so I updated it as well in the hopes of fixing some issues. However, I have 3 problems that still plague me & consistent with users on other forums/reddit/etc.
WHEA Event 17 warnings galore, I get 4-8 of them each time I boot and sometimes during some random times while benchmarking. This affects both my NVMe Samsung SSD, my Nvidia GPU, and a USB port. It's frustrating getting so many of these warnings and not knowing if they really are doing any damage/corruption. Even after reading AMD's post about it saying data corruption is not happening, I still feel uncomfortable about it given that I am building game files with Unreal/Unity and the possibility of having my work corrupted down the road would be extremely detrimental to my progress and probably drive me crazy trying to debug any downstream issues from that. Gigabyte hardware rep Matt said that the team has a beta fix for the WHEA issues and they hope to release it in the next beta BIOS. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Working with Bios F5K originally did not allow me to sleep/hibernate the computer, it would just crash and reboot if I tried to sleep. I fiddled around with the RAM settings (switching them from Auto to a manual figure, even though they were all XMP figures still) and somehow I am able to let the computer sleep again. I disabled CSM, no fast boot, no hybrid sleep, and pretty much everything else stock.
Boosting performance on the 3900x, like many other users right now, is disappointing. I do not get as-advertised boost clocks on this CPU with AGESA 1003abb. On single core, I may get 4500mhz on one core; on multi-core, I get 4000-4100mhz all-core clocks. I had high temps with stock thermal paste on the X62 Kraken (85C running Cinebench R20 and Prime95) but switched to Arctic MX-4 and evenly distributed the paste with a spatula and now I get max 75C temps running the same benchmarks. Idling between 29-35C.
Other than these issues, everything else works great, no issues with the other hardware. I love the case and the cable management scheme. I love the Nvidia 2080 Super, let's me play games on ultra max settings for my Alienware ultrawide. RGBs on the Kraken and the Corsair RAM look great.
First impressions, this thing is FAST. 2nd impression, early tech adopter tax is quite high and I only have myself to blame for that right now. BIOS issues galore, weird boosting behavior, uncomfortably high voltages/temps.
Water pump looks great, radiator and fans are sleek as well and don't draw too much attention. However, I hate the AM4 bracket (both the standard mounts on the motherboard plus the AM4 retention bracket from the Kraken). It's stupidly annoying to actually hook the 2nd point on (and there's only 2 points to hook onto with this system.
Originally used the stock thermal paste on the X62 Kraken but was getting temps up to 85C while running Cinebench 20 MT and Prime95. Was worried that the stock paste was not covering the chiplets on the 3900x die, and sure enough, I took off the pump and the stock paste was only covering part of the area where the 2 chiplets lied. Put on some Arctic MX4, spread it evenly with a spatula, and instantly got 29C idle and max 73/74C temps while running full all-core loads. Love this stuff.
5 stars for Gigabyte, however, probably 3 stars with AMD AGESA issues causing all sorts of buggy behavior with this new Zen2 architecture and X570 chipset.
The board itself is built beautifully. Love the minimal RGBs, the nice heatsinks and shields.
Looks awesome, I love the RGB spectrum colors fading through with the white shell. After updating the BIOS to the latest 1003abb AGESA version, XMP worked instantly.
Works stupidly fast (except for the frustrating WHEA warnings coming up with the new AMD Zen2 + Win10 issues).
Great card, looks awesome. Runs smooth, cold and quiet. A bit huge and can definitely see this thing sagging.
One of my favorite cases ever. The AER 2 RGB fans in the front makes me feel like it's some weird futuristic engine. The tinted tempered glass makes all the RGBs not so glaringly bright but enough to make it look chill and fun. All in all, a great case.
Works well, included cables are a bit mediocre, but will be replacing them with custom ones soon. Packaging was nice, PSU unit was wrapped in a tote material inside the box.
It's Windows. Build 1903 has so many issues, but I need it, so I gotta live with it.
The Alienware is beautiful / glorious / amazeballs. I love this thing. High resolution, high refresh rate, thankfully no dead pixels and minimal light bleed. I had an issue with this monitor sleeping and not waking up with my MBP but works wonderfully with my new PC.
Have had this keyboard for a year. I love how solid it feels with the all metal, brushed surface. The keys are a joy to type on, just enough give/click for me without it being too loud or hard-to-press.
I tried three different mice and this one came out on top with it's minimal 'gamer' design. Just a few RGB LEDs on the G symbol and 3 dots beneath the scroll wheel. It feels the most natural to me without going over the top.