Description

It came time for replacing my Eurocom M5pro (Clevo P650SG) i7/GTX 980m. It was a rock solid laptop for its 4 years, and a great value considering the fact that I actually ordered the 970m version but they didn't have any left so they just gave me the 980m. Or maybe it was a mistake? Who knows. Anyways, benefits: reaped.

I mostly play from the couch with an Xbox controller, so the laptop was spending most of its life on a table plugged into the TV. For upgrade time, I wanted new PC with the following requirements:

  • small enough to sit on a shelf by my TV

  • pack a ton of power

  • not be too loud

  • not ugly AF

I think I covered all of those!

Asrock b450 itx Gaming

I first had this board, wasn't impressed by the weird boot issues which are common with 3rd gen Ryzens and this board. Replaced it with an Asus Strix b450i. That one was OK, but had really bad wifi and bluetooth (Realtek) which is important for me, especially the bluetooth. Also the Asus had USB issues. Lots of people have a good experience with this board so perhaps I got a dud. Anyways I switched back to the Asrock and flashed the 3.54 BIOS. THIS IS THE BIOS for 3rd gen Ryzen right now if you are having problems. Works perfectly. Returned the Asus.

I made a single change on the Asrock recently and that is I took out the Wifi chip and replaced it with the much better Intel 9260 AC chip.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

Originally wanted just a 3600 but got the X for cheaper on black Friday. It is good. I think the 3600 would be a better value if you aren't dealing with sale prices though. I decided to keep core boost off for now, and eco mode on (which reduces the TDP to 65w), as it keeps the temps low but more importantly to me, keeps the fans quiet.

Small score loss in Cinebench (~150-200 pts) but no noticeable difference in any games so far.

Cooling:

2 Noctua Redux 120mm fans under the GPU to generate some airflow down there. The are both oriented to be intake fans. These fans are nice and quiet even when they are at high speed.

I am actually using the stock Wraith Spire for the CPU right now with the shroud removed and it is working very well. I ordered a C7 to stick that on the Wraith's heatsink.
Edit: I have the C7 fan on. Temps are marginally higher, but it is a bit quieter and I have the dust filter on so I am happy with that.

I had put a fractal 50mm fan on the top vent to see if it made a difference, but it didn't really so I took it out.

AMD Radeon 5700xt 50th Anniversary

I just put the Sapphire one there as a placeholder since I can't find the 50th Anniversary on here. Great card, comes with a bit higher clocks that your standard XT. Looks ballin, which is unfortunate since I'll never see it. Read a lot saying the blower is loud. It can be if you crank up the fan. It's a "gentle" sound though and not annoying. Stock it runs a bit hotter under load, getting up to the 80-85c range on the GPU and 92c max "hotspot" temp. I took some advice and undervolted it to 1150mV, set the max clock to 2019MHz, and adjusted the fan curve. This thing is now no louder than my laptop w/cooling pad was, and runs at 29-32c when just doing Windows stuff, browsing etc. Under a stress test it gets up to mid 70s, with a hot spot temp of mid 80s. No loss of performance here either seemingly.

More than pleased with this card and highly recommend it, especially with an undervolt and fan curve adjustment.

Update: Undervolted to 1050mV, totally stable, temps lowered a bit. Blower fan is quiet and performance is still excellent (playing lots of VR on this and no problems).

Memory

I'm not picky about memory, this was on crazy sale on black Friday so I picked it up. Seems stable so far and works so can't complain. Motherboard detects it as the wrong speed but as I said you can just manually set it.

Storage

SX8800 nvme boots into Windows (when the motherboard is cooperating) almost instantly. The SU800 I am just using for bulk storage and is also really fast.

PSU

Fits nicely in the Node 202, although the power plug is upside down if you want the fan against the PSU vent, so you have to u-turn the case's power connector to plug it in. No big deal though. With the motherboard issues I originally thought it might be a PSU problem as it seemed similar, but it tests well and is stable under stress.

Case

I love this case, it's a perfect size and looks unassuming. I can put it out in the living room and not be ashamed. Takes some time to build in but if you follow the guide it's no problem. I bought an aftermarket dust filter for the top side (sitting vertically).

I replaced the dust filters with Demcifilter magnetic ones that stick on the outside of the case so I can clean them without taking it apart.

Overall I love it. In Windows, it is 100% stable. It is, under full load, marginally louder than my laptop was. Definitely not obnoxious.

Cheers!

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Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

I've experienced similar memory problems as you have on the AsRock boards and would suggest you go for an ASUS ROG ITX board as your next upgrade. I took the plunge and am finding it much better with both Ryzen 3 and memory. Good job building in the Node 202 with what you do have.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the kind words and good advice.

I think I will be returning the ASRock. I actually just got an email back from their support after asking them about the issues I was having. His recommendation was to return the board! So that is what I will do.

May I ask which ASUS you ended up with?

Cheers!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

The ASUS ROG B450 Strix ITX motherboard. Excellent motherboard with good overclocking capabilities. It should be compatible with your memory.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice review and build! I second the ASUS board replacement, they're great but not sure if the B450 is 3XXX ready. They have only one B450 mITX board and that's the ROG STRIX

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

That looks like the board I will be exchanging for. I'll do an update once it's in there. From what I've been reading online it seems people are having a good experience with 3000 series on the ASUS B450s so hopefully that holds true

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Your build is excellent and well thought out, you've been a bit unlucky in that the problem appears to be the B450 and X470 itx motherboards, none of them have a great reputation on buildzoid, (Actually Hardcore Overclocking is the new name), he recommends jumping straight to the X570 itx boards. Love the node 202, I've built in one myself and it was my most enjoyable build ever.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you! I really enjoyed building it. Hopefully the ASUS b450i I ordered will be OK. If not, back it goes and I guess I'll have to get off my wallet and buy a x570 board!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey just wanted to point out that if you have this motherboard, BIOS 3.54 is the one (for now). No boot loops though. It still can take a second to start sometimes but by far the most stable BIOS they have (yet).