Description

This is primarily a gaming build. Everything is working well so far (after some tweaking).

The only major problem was that the CPU came with a bent pin. Fortunately, I was (eventually) able to bend it back and have not had any problems with it. The fan curves needed adjusting. The stock cooler is loud and can be mounted in either of two directions. One direction blocked off a RAM slot and I had to turn it around. A 3600 and a ~$40 cooler might have been a better investment than the 3600X.

The motherboard is fine. My only complaint is that the troubleshooting LEDs did not do their job in my case. When the CPU was improperly seated, the CPU error light did not light up, leaving me wondering whether my motherboard was fried (it was not).

I can only configure the RAM RGB through the Gigabyte (GPU) RGB manager, not the ASRock (MB) software. I'm not sure if it would work at all if I had a non-RGB GPU. Needed additional configuration in BIOS. Note that in the images, the RAM is in a single channel. I have since put it in a dual-channel configuration. This change helped me realize that the bent CPU pin was not properly fixed, but it is now (I hope).

For those wondering why I chose a 2070S over a 5700XT, there are a few reasons. First, for work, I may have use of the GPU programming features the 2070S offers (tensor cores, CUDA), though this is mostly so that I can do small scale proof-of-concept stuff at home if I want to. Second, I wanted some future proofing in the ray-tracing arena, which I realize is a bit of a gamble. Third, there is a small performance boost (~5-10% on most modern games, though I have heard anecdotally that the gap widens in VR). Despite these reasons, I was still very much on the fence over whether the 2070S was worth the extra $100. Then I won some money, and thought, screw it! I have no complaints so far, but I doubt I would have had complaints with a 5700XT either. The Gigabyte Gaming 3x is great so far, although it has inconsistent slight to moderate coil whine. Perhaps the PSU is a factor in the whine?

The case is great, and I highly recomend it. One of my favorite parts of this build. Small, but well organized.

The power supply is fine, but has very slight coil whine. I'm not sure if the GPU coil whine is a problem with the GPU itself, or is related to poor power regulation by the PSU. Comes with a nice bag.

The monitor is Freesync, but seems to work with the 2070S anyway. The monitor has some very slight ghosting. Usually, it is not noticeable, even if I'm looking for it. 1440p, 144Hz, above average image quality, VESA compatibility, and reasonable response are hard to pass up at this price.

Overall, I am very happy with this build.

Part Reviews

CPU

CPU came with a bent pin. I was able to bend it back and it seated properly -- or so I thought. It turns out the pin was still bent and was causing my RAM to not work in dual-channel (as of now, the images on my build show the RAM in single-channel, but they have since been rearranged). After another attempt, things seem to be working okay.

The (rather loud) stock CPU cooler fan curve was set such that it was constantly spinning up and back down, which was annoying. The issue seems to be that the temperature of this CPU is rather "spiky", meaning you get very brief spikes where the temperature jumps up and right back down before the fan starts spinning. I tweaked the curve to something more reasonable and it's running smoothly now. It is much quieter than with default settings, but still the loudest part in the build.

I ran the stock cooler with the thermal paste it came with, but eventually replaced with some Thermal Grizzly paste. The new paste seems to have reduced the idle temp average by a few degrees.

The cooler can be mounted in either of two directions. Be careful in deciding, as one direction blocked off a RAM slot and I had to turn it around.

A 3600 and an aftermarket cooler might have been a better investment than the 3600X; the extra $35 essentially buys the upgraded cooler, but you can probably find a better cooler in that price range. At least I got a free copy of Outer Worlds with it, which makes up for the price difference between the 3600 and 3600X.

Motherboard

The BIOS interface is good; it's easy to manage clock speeds and (especially) fan curves. The on-board fan is a bit loud, but not terrible. The M.2 layout is a bit odd, but I'm not using it so it doesn't affect me. My only complaint is that the troubleshooting LEDs did not do their job in my case. When the CPU was improperly seated, the CPU error light did not light up, leaving me wondering whether my motherboard was fried (it was not).

Memory

I can only configure the RAM RGB through the Gigabyte (GPU) RGB manager, not the ASRock (MB) software. I'm not sure if it would work at all if I had a non-RGB GPU. The default RGB on the RAM is a rainbow rave brighter than 1000 suns. Also, it is ddr4-3600, but is underclocked by default; you have to change the relevant settings in BIOS. The RAM is a bit tall, so make sure you have proper clearance with your CPU cooler.

Video Card

The Gigabyte Gaming 3x is great so far. I would have considered the Windforce 3x, as it is basically the same, only with a slightly lower factory clock speed and no RGB, but the Gaming 3x was on sale for the same price when I got it.

It is pretty quiet, most of the time. Recently, I noticed some coil whine. It is not audible through my headphones (which are NOT noise-cancelling), even though my case is not particularly sound-proofed. The amount of coil whine for a given GPU load does not seem to be consistent. It is possible that my PSU is to blame for inducing coil whine in the GPU. Further testing is needed to reach a definitive conclusion.

Case

The case is great! I'm very happy with it. It's a little small for its form factor, but still big enough to work in, cleverly designed, and the cable management is great. It comes with all the ties you need to manage the cables. The fans are cool and quiet (of course, next to the jet engine 3600X stock cooler, any fan sounds quiet).

Power Supply

The power supply is fine and works just fine. Some very slight coil whine on rare occasions.

CPU and MB power cables are not detachable, but all others are.

Comes with some ties to keep things neat, and a carrying bag to store unused cords (as well as unused items from other parts), which are nice bonuses, but not essential.

Monitor

The monitor is Freesync, and is not officially supported by Nvidia, but it seems to work anyway when you enable Freesync in the OSD and Gsync in the Nvidia control panel. The OSD displays the monitor's current refresh rate, and you can see it change in response to the fps of full-screen applications.

The monitor has some very slight ghosting. Usually, it is not noticeable, even when looking for it. It becomes more noticeable on high-contrast, fast-moving, geometric patterns, but even then, it is almost never bad enough to become a distraction, and I've yet to encounter a case so severe that I can't easily ignore it. It is more noticeable when the fps is low.

1440p, 144Hz, Nvidia-compatible freesync, above average color quality (especially the deep blacks!), VESA support, and decent response time make for a rare combination that was hard to pass up at this price. If you need better color quality and don't mind a bit more back-light glow, you'll need to get a high-end IPS monitor (cheep ones will be on-par or worse). If you need better response time or really hate even slight ghosting and are willing to sacrifice some color quality, a TN is the way to go. Personally, I think this monitor is a good middle ground at a very reasonable price.

Arrived with no dead pixels. The default color settings were pretty good, only needed slight tweaks (some of the other presets are pretty bad though).

The stand is not great, but it has VESA mounts (these are hidden behind a removable back panel, causing several reviewers on Amazon to claim there is no VESA support; they are wrong).

The speakers are pretty bad, but I use external speakers or headphones anyway.

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Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

woaahhh... why are your rams in not dual channel compatible slots ? like put them in 1 slot gap. use 1 channel for both sticks and not 2 separate channels. (for example, there are 4 slots right. 1x-1y-1x-1y. you have to use either x slots for dual sticks or y slots. so put rams like 1-0-1-0 or 0-1-0-1 and not 1-1-0-0.) english ain't my 1st language but i did my best to explain. :) as long as the build is concerned, i literally made similar build today (for fantasy) i dont have budget but i like imagining how my build would be if i had money xD (my build which i made earlier today https://pcpartpicker.com/list/rDDfyk)

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes, you are right, and I feel like an idiot :)

I kept moving the RAM sticks around trying to troubleshoot what turned out to be a bent pin the in the cpu and I never put them back in the proper slots. I've fixed it now. I'll update the images eventually.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

P.S. After some testing, I found that my B-channel was not working. I took a second look at the CPU, and it turns out that I hadn't straightened the bent CPU pin properly. I took another stab at it, and I'm now running in dual channel without issue so far. I'm glad you pointed out this problem, as it led me to fix another, so I guess I should thank you twice (thank you thank you).

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

you're welcome welcome. i had that problem as well of only 1 channel working. even though i never meddled with my cpu, never took it off. Some times channel A worked, other times channel B. people said PSU issue but idk. anyway nice to know that your problemS got fixed, Good luck with your gaming or working on this beast. p.s. 3600x with 2070 super is my fantasy build these days... :)