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"Ender," a Ryzen/Vega build

by keyofnight


This build replaces my previous last minute Fry's Electronics desperation box from two years ago. (If you want to know how desperate I was: it was an Athlon X4 and R9 270, all thrown in a 10yo Lian-Li case. I really just wanted to play some games in a hurry.)

I decided that I need a PC to do a ton of different things: 2D/3D graphics work, machine learning experiments, and (of course) gaming / game development. I needed a build for exploration. I decided that the Ryzen and Vega platforms would give me a great workstation experience as well as a great gaming experience.

Everything went smoothly enough. I was able to get everything together with minimal hassle. I was even able to get a somewhat modest (but stable) overclock out of the R7 1700 with the stock cooler (3.7GHz @ 1.25V). I was also able to undervolt/overclock the Vega 56 (1020mV, & with RAM @ 850MHz).

But you folks know that every build has it's hiccups, and my build was no exception. The biggest problem I had: my PSU cables were not long enough for my case. The Lian-Li PC-O10 is a spectacular case—lots of room, great airflow (believe it or not), a mostly tool-free design, and beautiful. The design is quirky, though. It uses an SFX power supply, and the Corsair SF600 doesn't come with a long enough 24-pin cable. Understandable. I could've gotten an extension cable, but I opted to order full length replacements. They're pretty replacements, so I guess I needed an excuse.

Other hiccups: I used the wrong DIMM slots for my ram (I used 1 & 3 instead of 2 & 4) and so it took me a while to figure that out and get XMP profile speeds. AMD Cool & Quiet was messing with stability under load with an overclock. Also, later revisions of the ASRock X370 Killer don't have load line calibration, and that took a while to figure out.

There are a few things I would do differently. The good folks on /r/buildapc's Discord server suggested that I buy the 1700 and use the stock heatsink/cooler. That turned out really well, but I should've bought the 1700x and used a Noctua NH-U9S. (I think they just wanted to save me money, but I would rather just pay for better clocks at lower voltage with lower temps.)

I really shouldn't have even bothered with RGB strips. I guess I was trying out a trend, and now I know: I love tempered glass, I don't like bright lights.

(December 31st, 2017: updated pictures are coming.)

Part Reviews


There's a lot to say about this board, so let's distill it.

Pros: This board has a capable voltage regulator module with nice heatsinks. I'm sure I'll be able to use it with future Ryzen CPUs. It has two M.2 slots for fast SSDs, so I have options for more storage. The wifi / Bluetooth module and antenna hookups are great so far. And, finally, the graphic design on the PCB is clean and not too "gamer-y"—as long as you don't mind that it's a "K," and "K" stands for "Killer." (But you can barely tell that it's a "K" when the board is populated.)

Cons: RGB control is limited in general, and ASRock's RGB adjustment software crashes often. More importantly, some conveniences are missing. So, there is no CMOS reset button—instead, there's a CMOS reset jumper. There is no error code readout at all. Finally, the UEFI menus are a little quirky.

All in all, this is a pretty good board, and I haven't had many problems with it. I would buy it again.


This is Samsung B-Die RAM—some of the best priced, RAM stuff you can get. I bought this ram for its high clock speed and low latency, and I'm quite pleased. It runs at its advertised (XMP profile) timings right out of the box in a Ryzen 7 system. The heatsinks also look great in a black&white build. All in all, this was a great buy.

Power Supply

So far, this has been a reliable PSU in a very small package. It runs pretty cool—I can't feel heat coming off of it. It runs pretty quietly too—I don't think I've ever heard the fan come on (even after stress testing this Ryzen 7 / Vega 56 build). The cables are pretty stiff and ribboned, though, so you may want to swap them out for Corsair's own premium cabling or some customs.

Case Fan

These are everything that you'd expect from a Noctua fan. Quiet, powerful, and… a little bit ugly? Yes. Ugly, because they come with a set of brown rubber corners you can use to reduce case noise. (It's a nice touch.)

Comments Sorted by:

SirHalpin 1 Build 2 points 9 months ago

How did you like building in this case and not a conventional ATX? I'm a huge fan of Fractal Design and their Define R series, and cannot wait to buy a Define R6 when they are released to the public. But the Lian-Li PC-010 and PC-011 ROG Edition are incredibly good looking cases, thoughts?

keyofnight submitter 1 Build 2 points 9 months ago

I felt very comfortable building in this case, and I'm glad I chose it. It feels really spartan, clean, and even elegant—other cases feel cluttered in comparison. It's roomy in both the front and back compartments, so it's pretty easy to get my hands in there and work. I would recommend the PC-O10 over the PC-O11 if you're air cooling. The PC-O11 makes more sense for water cooling with a big reservoir—or something like that.

That said, the Define series is great and always a good choice.

SirHalpin 1 Build 2 points 9 months ago

Thanks for the insight. I figured. PC-010 is a little smaller, I think where the PC-011 really shines is being able to fit thREE 360mm radiators, holy heckin heCK thats a lot of cooling.

keyofnight submitter 1 Build 2 points 9 months ago

Most definitely. If I had 4-5K to spend on a crazy custom loop, I'd scoop up one of those white PC-O11s for sure. Either way, let me know what you pick and how it goes!

SirHalpin 1 Build 2 points 9 months ago

I'll try and remember!

DonKeedix 2 points 9 months ago

I’m thinking of getting that motherboard. No problems so far with it? My RAM is gonna be a Team Dark with CAS 16 so idk what will happen there. Also thinking of getting it to save money on buying a wireless adapter. Great build, case looks great.

keyofnight submitter 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Sorry it took me so long to see this! I've been using it for a while now with very few issues. If you're thinking about overclocking, make sure you turn off the AMD fast&quiet feature, or you'll get serious voltage droop and instability with heavy loads. I think that's the only issue I've had with it. I also helped a friend do a build with it, and I had no issues there either. I mostly got it for the wifi adaptor, so I think it really is a bargain for that. I think your ram should work, as long as it's Samsung B-Die.

Either way, good luck!

sponix 6 Builds -1 points 9 months ago

Let me get this straight. You put the Noctua Brown corners on Redux Fans ? You went out of your way to make them Ugly ? Just a bit lost on that.

Love the Rig Over All, Thanks for Sharing....

AZAZELMILLZ 3 points 9 months ago

sponix chill out.....LET THAT MAN LIVE!! thats how he wanted it to look

sponix 6 Builds 3 points 9 months ago

I actually took a note from his book and dropped a Poop Brown Noctua Fan in the bottom of my rig as a tribute to Noctua.. See it here https://pcpartpicker.com/b/hVGG3C

Let me know what you think..

keyofnight submitter 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

It's an accent piece. ;)

SirHalpin 1 Build 2 points 9 months ago

I love how he capitalized each word as if its a proper noun lol

keyofnight submitter 1 Build 2 points 9 months ago

lol: Poop Brown Noctua™.

keyofnight submitter 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

lol. I was surprised by the Redux Fans. The 120mm ones came with those ugly corners preinstalled. I debated throwing them in the trash, but I put them on just to see it they reduce noise. I might remove them soon—but they've kinda grown on me.

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