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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.)
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.
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.
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.)