Description

After seven years of daily use on a pretty big overclock, my old i7 system (https://pcpartpicker.com/list/nY8l) finally died. I had my i7 pushed to 4.2GHz but had gotten it stable as high as 4.5 in the past. It was a great daily driver and a bigger part of my life than I'd care to admit. A failed PSU caused a catastrophic overvolt that fried almost everything. My GPU, my mouse, and my Evo 860 are the only parts that didn't die. There is visible melting on a few PCBs, it was pretty bad. I was planning to upgrade in mid-2020, but I had some money saved and with some pretty good holiday sales this is a great time to buy.

This is mainly a gaming system, but I also do photo editing and stream a tiny bit so I wanted decent horsepower. And while I was ambivalent about RGB at first, once I got my first RGB component I definitely caught Unicorn Vomit Fever. I've been happy with Corsair in the past and I think they make some of the best-looking RGB components so I went pretty hard into that ecosystem with the understanding that I'm trading a tiny bit of performance/value for looks.

It is with the above in mind that I named this new system Bifröst, which is the rainbow bridge that goes from Earth to Valhalla. It will carry my valiant dead system to the halls of the gods, to fight and feast until Ragnarok.

If I had to do it all over again, the only thing I might change is possibly getting the Lian Li PC-011 Dynamic instead of the Phanteks P400a. But even the regular 011 is a bit wide for my taste, and when I was researching this build I hadn't been able to test my old RAID array yet, so I was operating under the assumption that I would need to be able to mount at least three HDD. That means I'd have to get the PC-011 XL which was waaay bigger than I wanted. I kinda wish I had made room, both in my desk setup and my budget, but I'm still very very happy with the P400a and it's certainly much more affordable than the Lian Li.

Thanks for looking!

Part Reviews

CPU

Fantastic value for a really great processor. Has some extra flex for workstation tasks without breaking the bank. Mine seems to PBO around 4.1 but scores well in benchmarking, I'm happy with it.

CPU Cooler

I used the original h100i for seven years, well past the intended working life of the part, and it held up great. It was a no-brainer to grab the newest version. Really great pump in the Platinum model, and the RGB on the pump block looks fantastic, especially when synced with the Corsair RAM.

Motherboard

My experience with this board has been a bit hit-or-miss, but definitely a lot more hits than misses. This board is definitely the best value in x570 boards as far as features and performance per dollar. The BIOS is a little wonky, but the most recent update made tons of improvements. Sometimes I have to redo my fan curves though. This wouldn't be as much of an issue if the chipset fan wasn't failing. But it doesn't need to be on if the chipset is under 70C, which it has not hit even under sustained system load in my experience. So I just keep it off under 70C and never hear it, but when the board loses my fan curves the chipset fan sounds pretty annoying until I fix the curves again. Even with all that, the sheer value of this board keeps my review at a low four stars.

Memory

Beatiful RAM, but the Hynix dies don't leave a ton of room for overclocking unfortunately. I've managed to get it stable at 3466 with no change to timings. I couldn't get it stable at 3200 with any sort of tightened timings, and I couldn't get it stable at 3600, but you get what you pay for, I could have shelled out for something rated for higher speeds. So I'm happy with it but wish I could have gotten a bit more of an overclock out of it.

Storage

Excellent drive. After you install Samsung Magician this thing rivals gen3 nvme m2 drives, as you can see from my benchmark.

Video Card

I really dig this card. In fact this card started this whole build for me. I originally bought this GPU for my aging i7 system, but that rig fried, hence this new build. One star deducted for AMD driver issues. I have this card on the OC profile and have overclocked it with all sliders maxed in the Radeon software. My card tends to peak around 2050mhz with these settings, as you can see in the benchmark.

Case

Really dig this case. Would love if it was 2-3cm bigger in every dimension. That would space the rear exhaust fan further from the IO shroud of the motherboard and create room for a top-mounted radiator. Besides that I will say that the metal is quite thin, but at this price point I'm not complaining too much. It's not an issue, just feels cheap when you work with it. Looks just fine once it's built and running, although fit and finish is far from perfect. There are a few places where plastic parts don't line up perfectly on my copy when they are meant to, but nothing you can really notice without getting up close and looking intentionally for imperfections.

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Comments

  • 1 month ago
  • 3 points

Is the 1TB 860 EVO your boot drive?

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

It is currently, but I have plans to add/upgrade storage in a few months. Currently that 1TB evo is the only drive in my machine.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Rotate the AIO so the tubes are on the top so the pump wont have to work against gravity. Also it will look better.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I hear this myth all the time. Please, show me one test demonstrating this. I can't find one, can you? The only impact the tubing orientation should have is on ease of bleeding and filling, which you shouldn't have to do in an AIO in the first place. These AIO coolers are designed to not need refilling within the service life of the component (typically about 5-7 years). As for pump effort, it's a closed loop so it sees the exact same amount of static pressure no matter how you orient the tubes. It doesn't matter if you have your up slope on the in or the out side, the opposite side will always have an opposite slope and even pressure out.

As for looks, if I did the tubes on top of the rad instead of the bottom the tubes would block my view of the CPU block and the RAM, and when trying different configurations it was almost impossible for me to keep the tubes out of the top fans in this case. Having tried both in this case, I can assure you it looks much much better this way, at least to me.

I appreciate your feedback! Thanks for looking!

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Having the tubes upright helps prevent bubbles and gurgling noises.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

I've definitely heard this before, but the only solid sources I can find cite that as an issue when filling or bleeding a custom loop, and you should never have to fill or bleed an AIO. When I look for solid sources saying anything about tubes up or tubes down on a vertical AIO radiator, I can only find two. I find Jayz2cents saying he mounts tubes down like I have, so that gravity helps on the way back down into the pump, and one very unscientific video where a guy says he gets lower temps when he has his radiator tube down. So neither one is at all scientific, but it's all I can personally find.

Do you have personal experience with an AIO bubbling or gurgling due to being mounted with the tubes on the bottom? Or any solid source? I'm interested and willing to change my opinion if I'm wrong. Honestly I'm considering flipping it for aesthetic reasons, I think I can route the tubes down between the bottom of the RAM and the backplate of the GPU then back up to the top, but I'm wary of bending the tubes too much which could crack the teflon coating.

I appreciate your feedback, thanks for looking!

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking that CPU to get a better score on the Cinebench? I got my 1700x up to 4.0 on all cores for Cinebench runs, I would think the new 3700x can be pushed a little, given you have an AIO on there.

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking that CPU to get a better score on the Cinebench? I got my 1700x up to 4.0 on all cores for Cinebench runs, I would think the new 3700x can be pushed a little, given you have an AIO on there.

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking that CPU to get a better score on the Cinebench? I got my 1700x up to 4.0 on all cores for Cinebench runs, I would think the new 3700x can be pushed a little, given you have an AIO on there.

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking that CPU to get a better score on the Cinebench? I got my 1700x up to 4.0 on all cores for Cinebench runs, I would think the new 3700x can be pushed a little, given you have an AIO on there.

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking that CPU to get a better score on the Cinebench? I got my 1700x up to 4.0 on all cores for Cinebench runs, I would think the new 3700x can be pushed a little, given you have an AIO on there.

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking that CPU to get a better score on the Cinebench? I got my 1700x up to 4.0 on all cores for Cinebench runs, I would think the new 3700x can be pushed a little, given you have an AIO on there.

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking that CPU to get a better score on the Cinebench? I got my 1700x up to 4.0 on all cores for Cinebench runs, I would think the new 3700x can be pushed a little, given you have an AIO on there.

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking that CPU to get a better score on the Cinebench? I got my 1700x up to 4.0 on all cores for Cinebench runs, I would think the new 3700x can be pushed a little, given you have an AIO on there.

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking that CPU to get a better score on the Cinebench? I got my 1700x up to 4.0 on all cores for Cinebench runs, I would think the new 3700x can be pushed a little, given you have an AIO on there.

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking that CPU to get a better score on the Cinebench? I got my 1700x up to 4.0 on all cores for Cinebench runs, I would think the new 3700x can be pushed a little, given you have an AIO on there.

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking that CPU to get a better score on the Cinebench? I got my 1700x up to 4.0 on all cores for Cinebench runs, I would think the new 3700x can be pushed a little, given you have an AIO on there.

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