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Micro-ATX 3950X

We're two days in and still no 3950X builds yet? Come on people!

Thanks to the various delays, this is the longest build I've ever done in terms of time from start-to-finish and it isn't even done yet. I started ordering parts back in July which had been sitting on my desk since then. And now I'm still waiting for the ram. So what you're seeing here will not be the final build. Likewise, I've made no attempt to overclock it yet.

Purpose:

Not for gaming. I repeat, not for gaming.

This is purely for software development. Graphics-wise all it needs to handle is a 4k monitor @ 60 Hz. And even then, it will be sitting in my laboratory as an unattended nightlight as it will be mostly accessed remotely.

Processor: Ryzen 9 3950X

Expected it in September. But as September drew closer, I began to suspect a delay given the stock issues with the 3900X. Sure enough, it did - all the way to November.

My colleague and I got up two hours early to wait outside Micro Center. (He's also doing a new build.) We did end up sniping a pair - of the six they had in stock. There were at least 10 of us waiting (some coming, going, coming back). Not everybody was happy.

Cooling: Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R RGB + 2x Corsair ML120

I wanted a 240mm AIO with RGB'ed water block. Cooler Master is one of the few that uses standard RGB connectors instead of some proprietary thing like Thermaltake or Corsair.

But there's more so just a 240 AIO. Hidden between the radiator and the front panel are a pair of Corsair ML120's which are very powerful (but also loud). Thus this is a push/pull configuration. The stock RGB fans are "pull" while the ML120s are "push". When the system is idle, the ML120s turn off - relying entirely on the stock fans to run the AIO. Only when the system is under heavy load do the ML120s turn on and become audible.

Motherboard: Asrock X570M

No choice. It's the only X570 micro-ATX. I had lots of concerns with the VRMs based on this. But they turned out to not be a problem in my build. The small form factor combined with the large number of case fans makes the inside of the case a wind tunnel that keeps the VRMs from overheating.

I bought the mobo with the CPU to take advantage of the $30 discount at Micro Center.

Video Card: Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1050

This is the same video card from my [Skylake X build] - which I've since upgraded.

It's not powerful, but it gets the job done of running a single 4k monitor. Oh and it has RGB.

Case: Silverstone PS15

I like small builds. This is one of the few mATX cases that: - Isn't ugly. - Is actually small. (not other like other "mATX" cases that are the same size as a normal ATX) - Can front mount a 240 radiator. - Has a tempered glass window.

Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower GX1 RGB 700W

This is basically the only RGB power supply I found that fits in this case. Being a lower-end PSU, there were no modular options - which were desperately needed. (see cable management)

Memory: None Yet

Currently borrowing a 4 x 16GB kit from a different machine. But it will eventually be running 4 x 32GB G.Skill RGB Trident Z Neo or Royal.

Storage: Corsair MP510 960 GB M.2-2280 NVMe

These are among the fastest SSDs for their price range. Grabbed a bunch of these (and other models) on sale early this year.

It's not PCIe 4 - which is overkill for now. Also given the things work in my laboratory, no SSD stays in the same machine for more than 6 months. So at some point, a PCIe 4 SSD may find its way into this build.

RGB:

This was designed from the beginning to be an RGB build. Also, it is my first ever RGB mATX build. I actually had RGB strips prepared. But they turned out to be unnecessary since case is small enough that the fans alone are enough to keep it lit.

Cable Management:

Cable management was extremely difficult. The small form factor combined with the gazillion cables made it an absolutely nightmare. Note that each of those RGB fans have two cables (power + RGB).

Off the top of my head: - 24-pin mobo + excess length - 8-pin CPU + excess length - 6-pin GPU + excess length - Non-modular PSU = tons of unused cables. - Power LED - HD LED - Silverstone front panel logo LED - 7 x Fan Power: 2 x Corsair ML120 + 5 x Cooler Master MF120R ARGB - 5 x Fan RGB: 5 x Cooler Master MF120R ARGB - AIO pump - AIO RGB - 2 x Fan header splitters - 1 x ARGB splitter - The massive RGB controller - Power for RGB controller - Unused SATA connectors (because 1 was needed for the RGB controller) - ARGB cable from motherboard to RGB controller

All of this (except the AIO pump and GPU power) had to be routed through the back.

There simply isn't enough space in the back. You can't even overlay a thick cable with an unused SATA connector. And you can't overlay anything with the 24-pin cable unless it's directly over one of the "gaps" in the back. Otherwise, you can't close the back panel.

When most of the parts arrived in July, I quickly realized that this was going to be a huge problem. So I had to meticulously plan out all the routing using pictures of the motherboard (which I didn't have yet). Likewise, I basically assembled the build in July - leaving cables hanging to where they will go when the motherboard arrives.

Some Thermal Analysis:

With everything at stock settings, the CPU will draw up to 200W under intensive AVX with frequencies around 4.0 GHz. Which is pretty impressive. With lighter loads, it will go into the ~4.3 range - through I haven't tested it much yet.

Under entering all-core heavy-AVX from an idle state, the CPU temperature will temporarily spike to 90-95C before converging on a more reasonable 80C. While I don't like the spike, it seems that the internal thermal throttling does kick in.

Compatibility: No issues or incompatibilities found.

Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU Cooler Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R RGB 66.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
Base
Promo
Shipping
Tax
Price
$95.00
Where
Buy
Motherboard ASRock X570M Pro4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard
Base
$179.99
Promo
Shipping
Tax
Price
$179.99
Where
Buy
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory
Base
Promo
Shipping
Tax
Price
$329.00
Where
Buy
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory
Base
Promo
Shipping
Tax
Price
$329.00
Where
Buy
Storage Silicon Power 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
Base
Promo
Shipping
Tax
Price
$128.00
Where
Buy
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB G1 Gaming Video Card
Base
Promo
Shipping
Tax
Price
$0.00
Where
Buy
Case Silverstone PS15 MicroATX Mid Tower Case
Base
Promo
Shipping
Tax
Price
$65.00
Where
Buy
Case Fan Corsair ML120 Pro 75 CFM 120 mm Fan
Base
Promo
Shipping
Tax
Price
$29.00
Where
Buy
Case Fan Cooler Master MF120R ARGB 3in1 59 CFM 120 mm Fans
Base
Promo
Shipping
Tax
Price
$55.00
Where
Buy
Custom RGB LED Light Strip - Speclux Led Strip for Modding PC Case, Motherboard Control, 12V 4pin RGB, Compatiable with Asus Aura, Asrock RGB Led, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light
Base
Promo
Shipping
Tax
Price
$15.00
Where
Buy
Custom Thermaltake Toughpower GX1 RGB 700W Gold SLI/Crossfire Ready Continuous Power RGB LED ATX12V V2.4/ EPS V2.92 80 Plus Gold Certified 5 Year Warranty Non Modular Power Supply PS-TPD-0700Nhfagu-1
Base
Promo
Shipping
Tax
Price
$80.00
Where
Buy
Total: $1304.99
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Compatibility Notes

  • Note:Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

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