I have had my current Core i5 6600k PC for a few years now and it has served me well and if I wasn’t upgrading, would continue for years to come. However, now I am working from home more and find myself branching out into streaming, video editing and trying to play Microsoft Flight Simulator, I needed something stronger and more future proof.
Five years for a PC is an incredible run. I never turn my PC off, not to mention, I overclocked it and it never skipped a beat or reduced its lifespan. I have always been Team Blue (Intel), but the price and compelling benchmarks of the Amd Ryzen chips had me intrigued.
After some research, I was sold… I am going to switch teams and move on over to Team Red (sorry, Intel). Sure, Intel might have better single-core performance and games are mostly not taking advantage of multiple cores beyond 4 (yet), but that will soon change and the Ryzen will rise to the challenge.
I envision that this build will last me another 5 years, at least. The sheer number of cores in this thing means that the only aspect that will become outdated is the graphics card.
The Parts List
- AMD Ryzen 9 3900X with Wraith Prism cooler
- Gigabyte B550 AORUS MASTER AM4 ATX Motherboard
- Kingston HyperX FURY RGB 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR4 3200MHz Memory
- Thermaltake View 51 TG ARGB Full Tower E-ATX Case (black)
I already had a relatively new power supply, a Geforce RTX 2060 graphics card and a 1tb Samsung Evo 970 solid-state drive (SSD), so I really only needed a CPU/motherboard, memory and a case. Technically, I didn’t need the case, but I wanted something new to compliment the build and promote good airflow.
That is definitely something I encourage. If you’re going to do a new PC build, motherboard and CPU are essential as it is rare you’ll just upgrade one or the other. But, using your existing power supply (if it meets the requirements for your chosen hardware) prevents unnecessary landfill and it makes things cheaper. I would say also the existing case, but who am I to say?
I plan on adding another 16gb of ram shortly, but to keep costs down, I went for 16gb upfront.
The curious case of the big case
I am usually a mid-size ATX case kind of guy, but this time I was won over by the Thermaltake View 51 TG case. My wife was shocked when she saw it, it looks like a small refrigerator.
I am not going to lie, adjusting to full tower life after being used to mid-tower life for most of my home building PC career required a slight adjustment and a half. But, the added space and more future proofability of the case is really what you’re buying into. If you want liquid cooling, you want a full-size case.
This is always my favourite part, putting it together. Find yourself a nice spot that isn’t overly dusty, has plenty of space and most importantly: not on carpet. I have only ever fried a chip once (years ago when I was young and naive) and it was an expensive lesson.
One of the easiest steps in the build process is installing the motherboard. I like to keep my motherboard in the box and install my CPU then and there, followed by your air cooler (unless you’re going liquid).
I touch a metal part of the case before I touch any electrical components just in-case there is any static. You don’t need an anti-static wrist strap, just make sure you’re discharging into metal or touch something else.
I then install my memory sticks into the board and it’s ready to be transplanted into the case. Ensure you are affixing the screws to the risers correctly in the case, don’t do them up too tight.
As you can see, an ATX motherboard inside of this case is almost comical. It’s a standard size motherboard, but this case makes it look like a micro-ATX board because it’s a monster.
Always the second step for me after the motherboard is in: the power. In this particular case, it goes behind and the wires feed in through. This is a stark difference to other builds I’ve done where everything all lives within the one confined area of the case. But, we’re building a PC inside of a small house, so there is more space.
Your motherboard is in, your CPU and power supply are installed, the last step is to add in a graphics card and affix it to the PCI slots in your case. Then, finally run all of your cables to the motherboard (power and case switches/lights).
Sorry for the poor photo quality, the tempered glass causes a lot of reflections. But, this is the final result. I’m still working on cable management and I plan on going and tidying this all up, but I was excited and wanted to see it all turn on.