After almost 6 months, I have my PC parts

in STEMGeeks2 years ago


The wait has been brutal, but I finally have everything but a new GPU. I've been waiting to get a new AMD Ryzen 9 CPU and a specific motherboard since the announcement on November 5th, 2020.

I just happened to be talking to a friend today about the 5950x and I looked at a local store and noticed they had 40+ 5950X in stock and one of the Dark Hero motherboard. I got in the car and booked it down there to get it as they are not allowing you to order over the phone or reserve anything with limited stock.

I'm sure I could have picked up a CPU and motherboard long before now if I was willing to put 4 hours a day into waiting in lines and watching inventory but I decided I don't have time for that shit, or more realistically I don't want to. I was pretty thrilled to see these in stock though as it couldn't come at a better time, my computer has been having issues that required a reinstall which I kept putting off until I got a new PC. I ran into a new problem that made doing something more critical.

What did I get?

The main component in my build is the Ryzen 9 5950X, this is currently the top of the line CPU in the industry. AMD really knocked it out of the park this time around and has finally beat Intel in single core performance benchmarks. I have always used Intel CPUs, and this is my first AMD CPU. My main reason for using Intel is single core performance is king.

This is also the first time I decided to get an Extreme CPU. I have always bought the top of the line CPU in the consumer bracket but never have I opted to pay the premium for the extreme tier. Extreme tier CPUs generally have more cores and more level 2 memory.

With the 5950X being such a massive improvement over previous generations and even Intel's best offerings, and being stuck on 4 core CPUs for multiple generations, I decided I would go all out and pick up the best I can get. My computer is my livelihood and I am very demanding on a PC.


The second component that I have been waiting for was the Asus Dark Hero motherboard. There are a lot of motherboards for the 5950X but only the Dark Hero has the ability to maintain a high overclock without reducing single core performance. When you try to maintain a high overclock on a high core count CPU you need to reduce the single core performance to maintain it. The Dark Hero has a feature where it will use two different overclocks prioritizing either single core performance or multiple core and will automatically switch depending on what you are doing. The Dark Hero also uses passive cooling (no fans) on the motherboard which helps further reduce noise. This board has been in extremely high demand and short supply, when I saw it was in stock I dropped what I was doing. If it was just a CPU available, I'd probably wait since I didn't have the motherboard.


For the CPU cooler I really wanted an All-In One (AIO) liquid cooling system, they look really cool but they are noisy and potentially leak. So I went with the top of the line air cooler from Noctua, the NH-D15 Black Edition.


See what I mean about the cool style of an AIO cooler?


The next important component is the case, I thought a lot about this and I wanted RGB but I didn't want to spend $500+ in RGB fans to fully deck out an O11 Dynamic, so I settled for a Phantek p400A. It has excellent air flow, really well designed cable management, and includes a few RGB fans all for under $100.


Ram I typically go with 32GB, and with AMD 32GB is the sweet spot to have dual rank chips (typically 16GB+ sticks). I went with 3600 CL16 RGB G Skillz Trident Neo, at the time they were not really more expensive than non-RGB and didn't know I'd be getting an air cooler that blocks the RGB ram. So I likely want be using the RGB on the ram but might test it out to see if it has a nice under carriage style lighting effect.

You can get a high end CPU and cooling and not get good thermal paste. I picked up Kryonaut Grizzly, which I've been hearing is some fantastic stuff.


For the PSU, I already have some Corsair Platinum RM750X PSUs, these are considered one of the best PSUs every made. I really feel more comfortable with an 850W and will likely swap it out in the future when I get a hold of a RTX 3000 GPU, but for now it will be more than enough to run the system. It is recommended to have 650W for a 5950X / RTX 3080 combo, which the 750W gives little breathing room, it is a platinum PSU though and will likely run far higher than rated if pushed.


For hard drives, I already have a Samsung 980 Pro which I picked up a few months ago and my Samsung 960. Both are NVME drives, meaning they are solid state drives directly attached to the PCI Express bus, and have considerably higher speeds over traditional SSD drives. The 980 Pro is PCI Express Gen 4 which is considerably faster than Gen 3 which is all I could run on my old system. The 980 Pro exceeds 7GB/s read speeds. I still need to get a 2TB-4TB drive to replace the platter data drive I have in my system. I currently run two 1 TB NVME drives, a 1 TB SSD, and a 5 TB platter. I can easily fit everything on a 1TB & 4TB NVME pair and likely what I will end up doing.



I don't mess around with my main workstation, I have no tolerance to wait on a computer and any delays potentially cost me money. I am especially aggressive in upgrading to the latest storage technology as it is typically the slowest component in the system and has the most potential for improvement.

Here's a breakdown to the components

Ryzen 9 5950x - $799
Asus Dark Hero Motherboard - $449
Noctua NH-D15 Cooler Black Edition - $100
G.Skillz Trident Neo Z 32GB 3600 CL16 - $179
Phantek P400a case - $90
Kryonaut Thermal Paste - $10
Corsair RM850X - $150
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB - $200

Total: $1,880

I already own a 10GB Asus Network card I use to directly connect to my NAS device and will re-use my Nvidia 1070 until I can get an RTX 3000.

I still need to buy a 4TB SSD or NVME drive and GPU which will run me another $1,000 or more. This is the most expensive workstation I have built as I usually can build a top of the line system for under $2,000.

I hope to start building it tonight or tomorrow and will do an update when I finish or potentially a build walkthrough.

All product images are from Amazon

Posted with STEMGeeks


Nice, dude! Everyone is going AMD these days. I have had an early Threadripper for a couple of years now and just finished a new build. We need bad ass workstations for our work, otherwise I wouldn't be able to justify the cost. Same as you, we are still trying to get GPUs, though.


That's a TR 3970x and 256GB Ram. Also got a couple 2TB gen 4 NVMEs running striped. This computer is an absolute beast. Also the best I have ever built.

Fuck yeah. That is like mine.. But I'm 1st gen 1950x

Not bad, @klye! a bit better than my other computer, which I am typing this on right now:


Why is your voltage so high?! My 1950x runs 3.6Ghz at something like 1.3v or slightly less.

1.4v or more is only when I'm overclocked to 4.2Ghz or so with custom load line settings and aggressive thermal throttling turned down in trade for higher fan / cooler RPM.

Yeah, something went wrong with this machine about a month ago. It is the reason I got the new one. My very stable overclock suddenly failed and 2 of the pcie slots just flat out died. We had a huge power surge around that time which took out the electric for a couple of hours.

I think I was in the middle of trying to get the overclock working right again and got bored and just ordered new parts, as you do. Because right now I am staring at that voltage, having a vague memory of why it's so high, and then it slips away.

This is what happens when you have too many computers in your house.

Motherboards tend to fail for me too if I abuse them with constant higher than average clocks and FSB tweaking. Sorry to hear about your electronic 'splosion.. That shit ain't cheap!

Check your line load setup and refer to the chip specifications available online to see where normal voltages is.. 1.41v at 3.6Ghz is high considering I've got 4 more active cores and draw less voltage than that.. 0-0

 2 years ago 

That ram cpu sandwich is so satisfying.

Indeed it is. Makes one drool a bit ;p

Very nice, need also new one, but not so expencive one

 2 years ago 

System is built, I just have OS, updates, and drivers but did a quick benchmark to get a baseline.


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N3rd! Where are the screens the most important dual 30 inch 4k?

Of course by the time a modern GPU is actually available for purchase somewhere this might all be obsolete...

 2 years ago 

I just read Nvidia expects supply issues for the rest of the year.

That looks dope.

I have not even attempted to try and acquire anything for a new build in a while. Between the miners and the scalpers script buying everything the moment it comes into stock it seems quite pointless.

Thoroughl and great post... I remember talking about this a while back. I still haven't made a move yet but I'm also not doing quite as much intensive photography work so I'm still considering what I want and of a new ryzen laptop may be a good alternative but I enjoy seeing this post

 2 years ago (edited)

I'd seriously consider an M1 MacBook Air.
I hate buying Apple hardware, but I really like the MacBook Air.

I really like MacOS but I haven't been able to make the switch for my core machine as I won't buy Apple PCs but Windows has turned into a disease.

My plan is to spin up a Linux VM on this machine and use it as main core driver. I still have Windows as my main OS for gaming and what I can't do in Linux (very little, but I really love Linux terminal).

I am pretty against Mac so that won't really work for me for many reasons including pricr

@asgarth had a pretty good suggestion for a good high powered ryzen laptop

 2 years ago 

I never actually looked at Ryzen laptops, need to check them out.

 2 years ago (edited)

I think you will find Ryzen laptops to be (way) more than a MacBook Air ($900) and the M1 chip performs better than the $800 5950X in some situations.

For my main laptop I would like a 15-16" display. So the MacBook Air is not actually an option for me also if the CPU is great.

But my wife is on Mac so I will probably have one of those at home either way ( some point during the next year) 😄

Also I'm full on Linux and ditched Windows years ago, so now I'm trying to figure out how well Linux will work on those new laptop with a Ryzen processor 🤔

 2 years ago 

There is a 16" Mac Book Pro, but doesn't use M1 yet.
I wish I could fully switch to Linux.

Well, to use your words ..."I think you will find 16" Mac Book Pro to be (way) more than a Ryzen laptop." 😄

 2 years ago 

Let me know what you get, I never looked at Ryzen laptops.

Excited to see a CPU-z benchamark from this beast once you get it going and tuned up

 2 years ago 



Still surprised you've never built a beast costing so little. I think my RAM costed as much as this Rig at the time. Only thing I went 2nd class with was the GPU as The RX Vega stuff was a bit behind Nvidia at that point but the Nvidia cards were triple the cost for only some small percentage framerate increase.

 2 years ago (edited)

I usually go by the 80/20 principal.
I'm sure I spent this much when you add in all the accessories but I never got over the top components, usually the best prosumer level. When you think about what I got, it wasn't all that much considering.

Would have spent twice that from Alienware and had less.


Aye, granted a TOP top of the line AMD chip is like > $5K just the CPU itself.. 0_0

 2 years ago 

That's a server chip though, not something you would typically put in a workstation.

EPYC is the AMD server chip name.. That is a workstation CPU. Designed to help in tasks like renderings and multi-thread utilizing applications like graphics design. :)

Look it up.. The EPYC threadrippers are even better suited to server operations than these desktop chips.. Which is terrifying because that chip alone is 4x the computing power of mine capable... And my workstation is beyond overkill for most folks.

 2 years ago 

Oh I know what they are, but you don't put them in a "typical desktop" even a power user. They are usually used for very specific purpose built machines.

Woohhh that took a bit for those parts but looks like a solid build. I switched over to Intel on the i7 but now AMD cards seem to be better. Ahhhhh such a pain! You kind of get to the point of where you really don't need to upgrade a PC and kind of does everything you need it too. I believe the only thing getting bigger on newest systems is a more core CPU.

 2 years ago 

Well I don't use AMD "cards" (which makes me think their GPU) as Nvidia are still clearly better. For "chips" aka CPUS, AMD has stolen Intel's thunder and instead of answering back they are sitting in the corner sobbing.

You are building such a hell of a build! I love it! Unfortunately most likely I'll have to wait at least 2 more years until I'll build mine :(

Time to start builing. Looks like its going to be quite the rig when its completed. I'm always impressed by people who build their own computers. I get the appeal. Custom shit is so cool and its satisfying doing it yourself to your own needs and sepecifications. Good luck building.

You spent my entire hive portfolio on a CPU. I want to fight!🤭

My old computer died and a fellow composer sent me parts but I did get a graph card and ram, I will have eventually to upgrade but always feels great when all is new. Enjoy

Ryzen 9 5950x - $799!!!
Damn I got the 12 core.
Funny I just finished my new build as well.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
ASUS ROG Strix B550-E Gaming
Apex AG-850 M
rx 5700 xt
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
Thermaltake TOUGHRAM RGB DDR4 4400MHz 16GB
NZXT H510 Elite
EPOMAKER SKYLOONG SK61 - The clicking!

You have a fucking beast of a computer. Do you use it for design? For rendering? AMD's give optimal results in multi-core and I guess that's the kind of activities you'll be able to get your processor to work on.

And honestly, 32GB of RAM for the kind of activities I think you do I think is a bit short, don't you think you could have improved that aspect more? Today's programs increasingly consume a lot more RAM and I don't think you want your pc to freeze.

You could also post about your experience when you change your 1070 for the future RTX 3000

 2 years ago 

I use it for gaming, programming, and general work.
32GB is more than enough, 16GB would be fine but I do run virtual machines at time and sometimes a ram disk. I want to get back into doing some machine learning, which will be a bit more demanding, and will require a better GPU to save some time.

What an envy, congratulations on your amazing workstation :)


 2 years ago Reveal Comment