Every year it says: build computers. After our computer, which was mainly used for hardware tests, was getting a bit long in the tooth, a new machine was up again. Fortunately, we have extremely helpful partners like ASUS, AMD and Corsair who quickly helped us with the latest components. The result is a € 2,600 machine that we will surely enjoy for the next few months.
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Of course, the first step was to choose the components, especially with regard to CPU. The choice of the CPU was quite simple: the price-performance ratio of the new Ryzen CPUs was simply too tempting in connection with the existing PCIe 4.0 interface of the new AM4 mainboards with X570 chipset. Future-proof. At least until something new comes onto the market.
Fortunately, AMD provided us with the Ryzen R7 3700X. This is not the strongest of the new Ryzen processors, but at a price of around 330 euros, it is probably the most attractive option in terms of price and performance. The processor, based on Zen-2 architecture and 7nm manufacturing process, is designed as an eight-core. The clock rate is 3.6 GHz with a boost clock of 4.4 GHz and pleasantly good overclocking options to tease out a little more power from the system. The low power consumption of 65W is remarkable.
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The benchmarks confirmed what you know from the Ryzen CPUs. The gaming performance is a bit lower than that of competing Intel CPUs, but at a lower price and very strong application performance. A good compromise for us, since games are not nearly as CPU-hungry, but we generally also have to work on the computers, especially when it comes to capturing and video stuff. And AMD is just ahead of it, which is also proven by Cinebench, where the R7 3700X just leaves the i9-9900K behind – mind you at a significantly lower price, the Intel CPU is currently around 500 euros.
For the cooling solution, we did not choose the included Wraith cooler, but got an AIO cooling from ASUS, which can be used for pretty much all current CPUs thanks to the appropriate mounting frame. The ASUS ROG Strix LC 360 RGB (price approx. 230 euros) uses a 360 radiator with three 120 mm fans, which blow the waste heat out of the computer. The fans also have something to offer the eye, namely they are compatible with the Aura Sync RGB system from ASUS and can be controlled accordingly. Definitely works well, with normal clocking the Ryzen's temperature stayed very low, which of course offers space for overclocking.
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As the future home for the CPU, we chose a cute AM4 motherboard with an X570 chipset, namely the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (approx. 400 euros). Unfortunately, the X570 boards aren't exactly cheap yet, but it's worth it. Not only does the board support the PCIe 4.0 interface already supported by the CPU, it is also provided with the most modern options, such as integrated 2.5 Gbit / s LAN, USB 3.2, SATA, M.2, ASUS NODE and Aura Sync RGB lighting. We like that the connections are clearly arranged. A small specialty is the active cooling for M.2 and chipset, which also helps to keep everything nice and cool and thus improve the life of the components.
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The power supply is guaranteed by a luxury power supply that costs around 300 euros, the ASUS Rog Thor Platinum with a full 1200W. Of course, this is hopelessly oversized, but it offers us the reserves to test SLI setups later without problems, without the machine starting to skid. Part of the price is of course due to the 80+ Platinum certification. There are also extras such as Aura Sync RGB lighting and an OLED display on the side. As usual, the cables are attached modularly, so that only what you really need is stuffed into the computer.
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Corsair kindly helped us with the RAM and SSD. As RAM we use Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16 GB 3,600 Mhz optimized for Ryzen CPUs. They are currently available for around 90 euros and also sparkle with chic RGB lighting.
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Since only two of the four RAM slots are occupied, light enhancement kits can be installed for refilling. These are fake RAM bars, so to speak, basically just the case along with the RGB lighting. Easy to make it look prettier. But let's save ourselves, our little machine becomes an implement and not for the showroom.