This was a year in the making build. I updated nearly all the hardware from my 2018 build reusing some fans, radiators, and other RGB elements. Pretty much everything else is new.
I've never had a top of the line build (although my last one came close) and after saving for a year and getting lucky on parts like my ASUS Strix OC RTX 3090, which I was able to purchase in 2020 before the ASUS mark-up and tariffs went into effect. Other items I bought as they were released like the EK waterblock, active backplate, and ASUS Dark Hero motherboard. I had my case, the Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic XL sitting in the basement for the better part of a year as I bought it on launch and it replaces my original PC-O11 Dynamic. I like the larger size as it accommodates a rear fan and the storage on the side is easily removed.
Here are links to videos I made on the products as well as the build logs. I don't think I'm fully done either as I have some update videos that kind of take place prior to the "it's done" video, and I'd like to do a postmortem where I go over all the issues and fitting numbers to help those out so they know EXACTLY what number of fittings to buy should they do something similar.
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo0K1OWARGw
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e02NksLrhRo
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yGMiyB7chE&t
Part 4 (It's done but I kinda skip a lot of stuff due to all the issues I talk about later on): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boeoFNzwyp4
EKWB Parts used in the build unboxing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXOKwgnxDZE&t
How to use the Quantum Torque drain valve: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U6VtcJXtIs&t
Time lapse putting together the GPU block and active backplate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ-hPdp3hGw
Dark Hero overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkOxUSFo_aI
Unboxing the ASUS Strix OC RTX 3090 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnKbFU8o7Pw
Dynamic XL review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRx3g1bDFOs
CPU AMD 5950X
This is the heart of the machine--a 16 core, 32 thread beast. It definitely pulls its weight when I am editing videos or photos and it's a great gaming CPU. If I were only gaming + streaming, I'd say save some cash and get the 5900X. I will say the CPU runs hot even liquid cooled with 3 radiators. I don't think I can get it to go below 45-55C at idle (or I guess with only Chrome + 100 tabs open--yes I'm that guy). I'm not overclocking, but I do have PBO2 enabled (no undervolting just auto). If anyone has any tips on how to get better temps while retaining performance I'd be very appreciative.
GPU ASUS ROG Strix OC RTX 3090
This is a fantastic and beefy GPU. Having said that, it can definitely get hot and loud. The rear VRAM chips get super hot. I'm definitely glad I went from air cooling to liquid for it. To help save on power consumption I have implemented an undervolt during gaming sessions that essentially makes the GPU suck down about 100 W less juice. This does mean I take a slight performance hit, but it's negligible.
RAM Corsair Dominator Platinum
For memory I went with a 64GB kit of DDR3600 CL16. The RAM is very fast and, while not super affordable, nice. It's a 4-stick kit. I haven't run into any memory ceiling yet while editing videos, so I definitely think 64GB was the way to go. I'd love to have gone faster maybe 4000 if I could keep a 1:1 ratio with the infinity fabric but prices prevented this.
Motherboard ASUS X570 Dark Hero
Housing all the good bits is the ASUS Dark Hero motherboard. It's a fantastically designed motherboard with an amazing amount of features. Yes it's expensive, but also can definitely be worth it. It has a 16 phase power delivery, 2 NVMe slots, and plenty of overclocking features and pci slots to keep the most demanding users happy. My only wish is that it did come standard with a 3rd NVMe slot.
WDSN850 1TB and 2TB NVMe SSDs
for OS + key programs and a scratch disk for editing videos.
These are PCIe 4.0 beasts, very fast, and cheaper than the Samsung 980 Pro drives while being nearly as fast.
Crucial MX500 2TB SATA III SSD
This is my main gaming drive. It's fast, can hold a lot of games, and is dependable.
Seagate Barracuda Pro 8TB HDD x2
My mass storage drives for all my videos after editing as well as photos and less used documents. Transfer speeds can slow down but it's affordable mass storage.
Power Supply SeaSonic PRIME Ultra Titanium 1000 W
This beast of a PSU is fully modular and fantastic. It's also very quiet. I love it. I do think maybe I need 1200 W or more though as I have encountered random shutdowns while gaming when I don't implement the undervolting on my GPU. Maybe the system is pulling too much, but I don't really know.
Case Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic ROG Certified
Sure many people have adopted this case, but I love it. It shows off build wonderfully, has loads of room for activities, and supports a wide variety of configurations for cooling. It's fairly affordable for being a "luxury case," and it's just fantastic.
I do wish the bottom feet were not solid across to make for easier holding, and I could do without the bottom USB Type-A ports at the front as most motherboards don't have 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 headers.
Fans, LED strib, hubs
6x Corsair HD120 RGB
1x Corsair QL 120
3x Noctua A12x15 fans
Corsair Lightning Node Pro with 1 strip
All corsair: 1x Commander Pro, 1x Commander XT, 2x Lighting Node Pros 1x Corsair Lighting hub for fans
RGB Adapters bought from Piratedog on eBay to make everything work that is non-corsair (I have about 5 ARGB to 3-pin adapter cables). If you want to use iCue this is one of the best solutions. I'm using them for the Dynamic RGB strip at the front, the CPU block, GPU block, Active backplate, and Distroplate RGB elements.
2x EKWB PE 360 Radiators
1x Primochill EximoSX Slim Radiator
EK Quantum Magnum CPU block
EK Quantum Vector Strix GPU block
EK Quantum Vector Active Backplate for RTX 3080/TI/3090
EK Quantum Reflection XL distribution plate
Fittings (all are black chrome)
18x EK Quantum Torque 16mm OD HDC Fittings
9x Quantum Torque 90 degree Rotary fittings
1x Quantum Torque 7mm Rotary Offset
3x Quantum Torque 7mm extenders
2x Quantum Torque 14mm extenders
2x Quantum Torque 28mm extenders
1x Quantum Torque plug
1x Quantum Torque drain valve
In the hardware section builds.gg's prices and item choices for the fittings aren't 100% accurate or available, so I substituted where I could and did a couple of custom requests but was too lazy to do them all as there's just so much. :)
. . . I like EK.
Primochill slim rad was used in the original Dynamic build b/c it fit on the side with no issues.
Thermaltake 16mm OD PETG tubing. I hand satined these by sanding them.
CableMod cables for 24-pin, GPU, and 8+4-pin CPU.
. . . A lot of time, sweat, blood, tears, and effort.
This build did not go without hiccups. I fried the motherboard and 2 commander pros due to a faulty wire on the pump. Thankfully ASUS and EK came through with their RMA processes and gave me replacements. I had originally used a D5 Convection
pump cover but it pinched the wires, cutting them, and I think created the short. Unfortunately, I'm not using it as I returned it. It's a beautiful accent piece but not worth the risk. As such the build was delayed. It was delayed further when I realized I needed an offset fitting as well. Other than that everything seemed to go okay.
For a good chunk of the year too, I had the build in a temporary soft loop where only the CPU was liquid cooled. I have pictures of it as well. Some photos have descriptions so don't forget to read those as they add to it.
I really like the look of the satin tubes. The 3 bends in the build didn't cause too much trouble, although I'm not super happy with the inner CPU bend as it doesn't match the outer bend as well as I'd like. Having said that it still looks great.
I think next time I do a build here, I'll try and do it step by step where I do parts, then update it with the build, and results, etc. Make it so it's not just one giant dump of information!
Finally, I realize many people have PC-O11 Dynamic builds, but to paraphrase Full Metal Jacket, "This is my PC. There are many like it but this one is mine."
Anyway, thanks for looking at this build.