R7 2700X / GTX 1080 Programming Workstation


Luna Gray
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R7 2700X / GTX 1080 Programming Workstation

## Use Case

I am going to be using this system every day as my personal workstation for my job as a software engineer. However, more importantly, this system was built for my hobbies. I do 3D modelling in Fusion 360 and Blender, and music creation in Ableton Live and FL Studio. My daily driver prior to this system was a Lenovo X1 Carbon 5 to which I hit the limit of what a dual core laptop with integrated graphics could provide (at least for my hobbies, especially 3D modelling).

This system is also going to be used for gaming, albeit less often. I will be playing titles such as Stardew Valley, CS:Go, Metro Last Light, GTA5, and Overwatch among others.

## Parts

### CPU: AMD Ryzen 2700X

I have been planning this workstation since 2017 August and I've put together a lot of parts lists - oh so many parts list. This most definitely would've been an 8700K/z370 system if Pinnacle Ridge wasn't released when it was. The 1700X was enticing to me but I needed a computer I could rely on and I received mixed reviews/opinions on this topic. However, when the 2700X dropped, I was very impressed by the improvements Zen+ brought to Ryzen's overall system stability and thought I'd take a chance. I also really like that AMD will be supporting their AM4 chipsets for more than one or two CPU generations. It's nice that I will be able to slot in a 3700X or 4700X if I wanted to do so in the future.

However, as one of the main priorities of this build is stability, I also picked my components with compatibility for Intel in mind. This will allow me to switch to a Coffee Lake CPU and z370 motherboard or their successors with relative ease if the need arises.

### Motherboard: Asus Crosshair VII Hero

I picked the C7H because of [der8auer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0mR4IoNWkQ)’s and [buildzoid](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4PEgofGfz4)’s coverage. I also liked that this motherboard has eight USB 3 Type A ports as with other options I would've had to use a hub to have access to all of my required peripherals and devices. I opted for the non Wi-Fi/Bluetooth model because first and foremost I heard from others in the community that the Wi-Fi enabled model wasn't as stable. However, a secondary reason I justified the compromise was because this computer will always be connected to my gigabit router which is less than two feet away from my desk. I also removed the plastic *heatsink* over the I/O as I personally thought it looks cleaner without it.

### Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB

I would’ve preferred a non-RGB memory kit but decided to go with this G.Skill kit because it was the only Samsung b-die kit I could find in Canada with rated CL14 (14-14-14-34) timings at the time. I opted for 32GBs because I often maxed out the 16GBs of memory on my last PC.

### CPU Cooler: Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4

The cooler that comes with the 2700X would have sufficed. Full stop. However, I personally dislike the aesthetics of the Wraith cooler enough that buying an aftermarket one was worth it to me. Since I went with SilentWings 3 fans for the rest of my build, I decided to go with a Be Quiet! Cooler. I would’ve preferred the Dark Rock 4 but I was limited to what was available in Canada at the time. The installation was relatively easy and I’m using Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut TIM.

### Storage: Samsung 970 Evo 250GB NVMe SSD

My storage solution is incomplete with this revision of my build but I'm still very impressed by this drive's performance. Everyone says M.2 drives are "the size of a stick of gum" for reference but oh boy was I still surprised by how small this drive was! *Technology is amazing!*

I plan on adding a Samsung 970 Evo 1TB NVMe SSD to my build in the next revision.

### Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW

I managed to get a GTX 1080 for CAD $660 including shipping and taxes during the mining craze. The card was originally purchased for a build that didn’t happen and sat in the box since March this year unused. I got this card for $300 less than retail (on Newegg.ca) at time of purchase. It's overkill for my use case and I may switch it out between now and when I publish my revision 2 build log.

I am currently using a 27” 1440P 60Hz monitor from Dell and I’m getting over 60 FPS in all of the games I play and awesome performance (no lag so far) in my 3D modelling programs. It’s honestly incomparable to the performance I got with integrated graphics.

### Accessory: FSLabs Graphics Card GPU Brace Support

My graphics card is heavy and I needed something to help with the sag. I would not recommend this bracket. It wasn't strong enough to hold my EVGA 1080 FTW and I ended up returning it to Amazon since the sag was equally as bad without it.

### Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA G3 750W

I needed a good, reliable power supply and this model was recommended to me from a lot of folks in the community across different forums. I purchased the 750W model for additional leg room and because I plan to add a second graphics card for workstation/Linux purposes.

### Custom Cable Kit

My custom cables are from CableMod. They’re CableMod’s Pro series Nylon cables in Silver, Grey, and Pink. I got them in 700 MM (24 Pin, PCIe) and 750 MM (EPS) lengths to not limit my future options in terms of compatibility with other cases. I also got a coupon with my C7H which arrived after I made my order with CableMod. I contacted support and they applied the coupon/refunded the difference anyways. Their customer support is excellent. While some folks would say the cables aren’t worth it because of their price, I think they are! I’m not a huge fan of RGB but still wanted to add a pop of colour to my build.

### Case: Fractal Designs Meshify C White

I wanted an ATX enclosure that had good airflow, wasn’t needlessly large, and wasn’t gaudy. I decided to go with the Meshify C because of the all mesh front panel and small-ish form factor. I have some case mods in mind which I will be doing in June/July and I’ll definitely update the post with more pictures once I have completed those. I chose the white model because my colour scheme is white, gunmetal and pink.

### Fans: Be Quiet! SilentWings 3 120mm PWM

I currently have three SilentWings 3 fans around my chassis; two in the front as intake and one in the back as exhaust. There are also two additional SilentWings 3 fans helping my Dark Rock Pro 4 cool my CPU. They are so quiet, it’s honestly amazing. I’m also considering adding two additional SilentWings 3 fans to the top of my case but I haven’t decided yet, will need to do more testing.

As a side note, I’m looking to sell two Fractal Designs Dynamic X2 GP-12 DC fans.

## Performance

I am quite happy with my system’s overall performance but I still have some tweaking to do. I will probably let XFR2 do it’s thing but I want to manually overclock my GPU. I will update here once I have the chance to do so and make sure it’s stable. My memory is running at 3266MHz with 14-14-14-34 timings.

Here are some results from benchmarking tools I ran:

* Cinebench CPU: 1735
* Cinebench GPU: 120.96
* 3DMark: 7962, GPU: 7761, CPU: 9340
* Geekbench CPU: Single Core: 5057, Multi Core: 28806
* Geekbench OpenCL: 184278

Color(s): Black Pink Purple White
RGB Lighting? Yes
Cooling: Air Cooling
Theme: none
Size: ATX


Category Brand / Part Info 
CPU AMD - Ryzen 7 2700x
Cores: 8
Socket: AM4
Motherboard ASUS - ROG Crosshair VI Hero
Chipset: X370
Size: ATX
Memory Support: DDR4
Memory G.Skill - Trident Z RGB
Capacity: 32 GB
Type: DDR4
Storage Samsung - 970 EVO
Type: SSD
Capacity: 250 GB
Form Factor: m.2
Chip Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip: 1080
PSU EVGA - SuperNOVA 750 G3
Form Factor: ATX
Efficiency: 80+ Gold
Wattage: 750W
Case Fractal Design - Meshify C, White
Type: Mid-Tower
Motherboard Support: ATX
Side Panel: Tempered Glass
Case Fans be quiet! - SILENT WINGS 3 120mm PWM
Size: 120
Case Fans be quiet! - SILENT WINGS 3 120mm PWM
Size: 120
Case Fans be quiet! - SILENT WINGS 3 120mm PWM
Size: 120
Cooling be quiet! - Dark Rock Pro 4
Type: Air Cooler
Size: 145.7 x 136 x 162.8mm
Compatibilty: Intel: LGA 1150 / 1151 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 2011(-3) Square ILM / 2066 AMD: AM2(+) / AM3(+) / AM4 / FM1 / FM2(+)