Description

This is my first build in 14 years and I did weeks' worth of reading in order to catch up to current technology. In the beginning I was still trying to figure out where the AGP port had gone, lol. At first I had my eyes set on a i7-7700K build but then Ryzen came out and peaked my interest, hehe.

My goals were the following:

  1. Keep the build a relatively small and portable mATX (but powerful) Ryzen 8-core platform while limiting noise, and still maintaining adequate cooling.

  2. Primary use is a trading workstation (for work) that's also suited to heavy and intense multitasking, video editing and some light gaming. I want to see if it can be achieved using "gaming-grade" equipment rather than business-grade equipment.

  3. Keep the build cost around the $1k mark. Most parts were sourced locally and used/almost new from Craigslist or OfferUp. The mobo was bought locally from a Fry's due to stock issues from newegg and just in case there were any problems with it.

Future plans:

  1. Upgrade RAM to 3200Mhz. Got the 2666Mhz one for a good deal so using it temporarily. Are 32gb doable with 3200Mhz?

  2. Look into a low-profile 8-pin power cable for the EVGA card as both regular cable and PowerLink are pushing hard against the case window.

  3. Adding another NF-F12 case fan as intake, and possibly another 80mm as exhaust.

  4. Upgrading CPU cooler to Noctua's NH-U9S

  5. Tighten up on cable management.

Overall I am very impressed with the Ryzen and B350M platform. It is extremely quiet, I can barely tell it is on. Those Noctua fans are worth the hype! The only noise I hear comes from the Wraith Spire cooler under load. I was a little bit skeptical about the RAM compatibility issues early on but pleased to see that F4 fixed some issues. I had no problems getting 2666 Mhz after enabling XMP. My default clock was 3.0 Ghz. I tried 3.8 Ghz but it crashed upon benchmarking, so I dialed back to 3.6 Ghz. I am not very knowledgeable about OCing so I'm not sure what to do with the voltage and afraid I'll break something. I'd like to push the CPU to a stable 3.8 Ghz or 4.0 Ghz if possible. Any advice would be appreciated!

* 06/21/2019 UPDATES ***

  1. Added 16GB of the same RAM.
  2. Added 2 x NF-A8 Noctua case fans at the rear for exhaust.
  3. Relocated both NF-12 Noctua fans to the front.
  4. Flashed BIOS F31 for the mobo.

F31 is the only build for me that runs the CPU stable at 3.6Ghz and 32Gb of RAM at 2666 Mhz. Other BIOS builds either wouldn't take the RAM or allow the CPU to run higher than 3.0Ghz

Stress-tested the new fan setup, through Prime95 at small FFTs and I'm seeing temps of 76C. That's a whopping 10C drop under load. Extremely satisfied.

Considering adding a Noctua NH-C14S cooler so I can be fully Noctua'ed out but I'd lose the cool Wraith looks.

UPDATE 06/26/2019

  1. Removed dust filters on the front intake which seem to be blocking a lot of air on the way in. Link to a study provided on request, specific to the Air 240 case.
  2. Noticed in Aida64 that Vcore was running at 1.27 under Prime95 small FFTs so I adjusted Vcore to be -0.07 in BIOS.
  3. Re-ran Prime95 and now I'm seeing max temps of 70C which I like a lot, at a steady 1.187 V. Maybe I could bring voltage down a tad more in the future
  4. Passmark CPU score of 15860. (97th percentile)
  5. Passmark Overall Score of 5200 (92nd percentile)

Very happy with this current setup.

Comments

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice smart build. Don't upgrade the Ram unless you NEED to.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

I was starting to wonder the same thing as it runs very smooth right now. Thank you for the suggestion!

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

Is honestly surprised by how cheap DDR4 ram is getting. But thats 2GB a core. Should be fine.

Honestly great looking build.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

most people getting the higher 3.8 - 4.0 overclocks on ryzen are using watercooling because the voltage needs to be close to 1.4 so the processor runs really hot

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for confirming. I suspected that I wouldn't have enough cooling power. It's running perfectly fine right now so I'll leave it be and enjoy it!

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

Upgrade RAM to 3200Mhz. Got the 2666Mhz one for a good deal so using it temporarily. Are 32gb doable with 3200Mhz?

2666 is the one that works for corsair rgb. I have g skill trident z rgb 3200 but I can't control the rgb LEDS they are stuck on rainbow. personally 2666-3200 not a big different at all I would stick with yours

nice build btw.

you can also unscrew the amd fan and turn the amd logo up top if you want to, I did if you wanna check out mine

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the feedback. I think I will stick to 2666 too for now. I'm gonna rotate the fan too. This is actually messing with my OCD!

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah just simply unscrew the screws for the fan it's. It was no trouble at all. And def stick with 2666 my corsair rgb 2666 are perfect

[comment deleted]
  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

For the level of work I put it through, it is EXTREMELY quiet. I am seriously very impressed. I don't do any gaming (for now), but I constantly run it with 4-5Gb of RAM used by Chrome, DisplayFusion and a triple monitor setup. You're right that the case is actually well-ventilated (and not noise-blocking) and you can easily see through the mesh vents.

The stock cooler is the noisiest part I have in there but it's still dead quiet. In the future I may upgrade it to a Noctua U9S but I would lose the cool LED factor.

Fan speeds on average while I work: Stock cooler - 1100 RPM Noctua fan 1 - 850 RPM (not using the low noise adapters) Noctua fan 2 - 850 RPM At these levels, I can barely tell it is on. I'm hovering around 5-10% CPU utilization most of the time.

When I stress-tested it, obviously fan speeds shot up.

[comment deleted]
  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Just took at look at the Fractal. It seems so much more cramped than the Air 240, especially the power supply side. I am very happy with the Air 240. It looks different, spacious, functional and aesthetically pleasing :)