Description

This is the upgraded version of my personal gaming computer. I use it nearly exclusively for gaming, with some occasional light video editing (Wifey's 4k GoPro vacation footage) at 1080p on a 144hz monitor. It was originally built in 2017 with a Ryzen 1700 and a GTX 1070. I had not planned to upgrade both the CPU and GPU at the same time, but the release of 3rd gen Ryzen coincided with a good deal on a RTX 2080 so here I am. I should have no problem playing all my games at Ultra settings with high framerates for at least a few more years.

I have been very impressed overall with my Ryzen 1700 for the last 2+ years (it was a league above the FX-8350 it replaced), but one limitation of the 1700 is that in quite a few of my games it is the limiting factor for me to achieving high framerates. After getting a 144hz monitor, I realized that 60FPS just doesn't look good to me anymore. AMD has made significant gains in IPC improvement and latency reduction since first-gen Ryzen, and I feel that now it's worth the upgrade.

After watching all the benchmark reviews I decided that the 3700X would be my new processor. Unfortunately the first one from Newegg was DOA, but they RMA'd it very quickly and even gave me NBD shipping on the replacement. It is hands down a huge improvement over the 1700. I know that on paper it only shows a 33% improvement over the first-gen part, but in the reality of everyday use and gaming it is an extremely noticeable improvement. As a bonus, I can finally run my Trident RGB memory at it's rated 3600mhz.

As far as the graphics card, the 1070 has been a very good card for over two years for me, but AAA titles are no longer playing at the high framerates that I have become accustomed to with my Asus monitor (I know, first world problems right?) so I really want a card that can keep Ultra settings 144FPS for a while without breaking the bank. I was perusing the listings on EVGA's B-stock page and found two really good deals, a 1080ti for $509 and the RTX 2080 Ultra for $549. After weighing the pros and cons of both cards I decided that the extra $40 was a no-brainer for the newest architecture (as well as DLSS and Ray-tracing capability). The best part is that EVGA gives a 1-year warranty on all B-stock items, so I got the 2080 at used-part price with new-card benefits. I also received a free Powerlink as part of a separate promotion.

The 2080 is an absolute beast when compared to the 1070, even with Ray Tracing on I still get nearly 100FPS in Shadow of the Tomb Raider @ 1080p Ultra, and FPS in BFV hovers in the 90s. In Metro: Exodus at 1080p Ultra with Raytracing also at Ultra I steadily get 90-100FPS average, it is also IMO the most beautiful game of the three with the feature enabled. I remember seeing early benchmarks where enabling RTX in games tanked the framerates but honestly a year after release the drivers have matured and I don't see a huge hit in performance with the feature enabled. Keeping in mind that I only play at 1080p 144hz, the 2080 would definitely be overpowered if I wasn't using RTX and DLSS where applicable.

All the other games I have played so far have held true to 144FPS at Ultra settings with G-Sync enabled @ 1080p.

Userbenchmark score is respectable.

A few of the pics are with the 1070 still installed, haven't taken the time to retake them but since they show off the build nicely I've included them.

All parts with $0 are carried over from various versions of this build, the only new parts are the CPU and GPU. I may upload a few benchmark screenshots later.

Thanks for reading!

Part Reviews

CPU

Fantastic CPU, much better gaming performance than first-gen Ryzen. 33% cheaper than a 9900k but delivers 95% of the gaming performance. AMD hit a home run with this one. No need to overclock, you'll get better performance out of the box.

I took off a star because the first one was DOA and AMD QC should have caught it.

Motherboard

Hands down the best AM4 board I have built with. Good features and aesthetically beautiful.

Storage

Very fast NVMe drive, never had an issue with it.

Video Card

Absolute beast of a card. Way overkill for 1080p144, right up until you turn on Ray Tracing and then it's perfect for 1080p144.

Fantastic deal from EVGA's B-stock page, I would recommend that site for anyone looking to save a few bucks but still have a warranty on their part.

Case

One of my favorite towers ever. It's larger than a mid-tower due to the cube shape, but I like having the power supply completely hidden and not just under a visible shroud. Airflow is of course fantastic, and it accommodates a large number of drives. Cable management (at least in the visible area) is a dream and the case itself is build very well with minimal chassis flex.

Power Supply

I have had this unit running my main PC for 4 years (it has lived through three iterations), and I still have 6 years left on the warranty. Insane.

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Comments

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

What an absolute unit! +1 would love more pictures

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you, I will try to take some more pics and upload them.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Can you use all the RAM slots with the U14S?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, however if I use slots 1 and 3 then I have to clip the fan about 1cm higher on the tower to clear slot 1. It's still usable but I just use slots 2 and 4 so I can position the fan lower. Alternately, you could populate all the DIMMs and just clip the fan on the rear of the NHU14S in a "pull" configuration and all would be good.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build. I like that case, but aren't you worried about dust buildup from it being on your carpet?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. I'm not worried about dust because I have a full kit of DEMC filters installed. I've had that case in the same spot for almost 5 years in a house with carpet floors, three teenagers and four cats and I've never had dust buildup inside the case. What you see in the pics is how it is. Every 90 days I pass a vacuum to the outside of the front filter, that's where all the dust builds up due to the intake fans. Best filters I've ever owned and I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

What happened with the first 3700x? Just curious, not often you hear of a DOA CPU.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

I've been building PCs for over a decade (100+ builds), and this is only the third CPU I have received dead. The first two were purchased secondhand so really this is the only New DOA I've ever had.

Not sure what happened to it, but when I installed it the motherboard would not post and all the fans just ran at full speed. There were also no motherboard LED error codes, just as if nobody was home, those are the trademark tells of a dead CPU. The 1700 went back in it and it posted normally, and after the RMA the second 3700X posted on the first boot.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

hows the mobo along with the cpu any issues?

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

My only issue is that after upgrading my CPU from the 1700 to the 3700X there is a weird bug where when I power on the system the case fans will spin at full speed for 1.5 seconds. After that they resume normal operation, and it only does it on startup. I have researched the issue and I believe it is either a delay in temperature reporting by the CPU or a chipset bug. Hopefully a future BIOS update may correct the issue but it's a minor thing to complain about and aside from this little gremlin the system works perfectly and I have had 0 issues.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

i see! thats not to bad at all. Im thinking of buying the same mobo so glad to see your build. thanks alot

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

If you read this, a good idea would be to put a plexiglass cube with a fallout bobble head in it, dunno if it fits

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I have three Funko Fallout bobbles on my desk, unfortunately due to the thickness of my 2080 there isn't clearance below and sitting on the GPU would cut off airflow. I love the idea though, thanks!