Our FIRST Ryzen 3900X / RX 5700 XT Gaming PC Build!
Hey everyone! Eber here with Hardware Canucks and today we are putting together one of our fastest AMD gaming/workstation PC’s ever. This build revolves entirely around AMD’s X570 platform, with their brand new six-core/twelve-thread Ryzen 9 processor and also taking advantage of their flagship Radeon RX 5700XT series GPU. So this build is going to be epic… until AMD drivers crash on me. Now I do want to take this time to explain why we haven’t posted our Ryzen 3000 series review, and that’s simply because we’ve been noticing some odd boosting behaviors with the motherboards that were sent to us. There were other people reporting identical issues as well, so we weren’t 100% confident in publishing our review until we were certain that these new CPUs perform as per AMD’s spec. So for now we decided to instead publish a build video featuring one of their new processors to give you an idea of what you can expect in terms of performance. If and when anything changes, we will definitely make sure to give you guys an update on that, so definitely expect a lot more Ryzen content coming in the next few weeks.
Now coming back to the build, I do want to make this visually appealing without adding too much RGB into the mix, but rather I’m going to highlight the color of the individual components inside the system. So I believe all the components that are sitting in front of me fit that criteria. So let’s get started.
The CPU & Motherboard
At the heart of the system lies the Ryzen 3900X, which is AMD’s first 12-core/24-thread processor for the AM4 platform. The boost clocks go as far as 4.6GHz according to AMD and it has a whopping 64MB of L3 cache… Intel has certainly left the chat.
Our motherboard of choice is the ASRock X570 Taichi and this thing is packed with unique touches like a metal backplate and full body frontal thermal armor that also acts as a heatsink for the three PCIe Gen4 slots. So this should definitely help improve heat dissipation for the PCIe Gen4 SSD that will be popping into one of these slots. More on that in just a bit.
The rear I/O is loaded with USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, a couple of USB3.2 Gen2 10G ports, one USB Type-C port, and more. Plus this board does support WiFi6 which is awesome. Also, I love the aesthetics of this board and it’s not shy of overclocking too. ASRock has implemented their best power phase design on this model, and it’s refreshing to see motherboard manufacturers not skimp on enthusiast level features for the AM4 platform.
Cooling / RAM / SSD
Cooling the Ryzen 3900X is the Enermax LiqTech 360mm AIO a cooler. It is white in color so it definitely fits the theme that we’re going for in the first place. As for RAM, I chose two of Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4-3200 32GB kits, so we’re populating all four DIMMs for a total of 64GB. As for the storage AORUS hooked us up with a 2TB Gen4 NVME drive, and what’s special about this particular drive is that it supports the latest PCIe Gen4 protocol and as a result the read and write speeds are off the charts. We are talking an astounding 5GB/s read and over 4GB/s write.
Now because its runs so fast and is a first-generation product, this SSD can get very hot. However, it looks like AUROS has figured that out because they’ve actually included a thick copper heatsink that goes on top of the drive. I have to admit that this thing is as heavy as my smartphone, which is just absolutely insane. This heatsink is a tank guys, you really have to hold it and kind of feel it in your hands. However, unfortunately, in our case I won’t be able to take advantage of this particular heatsink because the thermal armor on the ASRock motherboard already has cooling for all of those M.2 slots. Therefore, we’re just gonna have to wait and see how efficiently it can cool that Gen4 SSD.
Graphics Card / Power Supply / Case
Moving on to the graphics card, we obviously chose the brand new RX 5700 XT. I’m pretty sure a lot of you guys know about what this GPU is capable of, but if you’re interested in a full performance review you can check out our performance review here, we compare it with the RTX Super cards and what NVIDIA has to offer.
Powering our entire build is the Be Quiet! Straight Power 10 700W 80PLus Gold modular power supply. This thing is plenty enough to power the 3900Xx and the RX 5700 XT. We’re also pairing this PSU with Cablemods modflex black and white cable kit. It should suit our color scheme pretty well.
Our case of choice is the Fractal Design Meshify S2, obviously we went with the white and black variant with the tempered glass panel, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. This case doesn’t skimp on things like air flow and it can comfortably accommodate our 360mm air cooler, which is awesome. So with all of that out of the way, let’s put this thing together.
The Complete Build
So the build is finally complete, and I have to be honest it’s one of the coolest looking PC’s that I’ve built in a while, simply because the color of individual components blends in really well with each other. The 360mm radiator AIO matches perfectly with the case, so does the memory modules. I think the only issue that I had was with the LED lighting of individual components. The ASRock motherboard actually outputs a white that isn’t white, there is actually a little bit of a purple hue on top of that, so I had to play around with the RGB channels to match the memory modules. That actually took me some time and it was a challenging process, so if there is a motherboard vendor thinking about an all-white motherboard, I am so down for it.
The Red Radeon logo on the RX 5700 XT does add a nice accent color to this entire build. I wanted to throw in something that screamed or at least that added a Team Red touch and it did the job just fine. Let me know what you guys think about the vertical GPU positioning of that graphics card. Do you prefer that way or should I switch back to the standard horizontal mount?
All right, so now it’s time to evaluate the performance on the 3900X and the RX 5700 XT. Now do keep in mind that I ran all these tests at stock settings, although I did enable Precision Boost Overdrive through AMD Ryzen Master software. I will touch on the overclocking experience with this processor in just a bit, but let’s start off with some synthetic tests. Starting with Cinebench R15, the multi-core score was over 3000 points, which blows the Ryzen 5 2600X and even an overclocked i7-8700K out of the water.
Moving on to Blender, when running the BMW benchmark, the 3900 x took less than three minutes to complete that task. This is hugely impressive when compared to the Core i7-8700K running at 5Ghz – which took well over four minutes – and the 2600X that took over six months to complete the same test. So this 12-core/24-thread CPU is an absolute monster when it comes to multi-core performance.
Moving on to our Adobe Premiere protests, well… this is an interesting story. This is an all AMD-based system and it is running AMD drivers. So as I was playing back a 12 minutes 4K project that is our standard benchmark for Adobe Premiere Pro the Program Monitor was completely glitching out on me and as you can see in the image above. It is not pleasing to the eye and it’s certainly isn’t useful in any way for content creation. So there’s definitely a driver optimization issue with Adobe Premier and AMD, and this is a big red flag, especially if you’re considering picking up the RX 5700 and thinking about doing both gaming and doing a bit of content creation in Adobe Premiere Pro.
The funny part is that the program actually managed to render the entire project without a problem using the Adobe Media Encoder. As you can see from the results, the i7-8700K still faster thanks to Intel QuickSync, but that being said the 3900X is not too far behind. It’s still manages to complete our render in a little over 12 minutes. To give you a little bit of context, if I were to compare this twelve-core CPU to a six-core/twelve-thread 2600X the difference is pretty significant and it’s obviously due to the thread count. I do want to mention that if you’re planning on building a system specifically for Adobe Creative applications, I would highly recommend choosing an Intel platform because QuickSync can come in super handy for those suites. But if you’re planning on building a system for say DaVinci Resolve 16 or other applications that can take advantage of multi-core then Ryzen is the way to go.
Moving on to gaming performance and I noticed a major issue. You see for some reason my 3DMark FireStrike scores were super low, so I decided to monitor my GPU clock speeds and I noticed that it wouldn’t go over to 270Mhz. Basically, it wouldn’t switch from 2D mode to 3D mode when it was doing something graphically intensive. Now we assumed that the graphics card and the motherboard would switch automatically to Gen3 mode given that we’re using a Gen3 riser card, but that wasn’t the case because there was apparently a signal interruption issue. So if you plan on building a system with an X570 motherboard and a RX 5700 XT don’t try to vertically mounted just yet or you are definitely going to run into this issue. Now if you’re using the RX 5700 XT on an X470 platform or something that doesn’t use the PCIe Gen4 interface you should be okay. Luckily, the ASRock X570 Taichi had the option within the BIOS to change the PCIe x16 slot to Gen3, and everything turned out to be just fine.
With all of that sorted, I was finally able to run some gaming benchmarks and as you can see, this system is an absolute beast. Most AAA titles like Battlefield 1, Overwatch and Apex Legends will comfortably hit over a hundred frames per second at the highest presets. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry 5, and Warhammer II were slightly demanding on the RX 5700 XT, but it was completely playable at the very highest settings.
I do want to quickly touch base with the Gen4 SSD from AORUS, and as you can see it just flies. I mean we’re talking five gigabytes per second read speeds and over four gigabytes per second write. It’s crazy fast. If you are someone who can take advantage of all of this bandwidth, then this Gen4 SSD is for you. I also wanted to monitor the temperatures of this drive with my thermal camera, and it looks like the thermal armor on the ASRock motherboard does its job pretty well. It seems to cool and efficiently dissipate the heat coming off of that drive.
Overclocking & Temperatures
And finally I want to wrap things up with my overclocking experience on the 3900X. I was able to get this 12-core/24-thread CPU to 4.25Ghz at 1.375V. I did make sure to run Prime 95, AIDA64 stress test, even ran some synthetic benchmarks to make sure it’s stable. As you can see by these multi-core tests, there isn’t a substantial improvement over stock settings. The single core performance does take a hit and that’s because the core frequencies are constant at 4.25Ghz so they don’t boost. Because if I switch back to stock settings, the core frequency is actually fluctuate between 4.1GHz and 4.4Ghz. They never hit 4.6Ghz, which is what AMD claims that the CPU can boost to, but I never saw it hit that frequency. That is certainly something that we want to investigate in the future, so definitely stay tuned for that. Honestly, if you want my opinion, I would just leave the CPU ad stock settings since it performs like a champ. And if you’ve paired it up with some faster memory you’re set, plus you wouldn’t have to worry about temperatures or anything like that. So that’s my take on overclocking for now.
Speaking of temperatures, they were under control under load during both stock and overclock settings. I didn’t see them rise over 80°C, so that’s nice.
So that’s the build, let me know what you guys think about it. Are there any specific components or alternative components that would have been a better fit in this PC? Are there any other tests that you’d like us to run on this particular system? And most importantly, stay tuned for more content on Ryzen 3000.
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