There truly has never been a better time to build a brand-new PC for gaming enthusiasts and professionals alike. AMD has not only announced a brand-new series of Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs – that absolutely crush their competition, both in single-core dependent gaming performance. as well as for multicore reliant workstation loads – but they have now also announced a new series of Radeon RX 6000 Series GPUs that synergize perfectly with their processors. This synergy manifests in an innovative feature called Smart Access Memory, which allows for both CPU and GPU to share a memory, resulting in a sizeable boost in performance; which was proven by AMD via the use of gaming benchmarks.
Of course, it is not only gaming builds that benefit from this synergy, as these new Ryzen 5000 Series CPU combine their last generation’s multicore performance, together with the all new CCX architecture that allows for peak single core performance as well. This means that no matter the type of application, be it single core dependent loads (like gaming or CAD), and multi-core dependent applications (like video editing or compiling), AMD provides the best possible performance available.
Now that DDR4 RAM has also reached its peak, and next-generation gaming consoles have just released – which use AMD CPUs and GPUs, meaning that game developers will most likely build games based on AMD’s Zen 3 and RDNA2 architecture – are factors that create a timely sweet spot for PC building.
For this occasion, we have created the most optimal workstation/gaming hybrid build, that makes use of AMD’s CPU flagship, the Ryzen 9 5900X, in unison with their GPU flagship, the Radeon RX 6900 XT. This setup will be minimalistic, aesthetically, but still pleasant in its simplicity; focusing rather on optimal performance for its price. The overall cost for this rig is $2,999.88.
The Zen 3 Ryzen 9 5900X is built on a 7 nm, TSMC FinFET processing node, with 12 cores, 24 threads, and a massive L3 cache of 64 MBs. The AM4 chipset, that it is compatible with, allows for PCIe 4.0 compatibility, as well as a system memory of 3,200 MHz of DDR4 RAM. It has base and boost clock speeds of 3.7 GHz and 4.8 GHz respectively, and a TDP of only 105 W. This CPU will release on November the 5th of this year (2020), with an MSRP of $549 – not including a stock cooler.
The flagship graphics card of the Radeon RX 6000 Series is the Radeon RX 6900 XT, which includes a Navi 21 XTX GPU, built on a TSMC FinFET 7 nm processing node. This GPU has a 536 mm2 die and 26.8 billion transistors. The Radeon RX 6900 XT has 16 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, as well as 128 MB of AMD’s new Infinity Cache; based on the L3 cache of the Zen 3 CPUs. In terms of clock speeds, it has a base operating frequency of 1,429 MHz, and a boost clock speed of 2,250 MHz. But where this GPU shines is its rendering power. It has 5,120 Stream Processors, 320 TMUs, 128 ROPs, 80 CUs and 80 RT cores. These specifications allow it to have a theoretical performance power of 46.08 TFLOPs (FP16), 23.04 TFLOPs (FP32), and 1.440 TFLOPs (FP64). Finally, the RX 6900 XT has a 300 W TDP and will cost $999; launching on December the 8th, 2020.
For a setup featuring the powerful AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, a high-end motherboard is essential for supplying sufficient power while maintaining low thermals. For a hybrid PC setup, the MSI Meg X570 Unify combines powerful VRM and thermal solutions, together with plenty of connectivity, and a respectable audio codec.
The MSI Meg X570 Unify has a 14 phase (8 true) VRM, in a [6+6] + 2 layout, making use of Infineon IR3555 60-amp power stages. These MOSFETs are all heatsinked, and the heatsinks themselves are interconnected with a heatpipe for better heat dispersion. In terms of memory, this motherboard has four slots holding up to 128 GB of DDR4 RAM, with max supported speeds of 4,600 MHz. It has three PCIe 4.0 x16 lanes, and it can hold up to three M.2 form factor SSDs (all heatsinked with covers), as well as four SATA III 6 GB/s ports. Wi-Fi 6 AX200 compatibility is also included, for up to 2,400 MB/s internet speeds. The Meg Unify has a Realtek ALC1220 Codec, together with an ESS (DAC) converter. The back I/O interface contains eight USB 3.2 /3.0 slots as well.
The MSI Meg X570 Unify costs $299.99, which is a small price to pay for the ability to stably overclock the Ryzen 9 5900X to its full potential.
To keep the Ryzen 9 5900X chilled through the high levels of overclocking that the MSI Meg X570 Unify allows, we need an equally high-performance CPU cooler. For this task, nothing beats Noctua’s flagship Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black.
What drives the NH-D15’s top-level performance, are the two NF-A15 140 mm fans, that output upwards of 68 CFM of airflow, as well as a static pressure of 1.51 mmH2O each. Spinning only at a maximum of only 1,200 rotations per minute (RPM), these fans make use of SSO2 magnetic bearings – the best bearings that money can buy for any type of PC fans – producing minimal noise emissions. Also, due to the minimal friction of the bearings, the NH-D15 has a huge lifespan, rated to last 150,000 hours and backed by a 6-year warranty. The heatsink of the NH-D15 is all aluminum, and it has six direct contact and nickel-plated heat pipes. Finally, the NH-D15 comes with Noctua’s premium NT-H1 thermal paste pre-applied.
The NH-D15 Chromax Black currently sells for $99.95, which is an excellent price for the optimal cooling performance it provides.
Read Also: Aftermarket CPU cooler for AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
Adding a bit of gaming style to the build, together with some unique PSU functionality, we have the 80 PLUS Platinum certified ASUS ROG Thor 850. The Platinum certification of this 850 W power supply guarantees an efficiency level upwards of 90%, which not only translates to economic benefit, but also to less heat inside the case. The ASUS ROG Thor 850 has a +12V rail that outputs up to 71 amps (or 852 Watts) so you also don’t have to worry that there will ever be a shortage of power transferred to the CPU or GPU.
The unique exterior functionality of this PSU comes in the form of an OLED power display, which displays, in real time, how much power is being supplied to your hardware components.
The ASUS ROG Thor includes a 135 mm fan, with a Wing-Blade design and double-ball bearings that work together with an integrated internal heatsink (that can drop temperatures by up to 20%) to cool the internal components comprised of high-quality, all-Japanese, capacitors.
Finally, it is important to mention that this PSU is fully modular, so all the sleeved cables can be detached and reattached when needed without creating unnecessary clutter in the case.
The ASUS ROG Thor 850 is currently on sale, priced at only $195.99. An amazing price for its wattage, as well as its Platinum rated efficiency levels.
The DDR4 memory type is just about ready to wrap up its lifespan, which is great news for PC builders, as it not provides its full performance potential at a fraction of the cost of its original price. The most optimal speed for DDR4 RAM has proven to be 3,200 MHz with a CAS latency of 14 cycles. Due to this, we recommend 32 GBs of TeamGroup’s, 3,200 MHz C14 T-Force Dark Pro memory.
This RAM kit is devoid of RGB fluff, and instead allocates its expense to pure performance. It has incredible CL timings of 14-14-14-31, all original, high-quality, IC chips, and a Samsung B-die, which is optimized for AMD’s Ryzen processors. The T-Force Dark Pro also has an excellent cooling solution: using a five piece heatsink that has a unique trench design and an all-aluminum heat spreader. It is this cooling solution which allows for stable, and frequent, overclocking, without the fear of overheating or damaging the memory kits. Also included, is XMP 2.0 compatibility, for one click overclocking. Finally, to enhance performance, this RAM makes use of JEDEC RC 2.0 technology: A custom circuit board that separates power and signal layers, keeping them as far apart as possible in order to minimize interference.
The TeamGroup T-Force Dark Pro currently sells for $129.99 for two sticks of 8 GB RAM; and we recommend purchasing two of these sets, for an overall storage of 32 GBs of dual channel RAM. This will cost $259.98, and this price includes a lifetime warranty.
The case to be used for this build needs to be something simple, yet elegant. Something that catches the eye, without the need for an overflow of flashy lighting displays within. The Fractal Design Vector Rs Blackout is perfect for the task.
The Vector Rs Blackout has a clean interior and a minimalist exterior that makes use of an ARGB accent running across the front and the top of the case. It also has three tinted, bolt-free tempered glass, panels on the left, right, and top of the case, with sharp angles that refine its exterior design, but also give it optimal airflow pathways. It has counter-angled air intakes, which allow for unrestricted airflow and also trap unwanted noise. Given the fact, that the components of this build have been specifically chosen to operate as near-silent as possible, adding them to this case will mean that the setup will operate inaudibly. The top glass panel can also be converted to a filtered ventilation that includes a cooling bracket and vent cover, if need be.
The Vector Rs Blackout includes three pre-installed 140 mm case-fans (namely, the Fractal Design Dynamic x2 GP-14), and the case can accommodate up to nine case fans, if additional cooling is needed later down the line. In regards to storage connectivity, the Vector Rs Blackout allows for a total of six 3.5” HDD/SDDs, as well as two additional 2.5” SDD storage units. The top I/O ports are comprised of two USB 3.0, one USB 3.2 Type-C slots, and two audio jacks. Finally, a R1 controller is also included, which can be used to set colors and effects for its RGB display.
Though somewhat expensive for a PC case, the $195.72 price tag of Fractal Design’s Vector Rs Blackout is a necessary expenditure; not only to provide the means for optimal cooling, but also to tie together the aesthetics of the interior components in the best manner possible.
Taking full advantage of the PCIe 4.0 compatibility of the Ryzen 9 5900X, as well as the plethora of PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots of the MSI Meg X570 Unify, we have included a 2 TB Sabrent Rocket 4 M.2 NVMe SSD.
This storage unit features amazingly fast speeds: reaching up to 5,000 MB/s and 4,400 MB/s of peak sequential read and write speeds respectively, as well as random 4K read and write speeds of 750,000 IOPS each. It does so by making use of a Toshiba BiCS4 96L NAND, operated by a Phison PS5016-E16 controller. Because the Sabrent Rocket 4 comes in a 2 TB version, we can still have two open M.2 slots on the motherboard that can be used if storage demand increases. Also, it is important to note that this SSD has an amazing level of endurance. The 2 TB variant has a Terabytes Written (TBW) value of 3,600 TB, as well as an MTBF of 1.7 million hours – all backed by Sabrent’s 5-year warranty.
Given that the Sabrent Rocket 4 also has Advanced Wear Leveling, Bad Block Management, Error Correction Code, Over-Provision, as well as Sabrent’s free Acronis True Image software, two terabytes of this M.2 NVMe SSD are well worth its $399.97 price tag.
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 9 5900X|
|GPU||AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT|
|Motherboard||MSI Meg X570 Unify|
|CPU Cooler||NH-D15 Chromax Black|
|PSU||ASUS ROG Thor 850|
|RAM||TEAMGROUP T-Force Dark Pro|
|Case||Fractal Design Vector Rs Blackout|
|Storage||Sabrent Rocket 4|