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Top Setup PC build

Top Setup Magazine
November 1st, 2019 · 3 min read

It’s time for a PC build!

We need a new system and it’s the perfect time. All major players (AMD, Intel and Nvidia) showed everything they’ve got for 2019. It’s been a very competitive year which is great for us consumers who seek good value products. With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s a good time to pick parts and wait for great deals, let’s go over our picks.

1- Form factor

We’re going with Mini-ITX, we’ve been fans of SFF (Small Form Factor) PCs for a while. Nowadays an SFF serves similar purposes to any mid or large tower PC, they can house powerful hardware with reasonable cooling ability, plus they won’t take much space and you get the portablity. SFF are a great replacement for a laptop if you don’t plan to move a lot, you can hook it to any TV in a hotel or AirBnB, and you got a powerful gaming or productivity machine that’s hard to match by any laptop.

2- CPU: AMD vs Intel

Here comes the difficult question, and the answer for us wasn’t that hard. We do more productivity than gaming so the new 3rd gen Ryzen 3700X is our choice. It’s 8-core, 16-thread CPU with 36MB cache and up to 4.4GHz which is amazing for the price. We don’t want to go with the 3900X for the higher cost and mostly the extra cooling it needs to run efficiently. The 3700X runs very well with the default AMD cooler but we will pick a Noctua U9S to give it more headroom.

3- GPU: AMD vs Nvidia

Another major battle, this time in graphic cards land. We don’t want to go overboard so we’re limiting the fight in high-mid range, the candidates are the 2070 Super and 5700XT. In gaming those 2 are very close, and considering the price AMD has the better deal. But we have other needs including machine learning and encoding where Nvidia can be beneficial and has more support, but for pure gaming the 5700XT is a fantastic deal.

4- The rest

We have a CPU and a GPU, then we picked the rest to let those 2 spread their winds.

For the motherboard, we’re going with Gigabyte X570-I Aorus Pro Wi-F, there very few options for Mini-ITX X570 boards, we strongly advise to wait for B550 to have more budget friendly options. At the moment ASRock is lacking a 2nd NVMe slot but has Thunderbolt 3 which is amazing, ASUS is very good but a bit expensive at the moment. These are all highend boards and you can’t go wrong with any if you want to host 3700X or 3900X or the upcoming 3950X.

We’re going with best value SFF case which is the Cougar QBX, sitting at 19L just below the 20L limit to call it an SFF but still very compact compared to any mid-tower, very similar to Ncase M1 for third the price. This case can accommodate an ATX power supply but we’re sticking to the SFF theme and we went with Corsair SF 750W 80+ Platinum Fully Modular. 750W and SFX are overkill, but a good PSU lasts for years, so we can upgrade to a better SFF case, or more powerful hardware without replacing the PSU.

Corsair makes some of the best RAM, for our needs 32G is ideal and since Ryzen loves fast memory we’re going with 3200MHz. For storage our choice is XPG SX8200 Pro PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 SSD 1Tb, that’s a very powerful storage option. True we’re wasting the PCIe Gen4 feature for going with a Gen3, but 3500Mb/s is insanely fast to cover all our needs.

5- Time to build

Those are all the parts, this is a very powerful machine that will serve us for a long while hopefully. In this age of consumable hardware, our philosophy is to buy good quality parts and not upgrade for 4 to 5 years. Low-end parts results in quickly deprecated systems which causes lots of waste so we don’t like that.

Time to build!



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