It's been a long time coming, but AMD's Zen microarchitecture finally put the red chipmaker back on the map. And now with the recent launch of the company’s refined X470 platform and second generation of Ryzen processors, there is no better time to be build a PC up from scratch.
CPU: Ryzen 7 2700x, how does it fit for a workstation PC?
The Ryzen 2000-series processors bring many significant improvements to the table. The newly-released chips boast higher frequencies, better memory compatibility, and improved power efficiency over the previous generation of processors. With so many points in their favor, it's a no-brainer why the Ryzen 7 2700X sits at the heart of this workstation.
The Ryzen 7 2700X comes equipped with 8 cores, 16 threads, and 16 MB of L3 cache to tackle processor-demanding workloads. This processor is clocked at a 3.7 GHz base clock with a turbo boost that escalates to 4.3 GHz without hiccups. The Ryzen 7 2700X also sports an unlocked multiplier for the brave that want to squeeze some extra performance out of the chip.
However, a processor is only as powerful as the motherboard that it's running on, so the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon is going to be the processor’s soulmate for this system. Although it’s marketed as a gaming-oriented motherboard, the X470 Gaming Pro Carbon possesses multiple attributes that make it a good candidate for a workstation build.
Motherboard: MSI X470 GAMING PRO CARBON
For starters, the motherboard supports up to 64 GB of DDR4 3466 MHz memory so prosumers won’t have to worry about maximizing memory performance on the X470 platform.
The X470 Gaming Pro Carbon
is rich in storage options as well. With combination of eight SATA III slots and two ultra-fast M.2 slots at your disposal, you can still have tons of storage without compromising on performance.
For your expansion needs, the motherboard includes two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots with steel armor to sustain even the heaviest graphics cards on the market. The other two PCIe 2.0 x1 and PCIe 2.0 x16 slots are perfect for installing any additional PCI add-on cards. The X470 Gaming Pro Carbon has a generous mixture of USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C ports ensuring that the you get the best performance out of your USB flash devices.
And if you prefer wireless over cables, the AC version of the X470 Gaming Pro Carbon comes with onboard Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity.
Other Components: Recommended for a Workstation PC
▼ 1.CPU Coller: Hydro Series™ H115i PRO RGB 280mm Liquid CPU Cooler
On cooling duty, the Corsair Hydro H115i Pro is responsible for keeping the Ryzen 7 2700X's temperatures under check. The all-in-one liquid cooler pumps liquid through a 280 mm radiator cooled by a pair of high-performance 140 mm Corsair ML140 PWM fans.
The Hydro H115i Pro doesn’t just tame the Ryzen 7 2700X's 105W TDP, but also provides enough thermal headroom for overclocking endeavors. As the icing on the cake, the H115i Pro's RGB-lit CPU block adds some bling to the build.
2. Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB 16GB (2 x 8GB) 3200 MHz
The workstation is outfitted with 16 GB of Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4-3200 memory to handle heavy multitasking and memory-intensive workloads. The kit operates with 16-18-18-36 timings at 1.35V, but getting it up to speed is as easy as flipping the A-XMP switch inside the X470 Gaming Pro Carbon's BIOS.
Since Corsair Vengeance RGB modules come with Mystic Light Sync support, you can synchronize their lighting with the motherboard to create awesome light shows.
▼ 3. Graphics Card: MSI Radeon RX 570 ARMOR MK2 8G OC
Although the Ryzen 7 2700X is a multi-core beast to be reckoned with, it lacks an integrated graphics processor and needs the company of a discrete graphics card. While gaming isn’t the main focus of a workstation, life isn't always about all work and no play.
The graphics card should deliver a decent 1080p gaming experience at the very least to do the workstation justice. The MSI Radeon RX 570 Armor MK2 8G OC fits this job description perfectly.
The MSI Radeon RX 570 Armor MK2 8G OC is armed with AMD’s Polaris architecture, 2048 shading units, and 8GB of GDDR5 memory. You can feel free to crank up the eye candy in games without thinking twice.
Additionally, the graphics card has two DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, two HDMI 2.0b ports, and a Dual Link DVI-D port to output video up to four monitors simultaneously to maximize the multitasking experience.
MSI's ZeroFrozr technology is also present on the MSI Radeon RX 570 Armor MK2 8G OC
whereby the fans remain off and only kick in when the graphics card's temperature surpasses 60ﾟC. As a result, you can work, watch a movie or even play games that are light on graphics in complete silence.
4. SSD: Corsair Neutron NX500 400GB
The Corsair Neutron NX500 400 GB acts as the primary high-speed storage device for the workstation.
This NVMe PCIe solid-state drive delivers sequential read speeds of up to 3000 MB/s and write speeds of 2400 MB/s and 4KB random read and write speeds up to 300,000 IOPS and 270,000 IOPS, respectively.
While the NX500 400 GB might not be the fastest shooter in the West, the solid-state drive particularly excels in demanding workloads. The drive has a robust cooler to prevent thermal throttling during heavy usage.
5. HDD: Seagate Barracuda 3TB
Although solid-state drives are crazy fast nowadays, a conventional SATA III hard drive is still preferred medium for massive storage. A mechanical drive from Seagate with 3 terabytes of capacity lies hidden at the bottom of the system for storing backups and other non-speed sensitive files.
6. Power Supply: Corsair HX Series™ HX750 Power Supply
It's always important to have a capable power supply that provides clean and reliable power to all the components in a system. This job falls on Corsair’s HX750 750-watt power supply.
The unit features a modular design, and you omit cables that you really don’t need. The HX750 is 80 Plus Platinum certified and harnesses up to 92% of the power drawn from the socket, which helps your pockets in the long run if you need to leave your work system on for insane periods of time.
Furthermore, a 750W unit is a good capacity that allows for future hardware upgrades.
▼ 7.Case: Corsair Carbide Series 275R Tempered Glass Mid-Tower Gaming Case - White
All the aforementioned hardware is housed in a Corsair Carbide 275R mid-tower case. The case flaunts a sleek white exterior with a sublime design that blends into any workspace.
The tempered glass side panel is a nice touch as it allows you to show off the internals of your workstation to family and friends.
Building inside the Carbide 275R is a wonderful experience for many reasons. The case comes with abundant space to install high-end hardware as well as numerous cable tie-down points and strategically-placed rubber grommets to make cable management a soothing task.
The Carbide 275R also has plenty of cooling options with support for radiators up to 360 mm in size and six cooling fans.
For your information, here's a breakdown of the components:
|Workstation PC Build
||AMD Ryzen™ 7 2700X
||Hydro Series™ H115i PRO RGB 280mm Liquid CPU Cooler
||MSI X470 GAMING PRO CARBON
||Corsair Vengeance RGB 16GB (2 x 8GB) 3200 MHz
||Corsair Neutron NX500 400GB
||Seagate Barracuda 3TB
||MSI Radeon RX 570 ARMOR MK2 8G OC
||HX Series™ HX750 Power Supply — 750 Watt 80 PLUS® Gold Certified Modular PSU
||Carbide Series 275R Tempered Glass Mid-Tower Gaming Case — White
Or you can check the following time-lapse video that shows the entire build process.
Results: Testing Performance with a Few Games
We couldn't resist ourselves from testing this system in a few games. The results are recorded in frames per second (FPS), where the higher is better.
We started our array of gaming tests with PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), one of the most popular Battle Royale games at the moment. While we didn’t get that coveted chicken dinner, the MSI Radeon RX 570 Armor MK2 8G OC maintained our frame rates between 40 FPS and 80 FPS for the majority of the match. Gameplay was smooth and we had no complaints.
Next, we fired up Fortnite, PUBG's biggest rival. The MSI Radeon RX 570 Armor MK2 8G OC performed admirably and constantly pumped out frames above the 60-FPS mark. There were some occasional frame drops weren’t noticeable. We enjoyed fluid gameplay throughout the entire match.
To take a brief rest from the Battle Royale genre, we took our tests over to a faster-paced environment where higher frame rates contribute to lower input lag. Overwatch is the ideal game for this purpose. With the MSI Radeon RX 570 Armor MK2 8G OC, our frame rates mainly stayed above 80 FPS, which resulted in a pleasant and smooth gaming experience.
The Crew 2
Switching gears a little, we took the MSI Radeon RX 570 Armor MK2 8G OC on a ride through the streets of The Crew 2. Unfortunately, the game is capped at 60 FPS, but the graphics card gave us a near perfect 60-FPS experience.
Hope County in Far Cry 5
To finish off our gaming tests, we completed a few side quests at Hope County in Far Cry 5. The gameplay was very fluid for the duration of the test as our frame rates hardly dipped below 50 FPS.