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ASUS ROG Crosshair VI, AMD Ryzen 1800X, STRIX RX580 Build

BEAST Evolved

A few weeks back, I wrote about upgrading my PC to something newer; and this is the story of my journey with this new computer build, spoiler: It was not as straight forward as I’d have thought and liked!

Let’s start with the build; due to case design restrictions, I had to make compromises and even mod my 8-pin CPU power cable to make it work. The biggest problem I had was installing the 280mm Corsair H110i due to the NZXT H440’s top radiator/fan mounts not being offset. I had to cut away the 8-pin CPU cable shrink wrap to expose the thinner cables to make it fit without interfering with the radiator fans.

The secondary issue was installing the USB 3.0 cable to the header, which I guess is as much as a problem with the Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard’s placement of the USB 3.0 header. The cable, like all cases’ USB 3.0 internal cables comes straight out, no L shape connector to make life easier for builders. The issue arose due to the SSD mount directly in front of the Crosshair’s USB 3.0 header.

I made it work by sacrificing cable management neatness with the cable slightly fouling the SSD caddy. You would have thought that being a premium motherboard, the ROG Crosshair VI would have had a right side 90° USB 3.0 header like the SATA connectors, which leaves me feeling cheated a little, especially when looking at B350 motherboards that are $100 cheaper having a 90° USB 3.0 header.

The third issue is that the installed rear case fan stops you from installing the H110i’s liquid tubes at the rear of the case, meaning that you have to remove the topmost 3.5-inch hard disk caddy. This, however, is not an issue as I intended to remove the 3.5-inch caddies to increase air flow from the front case fans.

Additionally, the H440’s built-in PWM fan hub does not work for the included 3-pin fans, the hub is supposed to convert PWM signals from the motherboard into voltage signals for the included 3-pin fans, however, it does not work at all. The included NZXT branded fans run at 100% consistently, if I connect a PWM fan to the 4-pin out, I can control that fan from 0 – 2000rpm, but the NZXT fans remain at 100%.

The manual states I should use the CPU or CPU_OPT headers and connect the CPU fan to the 4-pin header on the fan hub. I am not willing to do that as I like my CPU fans to be on their own header, to be notified of a failure in addition to speed control. I connected the PWM fan hub to CHA_FAN2, which provides the same signals as the CPU and CPU_OPT headers using CPU temperatures for speed control.

After the build problems, the Windows experience was also not the greatest when using AMD’s built in RAID controller for RAID 0 on my two 480GB ADATA SSD’s, which made Windows ‘pause’ for anywhere between 30 and 90 seconds before resuming as normal, which is incredibly infuriating while I work! Not to mention the extra 25 – 30 seconds that the RAID drivers add to the overall system boot time.

Just getting the RAID array recognized by the Windows installer was a real pain, I downloaded the AMD RAID drivers from the Asus Crosshair VI support page and none of those downloaded drivers worked. I ended up downloading the RAID drivers from an MSI X370 motherboard support page, which worked perfectly first time. Clearly, Asus dropped the ball on this one, guess they thought no-one would run RAID.

After a little over a week, my computer started to refuse to shut down. It would get to the point where the PC would normally turn off after shutting down Windows and nothing, nada… at least for five minutes, then it would reboot, regardless of whether I click shut down, restart or sleep. I thought it was related to the 1107 BIOS update for the motherboard, but it turned out to be unrelated, I never found the cause.

And I don’t care what the issue was as I wanted to start over with Windows on a single SSD, after living with the randomly ‘pausing’ Windows 10. I reinstalled Windows 10 after having some bizarre issues with my USB thumb drive unmounting itself half way through creating the Windows 10 USB media. And immediately, the computer booted into Windows 10 in 30 seconds including passing POST.

So, performance, it’s faster than my previous machine, which features an AMD FX8350 / 270X, which served me well for the last five years. I haven’t done any benchmarking, I have played Metro Last Light, which was pegged at 60fps as I set frame limiting in the AMD Wattman software. I have to say that for the most part, in general Windows use, the perception is that it’s no faster than the FX8350 system.

The 8 core, 16 thread CPU power comes when doing more processor intensive tasks, duh, obviously. I have noticed a significant improvement in speed while using Lightroom, specifically importing, zooming in and out, making exposure changes in the develop module and exporting. I guess I could run SETI@home and churn out 100+ units a day if I wanted to hear the H110i’s fans maxing out at 2,000rpm (very loud).

So, the bottom line, this PC (BEAST Evolved) was bought for future software releases, hopefully, the release of Ryzen will make software and game developers consider writing for more than four core CPU’s, which is the standard right now, thanks to Intel, no competition means no innovation in technology.

FINAL SPECS

NZXT H440 (Black) Case
Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero Motherboard
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU (OC’ed to 4GHZ @ 1.325v)
Corsair H110i Liquid Cooler
Corsair Dominator Platinum 3000 RAM (@2666Mhz)
Asus ROG Strix RX580 OC Edition GPU (@1360Mhz)
ADATA 480GB Premier SP550 SSD (x2)
Corsair RM750X Power Supply

4 thoughts on “ASUS ROG Crosshair VI, AMD Ryzen 1800X, STRIX RX580 Build

  • Tom Van Calster commented on June 7, 2017 at 16:37

    I got the exact same issue with the cpu cooler as you had. Might I ask if it is possible for you to take a picture of what you did to solve the issue ?

  • Tom, I’m not sure if this will really help, it’s the best I can do without pulling the radiator out of the case. In the simplest terms, I cut away the thick shrink wrap around the 8-pin cable to expose the thinner individual cables you see in the photo.

    8 Pin Mod For Corsair H110i in H440.

  • Tom Van Calster commented on June 8, 2017 at 01:26

    Thx for that. Its indeed the issue I am having. Gonna try the same.

  • No problem, I’m always happy to help out a fellow tech enthusiast. Just a word of warning, the internal cables are easy to damage. I used a small pair of scissors and snipped away at the heatshrink wrap a little at a time until it came free.

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