For when gaming and work are equal priorities.
The system is housed in a Cooler Master MasterBox5 chassis which has plenty of room inside for everything, even a 240mm radiator up front if desired. Two thirds of the front grill lifts off easily for cleaning as it acts as a filter for the included 120mm fan. The front IO panel has everything you’d expect including dual USB 3.0 ports. Up top it has a large vent suitable for up to a 140mm fan. Underneath there’s the removable dust filter for the PSU, and around the back the 120mm exhaust fan accompanies 2x USB 2.0 ports, 4x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 3.1 gen2 ports, a PS/2 port, DVI-D, VGA, HDMI (for future Ryzen APU support) and three audio jacks all on the motherboard. With the graphics card providing a further 2x Display Ports, 2x HDMI ports and another DVI-D port.
Looking inside the see-through side panel while it’s on you won’t see any RGB LEDs here, however the fans attached to the heatsink do have red LEDs at each corner providing some illumination. The 2TB hard drive sits in a cage at the lower front of the case, an optical drive up top and a modular 650W PSU in the lower rear. All the cabling is well-routed behind the motherboard tray with no excess cabling visible – very well put together.
The speedy Intel 600P series 256GB NVME SSD drive is slotted in between the HSF and the stock clocked GTX 1070.
Looking closer, the HSF is in a push-pull configuration with the exhaust aimed straight up out the top 170mm vent. With the 120mm fan exhausting out the rear you could almost argue there’s three fans cooling this CPU.
Speaking of which, this Ryzen 7 1700X’s base clock is normally 3.4GHz with a boost clock of 3.8GHz. This system came pre-overclocked at 3.75GHz @ 1.35v, slower than the CPU’s own boost speed. This got us wondering, what if we ran a test with the CPU at stock clocks, where boost and even XFR can kick in by themselves, and compare it to TI Computers’ OC at a fixed 3.75GHz. When running PCMark8’s Home Conventional test with AMD defaults we saw core frequencies spike to 3.9GHz (thanks XFR!) so we’re confident that the default clocks would win out. Scoring 4201 we then retested with TI Computers overclock. Despite the lower max speed the pre-made overclock won out scoring 4367. Obviously the CPU is downclocking more often than it is boosting, so the shop OC – despite initial appearances – is better than stock.
Attempting to tune the overclock further ourselves, we managed to only raise it a little higher stably to 3.95GHz @ 1.4125v. For fun, we even disabled six of the eight cores and managed to go all the way to 4.25GHz with a silly 1.55v. With the CPU reporting near 110°C at just 3.95GHz (which is likely 90°C — see this issue’s Chip News section) with all cores enabled and anything higher causing an immediate crash we suspect the HSF cooler is inadequate for what this chip is actually capable of. For those who like to tinker, an all-in-one liquid cooler would’ve been preferred.
Benchmark results for 3DMark were quite good. Time Spy (DX12) gave us 6219 and Cloud Gate (DX11) reported 38894. When we tried them again with the CPU at our custom 3.95GHz speed and with the GPU at maximum overclock (which allowed it to go above 2GHz core speeds) Time Spy gave us 6413, Cloud Gate 40394 and PCMark8 4391, just a 4% increase. It appears TI Computers has wrung just about all it sensibly can from this system which is good to see.
Putting this into perspective, the 7700K system we reviewed last month (which is basically the same in every way expect CPU) came pre-overclocked at a massive 4.8GHz, giving Time Spy, Cloud Gate and PCMark8 scores of 6169, 37068 and 4825 respectively. With PCMark8 favouring single threaded performance this Ryzen system falls behind, but in the 3DMark tests – where a bit of multi-threading is included – Ryzen pulls ahead. And we didn’t even get around to testing things that would properly stress an eight core CPU.
And that’s the rub. This system doesn’t and never will have the fastest CPU for single or lightly threaded programs and games, but as soon as you want to throw some multi-threaded tasks like Twitch streaming, video editing or file compression at it, this system suddenly becomes a no brainer. Your workload simply needs to be able to make good use of it. A great PC for people who both work and game on the same system.
TI AMD Gaming Workstation
“This system doesn’t and will never have the fastest CPU for single or lightly threaded programs and games, but as soon as you want to throw some multi-threaded tasks like Twitch streaming, video editing or file compression at it, this system suddenly becomes a no brainer.”
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X @3.75GHz • Asus Geforce GTX 1070 • Asus Prime B350-Plus • Cooler Master Hyper 212 Turbo cooler • 16GB 2400MHz DDR4 Kingston HyperX RAM • 256GB Intel 600P SSD • 2TB Seagate HDD • Cooler Master MasterBox5 case • Fractal Design Integra M 650W PSU • 22x Asus DVDRW burner