Compact and Powerful PC

I figured now would be the best time, if ever, to put together a new PC. The actual use case unsure — maybe some mix of a workstation and a gaming PC.

Specs

For the most part, this is a pretty balanced build for a variety of tasks. Beyond these specs, you tend to see diminishing returns on price per performance. In addition, new CPUs and GPUs are just around the corner, so I expect some of these parts to get upgraded fairly soon.

CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600
GPU NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super FE
Memory Corsair 32 GB DDR4 3200 MHz
Storage Samsung 1 TB NVMe Drive
Motherboard MSI B450 mITX
PSU EVGA 650 GM SFX
Case Louqe Ghost S1

Louqe Ghost S1

I’ve been keeping an eye on this case for a year or so. This case is a perfect example of an SFF (small form factor) case and probably my favorite PC case on the market today. Full aluminum chasis, very low tolerances on all the panels, and an extremely simple design.

For a long time, the norm was to go with the biggest case with plenty of space to grow and numerous fans to keep all your components cool. However, with PC hardware becoming so efficient, it’s now possible to run a mid to high end system in an extremely compact case with no thermal constraints. What I’ve built in this case is really just a fraction of the performance that can actually fit in here.

The case utilizes a sandwich style layout. Sandwiching the GPU half together with the PSU And CPU half allows for maximum GPU clearance while still having decent options for CPU coolers and space to stuff all your cables. There’s very little wasted space.

Hardware has come a long way in a decade

I last put together a PC in ~2008. Coincidentally the main components from both builds are from the same companies, just over a decade apart. It’s interesting to note that in that time from 2008 to 2020, AMD CPUs went from being a decent budget option for mid to high end systems (Phenom), to a complete disaster (FX Series), then very much on top (Ryzen). Meanwhile on the graphics side, NVIDIA’s consistently been leading in performance in the high-end segment.

Old New
AMD Phenom X4 9500 AMD Ryzen 5 3600
NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super FE
Corsair 8 GB DDR2 800 MHz Corsair 32 GB DDR4 3200MHz
MSI 780G ATX MSI B450 mITX

Just to put this into perspective…

  • CPU performance: 1200 to 17773 in CPU Mark benchmark. ~15x improvement.
  • GPU performance: 510 to 9172 in Time Spy benchmark. ~18x improvement.

This new build is definitely keeping me busy for some time, and it seems like a lot of people have the same idea right now, as PC gaming numbers are soaring right now and Steam hardware reports show rises in new GPU adoption.

Benchmark credit to cpubenchmark.net and 3dmark.net

Written on April 19, 2020