Lian Li, AMD Radeon 6800 XT GPU, and AMD Ryzen 9 5950x Custom BuildMarch 29, 2022
We recently built a custom system featuring an AMD RYZEN 9 5950x processor, and for once paired with an AMD Radeon 6800 XT GPU! It seems like we never get to play with the AMD cards. Of course, we are also going to squeeze some ASUS, Crucial, Samsung, and Kingston bits into our Lian Li case for good measure.
Our gaming station includes a few items that will be familiar if you have seen the previous videos. Like that AMD Ryzen 9 5950X processor. The ASUS X570-Plus desktop board is new since the previous videos showed the PRO version not the PLUS version. New hardware would be that Lian Li case and a few other Lian Li accessories, a Kraken CPU cooler, and AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Black GPU.
Lian Li Case
This case supports three basic PCIe configurations with support for ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX and even E-ATX motherboard form factors. Each of these case configurations and motherboards offer a different number of PCIe slot options. In turn, the mounting panels in back can easily be repositioned to get the most fans and coolers shoehorned into this baby! Specifically, we have the O11 Dynamic Mini ATX Mid-Tower Case by Lian Li.
If you are in the know, the O11 Dynamic Mini was designed in collaboration with German designer Der Bauer and his name is right below the logo on the box. Surprisingly there are no logos on the outside of the case, just on the inside storage bracket behind the rear panel, and we like it that way! He is, and we’re lifting this right off the Lian Li site, a world-renowned German overclocking, water cooling, and gaming Evangelist!
The O11 Dynamic Mini is a thick, yet compact little case that we think is really going to highlight the hardware nicely. Sliding interlocking slot and pin fasteners for the front, side and top panels, create some very tight tolerances on the corners of the case. Removable mesh filters in the top and bottom filter the air that gets pulled in. The build quality on this case is excellent but air flow may be impacted by the lack of any vents around, or through, the front panel. That said, heat shouldn’t be a factor because we’re using a water cooler on the CPU and maxing out our fan allocation.
Additional brackets come with the case kit providing mounting and display options for the coolers, the hard drives, the back panels, and the GPU to bump it up a little or for a different location. There is a flat pump stand, an elevated pump stand, and even a floating pump stand just to give you an idea. This case has options for vertical GPU kits that will replace one of the panels on the back of the system. We went with a standard horizontal mount. The PCIe slot on the ASUS board is reinforced to support the added weight and it does look good.
The size of the radiator is dependent to a certain extent on location within the chassis, with bracket options for the top, side, or bottom. That’s why the internal panels and PCIe slot brackets on the back panel can be removed and repositioned. Whether you’re using an ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX or E-ATX motherboard, it’s easy to create more room for your unique configuration. The radiator can be up to 360mm. Ours is 280mm and will be mounted vertically on the side panel towards the front but behind two other fans.
Lian Li RGB Fans
The case did not come with any fans so we have included 7x independent fans also from Lian Li. The UNIfan 120 and UNIfan 140.
These are nice! Modular, stacking, and connect to each other like Lego blocks with interlocking plastic tabs. The kit also comes with a variety of cables for different connection options. Featuring integrated LED lighting strips down the sides, these fans look designed, rather than an industrial, “Hey we added a few colored lights to these crappy fans and painted them.”
Our last two gaming stations had the ASUS X-570 PRO mother board and you can see the that video here. This one has an ASUS TUF Gaming X-570 PLUS motherboard for the AMD Ryzen 9 5950x processor. It’s also part of the TUF Gaming Alliance, thankfully, for compatibility issues with all the different manufacturers. The board is very similar to the PRO version with a few differences.
In a nutshell, the processor and motherboard you install will determine certain ports that are active on the top panel, the number of PCIe slots available and some other details. Support for AMD processors from the 5000-series we’re installing on our system, down to the AMD Ryzen 2000-series desktop processors, military grade TUF components, Active chipset heatsinks, VRM heatsink, and M.2 heatsink. The PRO board does have an Intel 2.5Gb LAN port while the PLUS version uses a RealTek LAN, which if you don’t plan on using high-bandwidth then no problems. Of course, you could also install a discrete NIC in one of those PCIe slots for even better broadband performance.
The other x16 slot is powered by the motherboard chipset and can also be used for another GPU. If, you wanted to add another GPU, both Nvidia SLI and AMD Crossfire are supported but not at the same time. Nobody really does that anymore though. The PRO board also features Realtek 7.1 Surround Sound High-definition Audio, while on the PLUS board you have the RealTek S1200A.
Again, we have the AMD Ryzen 9 5950x with 16 physical cores and 32 virtual threads providing compute. This CPU was installed in the last two or 3 builds we shared. We will say that this processor is a great chip for developers and creators—gaming too. As AMD says, and it’s true, “16 cores. 0 compromises. One processor that can game as well as it creates.” If you want to use this for work and play, have at it! How does it compare to the Intel Core i9-10900K processor? AMD’s RYZEN 9 5950x runs on less power, has 20% more cores and is about the same price.
And now it’s probably time we released the Kraken! We’re not talking about that lawsuit or the giant sea creature from Clash of the Titans but we are talking about the Kraken Z63 liquid cooler from NZXT for that CPU!
It has a 280mm radiator with 2x 140mm fans, plus a little LCD panel on the actual CPU contact. With the RGB connector attached to the system board that LCD panel can be configured to display 24-bit color, show the temperature of your CPU or GPU or you can customize it with a GIF on that little 320 x 320 pixel LCD display panel.
We also got two of the Strimer Plus RGB equipped extension cables.
The Addressable RGB Strimer Plus 24-Pin that that has 120 LEDs and connects directly onto the motherboard through a 24-pin connector. That one is strictly for lighting effects. The other is the Lian Li Addressable RGB STRIMER PLUS 8-Pin strip which has an 8-pin connector providing power to the GPU and features 108 LED lights. The other end of the Plus 8-Pin connects to the non-bling power cable coming off the PSU. A short ARGB 3-pin cable adapter connects the Strimer to one of the headers on the motherboard allowing for control of the LED lighting effects via the Armory Crate software that came with the ASUS board. The 24-pin and 8-pin Strimer plus each come with a controller that can also be connected to the motherboard using the ARGB cable. We have the non-plus version 8-pin GPU. The difference between them is the number LEDs with the Strimer 8-Pin at 108 LEDs and the Strimer Triple 8-Pin at 162 LEDs, plus a control panel. The other standard 8-pin Strimer only comes with a cable to connect to the ARGB header. In total, the Stimer strips have 84 lighting effects, all controlled by a simple control panel or the motherboard software. The lighting effects can also be accessed through the ASUS Aura Sync software utility.
The LCD panel on the Kaken CPU cooler is also an interesting feature. We had some fun with it switching back and forth through some GIFs we grabbed right off Google, keyword search “Kraken.” Really easy to change them up though the NZXT CAM software that you can download. The image can also be rotated by the software. On the other hand, all the fans, and those Strimer RGB strips plug into headers on the system board and are controlled by Armory Crate, which is provided for use with the ASUS 570x-PLUS motherboard. Armory Crate offers centralized account management plus control of the Lighting effects through Aura Sync, which is part of the Armory Crate utility. It also offers an easy-to-use UEFI BIOS for more granular control over critical settings with an EZ Mode for beginners and an Advanced Mode when you feel more confident.
For this build we’re not even using any of the 4x drive bays supported. 2x 2.5-inch drives can be installed in the storage bracket with the Lian Li logo, and another back drive cage that supports 2x 3.5-inch drives. Instead, we are going with dual PCIe 4.0 M.2 sticks in a non-RAID format. Although, you can do a RAID with the 2x M.2s for even faster performance, these don’t have the same specifications nor the same capacity. You’re definitely better off going with the exact same drive for a RAID. We have a 1TB Samsung 980 pro using that PCIe 4.0 lane to full potential and a 2TB Kingston NV1 NVMe SSD which uses PCIe 3.0 speeds. Still pretty fast and offers twice the storage.
Operating on a PCIe 3.0 bandwidth, the Kingston NV1 M.2 delivers a Max sequential read of up to 2,100MB/s and sequential write of up to 1,700MB/s. On the other hand, our PCIe 4.0 enabled Samsung 980 Pro is PC Magazine and PC World editor’s choice for speed and reliability, and simply the fastest M.2 on the market. It delivers a sequential read of 7000MB/s and almost three times the sequential write speed of the Kingston unit at up to 5000 MB/s. The Samsung 980 will be our boot drive and occupy that happy place under the heatsink because this one has been known to generate some heat. The Kingston NV1 M.2 will be used primarily for storage. With just 2x M.2s, which are essentially the size of stick of gum, it does make for less cabling and generally a cleaner look in this transparent case.
Given all the bling in this case, we went with 2x Crucial Ballistix RGB 32GB memory kit with 2x 16GB 3200MHz memory modules in each pack. The 4x slots on the motherboard are capable of supporting up to 256GB of memory with 64GB modules in each slot. More RGB too with strips along the spine of each module. These Crucial Ballistix modules can also be controlled by the Aura Sync utility in the Armory Crate application!
Last but certainly not least the GPU. In this case, we are using the XFX Speedster MERC 319 AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT BLACK Gaming Graphics Card with 16GB GDDR6, AMD RDNA 2. RDNA stands for Radeon DNA and is the codename for the GPU architecture and instruction set created by AMD, first released in Q3 of 2019. This card has RDNA 2, so the next generation. Oh, and those Stream Processors are like Nvidia’s Cuda Cores.
Love the dual BIOS BALANCED/RAGE switch on the side by the way. If you want a balance of performance and efficiency, you switch to the balanced BIOS. Presumably that might be for work in development or some creative applications. If you’re gaming, switch over to RAGE, which uses another BIOS to increase power delivery to the GPU and increases the max attainable boost clocks. Simple although once you let the beast out, it might be hard to put it back in the cage.
Apparently, this card is a little better than the Nvidia RTX 3080 card. The specs look much better and the online response is quite favorable too. We will say that the pricing, for this GPUs and others, are still way out of wack, and you simply cannot find them at MSRP. And yes, we will benchmark this baby soon enough and even compare it to that RTX 3080 card. But AMD has typically beat Nvidia on pricing, which is definitely a factor in “is it better”? The XFX MERC 319 AMD Radeon 6800 XT offers a 16GB GPU memory size while the Nvidia RTX 3080 card only has 10GB of GDDR6 memory with the base card and a 12GB Memory size with the TI version. Both support PCIe 4.0 but clearly, we’re missing a few GB on the Nvidia side for a true comparison. Going to go out on a limb here and say Radeon is going to be kicking some Nvidia 3080 butt. However, will it be noticeable? The reality is, it is only a few frames per second faster on a bunch of games.
With 16GB of GDDR6 memory and a 128mb cache you get high bandwidth performance and can easily knock out some 4K games at high frame rates. This card also features AMDs Fidelity FX Super Resolution or FSR for short. It boosts the frame rates 2.4X on average in games that support this feature to dramatically improve the image quality and resolution. There are 4x presets to help you optimize your gaming experience right out of the box, which is pretty cool.
Indeed, the XFX MERC 319 AMD Radeon 6800 XT did beat out the 3080 card, which is actually a Gigabyte RTX 3080 OC on our 3DMark Benchmark using the TimeSpy application. We actually compared it to the values we got from our previous video, using the White Corsair tower, and both systems have the AMD RYZEN 9 5950x processor, so in that respect same, same but not really “the same” because that one did have the ASUS X570 Pro board and this one has the ASUS X570 Plus board. Strangely, we did log some differences on the Cinebench app regarding the CPU. The AMD Radeon 6800 XT produced 16182. We do have a GB deficit with the RTX 3080 card but it still offers some crazy high frame rates just not quite as high as the AMD Radeon 6800 XT.
Back to the CPU score, which you would think would be about the same given a similar board and the same CPU. However, this time the score of 23045 with the ASUS X570 WiFI PLUS board was significantly slower than the numbers we logged on the White Corsair tower build at 24493 using the ASUS X570 Pro board. We had a similar result with the TimeSpy benchmarking on the GPU, which really is a measure of the GPU but does show some CPU performance numbers too. No, we didn’t figure out the why of that because how long do you want this review to be?!! On another note, both cards are still crazy fast and both results were just standard operating speed right out of the box. We didn’t even use the RAGE setting on the AMD Radeon 6800 XT which would have increased the numbers even more.
That’s about it for this build. IT Creations is a partner with AMD, Corsair, Lian Li, ASUS, and NZXT. We can build you a gaming station, high-performance workstation, or custom-configured server. It’s what we do… We even build and rent workstations, both AMD and Intel based, to the studios for big-budget productions. So, if you’re looking for high-performance hardware, or some critical component to get your servers back up and running, check out IT Creations!