The Test System Components
As we mentioned, ASUS stepped up and delivered us the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi, X570 motherboard, as its base. Our call on this board comes down to two reasons. First and foremost, this motherboard comes highly recommended by many reviewers, including our own Shannon Robb. Secondly, we see many users opting for this motherboard in the forums we frequent.
Of course, if we are using an X570 motherboard, we have moved to a Ryzen based system this time. As you can see, this is a Ryzen 5 CPU, allowing us to keep in touch with the majority of Ryzen users.
The CPU of choice is the Ryzen 5 3600X! The 3600X is AMD's six-core, twelve thread version with a base clock of 3.8 GHz, and the ability to boost a single core to 4.4GHz, as long as you meet all of the requirements to do so. For our purposes, only the base clock is relevant to our testing.
Corsair has taken good care of us over the years, and does so again, supplying us with the DDR4 we are going to use. We opted for a four-stick kit of Vengeance LPX, mainly for more stress on the IMC during testing, but we also see many users picking Vengeance in some form for their system, and more users are filling RAM slots these days for more capacity.
When it came to the storage, we went directly to the source and asked our own Jon Coulter for advice. What happened of that short conversation was this Galax HOF Pro M.2 1TB SSD being delivered to my door. While this drive certainly is overkill for our usage, we certainly are not going to complain!
Without an integrated GPU in the processor, we needed something to produce a signal to the monitor. We were not picky, as we do not need a monster card to accomplish this goal. Along with the motherboard, ASUS also stepped up and delivered the ROG Strix RTX2060 O6G Gaming card, a terrific addition to the build!
Powering the system, again, ASUS came through with the ROG Thor 850W Platinum PSU. Plenty of clean, stable power to test with and an attractive addition to any build, and a wire management masterpiece for our open-air testbed!
Our chassis of choice, if you want to call it that, is the open-air Hydra Bench Standard. Since we cannot test a CPU cooler in every chassis, we remove the enclosure to show the best-case scenario of any CPU cooler. We also got very tired of lugging around the D-Frame, and find that the Hydra Bench allows for radiator mounting, which was a downfall of our previous solution.