The Coffee Lake Build

Sun 04 Feb 2018, 16:44

I got the new parts, and I built the new computer, and I love it. I love how it looks, I love how silent it is, and I love that it's running on Intel again.

Building this PC was fun, but took a very long time because I wanted to think through what the best order to things were, and I wanted to route all cables cleanly since this is the first I am using that had a windowed side panel.

The final part list is:

Part Cost for this build (Swedish Kronor)
Asus - ROG STRIX Z370-F GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard Bundled with CPU (5699:-)
Intel - Core i7-8700K 3.7GHz 6-Core Processor Bundled with Motherboard (5699:-)
G.Skill - Flare X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 Memory Already owned
Fractal Design - Define C TG ATX Mid Tower Case 1029:-
MSI - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Founders Edition Video Card Already owned
Fractal Design - Edison M 650W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply Already owned
Noctua - NH-U14S 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler 695:-
Seagate - Desktop HDD 4TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive Already owned
Western Digital - Black PCIe 256GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive Already owned
Crucial - MX300 750GB 2.5" Solid State Drive Already owned
Crucial - MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive Already owned PEXHDCAP60L Capture Card Already owned
Noctua - NF-F12 PWM 55.0 CFM 120mm Fan (Rear) Already owned
2x Noctua - NF-S12A PWM 120mm Fan (Front) Already owned

Peripherals (as of writing, changes frequently, probably):

Name Cost for this Build (Swedish Kronor)
Dell - S2716DG 27.0" 2560x1440 144Hz Monitor Already owned
Samsung - U24E590D 23.6" 3840x2160 60Hz Monitor Already owned
SteelSeries QcK+ Ninjas In Pyjamas (NIP) Mouse Pad Already owned
Topre Realforce 88UB Beige (Swedish Layout) Already owned
Logitech - G403 Prodigy Wired Optical Mouse Already owned
Logitech - G533 7.1 Channel Headset Already owned

So yes, the parts are quite expensive. But please note that I didn't buy all of this instantly. All of these parts have been collected over the years. I don't drop $3000 on a computer just like that. I re-use old parts.

Some day I plan on writing on why monitors today sucks. There is nothing good out there. I want "Retina", G-Sync, IPS and good build quality. That basically doesn't exist.


Finished Product

This is a pretty good picture of the finished product, except that I have replaced all the fans with Noctua's now (which you'll see further down) and I removed the warning sticker.


I removed this sticker.

Back side

Building the computer was fun until I turned it around and saw what a mess the backside was. I was afraid I wasn't gonna get the panel back on because if you look at the SATA Power connections for the SSDs, you can see that they bulge out quite a bit. But closing the panel was no problem at all.

Early Overclocking

One of the first pictures I took while overclocking to 5 GHz. Ultimately I don't run it at 5 GHz anymore though, it was a bit too hot (loud) for my liking.

Noctua Fans

Here's a picture where you can see that all fans are now entirely replaced by various Noctua models. And it is so quiet.


Here's the infamous table. Updated.

Computer CPU Avg. Transcode Speed
12" Macbook, Early 2016 M3-6Y30 7.25 fps
Mac Mini, Mid 2011 i5-2415m 8.03 fps
My Plex Server, Late 2016 i3-6100 15.32 fps
15" Retina Macbook Pro, Late 2013 i7-4960HQ 21.71 fps
My Desktop PC, Early 2015 i7-4770K 26.66 fps
- i7-8700K 50.81 fps
My Desktop PC, Late 2017 Ryzen 1700X 53.33 fps
My Desktop PC, Early 2018 i7-8700K @ 4.7 GHz OC 57.00 fps
- Ryzen 1700X @ 3.8 GHz OC 57.97 fps1
- i7-8700K @ 5.0 GHz (AVX Offset 3 = 4.7 GHz) 58.70 fps

(x264 transcode of Friends S05E21 using Don Melton's Video Transcoding script, at 1080p 6000 kbps with the medium-preset. AC3 audio passed through. The version of Handbrake and the script used is not always the same.)

I overclocked my 8700K using this YouTube video, although I only watched the BIOS section. But it was nice and short.

Ultimately, my overclock is 4.7 GHz at 1.18 volts, with no AVX Offset. I am happy with this as it keeps the temperatures quite low (just above 30 C in idle, peaks around 75 C during load). Since the temperatures are so low the fans can run very quietly.

1. Re: The Ryzen Overclock This was a unstable overclock, and I did not actually run the same test. But I ran another one, where it saw a 8.7% performance increase, so this score is the not-overclocked speed (53.33 fps) multiplied by 1.087, which results in ~57.97 fps. This is not accurate and entirely fair, but should give you a ballpark idea of how the 1700X would've performed if I ran it overclocked.

(This post was inspired by Stammy´s great post on his epic PC, I wanted to do something similar. Read his if you want actual and more explanations for normal people and clean pictures.)