Building An AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Liquid-Cooled Performance Desktop PC With Maingear

The Makings Of A Beautiful AMD Ryzen 9 3900X-Powered Beast PC

Maingear AMD Ryzen 9 3900X build
AMD's Ryzen 3000 series processors have made a positive impact on the PC enthusiast market, the likes of which we haven't seen in years. From a performance-per-dollar standpoint, AMD's disruptive Zen 2 architecture offers a strong value proposition for new desktop PC builders from all walks of life and for many use cases including gaming, content creation and other workstation-class requirements. In fact, we were so impressed by Ryzen 3000 series processors in our launch review, that we decided we needed to have AMD's new architecture in our production flow here at HotHardware. This also presented us with an opportunity to call upon a few industry friends like Maingear Computers, Gigabyte, EVGA and of course AMD, to join in on the project and the ensuing fun of building up a new high performance system.

If you asked the team at Maingear what inspired the start-up of their boutique performance PC integrator business back so many years ago, they would tell you it all began with the love of PC gaming and building gaming desktop PCs. Of course, historically, to own a Maingear-built PC meant as an end user you actually had to buy a pre-built machine, rather than building your own, that is at least until very recently. Earlier this year, Maingear debuted its Vybe PC chassis with Apex Liquid Cooling solution specifically for the DIY PC builder market. We reviewed a Maingear-built Vybe ourselves back in April, and thought it would also make for an excellent foundation of an all-AMD PC build for our purposes here as well. Hence the project was born and we packed up the SUV with some great gear with a little help from our aforementioned friends. We then headed to New Jersey to meet up with Wallace Santos, CEO of Maingear, Ron Reed Marketing Director, and Brent Fisher Community Manager at Maingear HQ, to throw down a build project and video documentary of epic proportions.

First, check out the full build on location at Maingear, then we'll cover some specifics in terms of its design and performance...


As you can see, the Maingear Vybe chassis itself is very easy to build in. It's a spacious mid-tower ATX case with tempered glass side panel and dedicated areas that support liquid cooling. Specifically, you can strap a 360mm radiator in the front and a 240mm radiator in the top of the chassis, with support for off-the-shelf cooling solutions and slide adjustments to tweak spacing and the like. However, we also incorporated Maingear's Apex Liquid Cooling solution into our build, which we first looked at back when we reviewed the ever-fabulous Maingear F131 gaming PC. In any event, since our GPU was going to be air-cooled, we ended up having both the  360mm and 240mm rads at the CPU's disposal for cooling. This means our Ryzen 9 3900X is going to remain super chill no matter what paces we put it through. 

Maingear AMD Ryzen 9 3900X full side view
Maingear AMD Ryzen 9 3900X build side view close

Here's the full build spec list, which reads like a menu of bleeding-edge, drool-worthy PC gear...

AMD-Powered Maingear Vybe Custom Liquid-Cooled PC Specifications

Maingear AMD Ryzen 9 3900X build GPU
Maingear AMD Ryzen 9 3900X build cpu cooling

Maingear's Apex Liquid Cooling system offers a beefy liquid distribution system and reservoir carved out of acrylic. The Maingear Apex distribution block taps into an Alphacool CPU water-block and in turn to the 360mm radiator in the front and 240mm at the top. Separate fill and drain ports on the Apex distribution block's edge are easily accessible via the case's side panel, which should make maintaining its cooling system a straightforward affair. We'll have room for cooling growth here as well, with the ability to add GPU liquid cooling into the loop in the future if we'd like. Finally, as you can see, the Apex block nestles in perfectly in the front edge of the Vybe chassis. Everything here is precisely fit and intended to integrated exactly. DIY builders can also of course pick up both a Maingear Vybe chassis Apex cooling kit at places like Microcenter and Amazon. 

Maingear AMD Ryzen 9 3900X build rear

In terms of IO, the Gigabyte X570 AORUS Master motherboard offers a bevy of rear bracket and front panel options with multi-gigabit Ethernet, Thunderbolt, front and rear USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C connections and even WiFi 6 802.11ax connectivity. The nice thing about the Vybe chassis is that it also has multiple front, side-mounted USB-C and Type-A ports available, which will make access to all that high speed connectivity even more convenient. Finally, our entire system is being powered by a super high quality EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 G3 PSU, which will give us plenty of room for growth in terms of power budget down the road as well. It's also extremely quiet. 

What about performance, you ask? Here's a quick taste...  

Ryzen 9 3900X PBO Full Load
Ryzen 9 3900X PBO Full Load Cinebench full run
Ryzen 9 3900X @ Max PBO - 4.13GHz Across All Cores

ATTO PCIe 4 SSD Performance
Gigabyte AORUS PCIe 4.0 1TB SSD ATTO Disk Throughput  - *Boot Drive

In terms of a quick and dirty CPU throughput assessment, 7,337 Cinebench R20 points puts us slightly ahead of a Ryzen Threadripper 2950X 16-core CPU, when we drop the Ryzen 9 3900X into its max PBO (Precision Boost Overdrive) setting at around 4.1GHz across all cores. On the cooling side of the equation, our 3900X also hums along at a tepid 69ºC under full extended load of multiple consecutive Cinebench runs. For storage throughput, the system's Gigabyte AORUS PCIe 4 SSD puts up a little over 4GB/sec of bandwidth in larger sequential transfers, just the thing for crunching video rendering workloads. 

Maingear AMD Ryzen 9 3900X gaming pc top down
3DMark Time Spy AMD Ryzen and Radeon Build

And finally, in terms of gaming performance, this new all-AMD build puts up potent numbers as well, with 4K/High image quality settings in games like Far Cry New Dawn churning out at around 60 FPS, while our 3DMark Time Spy score ranks us in the elite class of machines, as you might expect.

And with that, we'll close out this PC build feature with a hearty thank you to our build partners, AMD, Gigabyte, EVGA and of course Maingear Computers. This new system should power many content creation workloads here at HotHardware.com in the days ahead and more than a few gaming conquests as well. We're looking forward to "living with" AMD's Ryzen 3000 series as a daily driver here. All told, we expect nothing but great things from this powerful, cool, quiet and fantastic-looking performance desktop PC.

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