To start off I am overall very impressed with the product, however the thing that left me angry was the feeling that it was released before it was done. To start things off I had a retail sample board and CPU no ES markings just retail style, but the CPU and board arrived pre-used and updated to a newer BIOS than what ships to the retail market.
Couple of distinct things to notice here the new bracket for AM4 works just fine with the older AM3 coolers that use the normal mounting style. I went ahead and tested this with the older generation Wraith cooler.
However it turns out the Asus is way ahead of that and has double drilled the board for AM3's older style. Just a heads up using the other hole set is a bit particular with coolers. The height is not the same so I ran into an issue when using EK's waterblock where if you tighten the fasteners more than one to two turns the system would not post. Be very careful when selecting coolers for these systems and if it doesn't post back the screws out.
Finished product yielded excellent temperatures. Under load the CPU did not exceed 61C with an overclock on both the CPU and GPU. This is using the standard EK 280 kit with a couple modifications, using the shorter reservoir to clear the card and downgraded the fans for LED Thermaltake rings. There is next to no noise produced and the BIOS is set to extreme silence.
Now onto the actual usage of the parts. I went ahead and stuck to the normal batch of benchmarks found on hwbot. Performance was all done at my maximum stable clock of [email protected], [email protected] 18-17-17-29 1T. Maximum temperatures again were 61C during all of the testing and maximum power pulled at the wall for the whole system under CPU only testing was 260w.
Getting this unit stable is what brings me to the "unfinished product" belief the BIOS was nothing short of a joke. I have played with some pre-release ECS products that had a more complete BIOS than this does. Half of the settings wouldn't save and the first board I had just up and died on me. This led to the swap to an actual retail board that wouldn't post until it was flashed using the Asus crash free utility. Currently the only useful BIOS I have found is 0601 and 0702 I wouldn't bother with any of the others.
It is a common issue to set something in the BIOS have it reboot and appear to be at that setting in the BIOS and end up in windows at stock settings. This is especially true with the ram. The ram on this is just a joke it is lacking all tertiary timing control and of the timings that were provided Cas Latency doesn't even work. If you set the ram speed expect to change it to one lower, reboot and then set what you actually wanted otherwise it will stick at 2133mhz.
After all of that nonsense I was lucky to know chew* who lovingly informed me of the memory hole that exists for 3200-3600mhz. That fixed a handful of stability problems I was having and led to my final choice of clocks (40.75x100). I had been testing the unit at 40.25x101 prior. I went as far as 362x for memory speed at 18-19-19-39 1T which is the rating of this kit, it would not stay stable in super pi 32m so it isn't worth really noting outside of one strange little thing. Remember when I said I was using a "retail sample" CPU? Well the actual retail CPU I grabbed which was a 3 week newer chip actually couldn't even POST with the ram at 36xx. That CPU was set aside and all testing was completed on the original sample provided.
I have provided a handful of 3dmark Firestrike runs as well each run was done once with the GPU at stock and once with the GPU overclocked. All GPU overclocked runs had the GPU boosting to 2138mhz on the core and ram at 2250. Maximum load temp on the GPU was 45C, maximum power consumed was 370w at the wall for the full system.
My overall impression of the platform is wait a few weeks for the kinks to be pushed out. Right now it is not ready for retail sales in my opinion. Performance however was excellent. All of the chips regardless of model seem to clock the same, so save a couple bucks and grab the R7 1700 and use that saved money for a good cooler.
Also big thanks to chew* on XS as per usual he was able to walk me through some difficulties I had with the new product.