Description

Introduction This build is replacing my Ryzen 7 1700 workstation (with a Ryzen 3800X) that I mostly use for content creation, CAD, gaming, and personal entertainment (not work). This system was designed so that I could do the rendering and processing of various things really well and also some very decent gaming.

NZXT Case Issues With all that I learned about this NZXT case I would probably not buy one in the future for high-end PC builds, maybe if I had smaller components it would have been awesome. I regret not getting the Corsair Crystal like I originally planned, but I really love the ultra clean & simple look of the NZXT cases. You'll see most of the cons are with the case.

Why is the GPU older? I'm reusing my old ASUS Strix NVidia GTX 1080 in this build since the card is still excellent by today's standards (all games in ultra + VR). I'll be upgrading it next year depending on how AMD and NVidia fight it out.

THINGS TO KNOW:

  • Get everything installed into the motherboard before it goes into the case, except for the AIO pump, trust me, there's not enough room if you do it later. This is also because the M.2 slots are under heat spreaders which are then also partially covered by the chipset fan shroud. That's 6 small screws. You can't get it off with the GPU in place.

  • If you mount the AIO pump with the NZXT logo horizontal, you may not be able to use the memory slot nearest to where the pump hoses attach, it's nearly blocking it. That's fine for me, I have 32GB in dual channel - I will not need to upgrade. If you want all 4 slots, install the motherboard, then before installing the pump check how things fit (keep the Intel bracket cap on the pump so you don't disturb the thermal paste).

  • You'll want to install the Kraken radiator below the case mount plate and the fans above the mount plate because there will not be enough clearance for both to be on bottom. This also means you'll want to orient your fans so that they're pull rather than push. This is to make sure the front is the intake because it has the dust filter and so that the GPU can get the fresh air since it's going to have more issues with changes in temperature than the CPU. The CPU will run slightly warmer this way, but it's fine, not enough to make a difference.

  • The thermal paste on the pump is A+, you don't need to waste money on any for the build, just don't install the pump until you're sure of everything.

  • You need that internal USB hub, you certainly will not have enough on your motherboard. The NZXT CAM device and the PSU need it, but you'll also have the front USB and the Kraken.

PROS:

  • All of the parts are extremely well made and high quality. Each of these brands did a superb job on quality of materials. There will be one exception to this with the motherboard that you'll find in the CONs.

  • This motherboard has boot lights on the board that I love! When it turns on, the first light is amber, then red to indicate checking RAM, then white to indicate checking CPU, then green for POST. I was constantly watching this during the build because I didn't have to spam the UEFI BIOS keys, just start pressing it when the light goes green, voila! It also let me know when I had to re-seat my RAM on first boot.

  • The RGB lighting played out really well, better than I had imagined. I did not think I was going with the color scheme that I did until I saw it, so don't plan your colors out until you've seen it lit up. After you decide on your scheme, then buy your cablemod cables to match.

  • I originally had the NZXT internal USB hub as a just in case item, but I absolutely needed it. I'm so glad I bought it. The items that needed to use it were the Kraken X62, the smart CAM device that came with the case, and the E850 power supply. The only USB connectors on the mobo are for the extra expansion USB ports I had from my old computers, the front panel USB, and the internal hub.

  • The cable routing support in this case is awesome! You've got channels all over the back w/ included velcro cable ties built into them. Plenty of places for cable ties.

  • Don't remove the breakable glass warning sticker, it adds horsepower and character. :D

  • The front / top panel ports are very minimal. Some don't like this, but I do. I rarely use them. I also use the audio ports on my monitor mount which I route through my desk with a single audio cable that works with the top audio port on the case, so that worked great for me.

  • Make sure you get the EVO Plus, it's incredibly fast and snappy. I can tell a difference from my 960 in a big way. I'm not sure about the EVO PRO, but it seemed over priced.

  • Don't bother installing the G.Skill Trident software for the lights on the RAM, it doesn't seem to work with the NEOs, just use the ASUS software to control it.

CONS:

  • The case seems large, but it can be a tight fit for high-end large components. Be prepared to be frustrated a lot. The GPU only just fits, but fits well, so that's OK. Getting the ATX 24pin motherboard power connected the way I want was difficult because of the space (a common complaint with this case). You'll also probably not be able to put your radiator and fans up top the way NZXT shows in their pictures because the motherboard's heatsinks around the CPU. I probably spent ~2 hours just trying to figure out how I was going to put my Kraken in. Learn from me.

  • I wish the NZXT internal USB hub had just a slightly more powerful magnet, it mostly does the job fine, it's good, but a little more holding power could help.

  • The cables on the NZXT PSU have tons of tough tape wrapped around the ends that connect to components. This means they're almost totally inflexible for a good length at the end of the cable. You will not be able to make them look nice because they'll stick out straight from the GPU and Motherboard. Cablemod makes some good replacements, but they are expensive. I'll be doing that later.

  • The NZXT CAM software is pretty buggy, but mostly functional (I've seen worse). You can get everything going, but if you do things such as set lights to correlate to CPU temp (among other things), it may freeze on occasion. The good thing is the CAM device in the case remembers the colors and animation so that saves the day.

  • Don't install the ASUS AURA software from the ASUS driver download website - just use the ASUS Armoury Crate, it works great. I made the mistake of also installing the AURA software, then uninstalling it which broke Armoury. Reinstalling it fixed things so I'm stuck with it. RGB software is notoriously buggy with most manufacturers.

  • The PCI-E slots don't hold GPUs as great as previous generation ASUS boards. The PCI-E latch is also partially plastic and difficult to work with. Be sure to include a graphics card support with your build, mine is on order.

  • The velcro straps on the back of the case can be difficult to work with, though I've seen worse.

  • The Kraken fans are loud, but they sound like a fan NASA would use (low frequency sound). I mean, it sounds really nice and powerful so I'm not even mad, but it could be a problem. Keep the profile on silent and you'll be OK most of the time.

Part Reviews

CPU

Absolutely amazing. It's literally knocking my socks off right now. I wish I could have ordered one without the cooler since I'm using the AIO. It's just another box of size for me to keep around.

Motherboard

Awesome, solid board! I only have 2 gripes.

  • The PCI-E latches are partially plastic and difficult to work with when using large GPUs.

  • The M.2 slots are under heat spreaders with 2 screws each, not only that, the chipset fan shroud is on top of half of these heat spreaders so it has to come off as well, 2 more screws. That also means you're not getting your M.2 drives out without first removing the graphics card.

Memory

Awesome looking, solid RAM. The Neos work really well with the AMD processors, I've got it all the way up to 3600 MHz without any issues, not something I remember being possible with first gen AMD. These were made for 3rd gen Ryzen. Get the highest speed you can with Neos, it matters - these in particular also have a pretty decent latency on top of that.

Storage

Incredibly fast, faster than what I've ever experienced. I've been copying gigabytes of backups on my new system with this drive and the progress bars are just flying by.

Case

Great clean looking case, very well built, high quality materials, thick glass, plenty of cable channels and velcro ties. The lighting looks great.

Keep in mind, this case might be a large mid-tower, but it's still a mid-tower. Putting large components in this case will be snug, but not too tight - just a little difficult to work with. For that I knocked off a star. If they had added another inch to the width and height of this case, it probably would have relieved a lot of my frustration!

Power Supply

Great PSU, awesome that it works with the NZXT CAM software via internal USB so I can monitor all sorts of information from it.

The cables have a ton of heavy wrapping around the ends making them extremely inflexible where they connect to the motherboard and PCI-E. Invest in some cablemod cables to fix this, but those cables are expensive. I think NZXT could remedy this without any cost to margin.

Operating System

A terrible necessity. What can I say, it works, everyone uses it and knows it.

Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Bravo !!! 10/10 Great report! Favorite thing the mobo with the boot <3 <3 <3 least - that which shall remain nameless and a terrible necessity ;) DOPE

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Just a few more things to wrap up that I've decided to not be happy with. Those cables on the NZXT PSU, meh, they're practical, but not pretty. I've ordered some Antec extensions and combs to fix that. I also just realized that addon USB from a really old computer build looks terrible and has this beige wire on the bottom of the chassis. I might remove that or order another PCI-E USB addon card.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

isnt that the way XEEK . I am currently talking to a guy suggested buy Status45 about a GPU cover , shroud , HD cover Do I need them. No but now I wont be happy until I have the wolf logo and apex predator name...crazy // but still I think your rig is sick and you do great work @@

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, it's certainly not my first rig, been building all my PCs for the past 20 years. The AIO was new for me though, took me a long while to realize the only way it was going to fit in my preferred optimal location was to switch the fans to pull air and sandwich the case's radiator mount between the fans and the radiator. That case could use another inch or so of clearance on every dimension!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Damn little brother !!! I get chills when you talk that way lmao.. still that was some heads up thinking and I am still impressed. besides from what I can see of your face there , I am pretty sure I have boots older then you wink but 20 years is a good start. Longer then most marriages. Sorry acting a little whacky. I may need an intervention. I just spent 3K on a 25 cent comic book LMAO