Description

Hi All!

I love building computers, but admittedly haven't owned a PC for almost a decade. I got into the hobby in college, but life got in the way after I graduated and I strayed from the mouse and keyboard life. This build represents my triumphant return to the Master Race after too many years of hunching over a laptop, and gaming on a console.

My original vision was a sub $1500 gaming rig with lots of room for upgrades to save money. However, that all changed when I saw a GTX 1080Ti on sale for $750 in the midst of the crypto mining boom when graphics cards cost more than your entire build budget. With a little motivational push from a buddy, I pulled the trigger on the GPU and that was the beginning of the end of my budget. I decided to do it right and get what I really wanted, even if that meant saving up longer. Well, that's how I caught the bug and my only option was to press on and keep buying components! I spent much of 2018 saving up and snagging deals when things on my list went on sale. (Thank you /r/BuildaPCSales !!)

I built this rig for light content-creation and gaming. I really enjoy PC gaming, but I also needed something I could realistically use for video editing, and possibly streaming in the near future. I have done some light overclocking (unlocking CPU and RAMM), but no custom profiles, and it has handled anything I've thrown at it masterfully.

I wanted to RGB the hell out of this thing, and I still might, but all the extra kit wound up being too expensive to be a priority. Between the case and the AIO cooler, I ended up having 6 fans already. I figured I would use them to get the machine running and then swap them out to there more colorful counterparts. Now that I have them running, I very well might leave them in! I have been /blown away/ by how well they work and look. They look good in the build and they're very quiet.

I have really enjoyed this project and want to thank the PCPP community for all the inspiration and assistance!

Part Reviews

CPU

Amazing so far! Unlocked the full 4.7 GHz with ease and love it! I know it has the potential to go higher, but without delidding and a 3-fan radiator, I don't want to push it too far. It sits just shy of 70C under a full load, with my 240mm AIO-Cooler.

CPU Cooler

A great 240mm AIO cooler. It was easy to install, as it came with a fresh layer of thermal paste and pre-mounted for the Intel socket (comes with AMD in the box). It looks great and even has RGB lighting to match your case aesthetic.

Motherboard

I am a bit of an MSI fanboy, but only because I have always found their products reliable and high quality. This is the best mobo I have used! Looks great, has M.2 NVMe, sensors everywhere, tons of RGB, and quality construction. The onboard sound has worked great for my 7.1 headset and small 2.1 speaker setup.

Memory

Corsair makes great RAMM and this stuff matches my white and RGB theme! I needed DDR4 and wanted at least 3000 speed. Works great!

Storage

I wanted my boot drive to be fast and reliable. That's how I ended up with a Samsung NVMe drive. Sadly, these drives are (were) a bit pricey and 500GB was the lowest I was willing to go. But G.D. if it's not the fastest drive I've ever operated. Anything involving reading and writing is as good as done when called upon, no more long wait times. I didn't think I'd notice a big difference to SSDs, but I must say at big tasks, like booting or large file transfers/duplication/installs, there is seemingly no wait time. I now get to compare directly to both a SSD and a HDD and there's definitely a noticable difference, however small it may seem on paper (SSD vs M.2 read/write time differences being only seconds).

Storage

Cheap SSD storage for my game library. Found a great deal on a 2TB drive, happened to be Micron. I bought this because it was the right price and so far it works great, no issues.

Storage

I bought this as a media storage drive. I went for the cheap price point since I already have faster storage. Snagged this for $90! Now I want a second one so I can run them in RAID. No issues to report so far.

Video Card

This card set the tone for my entire build. I grabbed it towards the end of the crypto-mining days for "only" $750 when similars cards were $1000+. It caused me to blow my original budget, but I went all-in and have no regrets. The card handles everything I throw at it (isn't that the point??). I've got its core clock easily up to 1.9 GHz and it never exceeds 70C. The card allows me to max the settings at 1440p and end up with at least 120 out of 144Hz on most games. It looks great in my case and I've had no issues to report.

Case

I had some difficulty finding the purple and white color scheme in stock, but I'm happy I waited to find it. I love the unique color scheme and super clean build this case allows. It has a ton of room to build in and ample space for SSDs and HDDs. You could fit an entire NAS in the case if you wanted with the number of drive sleds it comes with, or customize exactly which ones you want to fill and use the open spaces to maximize airflow with the front mounted fans.

You can front mount a 360mm cooler, or top mount a 240mm. I am currently running 6 fans in mine. (3-120mm pulling in on the front, 2-120mm pulling out on the top, and 1-140mm pulling out on the back). The airflow openings on the top, front, and bottom (PSU inlet) include magnetized, removable dust filters - which is great. The case is quiet and I have had no issues with vibration or rattling. The side panel with the window shows off just enough to see your build but blocks the view of the drive bays and cable pass-throughs. The power button, USBs, and headphone jack are conveniently located on the top, front of the case and includes a USB 3.0.

Power Supply

This was scavenged off a crypto-miner when my original 750W power supply shorted out on my first boot. (It shot a lightning bolt out the back of it about a foot long, which made a HUGE BANG that almost gave me a heart attack! It was startling, but I also thought that everything was fried!) Luckily, the failsafe inside the PSU worked and prevented everything connected to the mobo from being melted. It was a used EVGA that I had from an old system and had been sitting for over a year in my basement. I will be replacing it soon with something more realistic for this build, probably in the 750W range. I have had no previous issues with EVGA and if anything, I'm more inclined to buy them again since the worst case scenario happened and nothing was damaged.

Monitor

I wanted a 27" 2K monitor with high frame rates AND G-Sync AND that I could afford. Dell came through with their unassuming line of gaming-oriented monitors. I couldn't be happier. It has a very professional look and also performs very well. It's got a narrow bezel which I don't mind (could be a subjective con if you are using two monitors in parallel and want as minimal a gap in pixels as possible). The physical button controls on the bottom of the monitor work well and the menus are straightforward and easy to navigate. It doesn't have a multi-directional control stick for the menus like some higher-end gaming monitors, but that doesn't bother me because I'm hardly ever changing settings.

There stand is quite beefy and has a cord passthrough on it to keep things neat. The stand also allows for ample and easy movement of the screen orientation and even allows you to rotate it vertically. It is a TN panel, which I have seen a lot of people hate on, but I have had no issues with viewing angles or other common TN panel complaints. The TN panel allows for fast, 1 ms, response times, which to me was much more important than extreme viewing angles. (I sit directly in front of the thing!)

The only issue I've come across was minor and easy to fix. After a couple of weeks leaving the monitor "on" (not physically turning it off with the power button, and letting the auto-sleep function turn the screen off) I noticed a vertical tear in the center of the monitor that didn't line up. There was a missing column of pixels, maybe 3-px wide. The fix for this? Turning the monitor off and back on. Boom, problem solved. This only happened twice and it has been for the same reason and it had the same fix.

Keyboard

I've always loved Logitech's peripherals and this keyboard is no exception. There are a ton of different options now for mechanical keyboard switches, but the Romer-G switches Logitech offers are some of the best I've felt. Similar to Cherry-MX Red, but slightly less travel. I find it perfect for gaming, easy to push down, but not too light where you brush a key by accident and switch your gun in the middle of a firefight.

This keyboard also comes fully loaded with RGB, media controls, a phone mount, and programmable buttons that you can customize to do almost anything. There are 9 buttons and 4 different profiles for a total of 36 different functions you can program for each game or program you are running. The Logitech software that ties to the peripherals is also easy to use and works well. This controls the RGB as well as the programmable buttons and different application profiles.

Mouse

I knew I wanted a wired, Logitech gaming mouse due to the quality products I had in the past, I just didn't know which one. Initially, the G502 looked a bit over the top, but due to its affordable price and loaded functionality, I couldn't rule it out. It has adjustable weight and on-the-fly adjustable API settings that I love. What got me off the fence was the huge amount of positive reviews for this mouse, and I totally agree. I am glad I chose this mouse and have nothing but praise.

Headphones

The sound is great and so it the look. I really like the more modest vibe these give off and the microphone that retracts into the ear cup and out of sight. They are pretty comfortable but can get irritating after long sessions.

This headset also has some controls on the backside of the left ear cup (volume adjustment and a mute button). The mute button is great and the mic has a red light that comes on when muted, which I love. The problem I've had is with accidentally bumping the volume wheel with my shoulder or clothing which drastically changes the volume. This is annoying, but not the end of the world. I didn't think the cord was going to be a problem, but it is one of my biggest cons as well. I will probably buy a wireless headset in the near future, but it's not a huge priority for me at the moment.

Speakers

I use a 7.1 headset for gaming, but wanted something to make some sound if I wasn't wearing the headset as my monitor doesn't have speakers. I found this as an open box discount at Mirco Center for less than $20. They have obvious trouble when pushed to high volume, but for the price, I can't complain. Still surprised I found a sub at that price!

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Comments

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

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