Description

This desktop will be used primarily for photo and video editing. My previous computer was bought off the shelf approximately eight years ago and upgraded over the years. However, it was starting to show its age (numerous little problems). I had been thinking about building my own computer for some time and this presented the perfect opportunity. I may have gone a little overboard (as I do not do much gaming) but I wanted to build an extremely fast pc with lots of storage and one that you couldn't just pick up off the shelf. Again, it might be overkill, but I chose the Ryzen 9 because it is fast and can handle anything thrown its way. I have a 1 TB Samsung M.2 NVME SSD for my operating system and any programs, games, etc and a 4 TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD for storage. Finally, I added a 500 GB Samsung M.2 NVME SSD that I intend to use solely as a working hard drive / scratch disk for Photoshop (i.e. to load photo shoots that I am currently editing). Any photos on the working drive will be moved to the 4 TB drive once editing is complete). I am also considering whether to add an internal 4 TB HDD for on site backup or instead purchase an 8 TB external RAID array.

The build went fairly smooth with one exception. After installing the MB and CPU into the case (including all memory, storage, cpu cooler, etc.), and powering on the computer to confirm it was working, I had this nagging feeling that I had put an extra standoff underneath the motherboard. Not wanting to potentially short out the system if a standoff was in the wrong location, I uninstalled the MB. There was no extra standoff. After reinstalling the MB, the computer would no longer turn on. After spending more than an hour googling and trying various fixes, I realized that prior to uninstalling the MB, I had turned the computer on using the master switch on the PSU (in other words, when I switched the PSU on, the whole computer turned on). However, prior to removing the MB, I turned off the computer via the power button on the top of the case rather than the master switch. After reinstalling the MB, I expected the computer to power on via the PSU master switch but it would not. After wasting more than an hour trying to fix the issue, I pressed the case power button and everything powered up fine. Needless to say, I felt more than a little stupid.

Originally, I had no intention of adding any RGB lighting. However, the tempered glass panel on my case is very dark. I wanted to be able to appreciate the build, so I ended up adding a couple of strips of RGB lights (one strip on the top and one strip down the left side) just to provide a little light inside of the case.

As a side note, the pictures show two 1 TB SSDs (my original plan was to configure those as a single 2 TB drive in a RAID 0 format). Upon reflection, I decided that 2 TBs would not be enough storage long term so I swapped out the two SSDs for a single 4 TB drive (cheaper than buying two 2 TB drives).

All in all, its a pretty simple (i.e. no water cooling, etc.) albeit expensive, build. I haven't used the machine enough to fully review the individual components but I can say that I am very happy with the performance of the computer to date.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Fits well in a micro ATX case. Does a great job cooling the CPU.

Case

Great little mATX case. Really love the tempered glass panel (though it is a bit dark). Case is much quieter than I had anticipated (though I also replaced all the fans that came with the case with Noctua fans which, based solely on my own observations, are much quieter than the Fractal fans that shipped with the case).

Case Fan

Quiet and doing a great job cooling the cpu.

Speakers

A little pricey, but awesome desktop speakers (I got these refurbished in order to keep the cost down). Not too big, still great sound. Bass is perfect for my purposes, but if you like a lot of deep bass, I would recommend adding a small sub.

Comments

  • 1 month ago
  • 3 points

The cable management is beautiful, really impressed with this being your first build. Great job!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Really appreciate the kind words. As for the cable management, I've put together a couple of home entertainment systems over the years and nothing drives me more crazy than wires running every which way. So I'm a bit of a stickler for cable management (although honestly, I think it could have been better with a slightly larger case).

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Super clean, great job !

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Very well done! You've got a power house right there.

Question for you. How loud is the fan on that motherboard?

  • 9 days ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! If you are referring to the CPU fan, it is very quiet. I have 4 Noctua fans in the case and I hear only a faint hum. I would guess had I decided to go with the Fractal Design Mini-C (designed to be quieter than the Meshify C Mini) I would not hear a thing. It is also far quieter than my the off the shelf desktop it replaced which only had a single small fan. If you are referring to the small fan built into the heat sink on the MB, I doubt it would make enough noise on its own to be heard at all.

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  • 29 days ago
  • 2 points

It looks so nice! I'm jealous, santa please give me :) Jk, very nice build. It's so clean, my red build is all over the place..

  • 15 days ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Appreciate the kind words!

  • 20 days ago
  • 2 points

That cable management!!!! Hey, if I use the Noctua NH U12A, can I mount 2x140mm on top?

  • 15 days ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Sorry, not sure about the Noctua question.

  • 15 days ago
  • 1 point

It's smaller than yours. And, if I mount 3.5", can I still mount 360 fans in front? And would it make the cable management harder and tighter?

  • 9 days ago
  • 1 point

I would check the measurements carefully and see how much extra room you would get with the U12A vs. the D15S. If necessary, I could add two 120mm fans up top but they would be right up against the D15S. Unless the 140s were the same depth as the 120s, they would not fit. In my setup, adding 120s would definitely make cable management tighter - to make it easier to run the cables, I would probably purchase a fan hub and install it in the back of the case. For what its worth, I am having no cooling issues with my set up (though, as mentioned above, I am not doing much gaming).

  • 10 days ago
  • 2 points

Absolutely stunning! Going to be doing a very similar build and hope my cable management is half as nice as yours!

  • 9 days ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Good luck with the build. Would love to see some pics when completed.

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 point

Seven hundred dollars in storage?

  • 15 days ago
  • 1 point

Hey Pat, yeah, I have a specific need for the storage. I do a lot of landscape photography and I work with photoshop quite a bit. The 1 TB M.2 is to hold the operating system and any programs that I might download. The 4TB SSD is for storage and will also ultimately also be backed up externally. I currently have over 2 TBs of photographs on the pc that I am replacing which will be transferred over to this PC. Finally, the 500 gb M.2 will be used to temporarily store any files from current photo shoots that I am in the process of editing. It will also serve as a scratch disk for photoshop. Once I am finished with the edits, the pictures will then be moved permanently to the 4tb SSD.

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 point

Also a different currency. Cheers!