Description

Challenge was to keep the costs as low as possible while building a capable mATX PC around a Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8 GB. The Sandbox must be good at handling open-world games for the next couple years as well as catering to my light gamedev/video-editing work while also being able to perform other menial tasks I throw at it.

All prices inclusive of taxes and shipping plus misc. costs for each component respectively. This was done to determine the gross total cost of the resultant PC.

ISSUES-

CPU: The Wraith Stealth was an absolute b!tch to install. The horrible design flaws prevent two of it's screws to line up perfectly with the board. I had to press em down beyond what I was comfortable with to get my way. Really scary as a first time builder!

Exhaust Fan: The anti vibration mount technology of the Noctua fans is an alien concept to me. Took me a while to understand how these rubber mounts can function as a replacement for metal screws. Once installed, pull them hard so they "pop out" a bit. That popping sound is the confirmation that they won't let go. For quite a while, I wasn't sure what orientation I should even install the fan in. But I googled the meaning of the arrows etched on the side and figured it out.

Case: As experienced by other users of this case, the PSU bracket installation instructions were unclear. Got my d!ck stuck in the fan. Just kidding. Figured it out after an hour of head scratching and trying to fit it everywhere in different orientations. Other things I took a long time deciding on were the setup (horizontal/vertical; this being a fully modular case) and cable management (this being a not-so-cable-management-friendly case) but for what it is, I have no regrets getting this case. At this price, it's a no-brainer. I preferred it over even the much-hyped NZXT H400. I love this case more than any other component in the entire build. Yes, that's right. I highly recommend this case. Built solid, yet still small and lightweight enough to be manageable and still handles thermals of everything installed inside like a boss while being fully modular as well as affordable. Kudos to Thermaltake engineers for coming up with this.

Runs cool and quiet, performs like a beast. That's all I ever wanted.

Part Reviews

CPU

The Wraith Stealth was an absolute b!tch to install. The horrible design flaws prevent two of it's screws to line up perfectly with the board. I had to press em down beyond what I was comfortable with to get my way. Really scary as a first time builder! Apart from that, I don't think I need to add to the praise this CPU gets anymore. Y'all know what it costs and what performance you get for that price. It's killer. No competition at this price point. Intel's eating dirt, quite literally, ever since this bad boy broke in to the market. 31 degrees Celsius idle, 51 degrees Celsius under full load (AIDA64 stress-test) with the stock Wraith Stealth. That fan gets pissed on by a lot of people who do not actually know what it's capable of. I've seen people hitting the silicon lottery and still running the 2600 @ 4.0 GHz overclocked with acceptable temperatures with the Stealth. Absolute beast!

Motherboard

Pros:

  • The msi B450M Mortar is the smaller sister of the extremely popular AM4 motherboard msi B450M Tomahawk, which blows virtually every other mATX board in this lineup out the water. The best thing about it is that it has a very potent 4 phase VRM.

  • BIOS Flashback feature

Cons:

  • Doesn't have voltage offset for overclocking enthusiasts, but if you have a 2nd gen Ryzen chip (which is what this board is normally used for; 1st gen Ryzens should go with B350s), contrary to the popular belief, you won't really get anything out of value even if you do OC it. They use smart algorithms for detecting the capabilities of the various cores in the chip and allow the chip to self-boost beyond it's normal frequency range as long as they detect that there is a thermal headroom for the same. Manual overclocks usually provide a mere 100 MHz boost over said smart algorithms (Precision Boost Overdrive) which comes with an inherent risk of damaging the CPU and voiding the warranty and not necessarily always in that order. So voltage offset can technically be listed as a con, but really.... it's not.

  • Lower quality Realtek ALC 892 audio codec instead of the higher quality Realtek ALC 1220 used by, say, Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro. But that board is a premium ATX board so obviously, that privilege comes at a premium price point as well. I'm no audiophile though so I couldn't care less about it. I don't even notice any difference. It's HD audio so it's the same... more or less.

Memory

Good RAM! My R5 2600 loves it, owing to it's infinity fabric which is biased towards higher clockspeed RAMs. Not much else to say. I like my stuff RGB-free and this kit not only performs well, but is also aesthetically pleasing to a minimalist's eyes (not that I care to look inside the case for it, until I suspect something funky's going on with it). Installs hassle-free and doesn't have god-awful gigantic heatsinks creating problems for my CPU cooler or making trouble inside the case. Recommended.

Storage

Good SSD. No complaints.

Video Card

This is a great card. The only options I was willing to consider when I was in the market was either this or the Nitro+ in my budget and judging by a review on KitGuruTech where they pitted an RX 580 Pulse 8GB against it's elder brother - the RX 580 Nitro+ 8GB, performance-wise there was little difference. At the time I didn't feel like the price difference was in line with the performance difference so I judged the Pulse to be the most bang for my buck.

By itself, it's a beast of a card considering I upgraded from a GT 1030. Runs cool and quiet. 75 degrees under load and Radeon Chill ensures it's fans don't spin at all until it's 60 degrees hot. Runs Witcher 3 at high-ultra, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus at ultra, Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare at ultra and GTA V at ultra out of the box. I may OC it at some point since it has a higher ceiling for the same than the Nitro+ but for now, it's enough for my needs. It's the king of the mid-tier RX 580s and since the top-tier cards, with the exception of the Nitro+ and Powercolor Golden Sample (which I don't really trust as a brand just yet), are not being produced anymore, this is a logical choice for someone on a budget. Happy with my decision and purchase so far.

Case

Not a lot of folks out there know about/appreciate proper airflow, especially a potential proper airflow setup out of the box and the freedom of customizing said setup any way you want, as far as cases are considered. It's sad to see people falling for the case manufacturers' traps of cosmetics over performance i.e. solid front panels choking their own intake fans, too many acrylic panels for effective oven-like conditions for pricey components inside essentially reducing their lifespan and ubiquitous household christmas lights drooled on by grown-a55 men, which don't help with cooling in any way. If you're sick and tired of all that and happen to be in the market for a decent airflow/modular/highly customizable mATX/ITX case, Core V21 is what you're looking for. This f**ker comes standard with a the 200mm gigantic Thermaltake intake fan, interchangable side panels (including top and bottom ones, of course- how crazy is that!), 4x radiator mounting rails that are swappable just like the side panels, swappable IO panel, magnetic logo to go with the aforementioned so that you can orient it whichever way you want it to go with the rest of your setup, support for horizontal and vertical setup, lots of mesh and dust filters everywhere (except for that one window panel if you really wanna show off; don't worry you can buy more of either panels from Thermaltake if you so wish), support for upto 20 fans (yes this is a Micro ATX case), is sturdy with good quality build and lots of free real estate inside for free airflow.

Personal experience:

As experienced by other users of this case, the PSU bracket installation instructions were unclear but I finally figured it out after an hour of head scratching and trying to fit it everywhere in different orientations. I took a long time deciding on the setup (horizontal/vertical; this being a fully modular case) and cable management (this being a not-so-cable-management-friendly case) but for what it is, I have no regrets getting this case. At this price, it's a no-brainer. I preferred it over even the much-hyped NZXT H400. I love this case more than any other component in the entire build. Yes, that's right. I highly recommend this case. Built solid, yet still small and lightweight enough to be manageable and still handles thermals of everything installed inside like a boss while being fully modular as well as affordable. Kudos to Thermaltake engineers for coming up with this.

Power Supply

Oh boy! What do we have here? It's more than enough for a modest build and still leaves room for future upgrades. And since this is the revised 2017 model, the build quality is damn good too! I'd say it's the perfect choice for someone who is on budget but doesn't want to compromise on quality and yet still want the PSU to hold up while upgrading in near future. 10/10 would recommend.

Case Fan

Always looked at these fans with the same look you have on your face when you stroll by a 5 star hotel and see a Bentley Flying Spur pulling in. That's right. I used to always think of them as would-be-really-nice-to-have-if-I-could-afford-it. Thanks to the extremely polarized and saturated market in my country, when I set out on my hunt for a 140mm fan, I didn't find any good ones. I wanted a Coolermaster Masterfan Pro 140 but they were OOS.

As for the fan itself, the anti vibration mount technology of the Noctua fans is a sophisticated but ultimately an alien concept to me. Took me a while to understand how these rubber mounts can function as a replacement for metal screws. Once installed, pull them hard so they "pop out" a bit. That popping sound is the confirmation that they won't let go. But owing to this technology, the fan keeps my case cool and quiet like the wind (using it as an exhaust fan). No complaints at all. I had always heard the legends of these Austrian-made premium beauties but experienced them first hand for the first time. Awesome stuff. Quite a bit expensive, but worth every penny. Excellent packaging, great presentation, cutting-edge tech, mind-blowing product. 5/5 would buy again.

Custom

Effective and cheap. What else does anyone want from a thermal paste? I got it for a bit more than market price but ehh, it does it's job flawlessly. My R5 2600 idles at 31 degrees Celsius and under load goes upto 50 degrees Celsius with the stock cooler installed. That's good enough performance for me, and at this price, it's hard to beat. Good stuff!

Custom

It's a shame that not a lotta people know about the existence of this monitor. I added it to PCPartPicker to mitigate that problem because it's a very underappreciated but a very capable monitor. It's a direct rival to the LG 24MP59G, which is considered the unrivaled sweet spot for those who want the combination of Freesync + 75 Hz + IPS Panels. Everyone is recommended to give this a thought as well. LG has Quality Control issues because of which a lot of users get miffed. I've read quite a few complaints about the 24MP59G.

I just upgraded from a 20" 1600x900 Dell monitor and the difference is fantastic. It's got a crisp, bright display. My unit had no defects at all and I cannot state this enough- I absolutely LOVE the design. It has a borderless design with a nice metallic finish bezel at the bottom. 1080p 75 Hz Freesync with LFC and affordable price point make it an irresistible deal.

Comments

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

WOW, the Core V21 is actually pretty big.

[comment deleted by staff]