Description

The idea behind this build was to put something together that I wouldn't need to modify for a while. Now with two kids, I barely find the time and energy to be tinkering with my PC, and the little time I do find, I rather game. Many parts were bought either used or refurb, to keep budget as low as possible. Have always had good luck with used and refurb, and when something does go bad, usually have them replaced by any of the buyer protection programs offered on several sites, or manufacturer hasn't been a problem.

I went for a white/black, Corsair/Gigabyte theme, where possible.

The purpose of the rig is primarily studying for Masters and 1440p gaming.

EDIT: Original build had a 3700X processor, a Gigabyte RTX 2060 Super Gaming OC White, and a Creative SoundBlaster AE-5 internal soundcard. As I had promised myself (and more importantly, my wife) I would not spend anymore on the PC, sold both the 3700X and AE-5 sound card to come up with the difference for a RTX 2080. Found I needed/wanted more GPU power than CPU power. Got a second-hand Audioengine D1 DAC/AMP for $90, and realized how much I missed having an external plugNplay sound solution. Extraordinary sound. Creative drivers were good enough, but unnecessarily bulky and full of bloatware.

By swapping the Gigabyte card with an evga one, the Corsair/Gigabyte "theme" went out the window, but I preferred having a warranty on such an expensive card than whatever "synergy" I would get from getting a Gigabyte-branded one.

Part Reviews

CPU

Replacing a 3700X that I found to be overkill, the 3600 has nothing to be ashamed of. Bought it used for $150, getting six cores and 12 threads of a beast of an architecture offers an unbeatable value. Gaming-wise, the difference between this 3600 and the previous 3700X is notable only in synthetics.

CPU Cooler

Was having a very tough time deciding on what cooler to use, I only knew I wanted air cooling. Can no longe stand the complexity and general pump hum from AIOs, although I do like, in general, AIO aesthetic more.... and all of a sudden... Linus video on Noctuas black-out coolers popped in my Youtube feed... Godsend. Ordered a U12S immediately, got a Linus Edition. Keeping the 3700X at ~70C with Prime while dead silent. Can't ask for more. Painted the top fin white to better fit the white/black theme, I think it ended up looking perfect.

Motherboard

Gigabyte X570 Elite WiFi. Due to lack of white-ish ATX motherboards for AM4, went for the most neutral colored one, that was well-rated. Took a risk: I've hated Gigabyte as a brand for a long time, can't even remember why anymore. But there current products where being so well received, that figured I'd give them a second chance. I am not dissapointed. BIOS updates are frequent, fast, and in my case, I don;t have any issues. RAM comptability and OC ended up being excellent. I do believe I should've just gone with a good B450 motherboard though. X570 adds very little for the mainstream/gamer enthusiast. BTW, the chipset fan stays off 99% of the time, chipset in my case very rarely reaches 60C, which is the point where it kicks up. And when it does, it's very quiet.

Minus one star for missing back I/O USB-C port, and "only" 466Mbps WiFi.

Memory

Bought used from ebay, as I could validate there that it was a version 4.31 kit with Samsung B-die ICs. Got a great sample. I now have a 2x16GB, dual-ranked kit, running at 3600MHz @ 16-17-17. Never thought that would work, but a full day of RAMtest, prime95 and y-cruncher validated it's rock-solid.

Storage

Newegg came out with a promo for the 1TB/960GB version for $149 back in the day. It seems that standard price now. Lightning fast. 3400MB/s read, 3000MB/s write it is, with equally as impressive IOPS ratings. Bought new.

Video Card

Got this card to replace a Gigabyte RTX 2060 Super Gaming OC White, as I found I had too much money in the CPU area, when I needed more in the GPU department. The 2060 Super worked perfectly at 1440p, but this build is meant to last until 2021 ends, at least. I've always liked eVGA cards. Their warranty policies is bullet-proof, being transferable and no-questions-asked. The only one like that, as far as I know. Needless to say, I bought this one used, for $515 before taxes, and still has close to two years worth of warranty. THe card is great, but far from perfect. Based on the immense heatsink, I expected better thermals. With the fans running at 65% (which is, on the bright side, still quiet), the card runs at low 70s at full tilt. I also got a card equipped with Micron memory, instead of Samsung, so could "only" OC the VRAM to +750MHz. GPU doesn't seem to be a good sample either. Runs at only +50MHz, averaging 1935MHz when at load. Still, a helluvalot faster than a 2060 Super.

The original backplate is black, so I replaced it with an EK Vector backplate I painted white with the same white paint as the CPU heatsink, with the thinnest layer possible. The backplate did work with the stock heatsink and screws. Using the backplate with the included thermal pads, heats up just like the original one, suggesting its' cooling just as well. No GPU thermal changes compared with stock backplate noted.

Case

Copy/paste of my amazon review: Let's get it out of the way: yes, it's very small and cramped. If you want to build in this case, you have to plan your build well.

Max cooler height is 160mm, which restricts several popular heatsinks. Leaves very good options in 120mm towers like the Noctua NH-U12S though.

AIOs are "supported", as long as your RAM is normal profile (Corsair LPX series) for radiator being installed on top, or video card under 300mm if installed in front. Again, very specific RAM and video cards can be chosen if an AIO is to be used.

To keep it small, the work space on the back for cabling is poor. Using PSU extensions kills your free space, so if you want to change your modular cables for something nicer, you'll have to go with replacements, not extensions. Just the three fans that comes with it have six cables (3 3-pin and 3 RGB), and add to that any other cables and HDDs or SDDs you may install... it's horrible. I'd recommend going for a M.2 drive if only to save yourself of needing SATA power cables and SATA data cables.

So yes, restrictive. BUT! If planned and built accordingly, it's difficult to miss the mark of an extremely beautiful build. Looks-wise, the case is beautiful in white, very well built and top notch materials. Air flow is superb, as was expected. The case is MEANT to be small, and comes of course with the compromises of that decission, so can't take a star off because of that.

I'd love to see a version without fans. The SP120 fans that come with it aren't to bad, but are far from the best... and are 3 pin only. I personally swapped them for white LL120s, which seem to work MUCH better in this case. Love it.

Power Supply

The PSU is outstanding, quality-wise. Rails are immovable, fan I believe has never turned on, and has powered everything I throw at it. 10 year warranty... But the White version is extremely over-priced. $30 more for it just being white... and that usually goes under a PSU shroud. I'd say it was more my fault for going with the white version, but get's a 3 star for being a poor value, compared to it's black version, and even more of a bad value against very good Seasonic, eVGA or Antec PSUs.

Case Fan

In the end, got 6 of them for real "cheap". The SP120 Pro that came with the case were good enough, but 3 pin fans, in 2019. Plus, they're rather noisy. These LL120s push a lot of air, are relatively quiet, and has the best RGB implementation to date in my opinion. Snatched them some time ago for like $45 each three pack. Not sure whye they were so cheap that time. Bought new.

Monitor

This one has been with me for about three years. 1440p, 144MHz, IPS, Freesync at great price. G-Sync works perfectly with it too. Not the prettiest monitor there is (v2 fixes, among other things, the aesthetics). Bought used back then, still going strong.

Keyboard

Got it on sale for the same price than the black one. Not sure why Corsair decided the white version should cost $50 more... Awesome mechanical keyboard, and looks incredible. Corsair also finally dropped insisting on making all peripherals look as gaming-y as possible.

Mouse

Original build had a Corsair M65 Elite WHite mouse, to keep with the Gigabyte/Corsair theme. The mouse was very good, although the shape was not EXACTLY for my grip. Good enough I guess. But the mouse started failing (middle-click issues), and ended up being RMAed. I had an old white G703 lying around, the older version with the pixart sensor, so pulled it out while I got my replacement. I had forgotten how GOOD these mice are, how well they fit me, and how much more confortable it is to use a wireless mouse. It hit me so hard, that I ordered a new G703 Lightspeed mouse with the new Hero sensor. They only sell them in black, so played the face-off surgeon, and exchanged shells between the two, so I now have a new G703 Hero in white. Sadly for my M65 Elite, even though it was great, it can't hold a candle against this G703. It'll be sold.

Battery life on the new Hero sensor is insane. With the old PWM3366, battery with lights off was about 26 hours... it's over 60 with the new Hero sensor, and tracks just as well, if not better. Surprise benefit is that the Hero version weighs almost 10g less. HIGHLY recommended mouse. Never going wired again, and no, I don't care it disregarded the Gigabyte/Corsair theme I was orignally going for.

Headphones

My M40x have been with me for many years, and they're not changing. This was the one area were the theme of the build would not be applicable. I'm so not changing them for a Corsair headset. 4 stars, as the pads are bad, and usually need replacing. Replaced them with Brainwavz Angled Ear Pads, and sound incredible... sadly, the ear pads have started to peel after about two years of use.

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

Loving this build, a funny remark is that my current project is almost identical to yours, although going on the AMD route for the GPU. It Looks clean and hope it serves you well.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

clean build

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build, thanks for sharing!

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! and thanks for the good information. I just got the board and about to do the build. Did you have to update the bios on the board? Part of the reason I got it was that I didn't have to.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. No BIOS update necessary to boot with a Ryzen 3000 series, but I do recommend you update to the latest available BIOS afterwards for fixes in frequency and voltage behaviours on the CPU. Gigabytes BIOS is not the most coherent or makes the most sense, but I personally have found it to function very well.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Great work! How did you get the white accents on your Noctua fan?

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

thanks, those are rubber vibration dampers Noctua sell in different colors. I jus tbought white. The blackout U12S comes with black ones, and the LTT edition also comes with orange ones, which I really couldn't put to use on my scheme. Had to buy the white ones separately.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build man! What did the temps look like with the 3700x? I'm debating on getting this cooler or selling my higher profile ram and going with a Nhu15.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

The cooler is excellent. Keeping my 3700X at about 73C at full tilt running prime95. While gaming, it's usually at around 56C, or 63-65 when loading is going on.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Geez that temp on load is pretty high. Altho 6 fans added, and how's the airflow?. How did you control all the fans (RGB and Speed)?

  • 6 months ago
  • 0 points

Hi! What load temperature are you referring to, CPU or GPU? Are they high though? The GPU at full tilt doesn't even break the 70C barrier with low fan speeds, while the CPU peaks at 73C when stress testing... doesn't go over 62-65 under demanding tasks like say, gaming. The airflow on this case is superb, although I do have to mention the computer is in a rather warm room.

Controlling all fan speeds through the motherboard, using ARGUS monitor for fine software control/temperature targets. Tweaked for silence. RGB is controlled through iCUE, using the Lighting Node CORE included with the case.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

The CPU I was reffering. Yes they are pretty high, but since you're OC, I can take that. What is ARGUS? I'm planning build as the same as you, but with Aorus 2070Super.Question, if I use 3.5", can I still mount 360mm fans at front? And what is the front panel build with? Plastic or Metal?

  • 6 months ago
  • 0 points

Argus monitor... it's a piece of software (not free, $9.99, but absolutely worth it) that allows fan control in a very fine way. Custom fan curves, set them to react to pretty much any temperature in the system, have fans react to multiple temperatures or scenarios, temp, voltage, power monitoring. It can even control the chipset fan on Gigabyte boards. It's really awesome. Think of it like the modern speedfan.

This case is very compact. With only three fans in front, max allowed GPU length is 300mm. Put a radiator on, and I believe it takes out about 27mm, so max GPU length is 273mm. If I'm right, no Gigabyte RTX Super card is 273mm or shorter.

If you try putting a radiator on top then, it has to be first: 240mm, and second, you have to have very low profile RAM. With my LPX ram, a 240mm radiator BARELY fits.

As for the front panel, it's solid metal. Build quality for this case is in general excellent.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, thanks for the detailed explanation. Why you use ARGUS to control it? Why not the node pro?

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

The case comes with a lighting node CORE, which, like the lighting node PRO, are for RGB controlling only, not speeds. I'm thinking you meant a corsair commander PRO? If so, I went ARGUS because it's a $9.99 software solution, vs the $70 proprietary hardware solution.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

"Due to lack of white-ish ATX motherboards for AM4"

That's Very odd considering the existence of the Asus Prime, the ASRock Steel Legend and the ASRock Pro4 series of motherboards, all of which are white-ish and AM4.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

I hear you.. and you're right. To elaborate, I did look at exactly those three motherboards. I didn't think paying $50 more for the ASUS Prime, that comes with no Wi-Fi (which I needed), was worth it. Didn't like how they were throwing shade to other manufacturers recently either, and how they were falsely doing so. As for the AsRocks, I'm not a fan of their UEFI interface, nor how they build the VRMs. Buildzoid confirmed the VRM on the Steel Legend was not good, and I really don't like the Pro4. Looks cheap-ish.

In the end then, I decided to go with a White theme, with black background (motherboard). The Elite fit the bill perfectly.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Fair enough. You get what fits your needs and if it looks nice all the better.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

I somewhere read that Gigabyte appears to have a B550 White motherboard in the works. That would be something.

  • 6 months ago
  • 0 points

B550's been a LONG time coming.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Super clean looking build. Hows the cooler so far? I was going to go with the d15 for my 3700x, but I'm not sure how I feel about the size of it. The U12S seems like a good alternative though.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

The cooler is excellent. Keeping my 3700X at about 73C at full tilt running prime95. While gaming, it's usually at around 56C, or 63-65 when game is loading something.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Great looking build! Just pulled the trigger on some similar parts (CPU, mobo, RAM). Have you had any issues with your RAM? According to corsair's website it might not be compatible with AMD. Thanks!

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

No issues at all. In fact, mine ended up having Samsung B-dies. They're running at 3600Mhz 16-17-17 rock solid!

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey this build looks awesome. I am slowly buying parts for my first AMD build. Gonna use the 3700x also. Can you give some detail on how you painted the Cooler? What type of paint....etc?

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi! what I did was cut a printing paper sheet in a way I could place it under the first, top fin, so I wouldn't paint anything else, sanded the top fin with fine sandpaper (can;t remember if it was 1000, 1500 or 2000 grit), and then painted the top fin with acrylic enamel spray paint in many, very thin layers. If you paint it with too heavy layers, the finish doesn't end very good.

Acrylic enamel isn't exactly the recommended paint to use. Best is paint that is as thermally conductive as possible, like automotive/engine paint, but it being only one fin, it doesn't affect a thing.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey do you have a fan controller to run the rest of your fans? I think this mobo only has 4 fan headers

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, it does come with only 4. I however split the fans into "Intake", "Exhaust" and CPU, meaning I used 3-connector PWM splitters to connect all 3 front fans into one PWM header, and all three (2 top, 1 back) fans to another. running flawlessly, and as its three fans working each to exhaust and intake, they can run at very low speeds together, and achieve great airflow.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, was considering doing that but might go with the ASUS tuf x570 instead for the features it has. Beautiful build btw

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much. That's also a very solid board, I believe it has 6 PWM fan connectors too.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

May I ask what PWM splitter you bought and how you achieved this again? Did you just use 2 spiltters and plug those splitters in your motherboard in order to have 6 fans in total for the build? And then just had one splitter for from, then the other as back?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Sure, these are the ones I bought:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F8LV1BY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Plug in three fans into a single motherboard fan header.

[comment deleted]