Description

I built this thing around November 2017 after scrounging for deals on r/buildapcsales. Relatively new to building PC's, I didn't like my initial part selection as much as I had anticipated, so this thing has been in constant flux ever since. I've finally hit a point where I'm pretty content with what I've got and I'm ready to make a post.

I use this thing for lots of stuff. It runs my Plex server with ~3TB of content. I use Linux virtual machines for running simulations and processing data. I analyze that data with Matlab and Igor. I use Mathematica to crunch through homework assignments. When time forbids, I like to play a game or two.

I wish the colors would have come out better in the photos. It looks much better in person. The colors are cyan (0, 72, 72) and purple (72, 0, 144). I really like this color scheme and wanted something that was dynamic, but not over-the-top, like many of the pre-defined time-dependent effects. So, I made my own effect in iCUE. It's a slow cyan/purple wave that slowly flows over all of my Corsair stuff -- fans, light strips, mouse pad, keyboard, and mouse. I paired it with one of the default Wallpaper Engine wallpapers, with the colors set to cyan/purple.

  • Here is a link to a video of the effect in action.
  • Here is a link to the profile, if anyone wants it (you might need to manually set the LEDs, since your physical fan orientation may be different than mine).
  • Here is a link to a quick guide I made for someone, explaining how to make the profile.

I'm always looking for things to improve. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

Part Reviews

CPU

This CPU is great! I didn't fare particularly well in the silicon lottery, but was still able to comfortably run at 4.9 GHz on all cores with 1.28 Vcore before delidding. After a delid, it's running 5.0 GHz at 1.38 Vcore with no problems. I would be surprised if any of these weren't able to run 5.0 GHz after delidding. I probably won't upgrade again until Sunny Cove releases.

CPU Cooler

Really great cooler. I was previously running an H100i v2 and this thing has some noticeable improvements. The hoses are way more flexible, which really helps a lot. I'm running 6x LL120 fans in push/pull with a very modest fan curve and my CPU temps typically stay under 75 C with very little noise when under full load. With a more aggressive fan curve, it stays in the 60's. I'm using an XSPC 360 mm radiator gasket on the pull side and it really helps to keep the fans pulling air through the radiator, rather than through the cracks. I was concerned that my case might not get enough airflow since my only intake was through a radiator, but I can actually feel a moderate breeze even when the fans are at low speed.

Motherboard

In hindsight, I regret not going with something from the Maximus line, even though this has done its job pretty well. I got this for a steal, so I can't be too upset. There's definitely some Vdroop, but I only need to use the second highest LLC setting to keep the voltage where I need it. The ASUS UEFI is hands-down the best and this thing has got plenty of OC settings. Adaptive voltage has come in really handy to keep temps down while under low-med loads. I really like this color scheme over the Z370-E, but I wish this model also would have come with WiFi. No USB-C header is annoying as my 500D SE case supports it.

Memory

I'm tempted to switch to a Corsair Vengeance Pro set, purely because I have so many Corsair RGB components, but I think these look better and the Corsair kits just don't seem to offer the same performance specs. This B-kit is 3600-16-16-16-36 stock, but it easily runs at 3700-16-16-16-36 with almost no additional DRAM voltage (running at 1.37 V now, but I started at 1.40 V and haven't finished working back down to 1.35 V, so they may very well be stable with less). I haven't spent too much time overclocking, but I've been having troubling getting stable at 3800MHz, even after bumping the timings. But I haven't tried pushing the DRAM past 1.40 V and this is B-die, so I can safely push it to 1.50 V, as long as the temps stay okay. It's also a 4x8GB kit, so I shouldn't expect to hit what others can with 2x8GB kits.

Storage

At the time I bought this, $340 was actually a fantastic price -- definitely a little salty with how much SSD prices have dropped. This thing is super fast and has very high endurance, which is comforting. They cost more than comparable drives nowadays, but I've never heard of a Samsung drive going bad versus seeing multiple reports of ADATA, HP, etc drives failing., After adding in a 1TB SSD for my game library, I really don't need a full 1TB -- I'd like to change it out for a 500GB EVO 970, but I'm not sure how I'm supposed to transfer my OS over when I don't have any more open M.2 slots and the M.2 USB adapters only seem to support SATA...

Storage

I'm using this as a game storage drive and it does its job well. I know there are better options, in terms of price/performance, but Samsung was the undisputed SSD king for years and, after owning so many of them, I'm inclined to pay a little more to stick with them. Their migration software is very handy/easy to use and they typically offer the best endurance/warranties, so at least you're getting something with the extra cost.

Storage

Pulled this from an easystore before they changed to White drives. It's mostly used for Plex and other storage but does its job really well and it's very quiet.

Video Card

This card is fantastic -- it overclocks fairly well and the temps are very low. I've added in two LL120 fans directly below it, which blow up at it acting like a "supercharger" to feed its fans more cool air and to push away air expelled through its heatsink. It usually equalizes under 65 C, even with synthetic stress testing. It seems to run 2075 MHz easily, but seems just barely unstable at 2100 MHz. But I've got the memory clock at an effective 11,200 MHz, so maybe the GPU clock will run 2100 MHz stable if I dial down the memory clock a bit. The major drawback for this thing is its size. I previously had it in a Corsair 460x case and it was so long that I couldn't fit a push/pull on my front-mounted radiator. I tried to mount two LL120's in a "vertical GPU" orientation, but the GPU is so wide that it won't fit. I love that the Strix matches my motherboard, but I would definitely consider getting a hybrid card, instead, when it comes time to upgrade. After switching to 1440p at 165 Hz, this thing holds up pretty well, but I would certainly appreciate having a little more juice. Too bad the RTX lineup is so ridiculously expensive. In the meantime, this is definitely providing an enjoyable gaming experience.

Case

I am in love with this case! I was previously using a 460x, which was great but became somewhat cramped. I considered going with a 570x, but it didn't seem like it had enough additional features to warrant changing cases (which is a major pain in the butt... I had to spread it out over two days). This is built on the same chassis as the 570x but had enough new features for me to pull the trigger. The hexagonal design on the front filter of the 460x/570x were a little much for me -- the cross design on this one seems a little more elegant. The glass doors are so ridiculously convenient that I don't think I can ever go back to regular panels -- it's so nice to be able to just open the door to access something inside. The dust filters are removed very easily and the fans are mounted using removable trays, which are held in by two thumb screws -- very convenient. I came from a 460x, which is, in comparison, pretty compact, so, comparatively, this was much easier to build in. I don't think I'd go so far as to say that this was "easy", as I haven't built in many cases and you certainly need to be mindful of the backside, since it's visible through the glass panel (granted, it is very tinted). Because the back glass panel is a door which closes using magnets, you can't just "stuff the panel closed", like I did with my 460x. If you have lots of RGB controllers like me, it can definitely get tricky. Luckily, there's an included cable cover that really helps get the door to close, as well as makes it look much better. There are plenty of grommets and cable tie points so the potential for proper cable management is certainly there, just expect to spend a little extra time.

Power Supply

I originally had a G3 650W, but the fan starting making a very faint ticking noise. I picked up a B-stock one of these during an EVGA Midweek Madness, to hold me over while I RMA'd the 650W. I ended up being to lazy to switch back, so I've just kept it in. I love the G3 line because it's so compact -- who doesn't need a little extra room for cables? It was a necessity when I had my 460x, now in my 500D it's just nice to have. The ECO mode works well enough, but I just leave the fan running all the time since it's so quiet.

Case Fan

Performance-wise, these are adequate but not the best. They are pretty quiet (especially compared to the SP120's I had previously which sounded like a jet engine) and do well enough with my H150i Pro cooler to keep my CPU very cool. But who are we kidding, nobody buys these for their performance. These are still the best looking RGB fans on the market. Looks are subjective, but software ability is not. iCUE is hands-down the most powerful RGB controller software around. If Aura was MS Paint, iCUE would be Photoshop. The ability to create custom effects, treat each addressable LED as an individual object, allow layering, save profiles, etc. is just unrivaled by anything else. It's a much more complicated project than other softwares and it's still in it's infancy so it's not perfect, but there's a dedicated development team and patches come out very frequently.

Monitor

This thing is amazing. I got super lucky and ended up with a brand new one for free (bought a used one on eBay, was super defective/not as described so the seller just refunded me and let me keep it, turned out to still be under warranty so I RMA'd and received an unopened one back). 1440p on a 27" monitor is a really nice pixel density -- I moved my 1080p 27" to my office and now the scaling makes it look cartoonish, in comparison. I can't comment on the stand, as I immediately moved it to a gas-spring mount. The bezel-less frame looks amazing. I paired it with a portrait-oriented Dell P2219H (1080p 21.5" IPS) monitor which is also bezel-less -- having mere millimeters between pixels is fantastic. G-sync works great and overall the gaming experience is drastically more enjoyable, coming from a 1080p 60Hz monitor. If you're going to spend so much on your system components, it seems like a waste not to get a nice monitor.

Keyboard

This keyboard is really nice. I came from a Strafe model, and the additional media keys with volume scroll wheel is really nice. I had already been using a Scimitar mouse, so I haven't really needed to use any of these macro keys, yet. I got the MX Brown version, and the switches feel really nice for typing and still good for gaming, coming from Reds. I did need to put on some o-rings to keep the noise reasonable. The aluminum frame seems really durable. I just wish Corsair used a standard bottom row. They do make pretty cheap double shot PBT keycaps on eBay (and a more expensive set directly from Corsair) but I can't seem to find any pudding kits that are compatible (please message me if you know of any!).

Mouse

I really love this mouse. I was using an M65 previously, and this feels much better. The macro keys are nice and clicky and feel great. It completely revolutionized playing WoW. I liked it so much that I got one for my brother for Christmas.

Speakers

For cheap PC speaker, they certainly do their job. You get what you pay for and these are pretty cheap, so your expectations should be realistic. I will definitely be upgrading in the near future.

Comments

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Slick!

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Sick build, I am building something almost identical to this. What is the thing under the GPU, im guessing its a holder so it doesnt sag but do you have a link to it?

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Yep, that's a bracket to keep the GPU from sagging. I also like it because I have two USB adapters in the PCI lanes below the GPU, which the bracket conceals. Here's the link to the bracket from jmmods -- they can customize it with pretty much any logo/design!

  • 9 months ago
  • 3 points

I went on the website and i see there is a big plate. Is that needed or are you just using the bracket that is seen in the pictures. Does the card lean on the bracket or is it like as a fallback safe?

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

I think the big plate is just showing off a GPU backplate, which they also sell -- that's sold separately and not needed.

I guess whether it rests on the bracket or not depends on your GPU. My Strix is is surprisingly rigid for how long it is but it does sag a little, so the bracket does partially support it.

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Incredible build! My teenage son and I are building our first gaming PC. We’ve agreed to the Corsair Obsidian 500D (that’s how we found your build). So manny of your parts and configurations are in our draft plans. I did learn a few things, especially the gasket and GPU bracket.

Quick question, how did you mount the fans below the GPU? I’m definitely saving your build format and will return for reference. Great job!

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you so much!! The Obsidian 500D is such a great case choice -- I really feel spoiled being able to access the internals so easily. One notable change I've made since posting is switching the RAM from Trident Z RGB to Corsair Vengeance PRO RGB. I think Trident Z looks better, but being able to consolidate its RGB control into iCUE was worth the switch. I guess my one tip would be to try and consolidate the RGB into as few controller softwares as possible -- it really makes your life much easier.

To answer your question, I used this kit to mount the fans below the GPU. It actually works surprisingly well, too. The air from these fans is actually sufficient enough to keep the GPU fans from turning on at all during idle and light load.

Good luck with your guys' build!!

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Great, thanks for your pro-tip! Today we purchased an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, Corsair Obsidian 500D RBG SE, Corsair H150i Pro AIO CPU cooler, and (2) G.Skill Flare X memory kits (RBG wasn't a must for RAM).

Kinda went over-kill on memory and purchased 32GB total (filling all 4 slots). Went with G.Skill Flare X DDR4-3200 CL14 8GBX2 (2 kits, total of 32GB) F4-3200C14D-16GFX. I found a great deal on the memory, also managed to find the 2 kits containing all 4 sticks made the same month/year and in sequential serial numbers (yes, I OCD'd a bit). From what I've read, with an X470 mobo we should be able to get all 4 sticks running 3200 Mhz. My son will be gaming, I plan to edit pic, video, etc.

We're pretty sure the ASUS Crosshair VII will be our board and will run a Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB M.2 NVMe and a larger SATA III drive for file/pic storage. Also need to select a GPU, power supply and additional Corsair fans, gaskets, etc.

Good times! Thanks again for your build details.

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build! I have the same case and love it! Where did you get the GPU bracket for him? Also I see that you have 2 LL fans on the bottom, how did you go about securing those? I just picked up an RTX2080 and feel like it's not getting enough airflow. Great build though! Big fan of the cleanliness.

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!! Here's the GPU support bracket that I used (they can engrave any logo) and here's the bracket I used to mount the fans below the GPU. I haven't done actual testing to see how much of a difference the additional fans make, but they supply enough air to keep the GPU temps in the 40s under light load with the GPU fans off!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Im sorry but that setup is so sexy......

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Excellent build! I modeled mine based off yours since I planned to use a lot of the parts you did and that's how I came across your build. I was wondering if I could get a new link to the iCUE profile? The one listed seems to be 404'd.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! Sorry for the late reply -- here is an updated link!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow thank you so much for your write up it is exceptionally detailed! It's helping me a lot out with my build! A couple of questions if you can...

1) Did you add fans to the back of your radiator? If so why (Also did you keep the ML fans that came with the radiator or switch them to the LLS

2) it looks like you have 12 fans total, is that correct? Was it hard to make them all work together? Is it two node pros and one commander?

3) Did adding the two fans underneath your GPU make a big difference? I have not seen that before

4) Does the case tint take away from the rgb lights or balance it out?

Thank you and sorry for so many questions. Again really fantastic build

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey thanks!! To answer your questions inline:

1) Did you add fans to the back of your radiator? If so why (Also did you keep the ML fans that came with the radiator or switch them to the LLS

Yes, there are fans on the back of the radiator and they are all LL120's. The fans on the front of the radiator are called being in push configuration, because they push air through the radiator. The fans on the rear are called being in pull configuration, similarly because the pull air through the radiator. Having fans on both the front and back of the radiator is called a push/pull configuration and it has the best performance because the front and rear fans are working in unison to move air through the radiator much more effectively.

I did it for the following reasons:

  • it keeps CPU temps down and my 8700k is a mediocre overclocker, so I wanted to give myself as much thermal headroom as possible
  • it increases total airflow for the entire case, which is important because the intake for the entire case has to move air through the resistive radiator
  • it helps maintain positive pressure, which is otherwise disadvantaged by the exhaust fans having a higher airflow capacity than the intake fans would

I should also mention that I'm using this radiator gasket for the rear radiator fans. This helps prevent the fans from sucking in air through cracks between the fan housing and the radiator, rather than through the radiator itself.

2) it looks like you have 12 fans total, is that correct? Was it hard to make them all work together? Is it two node pros and one commander?

It's actually currently at 11 fans -- 9x LL120 and 2x LL140. But I recently discovered that you can replace the 500D top fan tray with a 570x front fan tray, which allows you to mount 3x LL120 fans in the top, rather than just 2x LL140. So, I have received all of the parts and will make that change this weekend. At that point, there will be 12 fans -- all LL120's.

It's not difficult to get all of the fans working together, as far as the controller software is concerned. But the biggest challenge is just dealing with all of the extra cables. Each fan has two cables, one for RGB and one for power, so having 12 fans adds 24 cables to deal with.

I'm just using a single Commander Pro for all of the fans. The CoPro has two RGB headers, which are each filled by a 6-fan RGB hub, giving me RGB control for up to 12 fans. It only has 6 fan power headers, so I have to use multiple splitters to connect all 12 fans to only 6 slots. This limits my ability to control each fan curve individually, but this is okay since many of the fans only need to be controlled at the group level, anyway.

I do have a Lighting Node Pro, but that is just used to power 6x LED strips.

3) Did adding the two fans underneath your GPU make a big difference? I have not seen that before

Thorough testing of how big of a difference those extra fans make is on my to-do list. I did do a quick test with them on versus off by letting the temperatures stabilize in Unigine Heaven, and I want to say that I remember the temps being ~6-8C lower with them on. I do believe they make a noticeable difference in both pushing away the hot air expelled by the GPU, as well as just increasing overall case airflow. I also just like they way they look -- it's hard to find little upgrades like these that make your build unique.

4) Does the case tint take away from the rgb lights or balance it out?

The tinting is definitely pretty dark. I had a 460x previously, which also had tinted glass, and this seems noticeably darker. I think LEDs tend to be overly bright, so I very much like it the darker tint. I don't have a very good eye for these sorts of things, but I don't think it distorts the colors much.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

How is the wireless adapter ? Asking because I’m thinking of buying it is well .

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

It works perfectly fine. But, if I had to do it over again, I would buy an adapter, like this, and a wireless card, like this, separately. The ones I linked will provide better performance for less money than the adapter that I have.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

I’m not trying to be rude but why ? Isn’t the current wireless wifi adapter better ?

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

The ASUS adapter uses an AC 8260 card while the card I linked separately is an AC 9260. It has a higher max speed and supports Bluetooth 5.0 vs 4.2 on the ASUS card. There might be more differences, but I'm not sure.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks !