I started this project with the intention of upgrading my 5 year old PC from 1080p high quality graphics @ 60Hz to 1440p ultra quality graphics @ 144Hz. I honestly did not intend this to be a full rebuild and wanted to use my old case and some old components (I only ended up reusing one component). But, well, I really fell down a rabbit hole and ended up with this PC. And frankly I couldn't be happier or more proud with how it turned out for a full rebuild.
While this did take a turn for the more expensive with the total cost hitting $3,164 AUD, I did manage to stay around my budget of $3,000 and I am happy with my build.
Now this project was not intended to be a ultimate gaming powerhouse that can crush any modern title. It was designed to game at exactly 1440p ultra quality graphics @ 144Hz with a comfortable couple of years of future proofing. The area I really tripped up was RGB and ARGB. I didnt intend to have any RGB when I started and next thing I know I am considering putting ARGB lights on my toothbrush.
During the assembly, I did run into several wiring issues with the gigabyte not using standard addressable RGB (5V) headers. However, a good deal of support and encouragement helped me complete my build.
This part can do one thing, gaming. And it absolutely excels at it. I have had no issues with my CPU and can OC to 4.6GHZ and 4.8GHz on all cores with ease. Frankly, this is just as good at gaming as a i7-9700k in my opinion.
However, when faced with rendering and other cpu heavy loads, this CPU fall short of the i7 and i9.
At first I was worried it was not going to fit as the specs listed it 0.1mm larger than the CPU fan size listed for my case of choice. But eh, I decided to risk it for the biscuit. And it was worth it. It is really dazzling. And more impressively, it keeps my temps really reasonable despite a moderate-high overclock (with the help of some high quality thermal paste). Despite easily being the noisiest component of my PC, it is really quite. I have open back headphones and it doesn't bother me. I tested it out on full fan power and it started to sound like my PC was about to achieve liftoff, but since it gives such low temperatures under normal operation, I doubt I will ever run into the issue of the fan reaching full RPM. It syncs excellently through RGB Fusion 2.0 (despite a few teething issues). It makes an excellent centre piece for my PC.
The only issue is that coolermaster’s instructions are total trash. But YouTube tutorials can fix that.
One of the higher grade thermal compounds on the market. Its hard to review a thermal compound as there are different types that are more suitable to varying conditions of PC builds. However, this is possibly one of the best thermal compounds that I could have bought for my PC.
A feature rich, playfully colourful board that has exactly everything I needed. Despite what people say about their software, gigabyte makes some damn good hardware. This board comes with excellent VRM that improves overclocking stability and temperatures and is the main reason to go with it over the competition (in my opinion)
However, sone issues arose with the software. The utility software and RGB Fusion 2.0 are the main culprits, however I have managed to fix or find suitable workarounds to all of my issues so far. Despite this, RGB fusion is quite basic compared to other lighting softwares from other boards such as Asus Aorua Sync.
I did have some minor problems with wiring with Gigabyte having unique 5V ARGB headers to MSI, AZROCK and ASUS. But I found out that there is actually no compatibility issues so I just used the MSI, AZROCK, ASUS 5V ARGB header and RGB Fusion still syncs up with them. A side note, I would have gone with a the PRO WIFI, however I already own a PCI Wireless card, so I used that instead.
I think you have to be a little crazy to consider these as they are around 1.5 the price of a pair of standard RGB 8gb RAM. This was purely an aesthetic choice for me, as I don’t need 3200mHz or to have all 4 slots filled. I just ‘wanted’ to.
I love the dummy modules. They allow me to fill up all 4 RAM slots with ARGB colours and add a nice “completed” look to the case. They have a sleek aluminium finish and look classy compared to some of the bulkier ram. Easy to OC to 3200mHz. One issue is that they are a slightly different RGB colour to the rest of my build. That and the price is a little steep.
Also, since they are quite small, there is no clearance issues with bulky CPU coolers.
Fast, like really fast. Compared to a standard SSD even. I have a boot time of 8.9 seconds, which for me is great considering the high usage programs I have on start up. But I am sure there are better products out there for its price. One thing to note, it runs a very hot. My motherboard came a M.2 heat sink, which had the drive running at 70-80 degrees under load. This posed the risk of thermal throttling. So I bought a EK m.2 heat sink (shown in the pictures) which dropped the temperature by around 10-15 degrees under load.
The upper range of the RTX 2070 cards with a out of the box boosted clock of 1815MHz. It can be easily overclocked to 1915MHz without breaking the 80 degree temperature barrier. It has a quite fans under normal loads and a attractive ARGB with a variety of customisation available for the lighting.
This is an excellent case. Whats not to like? 3 tempered glass panels, 4 fans included with 3 of them ARGB, lots of space for cable management that has helped me achieve a clean build. I am very happy with it. I have achieve a good balanced (slightly positive) air flow which is very important for me. One thing to note is that it comes with a PSU shroud that is a little small. I had to make sure I picked a compact and modular power supply, as a I feel like you would have some severe issues with the space down there. Additionally, the storage disk trays are in the worst spot. I have a M.2 storage so I just took both trays out and used the space as cable storage. But this is going to be an issue for some people. Make sure you do a bit of research on your PSU and Storage disk needs first before buying this one.
Compact, modular and gold certified. This is a great PSU. I highly recommend any of the EVGA SuperNOVA G3 PSUs to anyone. No regrets. At 650W Gold, I have already noticed a decent drop in daily power usage in my household compared to my old seasonic 850W.
This psu is ideal for mid to high tier PCs trying to achieve that 50% efficiency curve. My PC uses approximately 300-450w (min/max loading including OC).
Additionally, the compact size is very important in cases with restrictive psu shrouds (like mine).
Good old Windows 10. I rate you 5/5 because you are not Windows 8.
Wireless Network Adapter
This is an excellent piece of hardware. It is fast, has amazing coverage and a low power draw. It has blistering speeds that on a 5GHz network are superior to a LAN cable for me. Plus it allows me to put my PC anywhere and not be dependant on an internet source. The only piece I salvaged from my old PC, I do really appreciate what this piece does for me.
Provides good airflow and pressure while looking like rainbow vomit. I love it.
However, it does have a few caveats. - louder than the competition - such a high CFM poses the risk of additional noise from air turbulence against the case fan grills (solved with a dust filter)
Out of the box, the colour looks really ordinary. Stock, I encountered things like the screen being way too bright, the gamma being poor and weird green line through my screen under certain in game situations/lighting effects (like a sunrise/sunset in a video game). However, after a fair amount of calibration, I have a excellent picture that is crystal clear. This monitor has a nice feature set, low latency and beautiful 2k resolution at 144Hz. While it is on the cheaper end of of the 2K 144Hz monitors, it still competes adequately with products twice the price.
This is a beautiful, well made keyboard that is feature rich and has converted me fully to mechanical keyboards. It has wonderful lighting and RGB, great multimedia keys and a nice wrist rest. Now, while I have completely solved all of my teething issues and now the keyboard works perfectly, I did have a lot of issues at the start. The keyboard used to like chucking a hissy fit with RGB Fusion 2.0. The software liked to cause it to the lighting to crash, which in turn stops the keyboard typing.
This mouse is so good, it can write its own review. I upgraded from a G402 and have a G602 for work, so I am pretty set on my Logitech mice. I already knew it would only sync with other Logitech products but I wanted a quality mouse over RGB lighting sync.
This would make a wonderful gift.