Description

I paid $879.90 and this computer should be less than $900. If the filters are pricing it > $900 then you would need to tweak a few things, likely change the brand of the storage or switch between different name brand RX580's or GeForce 1060's.

I've been pricing out some descent gaming rigs with my son, and came to really like this combo. This will be my first experience with an AMD Radeon GPU and went with the RX580 due to price and ratings.

I've my share of gaming machines and this one will hold its own while still bring affordable. No overclocking, but I wanted an entry level build we can build together. I think this is a good price for everything on the build list, and a build you should be able to do without much issue. Just keep in mind the m.2 slot will share one of the 6bs SATA ports, but there are plenty on the board, and no real issue.

The last three gaming rigs have been GeForce, and I've been extremely satisfied with those. I'm hoping the AMD will hold its own. At the price point, if its as good as Tom's reviews, it should be great.

I am also testing out the Corsair RGB performance fans. Mainly because the 3 pack controller allows up to 6 fans on a single fan header. Given this little Mobo is somewhat limited on fan headers, I am hoping this is a good option.

Pics and Parts Review to come

Part Reviews

CPU

The chip is exactly what I ordered, so not much to review here.

I did opt for the non-K versions while pricing these out because I was not planning on overclocking, and wanted to see how I liked the stock CPU fans. My review will be based solely on the included fan and instructions.

The Fan has factory applied thermal paste, which was in good clean condition and no additional thermal paste was needed. The instructions left a bit to be desired, regardless to the fact that installation is relatively straight forward. The only issue I ran into was the push clips were already turned in the LOCK position which made it difficult at first to push the clips into place. Once I realized they were locked, it was easy enough to turn them, release the locking pins and push the clips into place.

The instructions have NO words for instructions, just a picture. Again, this is getting picky because the installation is straight forward and easy.

Motherboard

For a budget MoBo I really like it.

I needed an 8th Gen Intel compatible board with M.2 and PCIEx16. This board also comes with a Realtek Gaming LAN port, 4 rear 3.1 USB ports aswell as a USB3 header for 2 extra 3.1 USB ports up front. The board also supports up to 64GB of memory for future expansion. 6 SATA 6Gb/s connectors (1 is used to support the M.2 connector), and comes with dual bios chips.

Keep in mind this is a Micro ATX board, chosen for its low cost and small form factor.

Negative: Last year (and all previous years) the Mobo's came with a detailed installation manual, specifically the pin outs for the Font Panel switches, etc. To be fair, the board DOES have a microscope sized screenprint of the pin-out on the board. However I had a hard time reading it and I dont like to plug anything in unless I know for sure. The instructions do come with several QR codes that take you to more detailed User's Manuals, so I found the legible pin out without much hassle. It is just easier to have this available in the printed user manual because i'm assuming most people need this informaiton. Minor issue at most.

Memory

I chose this ram because it was of lower latency and similar price.
15-15-15-35 @ 3000MHz is a bit overkill for this system but I've always had good success with G.Skill ram and I like the lower CAS.

No issues so far with the auto-detection and speed.

Case

I really like this little CM MicroATX tower. I wanted a smaller form factor to fit a B360 Intel Mobo, and this seems to do the trick.

Likes: Small form factor, with a 1" cable management offset from the side plate to the MB Tray. There are several cutouts on the MB tray and should allow for descent routing.

The magnetic top/front dust covers are a really good idea. I have always hated trying to blow out the front panel, and found it a pain to remove them to get access to clean. These should make this process VERY easy and VERY accessible.

Dislikes: The front mount USB 3.0 Mic/HeadPhone and Power/Reset buttons have ~20" cables. A good 8"-9" of that will be used to route between the front fans. That leaves very little precious cable left to route to your MoBo connectors. And depending on the placement of each interface, they might not be long enough.

Power Supply

I always choose semi or full modular design for cable management, and this gold certified Corsair was an easy pick for me at $50. The single PCIE power connector for the AMD RX580 was simple enough and a secondary SATA power connector for the HDD and RGB Controller left the cables to a minimum.

The negative on this is the lack of braided cables, and the PCIE power strand is thick and ugly. I will likely pull the strand apart and wire wrap it myself, or buy the modular braided variety. I just hate the thick and flat wire for the PCIE module. To be clear, the main MOBO power connector has a braided sheath, just the addiitonal modular connectors do not.

Case Fan

First experience with the RGB controllers and found it lacking simple instructions.

The Installation instruction instruct you to connect the "RGB" wires (each fan has an RGB wire and a standard 3pin) to the Fan Controller. It then goes on to say "Plug the fan power cable into an unused fan port on your MB or Fan Controller".

The confusing part is that this kit comes with a fan controller. However it apparently ONLY controls the RGB functions and not speed? You apparently need a separate fan controller to handle the speed. This is extremely confusing because this should have a connector to go from the controller to the MB, but the only cable it comes with is a 6 pin connector that divides into 3 separate 2-pin switch connectors (Mode/Color/Speed).

From my current understanding the included controller does NOT act as a 6 port hub as it relates to fan speed. I can control all the RGB functions with this, but not speed. And my Mobo does not have 6 extra fan headers, so I believe I need to now purchase a separate fan hub to connect the 3-pin power connectors of each fan, into the hub, and then the hub into the System Fan header to give each fan power. Frusterating this controller does not control BOTH color and fan speed (even though there is a button for speed, but I believe this is only for the 2-pin speed button conroll).

I will call support and see if I am not understanding this, and will update the review accordingly.

Corsair support confirmed the controller included in the 3-pack ONLY controls the RGB functions, and unless your MOBO has 6 separate fan headers, you need to purchase an additional controller/hub for the fan power. They also confirmed that althrough their product has a "Speed" button, this ONLY works if you bypass and connect it to a switch, and then only for those fans you have connected to the Mobo. This speed function will bypass the mobo speed control from a CPU or SYSTEM fan header, so basically I cannot see why you would want to do that.

Support @ Corsair tried to sell me their Corsair Commander Pro fan controller, which in my opinion is a waste. They should include both RGB and Power controller, or remove the speed indication so you don't mislead people into thinking they are both included. The Commander Pro module is EXTREMELY overpriced, as I purchased a DeepCool controller for $16.00 vs the Commander Pro at $70.00.

This may be a common practice in RGB fans, to only include RGB control and I would need a power controller/hub anyway. The low rating is for the lack of transparency and misleading "speed" control.

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you find your M.2 overheating, I didn't see a heat shield? My MasterCase MC500Mt doesn't have those nice screws on the glass window. Nice budget build.