TL;DR: First build. Preacher's Computer. Loved the process. MOBO needs more case fan headers. Annoying glitch issue with GPU yet to fix. EDIT: After much troubleshooting, the problem ended up being in the computer monitor, and not the GPU! Glad to have it figured out, annoyed at the issue.
This was my first ever build. I Had an older iMac before this, and as I considered upgrade options, it was clear that a self built PC was the only thing that would satisfy my itch. So I set to work.
I am a Pastor, and I run Logos Bible Software. On my old machine, this application was a huge burden to the system. I needed a computer that would run it smoothly. So I took Logo's recommended specs and set out to build a machine that would run Logos to its optimal performance, while also giving me a machine that I could use for some occasional gaming and light content creation for YouTube (theology videos, podcasts etc.)
I have never entered into the world of PC components before. AMD vs Intel was a debate I didn't even know existed. But thanks to many hours of bring watching youtube videos and reading various tech blogs and product reviews, I concluded that I would build an AMD machine. I started putting together a part list, and I also reached out to a friend of mine who works in IT for help. He got me in tough with one of his co-workers and he was a tremendous help for answering some questions and pointing me in the right direction.
I was able to snag several parts on this list on sale. the M.2 drive, GPU, Case, PSU were all on sale and/or had rebates, and the monitors are certified refurbished. At the time the RAM was a deal, but I have seen it cheaper since I purchased this.
The motherboard comes with a story. I was going with the R5 3600, and as such needed a MOBO that would work with a 3rd Gen CPU. I didn't have an old CPU to use to update the BIOS, so I was essentially waiting until I could get my hands on an MSI MAX board (the other option was a board with flashback button, but I saw some people were still having problems so I decided to wait for a MAX board). The trouble was that the MAX boards were being released in markets all over the world....except the US market. I called MSI in early September asking when they would be available (specifically for the Tomahawk MAX), and they said late November/early December at best.
I started poking around online. No one had a MAX board. Except one obscure, unknown site: shop4megastore.com. They had a an MSI B450M-A PRO MAX board, and had it what seemed like a reasonable price. Since I didn't know the site it seemed risky, but I looked at TrustPilot that they seemed okay so I ordered it. Turns out, it shipped from the UK, so it took a while to come, but it still beat the release of MAX boards in the US and it was a legit MSI MAX board.
One of my goals was to have the best cable managed PC for a first time builder. I don't know that I accomplished that, but I think I did well. You can be the judge.
One problem with the MOBO is that it only had one case fan header, and this case comes with three fans. I had to order a molex to fan splitter adapter. (Also, the fans that came with the case are only three pin so no speed control, and no way to control the LED light (obviously the ones powered through the molex aren't connected to MOBO anyway...). That doesn't bother me at all, but it might bother others.)
EDIT: The issues I'm about to describe ending up being fixed by changing out monitor screens. I can use of the ACER screens, but then have to use a different screen to avoid the screen glitching. EDN EDIT. I've had a few issues with GPU that I'm still working on figuring out. It seems to be a driver issue, but any help would be appreciated. Everything works fine until I load a game. Then the screens start to glitch. This will continue until I exit the game and unplug one monitor and then plug it back in. Right now when I go to load a game, I simply unplug one monitor. This is not ideal, and I often like to have something open on that screen while I play (I like to keep an eye on baseball games, etc), but it beats having screens that glitch all the time. I've tried uninstalling drivers, installing older drivers, and making sure everything is updated and a few others things. So far no luck.
It's very thick. I also probably didn't need. I could have used the stock compound that came with the cooler.
I'm having a few issues. I think they're driver issues, but I'm having trouble tracking it down. If I get it fixed it's a 5 star part. Runs everything on high at 1080p no problem.
EDIT: The issues ended up being with my monitors, not this GPU. This is a great card!
I really like this case. I like the white LEDs, but should note that they are only three pin connectors, so no controlling the speed, LEDs, etc. This doesn't bother me, but it might bother others. But it comes with three fans and I love that.
Great monitors.....not VESA mounted monitors. That's a huge bummer. EDIT: I had to knock off another star as I cannot use two of these on one computer at the same time or else there is screen glitching when a program goes full screen. I thought it was the GPU at first, but after testing that GPU in other systems and trying a different GPU in this system, the only other thing that it could be was the monitor. Changed one monitor out and that turned out to be it. It keeps two stars because it really is an excellently performing screen if you aren't running two of them. They look sharp!
A bit short. I ended up putting it on my ankle, as that kept it out of the way. Built my computer on carpet....wasn't going to let a silly static shock ruin anything lol.
Does what it needs to do.
The manual focusing is a little annoying. But it's a good webcam overall.