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My First Build Since the 90's - RGB is a Thing Now?

by nhaskell


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Aug. 3, 2017

Date Built

July 26, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

4.2 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.556 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

11 GHz


I used to build computers 20+ years ago before the web was really a thing. Mostly used magazines, BBS and trips to the local electronics store to figure it out. It was a blast at the time, but really challenging and often didn't work out as planned. I slipped into the Dell zone and just bought PC's for years, just upgrading a part here and there.

Fast forward to today and I found this great pcpartpicker website. Great functionality and community. After spending more time than I care to admit looking at other peoples builds, I was inspired to take the plunge and build my dream gaming PC.

I knew from the beginning I wanted something visually eye-catching. I settled into the Thermaltake Core P3 early on in the planning. It was challenging to build due to some of the worst instructions I've ever come across, but I have been impressed with the build quality and finished appearance. When everything was all completed I decided to go for the tempered glass upgrade, which looks great, but is totally unnecessary. But so is all the RGB!

The cooler and chip were an Amazon Prime Day purchase and were a great value. Very quiet and temps hardly go above 70° even in a Prime95 test. The Asus Mobo was the next decision and it was a tough one. I went with Z270E as I needed strong WiFi given a lack of wired connection in the room. The included antennae system is robust and the WiFi has been an amazingly strong connection so far.

I struggled with the RAM decision for a while and eventually went with the G.Skill Trident Z RGB. I know it is completely overpriced, but I wanted some bling since I had the open case. I went with it for the automatic integration with ASUS Aura software, which has worked very well so far.

My original plan was for the motherboard and ram to be the only RGB, but this ended up being a slippery slope I slide down quick. Once everything was assembled, the Ram dominated the case and cooler fans looked so boring. Next thing I know, I'm buying ASUS Aura compatible fans and light strips. Since there is no real case, the strips are on the back to light up the area with synchronized ambiance. The end result is a bit much, but it works for me.

One of the biggest selling points of the case design for me was the mounting of the video card. We spend so much on these cards, it feels right to put them front and center. I took the plunge and went with the 1080ti. It is a monster and so far plays every game maxed out at frames my eyes can barely see.

Since I was already in so deep, I wanted a monitor that could keep up with this horsepower. I considered 4K to be more future proof, but in the end went with a 1440p with a higher refresh rate and GSync. I have been blown away by this monitor and feel it will last for several builds to come. I also included my peripherals as I did a fair amount of research. The build quality of the keyboard is truly impressive. The mouse and headphones have been top notch as well.

This was a lot of fun to build and this website was a huge help to the process. I wanted to give back to the community by sharing my experience. Many of the ratings and comments of the parts on this site helped me make my final decisions. Thanks again to pcpartpicker and thanks to my wife for tolerating the budget and all the extra glow coming from my desk.

Part Reviews


Handles everything I throw at it even at stock speed. When I OC I get random 20° temperature spikes and drops that cannot be real given how brief they are. However under consistent load the temps even out. From what I read online it appears to be a sensor issue. Lose one star because of that, but otherwise has been great.

CPU Cooler

Simple to install, works great, looks good. I replaced the stock fans with Coolermaster RGB. The replacement fans have been much quieter than the stock, but even the stock were not that loud.


Solid design. Solid built. Good support and ASUS Aura has been great. Others have said it has issues, but it hasn't crashed for me yet. The built in WiFi and supplied antennae have been great. Most solid WiFi connection I have ever had on my network and this is between floors. I appreciate the two RGB headers at different ends of the board, one at top and one at the bottom, smart design.


It's RAM. It works, but this one looks prettier. 5 Stars for the effects and Asus Aura integration. If you are building RGB, this is the one to get.


Fast. Expensive, but fast.


Photos, Videos, Movies and Music go here. The rest on the SSD. Tons of space for a solid price.

Video Card

Handles everything I throw at it no problem. Probably the loudest thing in the case, but that is to be expected. Slick design and great performance. Expensive though.


I struggled between 4 and 5 stars on this one. I went with 5 because when it is all said and done, it looks great and the build quality is good. This case will come completely disassembled and will take a fair amount of time to put together. The instructions provided are horrendous and there is nothing online I can find to help. All the screws are mixed together and it is a real guessing game when picking which one goes where as the instructions don't show you much. The case is very versatile and can be configured several different ways. The mounting of the video card was a selling point for me. I had zero issues with the riser cable, although I did handle it very delicately after reading several people had issues and needed replacements. I ended up going for the tempered glass upgrade on Amazon to replace the plastic. The plastic isn't bad, it just comes down to personal preference. If you like the style and are up for a struggle during assembly, you will be happy with this purchase.

Power Supply

Near silent, reliable, gives everything power. Probably more than what I needed, but works as intended.

Case Fan

Purchased to replace stock fans on Corsair H100i V2. Works perfect with ASUS Aura software and syncs perfectly with my RGB motherboard and Ram. Significantly quieter than the stock fans they replaced. Good fans.


This monitor blows me away. It is damn expensive, but so far I have no regrets. I was considering 4K, but went with the higher refresh rate and GSync because I'm sitting so close anyway. The GSync technology is truly impressive. Highly recommend this monitor.


I can't say enough about this keyboard, Amazing build quality. Great ergonomics. Useful feature set. Great feel. This is my first mechanical keyboard in years and I doubt I will ever go back. I know it is a lot to spend on a keyboard, but I have been really impressed. Highly recommended.


Mouse feels great. I never realized how terrible my other mice have been. I watched alot of reviews on YouTube by Rocket Jump Ninja. Highly recommend his channel as he explains alot. He even convinced me to measure my hand, which felt pretty dumb at the time. However, it did help me make the best decision. I went with wireless and have had zero lag. You can always plug it in for the wired experience. Great Mouse.


These headphones are very good quality. However, I have to take one star away because of the location of the volume dials. Everytime I take off the headset I accidentally move the dials. I don't even notice until the next time I use them and I am constantly readjusting volume. It's a simple design flaw, but has been more annoying than I expected. That said, great sound, great mic, great microphone retractable compartment, comfortable feel even in long gaming sessions. I still recommend despite the volume dial issue.


Great speakers. These things are LOUD and almost no distortion. I'm no audiophile, but the sound is incredibly immersive. I paid extra for the digital optical version. Not sure how necessary that was.


Great LED RGB package. Plugged right into my ASUS Mobo and worked instantly. I needed a LED splitter to connect these to other things, but it came with the cables to connect to each other. There are two strips included, but only one connector to your motherboard header. They are meant to be used together, but you could use just one. Magnets stuck right to the outside of the case. Bright and effective.


Glass upgrade to replace plexiglas with standard case. Fit perfect, looks great. But now I'm stuck with an extra piece of plexiglas!


It's a piece of wood. Yes I'm actually reviewing a piece of wood. It's a bit expensive, but looks good. Very well made, but a woodworker could probably make it for 1/10th of the cost. I'm not a woodworker so I bought it. One star off for the price.

Comments Sorted by:

cvreagan 1 Build 2 points 20 months ago

Great build. If you shift your LED strips on the back of the case a bit farther away from the edge, the lighting will look more even and less overpowering. +1

nhaskell submitter 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

Thanks for the suggestion, I will definitely give it a try.

brpeden82 11 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

Man if your coming from 90's built computers and dell computers you have done a amazing job. this is one amazing computer welcome to the real #pcmasterrace you will never go back to prebuilt from system builders like dell i have two system built by gateway and hp. all other have been built by me.

ichris5o4 1 point 20 months ago

How did you manage to install the IO shield? Great build btw!

Blazer6905 1 point 20 months ago

just press on it in the back of the case put it in there then push it

nhaskell submitter 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

Unfortunately, because this case is open there is no frame to push the IO shield into. However, once the cables go in, it will hold well enough.

Blazer6905 1 point 20 months ago

thats weird whats the name of the case

nhaskell submitter 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

It's a Thermaltake Core P3

Blazer6905 1 point 20 months ago

I'm looking at it know

Blazer6905 1 point 20 months ago

Ok there is none so what you did was right

nhaskell submitter 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

Thanks, Yea, if you make sure the tabs are just right it will hold loosely in, but once I screwed in the WiFi antennae and plugged in the USB cables it secured in place.

ichris5o4 1 point 20 months ago

ahh! thanks!

Blazer6905 1 point 20 months ago

yes it is its a big thing to

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cvreagan 1 Build 4 points 20 months ago

You might not have looked at all the pictures. The fans are clearly lit in half of the pics.

Maybe let people enjoy what they want even if you don't like it. Your time and energy is better spent when you have positive things to say.

[comment deleted by staff]
ichris5o4 1 point 20 months ago

Less is sometimes more