Description

The title pretty much explains everything. This PC was built so that I could rectify the mistakes I had made with my previous ITX PC. With that PC, I was left quite unsatisfied. The whole ITX ecosystem was difficult to work with and unexpected issues kept rearing their ugly heads all the time. The motherboard started giving me so many issues (I had had already RMA'd it once) that the whole PC was reduced to a turtle's pace. Enough was enough, so I decided to go full ATX and a bit of a splurging spree...

I know, I know, my CPU/GPU combo suck compared to all the rest of the parts. I really wanted to go for the 8-core 3700X, but paying an extra $180 for two more cores didn't really entice me. Got the Kraken just for the looks lol. The TridentZ kit was bought for the RGB too, but I actually do need 32 gigs of RAM as 16 GB in the previous one proved to be insufficient. I do some game hosting which can easily eat up to 20 GB. The Crucial SSD and the RX 580 were salvaged from the previous build (I sold the rest of it to a friend XD). I don't need more storage right now, but I do have an 8 TB HDD lying around which I could always add on later. The graphics card I do plan on upgrading soon-ish. I'm an EVGA fan, so I grabbed another one of their SuperNOVA G3 units. The fan rarely comes on and even then, it's barely audible. The Phanteks Evolv X has been the star of the show for me, just neatly encompassing all of the components. It was an absolute pleasure to build in (and to look at). Cable management in it was lowkey, my favorite part of the whole build. I'll try to individually review all the parts/accessories.

I do care about the price to performance ratio, but the whole experience of a build definitely has a higher weighting for me. I might've overpaid and spent too much, but I feel an accomplishment every time I look at my set up and that is enough for me. I'm really addicted to PC building and I'm already planning my next one! But future upgrades to this one will include a second display (1440p 144 Hz adaptive sync), a beefier GPU and maybe an NVMe drive.

Thanks for checking my build out :-)

Part Reviews

CPU

A fantastic little performer! AMD have outdone themselves. I can see why basically everyone recommends this CPU. I only wish the price difference between this and the 3700X wasn't as steep as it is.

CPU Cooler

When this came out in 2016, I knew I just had to have one. The infinity mirror is just so awesome. I'd still call it the best looking AIO design ever. Excellent performance, but that is expected from a Kraken. I wish the fans weren't as loud as they get under load which is why I'm docking a star.

Motherboard

A true marvel to look at! A Hero is basically as high-end as it gets for most people. Picked it up at an awesome price, when basically every X570 board was outrageously priced. Has everything I need and then some. Superior VRMs allowed me to push my Ryzen 3600 to 4.35 GHz without having to mess with any voltages. Having a button to flush CMOS and a power button onboard is also very handy.

Memory

Picked this kit up near the end of the NAND shortage, so it was a little overpriced. I was able to achieve a stable overclock of 3466 Mhz on these Hynix A-dies with a Ryzen 5 3600 on the X470 ROG Crosshair Hero VII mainboard. Infinity fabric was clocked at 1833 MHz and DRAM voltage was set to 1.4 V. Quite impressive!

Case

A very elegant case from Phanteks. I came from the Evolv ITX TG and the difference was night and day. There were simple things they had overlooked in that case, but I had no gripes with this one. The side panel tempered glass is so crystal clear that it's hard to believe it's really there without touching it! I appreciate the extra ventilation on the top and front panels, as well as the RGB accents. Having the ability to house another whole computer inside is wonderful and I might take advantage of that in the future. I suggest pairing it up with Phanteks' new Neon Digital RGB strips.

Power Supply

It's a fully modular 80+ Gold power supply from EVGA with a 10 year warranty. Nuff said.

Case Fan

Buying a Hue 2 with LED strips included and then buying 3 Aer 2 fans costs the same as buying this starter pack and getting the LED strips later. I went this route and honestly, the lighting on the fans is so bright that I had no need to buy any strips. The instructions for hooking up other NZXT LED accessories like the Underglow are so vague. Took me legit a couple hours to figure this out as there's no information regarding this on the internet either. The fans themselves are obnoxiously loud over 60% which is very disappointing and might be a deal-breaker for many people.

Keyboard

My first mechanical keyboard! I've been a Razer fan since forever and I wasn't going to buy my peripherals from any other company. I was about to buy the Blackwidow Elite when this dropped. I got it at an awesome deal from Amazon. The tactility is perfect and the clicky noise was obnoxious at first, but it didn't take long for me to get used to it. I can see why people buy clicky keyboards now. Having dedicated media control keys and a volume wheel is awesome. I wish it had a column of macro keys on the far left side, but it's not that big of a deal. What is though, are the little painful shocks/jolts of electricity that it delivers from the wrist rest. The wrist rest itself is quite plush, but the shocks of electricity form the metal edges are unacceptable. There are lots of people with this issue complaining on Reddit.

Mouse

I picked this bad boy up at an awesome price over at Amazon before the whole rage with ultra lightweight mice started. I am tempted to try something like the Razer Viper, but for now I have no issues with this mouse, other than the feet starting to peel off on the edges.

Headphones

I can't stand the wires on wired headsets. All the big tech sites have this listed as the best wireless headset on the market. Found it at a very reasonable price on Amazon during Black Friday, so I had no choice but to pick it up. The microphone absolutely sucks. Their advertising that it's the best mic in gaming is completely false. My Bluetooth Skullcandy headphones have better mic quality than this. This is why I bought a USB microphone anyway. I can game for several hours without any significant issues. It can get very itchy if your hair are long enough to extend over your ears. I would've preferred if they had used leather for the ear cups instead of this cloth material, or even if they had at least made it more plush. The ski-band style for the headband is fine. It definitely makes the headset more comfortable over long periods of use, but the drawback is that the clamping force is inadequate and you have to tighten them frequently. Battery life is also unremarkable. I do end up having to charge them every day or two. The DTS Headphone:X surround mode and codec that they're using is unreal. It creates layers of sound and just makes the sound stage so much wider. At first, I thought the sound I was hearing in-game was from my speakers since it sounded like it was farther away, but nope. It's so much better than Dolby Atmos.

Speakers

I bought them to complete my Razer ecosystem, but that might not have been such a good idea. The Chroma lighting on them is so dim that it's not even worth it. They are way too bass heavy, even on the lowest setting. It basically drowns out all other frequencies. But I have to admit, they look great on my desk XD.

Custom

Another totally unnecessary accessory I bought for my Razer ecosystem. It's great as a headphones stand with a USB hub built-in. The lighting is so bright that I keep it at 30%. It's not worth it at all since it's outrageously expensive.

Custom

Saw reviews of it where it went toe-to-toe with the Blue Yetis of the world. Mic quality is descent, but nothing that blew me away. I suspect the only reasonable upgrade from this would be an XLR mic, so it's good enough for now.

Custom

These cables are quite stiff to work with, but that might be good thing as they are able to maintain their shape nicely. My only gripe is that the PCIe 8-pin cables for the GPU give off a weird look at the GPU end since the top four wires go over and under the bottom four. Cablemod should've made this end the one that goes into the PSU.

Custom

These are so bright! I basically never raise the brightness over 50%. If you own a Hue 2, this is an awesome accessory for your lighting setup. Unfortunately, the adhesive on them is totally useless. I ended up buying a roll of 3M double sided mounting tape and used that instead.

Custom

It's a perfect little 1080p/30 fps webcam from Logitech. Great for video calls as colors, saturation and image quality are wonderful. Could even get by with entry-level streaming.

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Comments

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the clean build +1

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! Not bad yourself.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

can i ask something about ur cpu cooler ?

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep, go ahead.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Question, how do you use the monitor?

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I know, I know, it's a little underwhelming. I have the Viewsonic VX2758-2KP-MHD on the way. It's a 27" 1440p 144 Hz FreeSync display, but because of that I'm gonna have to upgrade the RX 580 sometime soon as well. I'm still in high school, so money is a little hard to come by.

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

As someone who is also in highschool, I definitely understand that financial struggle.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

can you fit four ram sticks in with the kraken? i was thinking of switching to this mobo and getting that aio too but that looks pretty tight for 4

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

I went ahead and tested this out just for you. I'm including a picture at the end. It did take a while longer than usual, but I was able to install both TridentZ sticks into the first and second slots. It is tight, but not enough to discourage me if I were to install 4 sticks. Also, the Kraken's fans are WAY too loud. Had I known how loud they are, I would've just gone with an air cooler. Of course, replacing the fans with something quieter is always an option, but that increases the cost of an already costly cooler.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info that helps a lot

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey did you have any error codes (F9 & 0D) using that RAM. I have the same kind and my board won’t even post. I think it’s my RAM. Any tips on getting it fixed Ryzen 7 2700X Crosshair VII Hero WiFi MoBo G.Skill Trident Z RGB Ram (16GB)

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, you are right, I did. I ended up having to reset CMOS (button near I/O, hold for 7 seconds). I used the BIOS Flashback tool to update the BIOS to the latest version. This happened to me even though I had already updated BIOS with a second gen Ryzen processor. Try using only one stick (try the second one if the first doesn't work) and in different slots, resetting CMOS each time.

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