Description

After sticking with the i5 4690k for a good number of years I could tell that it was time to update my PC. I had picked up a used GTX 1070 on eBay for $250 about a year ago which has turned out to be a good buy, and my old Intel chip was starting to lack behind in games/work. Just playing something simple like League of Legends or CS had the thing pinned at 100% load while my second hand Pascal card wasn't even breaking a sweat.

Therefore, about 6 months ago I started planning out some parts to upgrade for my new system. I had a few criteria when choosing parts; smaller case than my old 450D, good all-round CPU, and some lighting to customize the look. See the part reviews for my thoughts on everything.

Overall I'm pleased with the way this build turned out; aesthetically and performance-wise. My in-game performance has been notably improved since reconfiguring, and programs for school like eclipse have been super snappy.

Part Reviews

CPU

Fantastic CPU, price to performance is on point. Out of the box, settings are perfect. Throw on precision boost and with adequate cooling, this thing is a beast.

CPU Cooler

Does its job, keeps the CPU cool while looking fancy at the same time. Probably not the best in terms of price to performance, but aesthetically, in my opinion, it's next to none. My advice would be to mess with the stock fan curves for it in the CAM software because it's pretty loud out of the box. Only giving it 4 stars because with the newest CAM version the lighting will malfunction and not let me edit it seemingly at random. However, for the majority of 6 months owning this cooler, it's worked without problems, so I'm sure that will get patched.

Motherboard

Only X570 mATX board that was available at the time of purchase. I'm knocking one star because of the lackluster VRMs, but since no other manufactures have even attempted an mATX board you can't hate too much. Everything else on the board is on par with the bigger brothers. It has plenty of fan headers, double USB 2.0 headers, adequate bios, logical internal connector layout (no weird headers in the middle), on-par rear I/O, and a simple look to tie it all together. I will say however the RGB software is horrible, and I just went with G.Skills 1st party solution for my ram RGB.

Memory

Solid. Ran at the advertised speeds right out the box after clicking on the XMP 2.0 profile. However, this is probably more due to 3rd gen Ryzen's better memory management rather than the ram itself. The lights are awesome, and G.Skills software has a lot of cool lighting options for personalizing your build. I went with the comet mode going opposite directions on each stick with yellow and white to match my theme, and I'm sure there is an option for everyone.

Storage

I got this about 2 years ago, and it's still working well today. It has slowed down a bit, but no more than expected from an SSD as they're only supposed to last about 3 years without issues. I might swap it for a 1tb PCI 4.0 drive when those get cheaper, but for now, it's still my primary boot drive.

Storage

I got this back in late 2014, and it's still chugging right along in 2020. I should probably upgrade it to a Firecuda 2tb or something though since those are so cheap now, and I'm running out of space.

Video Card

I bought this on eBay for $250 about a year ago. This is an interesting value proposition since it preforms right between the 1660ti and 2060. They go for about $200 on eBay at the time of writing this review making it really good for price to performance.

Case

I've built a lot of PCs in the past few years for myself, family, and friends. This is probably one of the easiest and most enjoyable building experiences I've had. All of the cable management grommets and holes are in the perfect location for a tidy build. The aesthetics of the case are simple and clean. Its got a mesh front for optimal airflow. The bottom and top dust filter are very easily removable for cleaning. The build quality is what I've come to expect from Fractal and this thing just feels solid. The only downside to this case is the front I/O wires are connected to the front panel making it harder to remove for cleaning.

Power Supply

I've had this PSU for 5 years; all black cables, gold certified, reliable, cheap when I bought it, and quiet. I don't think they sell this anymore, but I'm sure the new ones are even better.

Case Fan

Love the fans. I replaced one on my old case cause the motor died on the included corsair fan, and I knew I was going to go NZXT ecosystem for my lighting with my new build so I bought a single fan. They are nice and quiet and have a good PWM range. The lighting I realize is a purely subjective thing where some people like the blades being lit up, but I love the ring around the edge. They are super bright, and CAM (for all the **** it gets), has a ton of lighting options and is really sleek compared to competitor's software. Now they also give you the option to turn off data collection for those who didn't like that. The Hue 2 system is pretty awesome as well, being able to daisy chain fans to fans, or fans to lighting strips makes for really simple cable management. I have 3 fans in my system and I'm only using 1 of the ports on the Hue 2. In the future I might get a lighting strip to light up the case a little more.

Monitor

Solid monitor, I got years back for when I was serious in Counter-Strike. I think everyone knows now that once you go 144hz you can't go back. I'm thinking of giving this monitor to my girlfriend and upgrading to 1440p 144hz in the future though.

Monitor

Really good productivity monitor, I run this in vertical mode for coding, and as an auxiliary monitor when gaming. Super sharp good colors as far as I can tell, and nice viewing angles.

Keyboard

Customer service. I got this for free from my brother because we got him this for Christmas last year, and one of the stems broke on the right control key switch. He sent an email to Logitech and they mailed him a whole new board. I repaired this one and now I'm using it as my own.

Mouse

Used to replace my long-time Zowie EC2-A. I got this when the MB4 broke on that mouse, because of the familiar shape and my good relationship with Logitech gear. I love the new Logitech software how it integrates with discord and I can use the top DPI switch as a dedicated mic mute. I just wish they added more discord function to that.

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Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice upgrade and components. Congratulations. CPU is fast for now and can be upgraded if/when needed. Maybe in a few years you can get a used 2080TI for a few $100. Enjoy!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Very tidy PC. Love It.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Really nice build. I put a similar build together and this info was very helpful.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful