Description

A build based around the latest Intel Z390 chipset. Components were bought over a period of three months because PC components cost an arm and a leg here in my country. Build is used mostly for gaming and is replacing a previous build from 2009 based around an Intel Core 2 Quad (Q8200) processor and AMD Radeon HD 4850 GPU. I also have an ASUS ROG G56JR laptop but it is my backup PC now.

Recently got the last part of this build, the monitor. It's an ASUS PG278QR monitor.

Part Reviews

CPU

For me this is still one of the best bang for the buck processor from Intel, despite others saying that it is the Core i5 8400. The UHD 630 IGPU has increased it's performance but it is still not able to play well against AMD's IGPU solutions for some of their processors with the technology. I have played games using this IGPU while I saved up for my dedicated GPU and it was quite capable if you turned the graphics settings to low and medium for example in Far Cry 3.

CPU Cooler

When I chose to build my latest PC, I knew from the onset that I don't want a watercooled solution mainly bcs it is defintely high maintenance compared to classic aircooling. The push and pull combination of the two fans on the Cooler Master MA410M is just enough to keep my CPU running cool and idling at 36 degrees Celsius. My pull fan at the back of my case is also perfectly positioned for this cooler by immediately taking that hot air and continuing to blow it out of the case.

Motherboard

The choice was between the older Z370 chipset and the newer Z390 chipset when I started my build and I chose the newer chipset mainly because of the inclusion of the AC WiFi onboard the Z390 board. Maybe for future proofing , I can later decide to upgrade the Core i5 8th gen CPU to something more powerful in the 9th gen cpu range from intel. The spacious board was so nice to work with during the build process and it accommodated my NVidia GPU perfectly with enough airflow around the card.

Memory

When I got these two red colored HyperX memory modules for my build, I couldn't test out if they would work well together since I did not have any board that would take them. Also, I was taking a risk because of the fact that I bought the two modules separately and not as a bundle of two 8 GB modules. Right now the two are used in a dual channel configuration and running at the advertised 3466 MHz speed so everything worked out well.

Storage

This SSD has served me well over the past two years since I bought it and is definitely not showing any signs of it's age yet but I do run only my software from it with my data saved on a Seagate 1TB HDD as secondary drive.

Video Card

Actually I wanted to buy the MSI GTX 1070 Ti 8GB Gaming edition but due to some money constraints on my side and the fact that card hardly ever being on special, I had to lower my expectations for a GPU and when I saw the special on this Armor edition of the 1070 Ti, I knew I would not go wrong with my purchase decision and I can say it is a very impressive card from NVidia, especially for me that has never played a lot of games on 1080p and having it run smooth in the past. Online communities don't have much reviews on this card and giving all the attention to the expensive Gaming version of the 1070 Ti from MSI, so a lot of people are pushed to believing they would be making a mistake to buy this card instead. The gaming edition will definitely run cooler by a few degrees but the fan on the Armor edition is keeping my card idle at 45-48 degrees and at load at 55-60 degrees. The fan does not even start up until in the mid 50 degrees.

Case

Very good case for an ATX build due it's spacious design and excellent cable management options. It also had a windows on the left side to display any RGB LED effects that you have inside the case. My red colored HyperX modules also stand out more in this black colored case. It has more than enough space inside for even a watercooled configuration and radiators. The width and height is slightly bigger than normal for a mid-tower case so I understand why some online reviews are saying it should actually not be a mid-tower but is slightly bigger than normal. Another feature of this case is the dust filters that are everywhere that you would expect them to be and some emphasis on getting hot air out of the case through inclusion of the one 120mm pull fan at the back of the case and two 120mm push fans in front.

Power Supply

Well, this is my very first fully modular ATX PSU used in a build and I opted to get this High Current Gamer (HCG) with 80+ Gold certification from Antec mainly because it is a very trusted brand of PSU and the fact that my power can occasionally be switched off intermittently by our power supplier which they call load shedding and I want my components to remain safe during normal operation by having no sudden spikes in electrical current during those times of load shedding. The case that I used for the build has such a nice comfortable fit for this PSU and enough space at the bottom to allow for sufficient airflow throuhg the use of a riser.

Optical Drive

I just needed to have a DVD writer that performs well and is SATA compatible which my very old two DVD writers are not. The ASUS DRW-24B1ST was the perfect combination of speed and reliability for me as I still use the functionality of a DVD writer. I am skipping Blu-Ray drives totally because of cost cutting measures and I have enough external USB HDDs and my backup laptop.

Operating System

Love playing games and multi-tasking which is what Windows does better than any other OS. It is getting quite good lately at efficiency of the overall OS with a whole restructuring of the driver certification system as well as regular updates. Hopefully most MB manufacturers can get on board through MS with the delivering of updates for their UEFI boot systems via Windows Update.

Monitor

I couldn't find the ASUS PG279Q with IPS screen in stock at local retailers and after I've read of all the screen bleeding issues with the IPS monitors from ASUS I wasn't very keen on spending extra for an IPS screen. I've also considered the more expensive Acer Predator XB271H before this purchase but it's high price and stocking issues pushed the ASUS PG278QR out in front.

Pros: Support g-sync with 144Hz at 1440p with a thin bezel. Like the fact that it uses a AU Optronics TN Film that seems to be better than the normal TN panels and has a 1ms G2G response time. Can tilt, swivel, pivot and height adjust. Viewing 3D movies is possible on this screen as a result of support for streoscopic 3D. Cables provided in the box for DisplayPort. Got it with the ASUS promotion with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Standard Edition.

Cons: The PG278Q does not offer any aspect ratio control options through the OSD menu at all and Picture in picture (PiP) and Picture By Picture (PbP) is not available in this model. There are also no integrated speakers or audio connections on this monitor.

Keyboard

Compact 87-keys space-saving design mechanical keyboard! It's built like a tank with a very solid base. Mechanical keys with medium resistance, audible click sound, and tactile bump feedback. Gold-plated USB connector, and a splash-resistant design. You can adjust backlight brightness, breathing speed, backlighting direction or if necessary turn the illumination completely off.

Mouse

RGB lighting along with precise performance with five DPI settings, plus a useful sniper setting you won’t find on other budget mice. The Harpoon RGB is a right-handed mouse and feature six programmable buttons. The mouse's scroll wheel has a rubberized, textured feel that adds to the mouse’s feeling of solid build quality. You can also install the free Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) for tweaking the DPI settings and RGB lighting effects and set macros and other actions.

External Storage

This external HDD has served me well over the past two years since I got it in an online price giveaway and is definitely not showing any signs of it's age yet. This serves as my primary backup drive alongside my other Seagate USB3.0 external 3TB HDD which I bough three years back and cannot find on this site (STBV3000200) or Seagate Expansion 3TB External Desktop STBV3000200.

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Comments

  • 14 months ago
  • 2 points

cool build like the part selection

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. Not a NASA Supercomputer. LOL!

  • 14 months ago
  • 2 points

good build but i feel the cable management could of been better

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Me too. Any suggestions?

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

try tucking the wires behind the case, the wires connected to the ports at the bottom can be pushed down a bit more. since it looks like your hard drive/ssd is on top run the sata cables and the motherboard wires through that top port. as for back cable management im not the best yet. but its out of sight out of mind, as long as it doesn't cause problems closing the back or make it bulge out. also pull the wires back a bit more to the back of the case to remove that extra bit

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I will see also about optimal airflow.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

How were you able to control the rgbs on your cpu cooler? What program did you use or did you just use a controller?

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi. Currently I am just using the Coolermaster RGB controller but have it also set to be controlled via the MSI Mystic Light software to sync with the motherbaord's colors. I like the controller better. because I mostly get to look at the Redragon Kumara RGB keyboard with so many RGB variations to keep me entertained.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks good but i was wondering if you could customize the color of the cpu fan and how?