Description

My last build was a good enough build, in that it did what I wanted in good enough fashion. This time around, I didn't want good enough, I wanted better than good enough. I wanted GOOD. That's what I got this time. I decided to go with AMD instead of Intel because of the better value, as well as the fact that Ryzen 7 can do 80-90% of what the I7 & I9 do now, and when driver support and game optimization matures that gap will close even more. I'm currently using the stock cooler (Wraith Prism), and it's doing O.K. It's a little loud, but its' doing it's job so I can live with it for now.

I went with the RTX 2080 because I couldn't find a new 1080Ti from a reliable vendor for a reasonable price. I don't have the savvy to buy a used card with confidence, and if I spend several hundred dollars for something, I want peace of mind that what I bought is legit and stable. The 2080 does a fine job driving my 1440p 144+hz monitor both with games and videos. I have yet to overclock it, as I haven't a need to yet.

I really like this Cougar QBX case both in size and style. It was a little challenging to build in since it was my first ITX build. I had planned to use an AIO, but space restrictions caused me to use the stock cooler instead. Still though, there's a good bit of space for cable management behind the motherboard wall. The only drawbacks are that if you use the SSD/HDD mounts on the hinged wall, there's no hiding those cables when the case is open. Also, while there's a lot of cut outs for routing cables, they're cut just a hair too small for some of the best routing (24 pin mobo cable in particular).

I splurged on a SFF PSU, even though I could have used a small ATX PSU. I would have been hard pressed to find a higher rated PSU in any category, much less a SFF PSU. The SeaSonic is as good as it gets, and it's worth every penny. The cables are flat and bend well. I have no complaints at all with this unit, if fact I'd say that the Focus SGX sets the bar that all others should have to reach.

I took the opportunity to replace my old, small Seagate HDDs with a new bigger Seagate HDD. The old ones gave me more than 10 years of hassle free usage, so I can only hope this new one can match that record of service. The old build had a Adata 240 GB SSD that did a great job, so I bought a 480 GB without hesitation as the new boot drive. The Crucial SSD was already serving as my Steam/Origin storage, so I just brought it over along with the LG Blu-Ray drive. The Vantec adapter was plug and play, so I still get to use all my hard copy games for $20 instead of buying a slim drive for like $80-90.

The Pixio monitor had been recommended by Hardware Unboxed as a good budget 1440p Free-sync monitor. It's claims to refresh at 165hz, but there are some small glitches occasionally at 165hz so I set it for 144hz, and no hassles at all. With the newest driver from Nvidia, G-sync works well. The OSD has plenty of adjustments to make it just right for you. The other peripherals are carry overs from my last build. The Redragon Vara keyboard and Mionix NAOS mouse are great hardware that I'd recommend to anyone, and the Smartaudios E1 headset is a great cheap headset (under $25) but I don't think is available anymore.

Edit; new photos added.

Part Reviews

CPU

Great value and excellent for gaming and general use. Advisable to download RyzenMaster to accompany it.

Motherboard

Nice piece of gear and worth the money. UEFI is easy to work with and understand.

Video Card

Was looking for the reference card when this one dropped back to MSRP, so I bought it instead. EVGA makes good stuff and haven't been disappointed so far.

Case

I love this case. Looks good, lots of room (for an ITX case), and inexpensive. If you're gonna use a full size graphics card in this case, a SFF PSU is a must.

Power Supply

I looked hard to find a better PSU in this size, I was hard pressed to find a better PSU in any size. Worth every penny, and cables are flat and black (no ketchup&mustard here) and bendy.

Optical Drive

Not fashionable anymore but I like it and when paired with the Vantec NexStar adapter, it works as an external drive.

Monitor

Bought after seeing the review on Hardware Unboxed Youtube channel. If you can find a better monitor for equal or less, buy it.

Comments

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

450 watt psu seems a bit risky?

  • 4 months ago
  • 3 points

Not at all. Even when OC the power draw wouldn't hit 85% of capacity. The power meter here on PCPP leaves a generous leeway, so 450w is plenty, especially on a high quality unit like the SeaSonic.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

That is good news since I have the 2600X and already bought a 450W SFF PSU. What's the max power draw you've observed? Does the PSU's fan get very loud at load?

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't measured power draw in exact numbers yet, but I doubt it's much since I haven't done much on it yet. I have yet to hear the PSU fan at all, much less at any volume. The only fan I have heard is the Wraith Prism, but I knew it'd be a little noisy, plus since the sides are mesh, there's nothing to deaden or muffle any sound.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

my 2600x didn't get above 126W when OC to 4.2 ghz on all cores. Voltage at 1.45.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Totally agree! I also exclusively use SeaSonic Gold for my various builds PSU but I like to double what my actual need is so as not to over work the PSU.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Why you went with a B450 instead of a X470?

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

Cost mainly, as there wasn't anything I needed from an X470 I wasn't getting from the B450, so why pay the extra money. Also availability was a thing too.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I see. I agree that price is a huge factor. What about the overclocking possibilities on the B450?

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

Supposedly this board is decent for OC, and so far I've had few problems using the "factory" OC presets in BIOS. The real holdback will be cooling, especially in an ITX build. For the B450 boards in general, they're all supposed to be fine for lower OC, but for going all out the X470 is still the way to go.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I know im a little late, but Im building in the QBX and I cant figure out wether or not I need an Adapter or not for a SFX PSU.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, you'll need an adapter. My PSU came with one included, but I know that isn't universal.