Description

To cut a long story short. I decided to build a new mid-tier PC for a mixture of gaming, streaming, video editing etc. Black and white theme to go with the office furniture. Some of the parts were bought on special or second hand from eBay.

A couple of points that I’d like to highlight:

The blower style MSI Vega 56 graphics card was perhaps a bit of an odd choice given the room available, but it was on offer for a decent price along with three games that I was looking to buy anyway…. Idle the noise is not too bad, but when gaming it does sound a bit like a jet engine! I might end up shifting it to a SFF build shortly. Happy performance wise though.

The Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU cooler is a solid performer. Hats off to Be Quiet since they listened to feedback and re-designed the installation process entirely. No more awkward hand tightening bolts on each corner of the mounting plate! Simple two screws required for anchoring, reached by removing two bolts from the top of the cooler shroud. Screw driver is also included.

No real issues with installation other than a couple of minor niggles as follows. The clearance for installing a 3.5” mechanical hard drive in the H400i is tight. I could see this being a problem if one were to use a larger power supply.

The EKWB Vardar F4-120ER PWM fans did not like the inbuilt H400i CAM Smart Device (did not even turn on). I read somewhere online that it is to do with power draw of certain fans, stock type worked fine. I ended up using a spare PWM hub and that worked fine.

That’s all from me folks. Thank you

Part Reviews

CPU

Purchased the 1700x on a special deal last year. Good all-rounder in my opinion, suitable for content creation, general use, video encoding, gaming etc. Hardcore gamers that are looking for the highest possible frame rates may wish to look at alternatives.

CPU Cooler

A high performance air cooler at a reasonable price. Large footprint so it won't be suitable for every case. Mounting mechanism has been improved, which will be a relief to many (including myself). Nicely packaged and perfect for a black and white build theme. Typical high quality from Be Quiet.

Motherboard

A very aesthetically pleasing motherboard (in my opinion). Has a feature during boot that will tell you if the memory is installed in a non optimal configuration, nice touch I thought. Also from what I've read the B450 Mortar boards have good VRMs, which is important. Worked straight out of the box without any real issues. No onboard bluetooth which is a bit disappointing.

Memory

Not much to say really, performed at advertised speeds and the price is reasonable. The heatsink is very light and does not add too much bulk. Should be suitable for most builds, unless the clearance between the CPU cooler is super tight.

Video Card

Nice looking card with decent stock performance, won't be suitable for anything above 1440p. AMD also ran a promotion for three free games with selected Vega graphics card purchases, all of which I was looking to get anyway...

I've knocked off a star due to the power consumption and noise, the later is to be expected due to the blower style cooler. Under volting is definitely worth while.

Case

A stunning case that is well made and has relatively decent airflow. I like the fact that you can choose from four different colour schemes. There are dedicated cable channels in the rear of the case, which definitely helps with cable management. Custom loop would be possible, but clearance are tight due to the cable bar and graphics card length. If I were to purchase again, I'd just stick with the regular H400 that does not included the CAM Smart Device.

Wireless Network Adapter

I know that it's always best to go wired, but it's not practicable due to the location of my PC. The T9E performs very well when it connects and seems to pick up a strong signal despite the distance. I'm able to max my 350 Megabit connection. Sometimes however it will get stuck in a unable to connect loop and the only way to resolve it is to disable and then enable the device again. After a bit of online research, I can see that others have had similar problems.

Case Fan

Sturdily made and come with a white sleeved PWM cable (very pleased). These fans shift a lot of air and are suitable for use on radiators. You will want to limit the speed though, at full whack your house will sound like a jet engine.

Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Why'd you use vardars in a relatively free-flow (comparing to 25-30 fpi rads that the vardars are designed for) enviroment?

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Good question. I had some spare from previous custom loop builds and just wanted to make use of them. Plus they fit the colour scheme :).

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice, I have a white and black build aswell, I used phanteks fans.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build, looks clean, good parts. Hope you get good use out of it! +1

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you :)

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

In the description you said you may move the VEGA56 to a SFF build soon due to the noise? If you already think the GPU sounds like a jet engine. It will be even louder in a SFF case with more limited airflow.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

The rest of the build is very quiet, hence the possible replacement. I've got my eye on the A4 Dan Case, which a blower style card would be suitable for. I'll just have to relegate it out of the office! Vaild point though.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build. Love the NZXT cases just so clean. You have same ram as me! Well I only have 8GB. +1

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. I completely agree with you regarding the NZXT cases, very good build quality too. +1 for Team Vulcan :)

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Clean. I like it. Like to see uniformity and intelligent design in builds.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build indeed, tempted and have been tempted to do a built in this case for a long time, quick question if you dont mind, i also have a Dark Rock 4 cooler , not the pro version though, is there much clearance between the Cooler and the Gpu, i want to use most of the parts i already have and it spend more on a Cpu cooler.

Many thanks

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Sorry for the late response. There is not a huge amount of clearance, a couple of centimetres, but that's enough.

You will be able to fit the Be Quiet Dark Rock cooler no problem along with the GPU of your choice. It would probably be far tighter in the ITX version, but some skilled installers have managed :).

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the reply, no need to apologise, it is much appreciated, yes think i will give it a go, i was worried about the Gpu being too close to the cooler, but a couple of centimetres will be ok with myself, many thanks again, and yes i really do like you build.