UPDATE AND NEW PICTURES: Since completing the build during black friday and saying "I didn't want RGB and stock fans are fine..." I changed my mind and some slight alterations to my setup.
So firstly I got p****d that I didn't have bluetooth so I installed a Gigabyte GC Wireless + bluetooth 5.0 PCIE card and it's awesome. Easy to install, barely noticeable in the case, runs off the bottom PCIE slot and uses a USB2.0 header on the mobo for bluetooth, but this gives me coverage pretty throughout the house and allows me to run an xbox pad, wireless headphones and an echo all at once.
I decided the stock NZXT fans were a little garbage and they didn't control too well with DC so I purchased some Be Quiet Silent Wings 3 120mm PWM fans and replaced both exhausts and decided to use the third (yeah amazon had a min order of 3!) as a second fan on the cooler in a push/pull config. Since setting this up it's barely audible when idling/standard usage and no louder than a typical console when gaming. I've adjusted my temps slightly too so my idle is now around 36c but under load my CPU/system doesn't get above 68c. It took me AGES to understand fan curves though.
I then decided I wanted a little light in the case, so I purchased Speclux RGB strips off Amazon, they connect to the mobo using 4 pin RGB header and they stick in the case magnetically. I added a short strip on the top of the case and one vertically at the rear. Just enough to illuminate the fans so I can see them! Also they worked out the box with MSI Mystic light which was cool.
I've been on the look out for a monitor for a while and decided to stick with 1080p gaming - despite a 2060Super being capable enough at 1440p I don't think it's future proofed for that and I'd prefer to run games in high/ultra with decent anti-aliasing or supersampling with a minimum of 60fps so I went with the AOC 24G2/U which is a 1080p 144hz IPS panel with amazing colour accuracy and brightness and even Gsync compatible.
The other parts of the setup which can be seen in the new pics are my keyboard, a Drevo calibre, mouse (an ancient G500) and I use an Xbox One Controller.
Temps and Performance Update I decided to use the auto overclock on the CPU after much reading and this seems to achieve a fairly consistent 4100mhz clock, with the GPU I've applied a 10% overclock so it's running around 2150mhz.
On Red Dead 2 with most settings maxed out (FXAA and MSAA off) I've been getting an average of 70fps. Outer Worlds all settings on max it's a max of 144fps with lows around 80. Witcher 3 everything on ultra with hairworks on and AA at x8 its hitting about 95fps.
My first foray into building my own PC. Got back into PC games a couple of years ago with a gaming laptop, the more I've enjoyed it, the more I've wanted to enhance the graphics, reduce fan noise and play the latest games.
I wanted to build a pretty capable PC for under £1,000 to allow me to game (mostly RPGs, single player story driven games etc) at ultra 1080p or try out 1440p at at least 60fps, if not 100+ but last a good few years before requiring upgrading.
For aesthetics I wanted a pretty plain, mainly black build with white accents. I'm not too much into RGB (I know, I'm losing frames!!) so I'm pretty pleased with the glow of the cooler fan, mobo and GPU lights. I would've liked 1 RGB fan in the rear exhaust to balance the look, and maybe some custom PCIE cables but they can wait!
Settled on a Ryzen build after watching a tonne of YouTube videos. It seems like the most capable CPU at the price point right now. I'm not a streamer so no need for more cores/threads and the 3600 seemed like a good price. Currently not overclocked, but I added the Hyper 212 if I want to go down that path. That was super easy to install but I did have to watch a YouTube guide as the included manual is garbage!
Fairly standard Corsair 3200mhz RAM running dual channel. Easy to install and the XMP picked up the frequency of it immediately.
The M.2 drive as a boot works well and this one is really fast! Also less cables to even easier to get the motherboard set up and in the case.
I was going to get an MSI Armor 2060 Super, but I read a lot of reviews stating they were loud and ran hot, so a Palit Jetstream came up in Black Friday and had an even faster factory clock (1800mhz ish) I grabbed and glad I did.
The build was pretty good - the NZXT case is fairly good to build in, although I had massive issues with one of the standoffs. It was poorly drilled and screws kept slipping in it, making it real hard to ensure the mobo was properly seated. I also found the I/O shield for the tomahawk was really flimsy and quite hard to align with board. That made the build frustrating but eventually got there. The pre-installed case fans for the NZXT case are kind of loud and only 3-pin so maybe they'll get upgraded soon.
It posted first time and all components were recognised which was awesome. I've not installed much on it yet as I want a SATA SSD so don't want to overload the boot drive much.
Benchmarks and Temps
But I have run Heaven benchmark and it seems to average around 100fps with everything on extreme. The only real world game I've played so far is The Outer Worlds, with all settings on ultra at 1080p I was averaging around 130fps with the GPU around 68c and the CPU around 50c
Next thing to learn is overclocking and controlling fan curves and noise without causing thermal issues. Any tips let me know in the comments! (and any recommended replacement fans!)
Apologies about the photos, need to get the pc setup on a desk and get some lights to get some decent pics
Its fast, unlocked, comes with a cooler and is less than 200. I don't know enough to compare it to anything else but it works for me and was easy to install.
For the price I can't fault it! It was easy to setup, easy to install. Comes with mounts for AMD and Intel, even supplied with thermal paste. With the RGB lights and under 30 quid what's not to like?!
Dropping a star as there's no header for USB type c or wifi/bluetooth support - I knew that when I bought it, but c'mon on it's 2019 and that's pretty standard on everything these days! other than that, great board, lovely design, easy for a first timer to figure out all the elements to it and great BIOS for a beginner.
Easily a Samsung killer. Got a OEM Samsung M.2 in my laptop and this things feels faster!
Nice design, great layout for a first time builder, plenty of space. Tempered glass side panel, all the HDD/SSD bays you'll need, hidden cable routing and PSU shroud.
But... the finishing lets it down, the thumb screws aren't great, some of the screw holes weren't well tapped and drilled out, the manual is non-existent. Thank god for YouTubers!
They're not very noisy, they push a good amount of air in quite a focused stream and the have 4 pin PWM control. Probably overkill having two of them but they're nice and discreet in all black.