Description

This is my second modern gaming PC build (with all my other builds being from the Pentium 3/4 era). This is also by far the most powerful computer I've built with my last one being a budget build.

I'm super happy with how it turned out. I wanted a less cliche look, so I went with white+accent LED's. The Phantecks LED strips look great and were super easy to install (magnetic attachment to the case). The motherboard also looks amazing and fits the theme well. I was also glad to get a 1080 near MSRP. I could've waited a couple weeks and got a better deal, but hindsight is 20/20.

Everything works great together performance-wise. I don't have any really heavy games yet, but am able to run Fallout 4 at ultra settings with multiple graphics/texture mods without framerate drops. Once I get a VR setup later this year, I'll be able to test the practical upper limits of my system.

The build itself didn't go as smoothly as I thought it would. Here's a list of issues I ran into and some future solutions:

  • Case: The case I got turned out to be just barely large enough for everything. Ideally, I should've gotten the crystal 570x, which is moderately larger and has more room behind the motherboard for cable management. As it is now, the radiator has minimal clearance of the RAM, the power supply cables are cramped, and cable management behind the MB was a pain. Solution: I alleviated some of the cable management issues by mounting the SSD in the drive bays instead of in the 2.5" bays behind the motherboard (Sorry, no photos of the new cable management). I could also move the drive bay further forward in the case, but didn't realize that until it was all built, so I left it as is.
  • Motherboard: I had issues with getting the RAM and CPU clock speeds to not be throttled. To fix this, I updated the BIOS and did not turn on "Game Boost", opting to overclock manually (some posters on the MSI forums suggested game boost was the culprit and I didn't need it anyways). I also enabled X-AMP with the appropriate RAM clock speed (2666 in my case). The only remaining issue to figure out is why the radiator fans are at 100% rpm all the time. But for now, everything is working well.

P.S.: Took some inspiration for the LED color combination from jpcotnoir's The Vault build.

Part Reviews

CPU

A great processor and runs well so far. I was able to OC it to 4 Ghz no problem, though I don't plan on going much further than that.

Motherboard

A great motherboard in all respects. Look and performs well. I had to update the BIOS for OC on my Ryzen 5 1600x to work properly, but other than that, it works great.

Case

This case looks excellent in person and is built well. It's roomy for a compact-atx case. One caveat though: I had issues with clearance between my AIO radiator (mounted on the ceiling of the case) and the RAM. The mobo was a standard ATX size. Cable management behind the mobo was also really cramped, but worked out in the end.

Power Supply

A great power supply, even if it was a bit overkill for my build. The cables that come with it look really nice and are built well. The power supply itself does it's job without complaint.

Custom

Well built and user friendly. The LED's are bright, but not overbearingly so. They have magnets embedded so you can stick them inside a case and move them around to find exactly where you want to put them easily.

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Comments

  • 23 months ago
  • 4 points

Love this build. +1

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks man.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Super clean! Love the lighting, it's perfectly understated and works beautifully with the color scheme. +1

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I appreciate it.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Love it!! Your radiator is confusing me. It is pushing air out right? Just checking. I have the microATX version of your motherboard with my Ryzen 1600 non-X (I should have grabbed an X or a 1700 since I use a radiator anyways -_-) and the same RAM but 3 sticks. I was looking for the best white case under $150 and I found this one and to my delight, the case looks like it has better airflow than others and the glass looks great.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

The radiator fans push the air out the top of the case (my cooler manual had recommended layouts for airflow direction and radiator placement).

The case is really nice and I highly recommend it. Airflow is great within the case since there is almost nothing to block it and the 3 fans that come with it push a decent amount of air into the case. The fans and RGB controller by themselves cost like $80 on amazon.

I imagine a microATX mobo will be no problem with space, though it depends on where the RAM slots are on it. Also, if you get a single radiator (120mm instead of 240), then you can mount the radiator on the back of the case and bypass any clearance issues between it and the mobo. Edit: I looked at the mobo (mortar arctic, right?) and it looks like it would have the same clearance above the ram slots as mine does, so if you plan on mounting the radiator on top, be aware of that.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the reply! I tried the top radiator mount position but I didn't have enough space to do it with my current case so I kept to a front mount....the fit was tight and wouldn't work with the RAM even though it is a pretty low profile (same RAM as you). What kind of stuff do you do on your PC?

I have a Deepcool Captain 240EX which I really love as it is white and fits the theme. I found the BIOS to be somewhat scary! Idk what happened but I updated to the latest BIOS a few weeks back and I lost the ability to overclock properly so I had to go back to the stock BIOS which honestly run fine for me and I have my overclock of 3.92GHz back with 1.35volts.

I always thought radiators would be a pain and now I can't imagine going without one unless you have room and tolerance for a giant Noctua with big slow and quiet moving fans. The radiator fans run so quiet. I've got all Corsair fans, I even replaced the radiator fans with ML120's :O Expensive but they are so pretty!

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, I don't think I mentioned it, but the radiator in my case is mounted slightly off-center, away from the mobo, which is the only reason it fits. There are several sets of screw holes in the top to give some versatility with where you mount things.

I'm using the PC mainly for gaming right now and hope to get a VR system later this year. Gotta say, I agree with you about liquid cooling. Back when my Dad and I built our first computer, liquid cooling had to be completely custom, built out of aquarium pumps and pvc tubing. And no fancy non-conductive coolant, so you better hope it doesn't spring a leak! Nowadays it's so much nicer though, if budget allows there's no reason not to.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha I just built my PC in October, last time I built one was in, well I don't recall but I had an AMD 64 of some variant and I remember going AMD because I couldn't afford Intel lol so like 2005 maybe 2006. I also remember 64-Bit being a new aspect of computing and the slow slow slow change over to 64-Bit....I mean there are still the 32-Bit programs that I run into occasionally.

But I remember when I built my first PC as a kid a remember thinking about all the exotic computing in amaze. I don't have that old PC anymore (except for bits and pieces of it lol) but I still call this a giant "upgrade". In between that time I've had a MacBook Pro since 2011 and before that I had my PC up to 2009 and in between I did most of my computing on another laptop plus an iPad and iPhone.

I only have a 1060 6GB but I plan on getting a 1080 er a 1070Ti whichever is cheaper with this crazy pricing when I can grab one. VR requires 90fps+ so 1080 will definitely do you well. Hoping I can grab a Titan Xp or 1080Ti used. So far I'm really pleased with AMD, coming from an intel mobile 3xxx series 8thread CPU it is a nice upgrade!

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

You should look at the subreddit, /r/buildapcsales. People post sales on there all the time. Since I built my computer I've seen 1080's and 1070's for MSRP. Just have to be quick since they sell out fast.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

That's beautiful!!

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks a lot.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Hows the case?

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm wondering this too

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

The case is still holding up great. No complaints from me, except what I already detailed in the description.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

How hard is the cable managment?? I'm looking for a good white budget case.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

It's not impossible, but I did have to get a bit creative with the routing in the back to fit the side panel back on. Get a fully modular PSU to be able to only use the cables you need and that will greatly help lessen the cable management pain.

Overall, it's a good case and I still recommend it.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Do you recommend only using water cooling in this case? Would it have a ton of extra space without water cooling?

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Go with what you want. Water cooling doesn't take up a ton of space. As I said in the description, mounting on the top had clearance issues with the RAM, whereas mounting the radiator in front wouldn't have that problem, but wouldn't look as nice IMO.

Just make sure the radiator has enough clearance and you'll be good. I haven't had any problems arise from the minimal clearance it has, but it'll be a pain if I ever need to re-seat the RAM.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

How did you update the Mobo BIOS?

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

There are instructions on the msi website. Search your Mobo model and go to downloads. Download the latest version of the bios for your Mobo and read the instructions. After that, unzip it and put it on a USB flashdrive. Reboot and go to your bios menu and select the flash bios option. Follow the prompts and you should be good. Just note, while it's an easy process nowadays, you can still risk bricking your Mobo if something goes wrong during the update.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Ahh ok too easy..