I wanted to upgrade to something I could reliably play newer games on and play games still to come out for the next few years. I had the GPU, SSDs, and PSU already from the previous iteration. After I upgraded to the 9900k, I bought the "budget friendly", sort of "entry-level" Prime Z390-A board from Asus and realized I'd have to find a way to be creative to incorporate the white/black features. The board itself is great, 99% of what most users will need to access in the BIOS is available on the main page called "EZ mode". It includes fan profile adjustments, boot priority, easy XMP enable/disable, and hardware info all on that screen. If you're new to PC hardware or doing your first build, I'd highly recommend this board due to that ease of access alone. I chose the RAM basically because that's what was on sale when I bought it. I wanted 3200 and 16-32 GB and it fit the bill. I purchased the 1070 Ti a few months back on sale. After tinkering with frequency and voltage, I don't see any need to upgrade to one of the grossly hyped and overpriced RTX cards at the time of this build. I also wanted to vertically mount it because I think the aesthetic of it is incredible, and though I have no proof, I feel it cools better or at least the airflow has more direct pathing and helps keep the interior of the case cooler. The AIO I decided to use was the Deepcool Captain white edition. I used this particular AIO because of the interesting pump design and the fact that it was white, to continue on the color scheme I was forced to use from the motherboard. So, here we are, HOT CPU, HOT GPU, 360mm radiator, white and black components, not a ton of desk space, what am I going to do for a case? I chose the limited edition black with white accents Phanteks Eclipse P400 Tempered Glass. This does require some explanation. I went with this case simply because of the black and white internal color scheme. After receiving and doing some research, I decided it wouldn't do so well with the 360mm rad as it sat and I wanted to make sure it was getting plenty of air in and out. So I cut it. The whole front panel went under the knife in search of better airflow. The airflow is greatly improved, nice fresh cold air in, everything is directed through the case and out the exhaust in the top. I then decided to paint the top and front panels white. I had an old golden Starfleet Captain's badge (idk) that I thought for some reason would go with the build because of the way the pump looked and the glass and just felt it fit the aesthetic. So I stuck it on the front, painted the top grille gold, and made some mesh grille for the holes I cut and painted those gold as well. Fancy. Now I'm not much for RGB, I actually tried to find most of the components available without it (pretty hard these days it turns out). I used the strip the case came with along the top and the pump header itself in a blue glow and I have to say I'm pleased with the reactor-look of the pump and the look in general.
This system also performs great. I haven't run into a single issue regarding FPS, temps, compatability, anything. I can't emphasize enough that it doesn't matter how crazy your build looks if it doesn't perform to the expectations you have of it.
If anyone has any questions about the hardware or peripherals or the build in general, I'd be happy to answer!
Based on reviews I've seen, the lottery is back with these chips (never left?). I happened to get a really good one. Locked at 5GHz all cores and doesn't get above 68C. People like to comment on how hot it runs, well, it's 8 cores and 16 threads, what did you expect? Adequate cooling and you have yourself a chip that 3 or 4 years ago you'd be paying $7-800 to match the performance, and that's just the truth.
What isn't to like about this thing? The pump head design is AWESOME, the white coloring is great, the radiator and hoses look high quality. Like RGB? This has you covered with the craziest RGB ever on the pump AND comes with 2 RGB strips. Mounting was easy, fan mounting is flexible with options and the CPU block was essentially a few thumb screws and done.
**I have seen reviews on other sites and here about leaking. This is my opinion, BUT, chances are they may have been mishandled or had a rough time during shipping. This goes for all AIO coolers, don't crank around on the hose connections trying to force them how you want them and be mindful of the angles you're causing the hoses to be at and most likely there won't be any problems. There is always a chance of a water system leaking, that will never go away, but the chances of that happening are VERY slim and if you're thinking about it, don't let that push you away. If someone got a leaky pump out of the box or it broke after a few months, OF COURSE they leave a negative review. How many people do you think have AIOs working perfectly fine that DIDN'T leave a review?
There's a lot to like with this board. What features there are have been great. The main BIOS page is really easy to navigate and 90% of users will probably only be using that anyways because that's where your XMP setting and fan settings are. Aside from the "EZ mode" (literally what they call it), the menus aren't hard to navigate. Does what it's supposed to, haven't had issues with RAM overclocking or CPU overclocking.
**I had to enable legacy drive support in order for it to find Windows on my drive. If you have an issue with it showing your drives but not finding a bootable device, I can almost guarantee this is also your problem and you need to enable legacy drive in the settings.
****ASUS AURA DOES NOT WORK. Like at all. I can't even get it installed on my computer. I've done everything I've seen on every forum including a fresh install of windows and a fresh hard drive and still won't install properly. Oh well.
I absolutely love this card. First off, it's a tank. The amount of overclocking you can do is insane. It can match a 1080 if you know what you're doing. Fan config works really well and this thing stays cooler than the 1060 6GB I used to have. Haven't run into something this cant play at 1440p 144Hz yet.
Where do I start with this thing? The aesthetic itself is subjective. If you don't want a minimalist look, then don't bother. If you want something that's going to look very smooth and clean, look no further. The radiator options are incredible. I have a 360mm in front and had no issue mounting that inside with the fans inside the front shroud. The airflow IN does lack a little in the volume department. I was afraid that if all 3 fans were on full blast they'd be suffocating. But this is a minimalist mid tower, they made the p600 for enthusiasts. Side window has the best design to see the inside of the case from what I've seen. Cable management is VERY easy to get looking clean. SSD brackets are a great touch. Overall aesthetic is just so clean. Add a vertical GPU mount and spend your time in grey screen staring at how pretty this thing is sitting next to you.