Description

This is my secondary PC, which I have named Akira. Partially because most of the parts are throw backs, partially because of the black/red color scheme, partially because I just watched Akira.

The purpose of this PC is for when I have friends over, so they have a decent rig to play on and don't have to bring their own. Its also a showcase build in that its a color scheme / card combo I've always wanted to do since the R9 290's came out & I saw corsairs press pictures with 2 of them in an Air 240. Most of the parts used are leftovers from previous builds (and re-builds) of my primary desktop Serenity. shameless plug I just rebuild that machine as well Here

Minor Notes

  • The 5820K is overclocked to 4.5Ghz at 1.295v

  • Yes, I know the cards are super close together. Yes. I know they can't breathe well. No. I don't actually care for this particular build (its all about the looks baby, and it stays in my super cold basement so it actually performs decently?!)

Part Info / Thoughts

Corsair Crystal 280X: This case is pretty great for a Micro ATX tower, with some minor caveats. I think its a solid upgrade over the, at this point, ancient Air 240 though, and incorporates its tempered glass in a much more refined way compared to its larger siblings at Corsair like the 460X and 570X.

Pros:

  • The overall lines, and use of tempered glass on this case look good, and I mean GOOD. Its stylistic, modern, clean, and subtle, my favorite aspects of case design.

  • The glass is used in a thoughtful way, leaves a lot of room for airflow, and in regards to the top and side use nice thumb screws to hold them in place. (they give you flat head & phillips head screws in the box so you can pick your preference on these)

  • There are more and better thought out cable management holes going from the back of the case to the front compared to the Air 240, making the case much easier to work with in regards to cable routing.

  • The included fan hub (that supports Corsair iCUE and their new RBG fans) is a nice touch.

  • I like how much space is in the back of the case for cable management (however its kind of a given being a 2 compartment design) There are a lot of cable tie down points though, which are very helpful.

Cons:

  • The front glass is glued to the front panel, so you have to remove the front panel as one piece (which is annoying on its own) but the bigger problem is cleaning behind the glass (if dust or other particulates get behind it) is a big pain in the butt. This isnt a problem on the other panels. I wish corsair had come up with a better method of securing this front panel so it could be removed as its own piece like the top and side. (maybe something similar to the PC-O11 pegs)

  • THAT. AWFUL. PCIE. PRESSURE. CLAMP. Corsair holy heck stop putting this on cases, its awful, just use screws like everyone else. It was awful with the Air 240, and guess what buddy boy its just as awful here. It doesn't help support the items you have in your PCIE slots (like GPU's or in my case 2 of them), its a pain to close, generally requiring a ton of force because guess what most PCIE cards don't have perfectly flat metal back there and is just all around bad design. At least give me the option to take it off and use screws. ugh. UGH.

Somewhere-In-The-Middle:

  • I wish the back side dust filter was on the inside instead of on the outside. Yes, I know I could technically put it inside, but the indent is on the outside specifically for it. It ends up getting bumped and then just looks droopy and sad.

Corsair LL120 RGB Fans: These fans are pretty cool, the light they give off is very uniform and bright, I like how much control I have over them with Corsairs iCUE software. The only complaint I have is that neither the fans NOR the fan controller hold your settings in memory. Nope. Every time you turn on your machine its rainbow city until iCUE starts up. Which also means you have to have iCUE run at startup (you cant just set it, save it, and never open iCUE again....) ick. Its a minor gripe but annoying none the less.

PSU Cabling: This is the only build I havent used ensourced.net sleeved cables for (mostly because its just a side build, and I didn't feel like spending the money for it) these cables are the standard red sleeved cables corsair sells for their PSU's. They are alright, the cabling is kind of stiff and they don't come with cable combs (I had to buy those on amazon) but the ends are wrapped which is a nice touch. HOWEVER the full kit DOESN'T come with the 24pin cable, you have to buy that separately. All I can say is wtf corsair. If you're building your main PC, spend the extra money and get the ensourced cables, much better value, and quality. (Yes I shamelessly plug ensourced in every build I do, they make good stuff and I want the world to know sue me.)

Other

  • I couldn't show it in pictures well, but Corsair's iCUE does allow you to create some pretty cool effects with the fans, for this build I have them doing a slow "rain" effect where the fans kind of flash red in different sections of the fan rings at random (doing this by alternating between "black"/off and red in iCUE). It makes it look like its raining red, its super cool, and so much better than just flat red. That is also why in some of the pictures the red on the rings looks uneven, its cycling between colors.

  • There's some bonus pictures at the end with Akira next to his big brother (my primary build) Serenity V4.5 before it got torn apart and upgraded to Serenity V5. If you can't tell I have a thing for cube / dual chamber PC cases.

That's basically it. Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoy the build! If you have questions feel free to drop them below. :)

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