Explaining the name, I'm 62 and recently retired. I was an "early adopter" in personal computing, and bought my first system (an "IBM Portable PC" ... anyone remember those? It was a suitcase-sized unit that weighed about 30 lbs, with a 9-inch amber monochrome screen) in 1984. I learned the ins and outs of DOS and mastered a program called "dBase II," whose entire user interface was a "dot prompt" (. and blinking cursor). In a parallel universe I might have become a true geek, but my career track led elsewhere so I remained a periodic consumer of mainstream PCs with little if any peeking inside the case.
Within the past few years my young adult son built a couple of systems, which piqued my interest and led me to plan this as a post-retirement activity. I subscribed to Maximum PC a couple years ago, and PCPARTPICKER has been a huge resource. I built this rig a month ago and have been tweaking it -- upping performance, adding a few extra fans and tightening up my cable management -- steadily since then. Had a lot of fun with this project, and am happy with the results!
This systems is being used primarily for office applications, web-surfing and photo-editing. I realize it's overkill for that, but I enjoy having the extra speed and reserve capability. It is also more than adequate for the limited gaming I do now, and upgrading the GPU is always an option in the future.
Edit 3/21/20: fixed routing of that 24-pin cable and updated the cover pic... surprised nobody ever called me out on that :). PC running great and helping me stay busy during lockdown.
For me, the 3700X was the "sweet spot" in the new Ryzen line-up. Not easily over-clockable, but the BIOS PBO options plus fast RAM give it an extra boost and temps are moderate with a decent air-cooler.
An excellent cooler, and the chromax black is a perfect match for the dark theme of my build. This cooler is very quiet, and built like it'll last forever.
To bring loaded CPU temps down into the 60's, I added a second Noctua fan to get a push-pull setup. This made a five degree difference -- 70 to 65C while running "stress CPU" on CPU-Z -- but the price of that second fan means the final cost was $100. Could have got an NH-U12A for that price, but the 12A does not come in black so I probably made the right choice.
Why would I spend this much on the motherboard? In large measure, I really fell for the aesthetics of it. To me it just oozes quality, and I love the fact that it doesn't have any RGB. The unboxing experience lived up to expectations: this is a solid, substantial piece. The built-in heat-sinks help the chip-set and SSD run cool and quiet. I've never seen the chipset fan turn on during use ... had to try the "all fans max" switch in BIOS to make sure the thing worked. Gen 4 PCIe and Wi-Fi 6 help future-proof the system, so I think this board will serve well as I incrementally upgrade the system for quite a few years.
Good RAM. Youtube's "Hardware Unboxed" has an excellent August 2019 tutorial on tweaking RAM timings using the 1usmus "DRAM Calculator for Ryzen." Following those step-by-step instructions yielded improved scores on all benchmarks with no downside. Highly recommended.
This is a price/performance winner compared to more popular brands. Don't be scared off by early 2018 reviews: the current version carries a 5-year warranty and 650 Terabytes Written endurance rating. I see no down-side.
Quiet and quick for a (semi)mechanical hard drive -- no complaints.
A solid card for the money. Runs Wolfenstein 2 (my only game so far - lol) at 3440x1440 GeForce-optimized settings at 75 FPS. If I were building today, would have to consider the new 5600 XT for $40-$50 more....
A good-looking, beautifully-assembled and highly-expandable case that was easy for my clumsy fingers to build in. I wanted the old-school CD/DVD drive, and surprisingly few cases offer that anymore.
I got the Gunmetal Grey model with front-panel USB-C option. The fans are black on this, not white as some earlier versions evidently were. Didn't want any RGB fan effects... the RAM lighting (set on steady, dim green) and one discreet LED strip look good to me. FWIW I use the Mystic Light "CPU Temp" lighting option so the light strip has some utility (under 40C = green, 40-60 = blue, over 60 = red).
Ventilation-wise, I am running with top open as shown in pics, and added two extra fans: intake in bottom-front, and exhaust out top-rear. The Fractal Design 140mm fans are nice and quiet, so even open-topped with five case fans and push-pull Noctua cooler the system is near-silent.
My only complaint is the odd "6+2" pin power connector for the graphic card... the way you need to loop around the "+2" part doesn't look great. Other than that, no issues. The price was good for a modular PSU.
Though 520 Watts is perfectly fine for the current build, if I were doing this again I'd go up to 650+ to leave more headroom for the future.
Does its job, and price was right.
Good fans as discussed in case review. Only downside is the mounting screws are problematic as noted in many reviews. Make sure your Phillips-head screwdriver is a good fit, and bear down on it as you slowly turn the screws ... with a little muscle and patience they work fine.
This is the "pull" rear fan I added to the NH-12S. Easy installation. Don't forget to use the thicker rubber bumpers that come with the original cooler.