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First build in about 8 years...wow a lot has changed!

by rattlhed


I've been building & upgrading my gaming PC's for the last 20 years, but as certain things in life take priority I haven't really been doing much in PC building since my last one 8 years ago. So I decided to start from scratch and build a new system. I spent weeks researching components, build methodology, pricing, etc. and finally settled on my current system. I'm extrememly pleased with the results. I've been playing a few games on it since I completed it about 2 weeks ago and it's handling current games very well. Metro Exodus, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Battlefield V all play quite well at high settings, averaging about 60-80 FPS with no noticable issues. I may invest in a higher refresh rate monitor in the near future, but for now my 60mhz panel is looking darn good. My 3DMark Time Spy score sits at 8657 with no overclocking, which I'll be experimenting with soon (need to do more research on that as I have never overclocked before). Overall this built was pretty challenging for me. Years ago, RGB wasn't really a thing, so I wanted to add a decent amount of color to my build as well. Didn't go too extreme, but I think I found a nice balance of lighting.

For my case, I went with the NZXT H700i. I really enjoyed working in this case. There are a ton of cable management options, plenty of room behind the power supply shroud to hide wires, and lots of tie downs, clips, etc. to keep cables nice and tidy. I really like the easy removal of the back panel (just push a button on the back of the case and the rear panel pops right off). The tempered glass side panel looks amazing and really shows off the inside of the case. I also like the filters on all the fans to help keep dust at a minimum. The only thing I don't care for on the case is the front and top panels take a lot of force to pry off, which those came off a little easier.

For the motherboard, I was torn between the Asus Strix Z390-E, the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro, and the MB I went with, the MSI Z390 Cabron. Decided on the MSI as it had very similar features but was the cheapest (if $200 is considered cheap) of the three options. I was very impressed with it during the build and it's been performing very well. I look forward to seeing what kind of overclocking I can do with it.

I did a lot of shopping for CPU AIO liqiud coolers, and settled on the NZXT Kracken X62 since I was building in an NZXT case and also using the NZXT HUE2 lighting kit, so keeping some consistent brands in the build seemed like a good idea. This has allowed me to use the NZXT Cam software to control the the HUE2 for my LED lighting strips and the cooler which looks very nice. Running benchmark tests on the CPU, the cooler is keeping the CPU at a nice 60-65 degree range at full load.

My prior GPU was the MSI AMD R390 (my only PC component purchase in the last few years which kept my old computer somewhat up to date for gaming) and it lasted many years with no issues, so sticking with MSI for my new GPU was a priority. The 2070 seemed like a good balance between price and performance and I'm very happy with it. Almost pulled the trigger on the 2080 but at $200 more I couldn't justify it. Only time will tell if the 2070 holds up for a couple of years, but so far it's handling games very well and I'm pleased with the purchase.

Cable managment with all these components took me several days to get right, and figuring out how to install all the fans, CPU cooler, RGB LED lighting, 2 SSDs, 1 HDD (the only pieces I took with me from my old system) was a steep learning curve, but all said and done I think it turned out well. The front of the case is nice and tidy with all the wiring nicely hid in the back of the case. And M2 drives...holy crap are they amazing. This computer screems in Windows and game loading time is so fast! Windows boots up in about 10 seconds and surfing and streaming are instantanous. Techology is a wonderful thing! I decided to spend a bit on the drive and go for 1TB so I wouldn't have to worry about game storage space for a long time.

Luckily with tons of YouTube vidoes and blogs, I was able to figure it all out and I couldn't be happier with the end results. PCPartpicker was an instrumental piece of my build, comparing prices and reading other people's reviews and builds really helped me out, so I wanted to share with all of you my final product.

Comments Sorted by:

CooproxXo1 3 Builds 2 points 1 month ago

Super clean build, I love the color scheme!

Squadkills 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

What resolution is that monitor?

rattlhed submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

It's 2560 x 1440. Caps out at 60mhz though, and with this system I'm exceeding those FPS in my games, so I think a higher refresh monitor would take advantage of what this system can do. But man they're not cheap...

Squadkills 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Cheapest 144hz 1440p monitor I saw was like 270$

-parzival- 1 point 1 month ago

If you're willing to settle for 1080p theres an asus one that's really good for like 300

[comment deleted]
JoeyDelgadoJK 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Dude do u like that graphics card because I might buy it

rattlhed submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

I do. I'm quite impressed with it. Finally got a chance to play around with overclocking it in MSI afterburner last night. Increased my 3DMark TimeSpy score from 8700 to 9300 (about 5 FPS increase). Very easy to use that software and I could probably squeak out a little more. I think this is a great card for the price point. Runs cool too, the fans do a great job and never gets loud. I have yet to exceed 71 degrees on the GPU temp even playing for hours at a time. It's handling all my games well. Sure I can't play all of them at ultra settings, but high settings look just fine. On a 1080p monitor I'm sure it would be even more impressive, but my 1440p is going to bleed a little performance for all those extra pixels.

Quicknike 1 point 10 days ago

I’m so glad I have just seen your build!. I literally have started building on the same specs!. However quick question, what have you connected into your internal USB? Is it for the cooler, Hue 2 and the front panel?

radjsavery -2 points 1 month ago

Strips ruin the system tbh, they always do, gotta love those hotspot leds

Tuskeyemer 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

could just put some photographer's led paper over them to make them not spotty anymore, but I really don't mind

rattlhed submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

That's a pretty good idea...might have to look into it!