Description

This system is a transplant/refresh of an older build I had that was wall mounted - (https://pcpartpicker.com/b/NVWD4D)

I wanted to get it off the wall and onto my desk. I decided on the 500D RGB SE because my ITX build lives in a 250D, and I really liked that case, so I figured I'd give Corsair another shot on cases (and because I already have a Corsair keyboard, mousepad, RAM, PSU, and previously an H80i V2 AIO) so I figured I'd just try to keep the same ecosystem for control to make it simpler.

Overall, I like the case. There were some issues I had when I was building it, and Corsair tech support was less than helpful in helping me resolve my issue, but I fixed it myself with the "solution" they told me to use, and got everything put together. It's my first ATX build in an enclosed case and after putting some thought and effort into cable management, I like how it turned out. The only downside I've noticed is the temps on my 1080Ti getting up to 80c while I'm gaming, which is close to thermal throttling, but if I swing open the side of the case I can lower that by about 10c. It may simply be the way I have my intake and exhaust fans arranged.

As far as changes from my previous build, I upgraded to the H115i AIO 280mm setup instead of the H80i, and swapped out the Zalman PSU that came with the Core P3 SE case for a Corsair AX860i PSU. It's considerably more efficient as well as more powerful. The Asus Maximus VIII Hero was swapped with an eBay purchased Asus Maximus IV Formula.

The H115i keeps my overclocked 6700k @ 4.7Ghz at 1.331V around 30c at idle and up to 60c at full load. It works quite well, in my opinion. Edit - It's now keeping the 9900k @ 5Ghz at 1.35v (EZ OC through Asus UEFI) in the mid 30s with highs reported close to 70 through HWMonitor, just gaming and normal tasks.

In the future, I plan on adding a Samsung 970 Pro M.2 drive, ̶̶̶and further down the road upgrading to a 2080Ti.

Edit 31March2019 - I've upgraded to an i9-9900k and Maximus Formula XI along with the newer Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200MHz CL16 RAM for a cleaner RGB look. The 9900k is running cool with an Asus EZ OC of 5GHz along with the RAM at its XMP 3200MHz. The AX860i fell prey to some kind of bad batch that Corsair produced, and was flickering power on and off because one of the PCBs was too close to screw hole and the screw made contact with it. It's a well documented problem I wasn't aware of until getting the PSU and running into the issue, so I opted for a new, covered under warranty, AX1200i for plenty of power to grow in the future.

Part Reviews

CPU

Absolute overkill for my needs (especially coming from a 6700k), which is primarily gaming, but on that front, it has excelled. I play a bit of everything, and the 9900k will just chew through my games. My Asus motherboard's BIOS claimed I hit the silicon lottery with it, and I easily hit the 5Ghz mark with the EZ overclock features. It stays relatively cool during normal use, typically between 35c and 45c while gaming. I haven't seen it climb past 75c even under heavy loads like testing, and all I'm using to cool it is a Corsair H115i RGB Platinum AIO. It's pricey, but considering 7700ks are still going for $300+ used in my area, I feel I got my money's worth.

CPU Cooler

This is a well built unit. The ML fans aren't as vibrant and well lit as the LL series fans, but they flow well and keep my 9900k below 80c during everything but the most brutal testing. iCUE is the weakest link with the H115i, not showing up, therefore being unable to control the RGB aspect properly, but it still keeps my CPU cool, which is the most important thing. Top mount installation wasn't too bad with the Obsidian 500D case, and that keeps it mostly out of sight, somewhat "resolving" the iCUE RGB issue.

Motherboard

I chose this specific model due to the aesthetics and plethora of connections on the I/O panel. I didn't need Wi-Fi built in, either. This board looks lovely in my build, but be warned the RGB aspect of it is VERY dull. You have to nearly press up against the smoked tempered glass to see it through the other RGB components. I simply turned it off since it's nearly unnoticeable. The board easily overclocked my 9900k, despite the supposedly misleading VRM specifications. I just used Asus's excellent UEFI and EZ overclocking to bump up the 9900k to an easy 5Ghz across all cores. The small built in LCD screen is a cool feature, though I haven't delved into it much to learn how and what I can do with it. It displays my CPU temps at all times, and shows all POST codes when booting up. A neat feature of that, is that it shows what codes pertain to what components as it boots (HDD, RAM, CPU, etc).

Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the look, performance, and I/O of this board, but I'm subtracting a full star due to the poor RGB performance.

Memory

This RAM looks fantastic. It easily hits the 3200Mhz mark with a simple XMP activation. I did receive a bad stick or kit with the first set of kits I bought (2 x 16Gb), and gave me endless BSODs and thousands of errors in MEMTEST. I simply returned the kits to Best Buy, got replacements, and I was off to the races with no more problems.

Until I upgrade to Dominator class RAM, these sticks are performing very well, and looking excellent in my build.

Video Card

Absolute beast of a GPU. I've never been able to truly put it through its paces, but it has handily bested nearly everything I've thrown at it as far as games go. The only game I've played to date that it actually somewhat struggled with was Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. I turned every single effect on ultra, and at 1080p I was struggling to keep it above 45FPS. That may simply be down to the silicon lottery., as I've seen benchmarks show that it should be much higher, especially at 1080p. This card also runs pretty cool. The only game I've played so far that really gets the temps up is Overwatch, for some reason. It'll hit low to mid 70s while inside my Obsidian 500D case. It always ran much cooler when it was in the open air ThermalTake Core P3 SE case.

I managed to get this card brand new at Fry's before the mining boom, and walked out the door after taxes $850USD poorer, but feeling much better about my purchase when the prices started spiking to ridiculous levels. This GPU is an absolute steal at the $600ish used prices I'm seeing them for on the local sales sites. I do plan on upgrading to the 2080Ti in the near future, but this has been an absolute solid buy, and anyone looking for a great upgrade at reasonable prices would do well to at least consider getting this one at a good used price.

Case

I had a rocky start with this case, having never dealt with fan controllers or lighting nodes, I wasn't knowledgeable on their placements within the case. It wasn't until I got to the point of routing all my fans and getting everything plugged in that I realized the Commander Pro that came with the case was factory mounted in a terrible, and utterly wrong, location. As you look at the case from the primary display side, the Commander Pro was mounted to the bottom right inside of the tempered glass. That means that if you were able to somehow plug everything in, you wouldn't be able to even open it, because the fan wiring would prevent it. I called tech support to ask them about it, and the tech acknowledged that it was a known issue and their solution was to use a blow dryer or other heat source to heat the adhesive to the put that it would pull off easily. I spent the MSRP of $250 just to have to use a blow dryer to remove and replace a factory mistake. Fortunately, in the end, it did work, and now I absolutely love the case. It was pretty easy to build in overall, and it seems to flow well enough. The LL fans look outstanding, and the build quality is top notch. Cable routing can be tough, especially since the routing side is also tempered glass that closes by way of magnets. If you don't route well enough, the glass won't fully close.

I do love this case, but the initial problem and tech support's solution really put me off. There was no attempt to reconcile the issue on Corsair's side, other than to tell me to fix it myself. I would have appreciate it if they had extended some kind of nicety to me, such as a coupon or something for my trouble, but there was no such offer. At the end of the day, I do love the case, and I would recommend it for someone looking for a well built, and well lit case.

Comments

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice looking build! Did you use the ML140 fans that come with the H115i or did you replace them with LL120's?

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I've stuck with the MLs for the time being, mostly because I didn't know they were MLs and that they weren't quite as well lit as the LLs. I've tried looking in to the impact of switching them, because I've read somewhere that LLs don't flow as well as MLs, but that may have been anecdotal. I still have some spare LLs left over that I may swap out, possibly as an intake/outtake config, but the LLs don't really bother me very much and seem to be doing an adequate job keeping the 9900k at good temps. Now if only iCUE would see the H115i...

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Question, how did you mount your H115i to the top of your case? I'm having a real hard time getting it in (same case as you). Seems like it would be easier if I could remove the top of the case but from what I can see there isn't a way to do it. Any suggestions? Did you do it without removing the top of the case?

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't remove the top. I thought it was removable, initially, too. From what I recall, you just have to carefully line up the screws to the screw holes in the top of the case and get them started. I always do opposite corners to get it to hang somewhat level so the remaining two holes are lined up a bit better. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, hopefully you've figured it out already.

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the response. I did eventually figure it out using a similar method to you. Corsair forgot to include in my 500D RGE SE case the LED control cable that connects the RGB LED Fan Hub to the Commander Pro so my 3 front intake fans and my 1 rear exhaust fans aren't lighting up. Hopefully, I can get Corsair to send me out the cable so that my build will be truly complete and I can post the final product here.

Thanks again for the responses!

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

The Commander Pro in mine came purposely mounted to the inside of the tempered glass on the lower right side as you looked into it. I called tech after finally realizing that I wouldn't be able to hook anything up to it and be able to open the case. Their suggestion was to use a hair dryer to heat the adhesive to remove it and relocate it. I was pretty pissed that I had to fix my brand new $250 case myself. Still, I did it and it worked out.

Do yourself a favor and map out all your fans' cabling and routing to make sense of it. It helped me a bit to make sense of it. Good luck!

  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

Jesus, I’m with you on the commander pro location, it’s absolutely awful, took me hours to route cables properly because of it. I didn’t even know you could switch it to the back... Guess I’ll go get a blow dryer lol. Cheers to the excellent build btw!

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

how good is the arctis 7? i'm looking into getting a pair of them.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

I like them. They're pretty comfortable and offer good sound. I bought them because rtings.com had rated them the best "gaming" headset at the time I got them, and I can see why. Supposedly the mic is really good, too, but I don't use it very often. The software seems good, but I haven't delved into it too much.

I have the previous version, there's a 2019 revision, but I'm not sure what the changes are.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

It comes with one of each. The 3 LL120 fans mounted in the front are hooked up to the Fan Hub, and the CoPro is elsewhere. Mine came mismounted at the factory, so I'm not sure where it might be on regular units.

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I love this case!

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

for the motherboard, you should have got the XI code but otherwise great job!

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm curious, why the Code over the Formula? I settled on the Formula because I think it looks really clean and it leaves me the option of open loop cooling the board in the future.

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