Yet another budget build for a non-gamer. Ditching the GPU may do wonders for air flow, but then what's in there to generate heat?? Nothing, that's what. This is a spartan box, but at least it looks hot and runs cool. I've been itching to do a black and white build for some time, so I'm happy to finally work with somebody who requested one!
This PC will become the hub of a growing home business. With possible Photoshop use down the road, there may be a mid-range GPU in the Zebra Beetle's future (black and white, of course), but since the need isn't immediate or even guaranteed, I spared my client the cost. If I pop one in later, I'll update here. I really would love to fill in that gap...
All components seem to work well together, although Windows is a little slow to boot, even from the SSD. I have a feeling it's the BIOS that's causing a consistent delay of about 8 extra seconds. But that's the risk of working with a budget mobo, I guess. A note to potential buyers: THIS MOTHERBOARD ONLY HAS RED LEDS. I was fooled by the RGB Fusion logo on the front of the box--RGB Fusion is only good for turning those nasties OFF (unless you like red, in which case... you can make them pulse. Congrats). I repeat: this mobo is not RGB.
I really like the new Hue 2. Don't get me wrong, I've had experience with Hue/CAM being buggy as heck (I wrestle with my own Hue+ every other day, it seems) but this unit hasn't crashed or caused any issues so far. I appreciate the slim profile and magnetized back, which allows you to mount it literally anywhere in the case without an SSD bracket--useful, since two of the four channel ports are on the side. My favorite spot for a light strip is behind the white bar in the H500.
About the NZXT H500... for whatever reason, builders really seem to like this case. Idk. I mean, it was nice. Roomy. Having previously built in the S340 Elite, I appreciated the slightly improved cable management on the back panel; however, I found myself wishing for more through-holes in front, and I would have traded the back panel upgrade for those holes. I kept running into walls (literally) during cable management that could have been fixed with two or three more cutouts, which is something the S340 Elite provides. I also missed the ability to remove the front panel, and felt a little claustrophobic because of that. These are such minor gripes, though. Having also built in a non-NZXT case with the worst cable management I've ever had the misfortune to endure, I can understand why someone might choose this as their first NZXT and love it to pieces. Ultimately, it comes down to taste, because the H500 is an objectively great case to work in, and I'd recommend it for a beginner who has never cabled anything before. Also, it's sleek and looks hott on a desktop.
Everything else runs as expected. I'm happy to answer questions about individual parts! Cheers, guys.