I built this rig primarily for web-surfing, email, and occasionally remoting into my headless fileserver for maintenance. I don't really play games or use my PC for media consumption (much less production), so this build is WAY overkill for my needs. Still, I wanted it to last awhile, and I am toying with the idea of trying some VR at some point, and I wanted something shiny, so this is what I built. I've put a few comments on some of the components in the reviews section.
Case Candy: Painted Acrylic PSU Shroud, GPU Backplate, and Cable-Hiding Panels So, I watched a couple of YouTube videos showing how easy it is to make your own GPU backplate and PSU shroud out of an acrylic sheet, and I thought, hey, that looks easy! I'll do that! But because I have none of the appropriate tools for working with acrylic, it was a bit of a headache, actually. Specifically, a scroll saw is quite useful in making cuts, and I don't have a scroll saw (or a coping saw, or even a jigsaw). I have a Dremel, with the lousy cutting wheel it comes with, and I have a soldering iron with an X-Acto knife attachment, and that's it. It is rather hard to cut 1/2" round cuts with a Dremel and an X-Acto knife. Really hard. So I ended up with a number of cracks in my PSU shroud, and the edges are rough, and it's generally not a great piece of work. Also, the printable vinyl I bought for masking turned out to be horrible - the adhesive stuck fast to the acrylic and wouldn't peel off, but the vinyl detached from the adhesive rather easily, and ripped all over the place, so removing the masking was a tremendous pain. Would not repeat. The eye design is a symbol from the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket; I like to fancy myself as a secret member of VFD because... I am a child. Also because it's better than Asus's ROG symbol.
All in all, this was a wildly expensive and extravagant build for my needs, but it turned out to be a lovely build, and runs like water downhill, so I'm happy with it.
I don't need liquid cooling. I'm not overclocking, and I don't tax my system, so the basic Ryzen air cooler is perfectly suitable for my needs. So I decided not to use it, and instead spent extra money just to pretty up the board. The exhaust fan that came with the case has a blue LED ring (and I don't want blue, at least not all the time), and the fan header is at the bottom of the motherboard, so the fan cord was hung down over my pretty white cracked PSU shroud, so I wanted to ditch it. So I decided to use an AIO, which could use the CPU fan headers. The Deepcool Captain is pretty. I went with the 120 because (1) I don't even need that much, and (2) if I used a 240, I would have had to remove the sound-suppressor panels on the top of the case, which would have made it louder. I don't like louder. But ask me how pissed I am that the cooler I received is the mirror image of the one I ordered, so that the hoses had to be contorted into a clockwise death spiral over the pump to fit the radiator on the case back, instead of pleasantly curving toward the top of the case without blocking the view of the pump as I had intended when I ordered it. Deepcool, this totally sucks.
I initially ordered a set of GeIL Super Luce RGB 2133, on the theory that they were relatively cheap and that my motherboard doesn't support anything over 2133 in four slots without overclocking, and I have no need to overclock anything (or for using four slots, but I'm planning ahead). But the RGB on the GeILs is horrible - it can apparently only be controlled through the Asus Aura app, so on a non-Asus board, the RGB strips default to a bright rainbow cycle. As far as I can tell, GeIL has no software controller for its RGB memory. So I returned the GeIL sticks and got the Corsairs. These cost a few dollars more, but they are beautiful, and the Corsair Link software is pretty slick. It would be nice if these were compatible with the ASRock RGB software, but almost nothing is compatible with the ASRock RGB software, so I don't really blame Corsair. I haven't messed with the UEFI settings on these (other than manually selecting the 3200 XMP profile, which led to a red screen of death and boot failures), so I don't know if I can actually get 3200 speeds on my Ryzen board, but they're working great at whatever default speed the board has them set at. Maybe when ASRock gets around to putting out a UEFI update with AGESA 18.104.22.168 I'll get higher default speeds?
The reviews of this drive weren't super enthusiastic about its speed, but I think this drive is awesome, even compared to my previous Kingston SSDs. It took all of 30 seconds for Windows 10 to install, and booting completes in a flash after the UEFI screen. Given it's price, this was an excellent choice.
As far as I can tell, there is only one reason to choose this case: the 5.25" bays. Fancy new cases are dropping the external expansion bays, and if you don't need or want them, there are better cases - Fractal has some excellent offerings, as does NZXT. But this case is great if, like me, you want to retain an optical drive or a hot swap HDD bay (I wanted both). I will be using the 2.5" hot swap bay for a Linux boot drive (the machine will boot to Windows 10 from the NVMe drive if there is no bootable drive in the hot swap bay or if the bay is turned off), and I occasionally use the 3.5" bay for checking backups of our family file server.
The case does have a few oddities: first, it is advertised as having six HDD mounting options, but this is a bit misleading: there is an HDD bay with three HDD trays, and there are three locations behind the back panel where you can mount an HDD/SDD by hanging one of the trays. There are no standard mounting holes for screwing in HDD/SDDs. The case comes with only three HDD trays, so you can only have three drives at a time, unless you can get Thermaltake to answer its customer service emails and send you additional drive trays. I couldn't - Thermaltake has ignored my email asking about the availability of additional drive trays.
The cable management holes in the back panel are also placed poorly with respect to the 5.25" bays, so that you cannot screw in your 5.25" drives without removing the bays entirely first. The case provides a toolless mechanism that is intended to make it so you don't have to screw in your drives, but it only holds one side of the drive, so for some drives/accessories, there is a bit of "give" on the other side, without screws. And the hot swap bay I used would not allow the toolless mechanism to lock in at all without me removing the drive bay first. So my toolless install wasn't toolless at all.
Finally, the case overall is rather sturdy, but the front panel where the intake fans/radiators are mounted is rather flimsy, and the removable filter is a bit tough to remove. In fact, the plastic tab that holds it in place broke off when I tried to remove it. :/ I used an inordinate amount of cyanoacrylate in this build.
I don't need a 650W PSU - I don't really need even a 400W PSU (I chose the Ryzen 1600 because it's a 65W TDP chip, rather than 95W like the 1600X). 650W is too much even if I eventually get a second GPU for Crossfire (and there's no reason for me to do that, since I don't game, especially given GPU prices right now). But I wanted an efficient PSU, and this one was on sale, and it's modular and pretty and will hopefully hold up for a while. The RGB on this unit is useless: you can really only make it solid red, green, blue, or white, or have it cycle through a 256-color rainbow (or turn it off). There's no way to match other colors or have it pulse or sync with other RGB products, so I don't really see myself using the RGB feature at all. But I got a good deal, and sometimes, that's all it takes.