(TL;DR at the end)
Before I begin I just want to say I am only 15 so please don't be harsh on me. Any feedback for improvements is appreciated so let me know down in the comments!
This is my very first PC build, inspired by Bitwit’s most EPIC PC build montage EVER! Check it out here - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgGg7R4kbT4
I feel REALLY excited for this PC build to finally come up to me, since I was doing some lighter gaming on a MacBook Pro (Late 2016 with Skylake processors and no dedicated GPU) for the past 11 months. (At least I did save up for a whole brand new PC & not an eGPU, since I before had pretty bad specs for the time being. It was pretty painful.) The specs of that MacBook Pro that I was using are the Intel Core i5-6267U (hyperthreaded 4 core processor, locked), the integrated graphics (Intel Iris Pro 630), & 8 GB of RAM @ 2400 MHz. I have now ascended to the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (I keep mine overclocked at 4.2GHz) & the Asus GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB ROG STRIX GAMING OC! It just feels very awesome to join the PC Master Race, and I am glad to say that the wait for this rig to come to life is over!
May our framerates be high & our temperatures low.
Main Uses for this PC
The main uses for this beast of a PC are mostly for gaming, some light video editing, & other stuff. I do kind of feel like streaming on Twitch (or YouTube?) sometime in the future, but I am not too sure yet though.
Here are some of the games that I plan on playing (I have not bought any games yet, and I am only playing free games at the moment): Apex Legends, Rainbow 6 Siege, Overwatch, PUBG, CSGO, ray-traced Minecraft, Geometry Dash, Fortnite, etc. The Asus RTX 2070 that I bought also did come with 3 download codes for 3 games, so I will probably give those a try also.
The main goal of this build was 1080p 144Hz. Unfortunately, 1440p wasn’t in my budget, so 1080p was what I went with. The RTX 2070 is amazingly overkill in some lighter games, so I might make an upgrade to 1440p sometime in the future.
I had decided to go with a simple white, & black theme (with some silver accents from the X570 Steel Legend motherboard, which is where I got the name of this build) since most of the components that I bought are coincidentally those 2 colors, & a little bit of RGB just to catch your eye & make things interesting. White and black (with silver accents in my build) is also an extremely clean color combination & I really like it a lot.
How about we get on with the specs then?
AMD - Ryzen 5 3600 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor
This is SUCH an extremely high value chip, it performs just as well as the i7-8700K from "Team Blue". (Step up your game, Intel.) Since I have the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum (check out below for a review), this Ryzen chip idles at around 20° C. And I like keep it overclocked @ 4.2GHz, on all 6 of its cores, at 1.375V. Add the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum (see below for a review) & it will not get any higher than 65° C!! When Zen 3 becomes a thing, I might upgrade to a Ryzen 7 4700X for future proofing & make more use of the H115i. Maybe the Ryzen 9 4900X based on what I will do with this PC for a year from now. I am just not so sure yet.
What I like about the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor-
- Extremely high value for what it does
- Performs just as great as the Intel Core i7-8700K, sometimes it performs better even if the 8700K is @ 5GHz
- Multi-threading for a low price
- Low TDP (Only 65 W, the 8700K uses 95W)
- Has a stock cooler
- 7nm chip
What I don't like about the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor-
No integrated graphics,but I mean this is more of the enthusiasts-end chip, so what's the point about that? X570 chipset is pricey,however you can buy a B450/X470 motherboard & flash/update the bios *Basically no cons at all
Corsair H115i RGB Platinum 97 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
I bought this on Prime Day for only $104. It comes with pre-applied thermal paste so you do not need to buy one yourself. The overall performance is awesome, the Ryzen 5 3600 that I have installed never goes over 65° C. Nice. I also I really like the pump RGB leds, it is much better than the RGB non-Platinum itself. The ML140 fans are good, but they are not the best looking compared to the LLs. (However they are hidden & I need to lean over to see them, so it would mean a waste of money to me if I were to change it. The Corsair iCUE software is very user-friendly, & is easy to understand and use. I would recommend this product to anyone.
What I like about the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum 97 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler-
- Has a 280 mm radiator for better cooling than lets say, the H100i RGB Platinum (SE)
- The pump has much better RGB leds than the non-Platinum version
- High airflow fans
- Software is easy to use
What I don't like about the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum 97 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler-
- No cons so far, great job by Corsair!
ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 ATX Motherboard
The only reason why I chose this motherboard was because of the white & silver accents, which was the theme of this build. I already knew this motherboard was going to go well in the NZXT H710 case. This is a great looking motherboard, I especially like how there’s RGB for the price. There is also a USB Type C, so I can connect that to my MacBook, if I need to transfer files over to my main PC or something like that. I wanted to see if I could go with higher end boards (such as the ASRock X570 Taichi, one of my favorite boards in the market) but they’re overpriced because of the introduction of PCIe Gen 4, and also the higher-end motherboards would be quite overkill for my Ryzen 5 3600. One problem though. Sometimes when I open the ASRock Polychrome software, it doesn't seem to work sometimes, and I would literally need to reinstall it just to make it work. However you can control the lighting in the BIOS, so I am not completely bothered. Speaking of the BIOS, there are not much features but being a first-time BIOS user it was extremely easy to understand how things work, so props to ASRock for simplifying that. Great and underrated motherboard overall.
What I like about the ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 ATX Motherboard -
- It has RGB for the price
- Clean silver accents, it also reflects the RGB extremely well just like white
- The motherboard LEDs are a straight up mirror type (they are really reflective) so again, it reflects the RGB in this build even better
- An enthusiast-type board for an affordable price
What I don't like about the ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 ATX Motherboard -
- Whenever I try opening the ASRock Polychrome Sync software, it does not seem to work sometimes, and it results in me having to reinstall the whole app. If you are bothered by this and like RGB lighting then this probably would not be your first pick. However, you can still control the lighting inside of the BIOS, so I am not extremely bothered by that.
G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 C18
G.Skill STILL has some of the best RGB RAM sticks in the market, competing against something like, lets say the Corsair Vengeance RGB Platinum, which is something newer that could've been a better option since I have the Corsair LL120RGB fans. I originally wanted the Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro, but on this YouTube video, @ 7:58 based on the benchmarks that they ran, the Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro runs 10° C hotter. Since the G.Skill Trident Z sticks were at 40° C, that would make it between the 2, a 20% difference, which is huge. The brushed aluminum & RGB is amazing, however when I try to use this with Asus Aura Sync (yes, I have the Asus GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB ROG STRIX GAMING OC: see my review below to learn more), it just doesn't work. I have seen on the ROG forums that it is best that you uninstall the software from G.Skill and go with the Asus Aura Sync, however in my opinion I would wait for them to make a fix on that. If you try to disable the sync between the Trident Z and RTX 2070, it would not be a logical choice either because doing that would make the RAM sticks turn off, which is where it gets weirder. Anyway, other than that they are still amazing RAM sticks :)
What I like about the G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600MHz C18 RAM -
- RGB colors are pretty accurate for me
- Brushed aluminum brings in a clean look
What I don’t like about the G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600MHz C18 RAM -
- The Asus Aura Sync software does not seem to work sync properly with the G.Skill Trident Z RGB RAM sticks whatsoever. If you try syncing them together, they can do that normally but the G.Skill Trident Z RGB software is literally 100% useless in every way possible. You can NOT control that whatsoever. The one way to get around this is to uninstall the G.Skill Trident Z RGB software (which is pretty dumb to me) and use only the Asus Aura sync. The only problem with this, is that you have no access to the special effects that the G.Skill Trident Z RGB RAM sticks has to offer. In my opinion, I would rather uninstall the Asus Aura Sync software and take advantage of the RGB LEDs on the RAM sticks, since they look pretty cool indeed. My point is that there are not that many effects on the Asus ROG STRIX GAMING OC that I have, so I usually like to keep it in RGB mode (sometimes I use the default one, which is a red breathing effect). I would rather keep it in RGB though since I went with a white, silver and black PC build with mainly some RGB.
Western Digital SN500 500 GB M.2-2280
I had decided to take a chance and went for a budget SSD to save money & put toward the GPU. This boots really fast, for the price it is cheap for 500 GB so I like it.
What I like about the Western Digital SN500 500 GB M.2-2280 -
- Very fast boot times
- It has 500 GB for only $60 ($12 for 100 GB)
- It is an M.2 drive (much, much faster boot times than a 3.5”/2.5” drive, plus M.2’s make cable management a whole ton easier
What I don’t like about the Western Digital SN500 500 GB M.2-2280 -
- No cons so far, great job WD!
Asus GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB ROG STRIX GAMING OC
I would have went for a 2060 SUPER, but I ended up getting a great deal for $430. The graphics card itself also came with three included download codes for games too. Since the 2060 SUPER starts at $400, around the $430 they are basically around the mid-range 2060 SUPERS. The ROG Strix OC was just around the same price, and is more of a $500 card since it is one of the highest end RTX 2070s from Asus. I messed around with some overclocking on MSI Afterburner and this GPU never went above 68° C. Performance-wise, it is very easy to reach the 144FPS limit (I have a XG2401 1080p 144Hz monitor by the way, the review is below), and I did not go with 1080p because for me, Performance > Resolution is my go to. A 1440p 144Hz monitor would not be able to fit in my budget, but I will talk about that more later. I only have two complaints: the “Republic of Gamers” text is small, and like I said earlier the Asus Aura Sync is literally BROKEN with the G.Skill Trident Z RGB sticks. That is just straight-up disappointment right there, ladies and gentlemen.
What I like about the Asus GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB ROG STRIX GAMING OC -
- The RTX 2070 chipset is extremely capable of hitting 144 FPS in most games
- RGB for a much better framerate, haha
- Solid card overall
- My card never goes 68° C or higher
What I don’t like about the Asus GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB ROG STRIX GAMING OC -
- Like I said earlier, the Asus Aura Sync is LITERALLY broken
- Not much going on/effects on the graphics card
- The “Republic of Gamers” text is kind of small and hard to read from a distance
NZXT H710 ATX Mid Tower Case
This case right here is basically a redesigned H700(i). I really like the new redesigned glass panel, you only need to screw in 1 screw so aesthetically it’s better. Like the X570 mobo, it also has USB Type C, so I can connect it to my MacBook either way. Even if the build quality and cable management channels are basically at it’s highest point, for $170 and no RGB it is pretty messed up. But I mean, it is kind of alright in my opinion because I would not want the CAM software to spy on me because of that one smart device. Second of all, the side panels are quite hard to take off. You need to pull them out, you do not just unscrew them out. That’s not how this works in this case. I understand that NZXT was just going for that clean, minimalistic look that the PC builder market loves (including me), so I can relate. I still want to say this case is still an extremely well built case & I really like it!
What I like about the NZXT H710 ATX Mid Tower Case -
- An extremely well built case
- There are many cable management channels, making it extremely flawless
- The cable management bar makes the build look very clean as well as hide cables a bit better
- A clean, minimalistic white and black look
- Comes with 4 AER (don’t be mistaken, they are not RGB) fans (although I did not use them in this PC build)
What I don’t like about the NZXT H710 ATX Mid Tower Case -
SeaSonic M12II 520 W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular Power Supply
The Ryzen 5 3600 only uses 65W (i7-8700K uses 95W) so I would not need the very best power supply. It is very quiet, so I like that. I have decided to buy white sleeved extensions from upHere (see below for a review) to replace those dirt cheap stock cables. At least they are not ketchup and mustard, you know. Other than that great PSU.
Corsair LL120RGB LED (Three Fans With Lighting Node PRO) 43.25 CFM 120 mm Fans
These bad boys are still some of the best fans in the market, I ended up getting these on Amazon Prime Day for only $80. The RGB is perfect, and I am glad I didn’t buy another 3 pack since that would make cable management much harder. Looks like the ones on these LL120 fans do not come cheap at all, so you should be sure to expect them at a full price. I usually see the 3 pack of LL120RGB LED fans hovering around $90-$100, so be ready to spend a lot of money.
What I like about the Corsair LL120RGB LED (Three Fans With Lighting Node PRO) 43.25 CFM 120 mm Fans -
- They are the best looking fans in the market (in my opinion)
- The Corsair iCUE software used to control the lighting is very easy to understand and is very user-friendly
- You can also sync the 3 LL120RGB LED fans with other Corsair series fans (I did the same thing with my other 2 ML140RGB fans, which came with my Corsair H115i RGB Platinum)
What I don’t like about the Corsair LL120RGB LED (Three Fans With Lighting Node PRO) 43.25 CFM 120 mm Fans -
- No cons so far, extremely solid work by Corsair!
Ducky One 2 Mini 60% Wired Standard Keyboard
This is just one of my favorites of the best mechanical keyboards in the market (I have the Cherry MX Brown switches). This feels WAY better than your normal membrane keyboard, and the RGB looks awesome. The 60% design gives me more mouse space, so that is a plus right there. You do not need the RGB software to control the RGB LED lighting, by now I’ve memorized the shortcuts so I can save some space on my PC. It also came with a few colored keycaps by random (I got pink which unfortunately will not go well with the white, silver and black theme), and a [blank] of the year space bar. This is an extremely solid keyboard for the price (I bought this a bit over $100) and this thing is just FLAWLESS!! I would highly recommend this keyboard if you want to try mechanical switches!
What I like about the Ducky One 2 Mini 60% Wired Standard Keyboard -
- Mechanical Cherry MX Switches
- The RGB LEDs are very accurate colors
- You can customize the lighting to whatever you want
- The Ducky One 2 Mini software is not required to be able to control the RGB lighting on the keyboard, if you do have this keyboard and you do not want to install the software, be sure to refer to the manual for the shortcuts.
- The F4 keys, etc. are all still there
- Connects using USB Type-C and is detachable for on the go
- Custom per-key lighting
- The feet at the bottom of the keyboard are adjustable, so you can use the keyboard at another angle. Personally I use the lowest feet.
What I do not like about the Ducky One 2 Mini 60% Wired Standard Keyboard -
- No cons so far for the past 5 months that I have been using this (this was the first part that I ever bought), this would be my number 1 pick when it comes to RGB mechanical keyboards!!
Logitech G203 Optical Wired Mouse
I have pretty small hands so I went with this. (I play with a palm grip). The “mercury” sensor that is made by Logitech themselves keeps up with the PWM3366 sensor, and I don’t even notice a difference at all. There is also RGB, with the G logo. That is the only logo on there so extra points for the minimal branding. For the price, nice & cheap.
What I like about the Logitech G203 Optical Wired Mouse -
- It has RGB lighting on the logo & sides
- It also comes with a software to control DPI, lighting, macros etc.
- The DPI settings, lighting etc. profiles are stored inside of the mouse, therefore it is more convenient if you switch between laptops and desktops a lot, for example
- Wired for better connectivity (this may be a con for some of you)
What I don’t like about the Logitech G203 Optical Wired Mouse -
- This was not a con for me, but it probably will be for you guys: the mouse is quite small in general.
upHere Sleeved White Extension Cables
I had decided to avoid CableMod since I only needed white cables, & they charge a $20 flat fee. The build quality is really good considering I have never heard of a brand called upHere before. The cables also came with black cable combs, so for $30 this is quite the sweet deal. However, they are not that stiff and they do not retain their shape as good as the CableMod Pro series, let’s say for example. Because of all that, I needed to route the 24-pin cable around the white metal bar in the NZXT H710 case. That was quite unfortunate in my end since it looks weird, but I do not really have a choice so I went with that. Other than that solid cables!
What I like about the upHere Sleeved White Extension Cables -
- Great and clean build quality
- Comes with black cable combs
- They are actually extensions, so they are compatible with any power supply
What I do not like about the upHere Sleeved White Extension Cables -
- They are not as stiff than the CableMod Pro Series and they do not retain their shape as well as that, so I had to route the 24-pin around the cable management bar.
Corsair MM300 Extended Mouse Pad
I play on a pretty low sensitivity so I ended up getting an extended mouse pad. I originally was going to get a Glorious one (in the corner it says Glorious PC Master Race) but it was not in stock when I tried to place my order so I decided to go with this. It’s just a mouse pad, what more do you want?
1080p Extreme, 8x AA, Ultra Settings Score: 2670 Minimum FPS: 39.2 Average FPS: 106 Maximum FPS: 220.5
Cinebench R15: 1542 Cinebench R20: 3404
1080p Medium Score: 16938 Minimum FPS: 104.20 Average FPS: 126.69 Maximum FPS: 162.14
1080p High Score: 12837 Minimum FPS: 78.02 Average FPS: 96.02 Maximum FPS: 116.76
1080p EXTREME Score: 5711 Minimum FPS: 30.89 Average FPS: 42.72 Maximum FPS: 52.53
4K Optimized Score: 7104 Minimum FPS: 43.82 Average FPS: 53.14 Maximum FPS: 64.92
Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0
1080p EXTREME HD, 8x AA, Ultra Settings Score - 5068 Minimum FPS - 28.6 (small lag spike) Average FPS - 121.1 Maximum FPS - 217.6
By the way, I plan on doing one hour benchmarks whenever I have the time to do so. I do not know when I will do this but I will do this at some point in the future.
Things I might do in the future:
- Adding in a RGB strip from Corsair (to be able to sync with their iCUE software) for much better aesthetics and lighting overall
Replace the ML fans with LLsI fortunately will not be able to see those fans anyway, unless I do move over, so right now it is not really that necessary. That will probably be one of the last upgrades I will make to the system.
- Replace my current chair to a DXRacer gaming chair (white and black to match the theme) “He just has a good gaming chair”
- Upgrade to a
(Ryzen 9 4900X?)Ryzen 7 4700X next year. If I am unable to update the BIOS, then I will probably go with this generation (it will be either the 3700X or the 3900X, it will more likely be the 3700X because I will not be needing those ridiculous amounts of cores and threads.
- Upgrade to a (27"?) 1440p panel, or probably get a 1080p 75Hz panel for a dual monitor setup *Work on cable management [also maybe get some new sleeved cables (preferably from CableMod) for better bending because they retain their shape much better? I will probably go with a white and silver custom cable if I do, to reflect the RGB lighting much better than black. They are pretty expensive though, but I have heard they have pretty great quality, so I might give that a try at some point in the future. (By the way it is $120 altogether for those custom sleeved cables and a white sleeving AIO kit for the H115i RGB Platinum, to reflect the RGB a bit more. The $120 also includes the $20 flat fee.
Overall, I think I did a very awesome job, honestly the black and white theme makes it sooooo clean, I love it. Especially those silver accents on my X570 Steel Legend, they reflect the LL120 fan lighting extremely well. I can also choose to keep it in RGB modes, so that is a plus. The LL120 fans look amazing so I am glad I picked those up. I could have done such things like not getting that H115i RGB Platinum from Corsair & going with a stock cooler to get a RTX 2080, however it was on sale so I immediately bought it. The RTX 2080 is extremely overkill for 1080p, and like I said earlier I would not be able to afford a 1440p monitor due to my budget. It is easy to reach 240 FPS on light games, however I do not have a 240Hz monitor to take advantage of those frames because like I said, it is NOT within my budget whatsoever. I could have went with basic aesthetics and better performance (such as upgrading to a RTX 2070 SUPER, or maybe even the RTX 2080, or upgrading to the Ryzen 7 3700X, etc.) but seeing the builds on this website and the r/PCMasterRace, r/battlestations, r/nvidia and r/pcmods subreddits made me want to go all out as much as I possibly could, and I am glad I went the “balance of performance and aesthetics” route. Also, I could've went with a little bit better quality cables so I would not need to route the 8-pin EPS to the center of the two LL120 fans, but I did not really have a choice there because it would easily touch the fans. This was also the same thing with my 24-pin, it just was not flexible enough to go behind the cable management bar, so I had to route that around.
Thank you very much for checking my very first build out, I feel like I might make a montage at some point in time to show you the RGB lighting and all that in action!
TL;DR White/Black w/ RGB & silver accents.
Extremely high value chip, I keep mine OC'd @ 4.2GHz on all 6 of its cores at 1.375V with my H115i RGB Platinum. Runs blazing fast just like the i7-8700K, even if its not OC'd to 5GHz. This runs very cool even under load, I haven't seen it go over 65° C.
Great looking cooler, only $104 USD on Prime Day. The Pro version was more expensive for some reason, so I went with this. There are many different effects in the pump to mess around with, aesthetically it's amazing. Temps are also great, I haven't seen my Ryzen 5 3600 go over 65° on load. Was going to -1 star for the ML fans but I don't see them anyway. Awesome value for my price point!
Beautiful looking motherboard, I only got this due to the silver accents on the VRM heatsink. RGB software is alright, but I can't open it a second time for some reason. I would need to restart Windows to resolve it. You can control the lighting in the BIOS anyway, so I'm not too bothered. I sync this with my G.Skill Trident Z sticks, they work well together.
Beautiful looking RAM, I sync this with my motherboard. Syncing it to my GPU (I have a STRIX 2070) would not make the software work, so I synced it with the motherboard instead. I could've went with Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro or RGB Dominator Platinum to sync with my H115i, but I didn't want to buy dummy sticks for the Vengeance & the RGB Dominator Platinum is newer so I don't know much about how well it performs.
I bought a budget M.2 to spend money on other components. For only $60, you get 500 GB of storage, fast boot times (under 15 sec for me) & a decent read/write speed. WD really did a good job with their SSDs!
Ultra-fast card, I can easily run games at 144 FPS (1080p), for only $430. Since this is an OC'd version I messed around with some overclocking. Doesn't go over 70° C, & is very quiet. I plan on getting a vertical mount for this.
Extremely solid case. I went with the newer version just because. Stuff I like about the new version is how the glass panel is only held up by 1 screw, aesthetically it is more minimalistic at the front so I like that. The H710 also has a USB Type-C header (I'm ascending from a MacBook) so I can easily connect it if I need to. I know it's $170 for a case that has no RGB, but it's still an extremely well built case. Cable management is flawless, there are many velcro straps/tiedowns. I really did find this worth my money.
Got this for $40. Good power supply, its just the stock cables. I bought extensions since my build focused on both performance & aesthetics.
Beautiful looking fans, I'm also able to sync them with the ML140s I have on the H115i! Many different effects to mess with, its just perfect. They also give out a great amount of airflow while being quiet, which is why my temps are pretty low. When I bought it, it was $26.67 per fan but looks like these don't come cheap.
First time moving to 144Hz, it's AMAZING! Its so buttery smooth, you should get a 144Hz panel at some point. Although the red accents don't match the theme of the build, I plan on doing a custom paint job to make it white. Colors are pretty accurate, also the speakers are not bad. Don't know why people say it's mediocre.
This is my first 60% mechanical keyboard, & I LOVE IT! (I have Brown switches) I don't think I'll ever get used to membrane ever again. Also, this is 60% so more mouse space! You can control the RGB using the keyboard commands in the manual. You can't use the software, but I think it has to do with how small this thing is. I would buy this thing again & again & again.
Great mouse especially for the price. Comes with software for the lighting, macros etc. You can choose to keep profiles inside of the mouse or on your desktop (I have the data in my mouse for when I take it places). There is Logitech G branding which is minimal, but I play palm grip so I don't see it. Sensor is really good, can't tell a difference between 3366 & this.
Although there is a huge amount of branding, I actually like it. I did avoid this at first because of the smell, but it's actually not bad & it goes away after some time.
Great build quality, it also came with black cable combs. -1 star because they don't bend too well. I had to route the 8-pin EPS to the center of my fans, & the 24-pin had to go around the cable management bar in my H710. Other than that I'd still recommend this if you're looking for affordable extensions.