Description

Much like many others at the moment, this is the first "real" build I've had the pleasure of constructing. I purchased the various components in the weeks prior to and approaching Cyber Monday, resulting in prices that are significantly different than those displayed as I'm writing this (6 Jan. 2020) due to considerably better discounts. Altogether, the total cost was just under $1000, excluding the monitor and keyboard, with several games and extra bits bundled alongside some of the components. This system is definitely a solid mid-range build, with several pieces I definitely foresee myself reusing in the future. Say what you will about the RGB, I definitely enjoy it, with the exception of needing multiple pieces of software in order to control the motherboard, case fans, and GPU. I'm only using iCUE at the moment, as I find the fans to be the most dominant source of light in the case.

I was able to get a free license of Windows 10 through my University; if you're a student as well I would definitely look into whether your school offers a similar deal as well (FYI).

Part Reviews

CPU

For only about 15 dollars more than a R5 2600, this came with an additional two cores and a slightly higher boost clock. Seeing as most games these days are by no means CPU-limited at 1080p, this CPU is great for gaming and light workload-type functions. Even with the stock cooler, this CPU is extremely cool under load.

Motherboard

This is an all-around solid board with a only few deficiencies in terms of quality-of-life aspects, which is what takes it down a star in my opinion. It has three fan headers, one of which is placed to the bottom left of the CPU socket, rendering it nearly impossible to hide in my particular case. Furthermore, the RGB strips are on even with the system is turned off, which necessitates the unplugging of the system in order to deactivate them. That said, this is a great board when purchased for the right price, and I have no problems with the BIOS or any other regrets. I picked this board up over Black Friday sales, and it was the price reduction coupled with a nicer aesthetic than most other motherboards that lured me away from the B450s. I think in general, the B450 Tomahawk MAX is probably a better option unless this board is on sale at a similar price and you're not interested in using Zen 2, which this board does not natively support.

Memory

I picked this ram up at a steal for $56.99, which is pretty solid for 3200 CL16 from my perspective. It's not really capable of any significant overclocking, which is expected, but it's functional and comes with no real problems.

Storage

512GB is good enough for me at the moment, and this SSD comes in at a great price/GB ratio. That said, as M.2 prices decrease, there's definitely a good argument for purchasing a good samsung M.2 for only ~$20 more. For me though, the transfer speed wasn't really necessary and I'm perfectly happy with this.

Video Card

I was really stuck between the 2060 and the 5700, as I wanted to stay under about $1000, but I ultimately decided on this 2060 by Gigabyte. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a vendor card (I think both AMD and Nvidia FE cards look rather terrible), and as such the prices are slightly elevated for most cases. Although the 5700 has a very slight advantage in terms of performance, Nvidia definitely had the advantage in November when they bundled all 2000-series cards with Modern Warfare 2019 along with a $30 rebate. I'm pretty happy with this card, it has a fantatsic color scheme and fits my case perfectly. It's also quite cool under load, never really breaching 65 C, yet it's extremely quiet. I definitely foresee myself hanging onto this card for a while, as it's pretty solid for most games nowadays, easily hitting 100 FPS at 1080.

Case

This case is really quite nice, but it definitely must be said that this case is certainly meant to be small and this makes it quite cramped to work in. Cable management can be quite difficult, particularly at the front with full ATX boards. That said, when it all comes together this case is quite nice to look at and is rather unobtrusive on a desk. The fan bundle makes this case worth its slightly higher cost in my opinion, as its construction is really worth every penny. All together, I quite like the look of this case and I'm pretty pleased with its construction and features.

Power Supply

I picked this up for around $85 on Black Friday, and you really can't beat 80+ Gold with a ten year warranty. I'm definitely planning on using this for years to come.

Keyboard

This is my first mechanical keyboard, and I have to say I definitely enjoy the experience so far. This particular board had all the things i was looking for: macro keys, volume and playback buttons, and a good backlight. I picked it up while it was on sale for $55, and compared to similar boards at that price point this one definitely dominates; it has an all-metal faceplate and definitely feels more expensive than the price suggests. The preset RGB modes are quite pastel(?), which was off-putting to my brother but I don' particularly mind it. The volume slider, detachable wrist rest, and USB pass-through are all nice features as well.

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Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

if you do have a extra RGB header plug in cable to the left of the cpu cooler using the included cable from the cpu fan packaging. It'll help the rest of the rgb.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

For the ring around the cooler? I didn't realize that it had its own cable until it was already built, and the place where the cable attaches to the cooler is in a very awkward location. I would need to fully remove the cooler from the socket in order to do so, which would necessitate so much unplugging that I've yet to fully get around to it. While you're definitely right, it's not something that irritates me a ton, so I'll leave it for a rainy day.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Great job dude! I'm using the same cooler (Wraith Spire LED) as you are with my 3600X and my load CPU temp is 80°C. Do you know the load temperature with your 2700?

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

If you return the keyboard and case fans for cheaper alternatives, you could afford a decent aftermarket cooler; improving overclock potential and futureproofing!

  • 2 months ago
  • 0 points

Fix your cables

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Gee, thanks. As I wrote in my reviews, cable management in this case is rather difficult, especially in the front. It's something I'll get around to, but it's not something I'm particularly stressing over.