Description

The last computer I built was back in 2005 with an AMD chip. I got a lot of usage out of that one so I decided to go with another AMD chip. Luckily for me they have a good bang-for-the-buck right now. I wanted a good middle-of-the-road chip so I went with the Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz 6-Core. Haven't had any problems with it yet.

For cooling, didn't use the CPU cooler that came with my Ryzen. I went for my first ever AIO liquid cooler from NZXT. I considered several, but overall liked the track record and 6-yr warranty of the NZXT Kraken X62. It works great and I barely hear it most of the time. My wife's older pre-built HP Mini is the source of the noise in our computer room.

My last build in 2005 had an ASUS Mobo that had just come out at that time. I got 10 yrs out of it before the capacitors started bulging at the tops. Granted that was back when you hardly had any fans at all in a machine and my home was always warm. I went with the ASUS STRIX Gaming ATX Mobo as it had plenty of fan headers, two RGB headers, a good number of chokes, and M.2 slot. Plus it also has the ability to clone my M.2 SSD when the time comes.

For this build I took a step up in RAM from 1GB back in 2005 to 16GB of RAM. The G.Skill was a good price at the time for 2666 and was compatible with my ASUS Mobo. Finding the right item to click in the UEFI took a little bit, but my RAM is running at 2666.

I used the Samsung 960 EVO M.2 for my OS/C drive. It's great! Access is super quick. For everything else, I re-used my 1.5TB HDD from my old computer.

I didn't have to have a 1080Ti for Ultra graphics for the games I play. The ASUS STRIX 1050Ti is a nice GPU that comes with two fans that are only used if needed. Being able to sync up the ROG logo with my mobo and fans is a small plus.

SeaSonic makes some really good PSU's. This is a nice, fully modular PSU. The 650W is enough if I choose to OC my cpu or gpu in the future. All the cables are black wrapped so they don't conflict with any lighting. The 80+ Gold has high marks and I didn't feel the need to go with a Platinum or higher.

Installing Win10 from a USB is extremely easy. The Mobo recognized the flash drive and automatically booted from it. ONLY do the 64-bit install. Going down to 32-bit is a waste. I paid for the Full Version as I would have the ability to move the OS to a newer/different computer in the future without having to buy another cheaper OEM license.

Okay, I first got the Thermaltake Riing 14 RGB's as the CM MasterFan Pro 140 AP RGB were out of stock everywhere when I was purchasing this part. If you want fans to sync with your ASUS products (Aura Sync), don't buy these. Check the ASUS Aura Sync webpage.... they are not compatible. What's worse, they have a proprietary 5-pin connector, so you HAVE to use their little control box. This box only allows lighting changes when you press the buttons, so you have to have a way to reach it when you want to change things.

The CM MasterFan Pro140 AP RGB's are the fans I originally wanted attached to my radiator and glowing through the front of the case. These fans are AURA Sync capable!

The case I went with was not listed with PCPartPicker. There was a different model of AeroCool listed. I chose the AeroCool P7-C0. It is better than the P7-C1 that might be listed. This case comes with dual, tinted, glass side-panels (the other model doesn't). The glass mounts onto four rubber-lined posts and uses thumb screws. The front has an LED ring around the front metal mesh that is controlled by a small button on the front I/O panel (cycles colors, static light, breathing light). The front I/O also has two 3.0 USB slots, headphone, mic, system activity light, and a large blue-glowing power button. The front, metal mesh allows ample air flow (a bit hard to pull off the first time; had to push the plastic pins through from the back-side). There is room for a 280 radiator with fans - without having to remove any internal panel on the PSU shroud (like on the Fractal Design Meshify-C). Hard drive bays are behind the shroud with the PSU. The case comes with front dust screen, bottom PSU dust screen, and a magnetic top dust screen. The case came with two fans and the Mobo stand-off screws already installed for an ATX board (they still included a stand-off installation wrench). The back has a sliding panel (with thumb screw) to hold any card-slot brackets in place, but there are also holes in the sliding panel for access to the card-slot bracket screws. I loved building in this case. There was enough room on the back side for cable management and sufficient cut-outs for running cables. I could have bought this case at my local Fry's Electronics for $100+tax, but I got it for $99 online with no tax and free shipping. To me, this case is far better than the Fractal Design Meshify-C that I was originally looking at. My wife likes my case and said she would like one also.

Part Reviews

CPU

I've had a lot of luck with AMD chips these past 20 years. You get a lot of bang-for-your-buck in them. This is a nice middle-road chip for the price.

CPU Cooler

My first liquid cooling unit. I like the AIO style and it's fairly easy to install. The warranty is one of the best in the field - the main reason I bought it. It runs pretty quiet - a plus! It comes with thermal paste applied. You can't sync it up with the rest of your Aura Sync lighting, but it has a good amount of lighting controls on its own. The CAM software leaves A LOT to be desired.

Motherboard

Great board! Lot's of fan headers and two RGB headers. Has a radiator pump header separate from the CPU fan header. A good amount of chokes come on this board. Good gigabit ethernet connection and nice sound. You can Aura Sync each of the LED lighting points individually. I've had great luck with ASUS boards

Memory

I didn't want to pay the high prices for the flashy RGB models that start at 3200 speeds. I like the blue spreaders and the brand is reliable.

Storage

Really nice little M.2 drive. Samsung's 960 EVO's are the top-rated M.2 drive for consumers. It's got a great warranty and reliability, and the 250GB stick works best as your OS drive (plus a couple extra programs). Buy a mechanical drive to go along with this one. Plugging it right into your M.2 port on the motherboard makes for faster reads than a normal SSD.

Video Card

I didn't need Ultra graphics and I didn't want to pay the Porsche-like pricing. This is a great GPU for the price. It already comes overclocked right from the factory. The unit doesn't use both fans if it's not needed. You can Aura Sync the logo with your lighting.

Power Supply

Great PSU! Large cooling fan. Has a button for silence mode, but you won't need to use it. Cables are black wrapped. High efficiency rating. SeaSonic is a well respected brand. A fully-modular unit makes for easy power cable management.

Operating System

The USB version is very easy to install. Plus, it's faster than an optical drive.

Case Fan

Yes, they provide a nice ring of color. They do get pretty noisy at full speed. These fans are not Aura Sync compatible. Do not get these fans if you are wanting to utilize your Aura Sync. These fans also have a proprietary 5-pin system that you will have to plug into Thermaltake's fan hub. From there you have to connect the fan hub to your motherboards 3/4-pin headers. With the lighting, you have to use Thermaltake's controller that allows you to set the color and lighting style (ie. static, breathing, etc.). You will need to have this controller sticking out of your computer in order to change lighting settings without opening up your computer.

Case Fan

Aura Sync compatible!! Not too many fans are.

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