In anticipation of the release of Cyberpunk 2077, I decided to update my PC. I reused the case, storage drives, power supply, cooler, and optical drive from my previous build - which coincidentally was built just before Witcher 3.


A few notes:

  • I decided I didn't want to spend money on a new case. I really like the build quality and silent case features Define R5 and it wasn't worth it to go to an R6 just for the bigger window. If Fractal offered just a side panel with a bigger window, I would be in on it for sure

  • I'm coming from a Haswell i7-4770 that was OC'ed to 4.6GHz so the processor upgrade feels minimal. The i7-9700k was the original plan, but it didn't really make sense for me to pay almost double for the extra power. I played around with a few manual overclocking settings but eventually just settled on using the 4.9GHz EZ OC profile in the Asrock bios. It's stable, and getting another 100Hz probably isn't going to make a difference in my day to day experience.

  • I've always used Asrock boards so stayed loyal here. I got the Taichi for a bit of a deal and it feels very high end compared to the Z390 Steel Legend I was about to buy for $20 less. The gear motif is attractive, though I ended up blocking it with the video card.

  • For those of you vomiting at the rainbow RGB, I really wanted to go with a unified Aqua/Blue/magenta look but the Polychrome Sync (PS) software is really disappointing. I decided to leave the RAM on its default color flow pattern because PS really couldn't do any kind of gradient effect with it at all. Trying to run the G.Skill specific program to set just the RAM did not seem to override PS at all. There are also no presets for gradients in the "addressable RGB" settings (The rear fan and the RGB strips are daisy chained together). I suppose I could sit down and figure out how to program a gradient myself, but that's a lot of work for something that was supposed to be simple; still wouldn't fix the RAM problem anyway.

  • The vertical GPU: The inspiration for the tricolor system I mentioned wanting above was really seeing this card. l knew I wanted a 2060 Super to replace my GTX 970 - which actually was great for me in spite of that memory debacle. The Auros card is easily the flashiest computer component I've ever considered, so I knew I had to find a way to show it off if I was going to buy it. There are several vertical GPU brackets on the market, but I picked this one because it actually has a backplate. I figured this card was going to be pretty heavy, so I was willing to use an extra $30 to have a sturdy platform. The bracket should fit in almost any midtower case, though you may have to metal snip a few of the rear bars to expose the display hookups and all of your other slots are going to be blocked. I had to cut two of them to make mine work. Some of the newer cases actually have cutouts in the anterior grill so you don't necessarily have to sacrifice your other slots.

  • I also knew I needed to get the HDD drive cage out of the way of the card so I got these Phanteks units. I love that they are low profile, but they don't have any screw holes to attach it to the floor. I ended up looping through some zip ties and securing it that way.

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