Description

Haven't built a PC for over 10 years and my Core 2 Duo was getting a little dated. Had some cash available so decided to update with all new gear. Original Budget was 2K but soon realised that more was needed to achieve a rig that had longevity and also ability to upgrade. Keyboard and mouse were later additions as was the 1 TB SSD.

Bought the bulk of my parts from PC Case Gear as I liked the ability to shop for all in one spot and compare the various kit (had not found this site at the time). When I ordered and purchase the parts an old address was passed on from my paypal account, as a consequence the kit was sent to my old address even though I had noticed the error and contacted PCCG. I was informed that it could not be rerouted and I would have to wait until it was sent back so they could refund and I could reorder.

As it happened the postage was very quick and was on the way within 24 hours, I had a friend who still lived next to my previous address and after a phonecall she went next door to inquire as to whether my kit had been delivered there, fortunately there was a missed delivery card on the door the neighbours were not in so my friend took the card and held it for me. This entailed driving to her house that afternoon to collect the Aust Post notification then visit the post office to collect my gear. (350klm round trip). Long story short the order had been split in two parts and yep only part of the order had been posted. Had to go back to the post office two days later to collect the rest of my order, not happy about another trip but all went well.

Ended up stacking all the boxes and just stared at them for about an hour whilst I had a beer, then excitement got the better of me and I started unboxing. I set all MB up with CPU, memory and GPU on the kitchen bench and plugged in the PSU with baited breath, so relieved to have it boot up 1st time. Now it was time to disassemble the parts and begin my build, being in no hurry and wanting avoid making mistakes it took me until 3:00am to get to the point where I had Win 10 installed and all the drivers installed and updated.

There were no major issues with the build other than a bit of effort trying to get the cable management tidy, all of the hardware was recognized straight away and I was soon looking at my new christmas tree :)

I look forward to further upgrades and will update this description as I go, not my first build but certainly my best and favourite.

UPDATE I have since doubled up on the mem with an additional 2X8 GB of DDR4-3200 Corsair Vengeance. Added a rear Corsair LL120 RGB exhaust fan, upgraded to a Corsair Dark Core Wireless mouse and added 1 TB SP Nvme M.2 SSD. The SP SSD is almost as quick as my 970 Evo Plus but at $199.00 was a cheap addition for my games storage. Mem increase was because I could and this is running dual channel with XMP at 3200. Corsair Dark Core has really good range and is very responsive at 1ms latency. The extra fan was to help with exhaust at rear of case enabling cooler running of the overclocked GPU, currently 2050 core and +500 on mem. I have custom fan curves set up to give the case a slight positive pressure bias.

Part Reviews

CPU

Went for this CPU because it seemed to be robust based on reviews and also takes to OC very well. Have been running at 4.6 MHz comfortably since the build and temp has stayed below 60C even when running stress tests. Hope to advance to i9 at some stage but will wait for the price to come down. I do some video transcoding and have found this to be more than adequate for my needs. Went with four stars due to price.

CPU Cooler

This was about the cheapest AIO that I could find that still looked respectable and had RGB, came with its own controller but am looking to set it up with the Corsair ICue software sometime in the future. It was reasonably easy to fit although I could not get the orientation I wanted for the pump but am happy enough for now, the hoses were a bit tight and I did not want to risk damage but will have a look at a later date. Fans are fairly quiet even when they ramp up and keep the CPU at 60C max.

Motherboard

This board was purchased for its upgrade ability and Overclocking. Although I am just getting back into PCs after a long layoff, I am a tinkerer at heart and look fwd to seeing what can be achieved. Love the UEFI Bios and the ability to reset and update from the buttons on the back of the board. The onboard start and reset buttons made it a simple job to bench it b4 the assembly to case and the hardware controlled OC switch is a cinch to use or open up the Dragon MSI software and adjust from within.

Memory

Went with reviews I had read online when choosing this memory, given my time over would have purchased a 4 pack of RGB vengeance. Selected XMP after the build without really knowing what I was doing but as it turns out mem speed is up around 4100, not bad for 3200 memory and base clock raised to 100.8 thereby increasing CPU to 4.35 by default. So far have not had any issues with lock up or reboot apart from getting over exhuberant with OC.

Storage

I use this for my Operating system mainly, wish I had sufficient money for the 1 TB version. This is mega fast and has been super reliable so far. I have installed in the M2 NVME slot with heatsink. After coming from a 5400 WD Drive this is awesome.

Storage

Purchased this as storage for games after the build and mounted it at the rear of MB in 2.5 inch bay, very simple install. Dowloaded the Magician software and gained a fair boost in read/write times (see image). I am currently using a couple of external 2TB usb drives for storage and backup one is USB3.0 the other is a 2.0 both WD. Have set up 8% of drive for overprovisioning. Load time for FSX is about 15 seconds.

Video Card

Have always favoured Gigabyte vid cards and never had any issues, this has been no different. Wanted a card that I could clock and have found that even without effort it will run close to 2000 without issue. I havent tried to go beyond it manually but will have a play at some stage and see what I can achieve. The card has 6 Gig of DDR6 memory so is quite speedy, at Idle it will power my FSX and SH3/4 sims without effort. SH3 runs 400FPS. SH4 runs at 200 FPS and FSX close to 100FPS all on max everything.

Case

This is my favourite bit of kit, I know that RGB does not add cycles but I am sold on the bling and the glass doors and frt show it off so well. The Corsair commander gear was stuck down in the base of the case with double sided adhesive so I relocated it to the right hand side in one of the 3.5 bays along with the fan controller. I still have some more cable management to complete but it looks ok from the left. The swing open doors make it so easy to work on and the removeable magnetic filters are a great idea. I also like having USB 3.1 (AX2) and C on the front cabinet, so convenient.

Power Supply

Needed to make sure the PSU would be more than adequate for OC and remain stable, currently have not drawn more than 375 watts so still some headroom. Like the idea of modular cables but will probably upgrade some of the cables to improve my cable magagement, particularly the MB cable which shows the individual coloured wires at the 24 pin plug and is not easy to right angle.

Operating System

Bane of my existence, it is not the French version but a download that was registered via an earlier Win 7 install from another of my PCs. I don't like the fact that it installs without the ability to select what you want, has caused so many issues with my games installs but I have learnt a lot over the last few months and am coming to grips now. When I have a point were all my software is installed and functioning well I image the C drive and save it offline, makes it much easier to get back to a stable starting point.

Keyboard

Originally bought a cheap wireless mouse keyboard combo to get me going as all of my spare units were ps2. Soon found the limitations though. Wanted a Corsair RGB and this unit was about the best bang for buck for my budget especially when purchase as a package with mouse. Will probably look to getting Corsair wireless in the future but this keyboard works great for now. I am a touch typist and find that the feel from keyboard suits me perfectly, some have complained about the noise of mechanical keyboards but I find it reassuring. The individually addressable leds can be programmed easily and setting up for games etc is so good using the iCue software.

Mouse

Was not sure about buying a mouse unseen, I like to feel the mouse to be sure it is comfortable but I need not have worried, this fits my hand perfect. There are plenty of programmable buttons and the ability to adjust the DPI on the fly is very handy. In all a quality mouse at a realistic price.

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Comments

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

That cpu price seems a bit high! I got the same for 236$

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Good for you, did shop around but nothing cheaper by a that much. Did purchase most of my rig from PC Case gear to maximise postage savings. I notice that the price is still over $350 Australian, although the locked version is somewhat cheaper. I see that you paid $355 for the same in your daughters build tho.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh I see the difference now. I paid 236 US$

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I sort of guessed as much, nearly trapped by the same thing when looking for parts, have update my reviews and build description if you are interested.