My first build! While growing up, I didn't have much and my household shared a single PC. I hogged it most of the time to game - but now I've moved out and am fairly successful career-wise, I decided to treat myself to an actual real build! For background, I always knew how to build a PC because I helped put together the family PC back then, I just didn't have the $$ and space for it. Gamed on my work/coding ultrabook for a bit.
I plan to use this machine mainly for FPS gaming titles like Rainbow Six Siege, CSGO, and Division - strangely enough, I don't buy most of my games... R6 was something that came free with my ultrabook and division is free with my AMD processor. I also do algorithmic forex trading, so I need that algo to work in the background while I game. Occasionally, I cast things from my PC to the TV screen while I game (movies for the wife). As such, I really do need a multicore processor to handle the load and Ryzen 7 8-cores is preferred over better single core performance of an Intel.
Here's a rundown of 'issues' I encountered and how I 'fixed' them:
Fan noise on NZXT stock exhaust fans: Attempted to tweak this using a custom fan curve on the CAM software. Pro-tip: this doesn't work. Reason: these stock fans are not PWM fans - you can't adjust the speed, you can only turn on/off. How I fixed it? I bought PWM fan replacements, specifically BeQuiet Silent Wings 3 on the top, and Noctua 120MM chromax black.swap for the back (to match the chromax fan my noctua cooler).
GPU peaking at 80C while gaming on Division 2 (My ambient temp is 22C): This is not good and it won't be good during Summer. How I fixed it? I saw completed builds in this forum using a 120MM fan inside the PSU shroud, blowing air up into the GPU. I did just that - I took the brown/tan fan from my noctua PCU cooler and placed it there (recall my CPU cooler has the chromax black.swap fans). I think this was a great idea! The brown/tan color is semi-hidden underneath the shroud, but I can still easily check if it is spinning by looking through the holes + the static-pressure design of the noctua fan easily pushes air through the perforated shroud.
Kinda regret getting a RGB Ram stick, when I realize it looks best when the RGB Ram is WHITE. I can't seem to figure out how to get the RAM sticks to STAY white without launching the Asrock polychrome software - you can't control this in bios or in CAM software AND Asrock Polychrome does NOT launch upon startup, no matter what bs hacks you throw at it. If anyone knows how to make these RAM sticks STAY white and BOOT UP white - please let me know!
I didn't have an issue with cable management, but I assume folks would be interested to know this point: The cable management in this case is AMAZING. I'm sure you already know this is a larger variant of an ITX case, so it makes it a lot easier, especially if you're a first-timer but you want a small-form. Also, do yourself a favor and get a SFX PSU - it will help with your GPU thermal and cable management.
Future upgrades: I'm really thinking about adding that 5 or 7 inch LCD screen in the case like most folks do to monitor via CAM software - but I'm thinking of doing it to monitor my algorithm while I game. I might use it for CAM SOMETIMES, but mostly for the algo. I've seen most folks use the 5" screen in this case - does anyone know if a 7" will fit?
Edit 5/10/2019: Still not too happy about 70-80 GPU temps, added the NZXT G12 bracket and threw in a 280MM Thermaltake riing red water 3.0 (super cheap clearance sale + swapped the riing red 140MM fans with my existing BeQuiet 140MM fans). GPU temps are amazing now: 25C idle, 50-60C load. Noise levels benefited as well: the fans don't need to spin as fast, so the system is more quiet overall.
Good thermals, good for multitasking and gaming - no throttling yet for my purposes. Admittedly, my games are low-demand (CSGO & Rainbow Six Siege)
I know the D-15 fits in this case, but I figured I don't need something that powerful if I don't intend to OC (and I didn't even get the X variant of the Ryzen) - so I went with this single tower and spent extra getting chromax accessories.
I guess it's either this or ASUS ROG. Frankly speaking, ROG has a cool heatsink for the NVME, and seeing that I'm using only 1 NVME as my 2TB storage, I should have gone for that one. BUT I didn't like the large antenna that came with the ROG board (lack of table space, see) hence ASROCK it is. I hung Asrock's antenna on Display Port connector.
Be warned: the mail-in rebate is non-existent. Do not count on it. I tried looking for the form online after purchase, it was nowhere to be found. It seems this is a common issue with Asrock, so I would say don't count on it.
Does the board perform well? Yes it does! Just keep in mind the NVME slot is at the back; meaning it runs HOT at the back and the back usually does not have good ventilation - you'll need to keep your cables well managed.
Yeah, I know NVME vs SSD doesn't make much difference. But like I said, I came from gaming in an ultrabook and I took this storage off my ultrabook.
Peeps said this card runs HOT - it does. Unsure if it is just RTX that way or Gigabyte's version of RTX.
Fantastic case for a first-time builder - easy cable management, love the CAM software (unsure why so much hate). Sure it is a little buggy, but can be easily debugged via reinstalling the usb device on device manager. Trust me, this is not a big deal compared to what others have.
If anything, I would very much appreciate if NZXT could add a diffuser to the LED strips: it can look a little tacky at certain angles because the reflections can show the individual LED bulbs.
FANTASTIC - no fan spinning when not needed, beautiful premium packaging, good thermals. Can't say anything bad about this one - I don't think you need that much power if you're looking into SFF builds (only one PCIE, see).
Excellent! If I had to choose between Noctua and Be Quiet, it will be Be Quiet! moving forward - I have 3 Be Quiets & 3 Noctuas in my current build. I'd say Noctua is busy milking their brand via add-ons like Chromax, while Be Quiet just gives the users what they want without needing add-ons.