Description

Been 10 years since my last build. Very pleased overall.

Part Reviews

CPU

Love it. I'm upgrading from an old Phenom II, and the difference is incredible. Best price to performance CPU on the market at the time of this writing; it's really a no brainer in my opinion.

CPU Cooler

So far so good, no major complaints. Keeps CPU nice and cool, though I haven't really stressed it much yet. I'm not using the stock fans as I went with 9 budget RGB fans for looks.

The only negative would be that the CAM software really is hot garbage. It's unstable, and not really all that feature rich. It's more intrusive than helpful. The most I could say is that it's "usable" and not much more. I had fun picking out the color pattern on the waterblock, and then I forget it and disable it on startup.

Update: temps under load haven't exceeded 60C. These cheap fans I'm using instead of the stock fans likely aren't great for static pressure, so I could probably do better with better quality fans on the radiator. I haven't used the stock fans so I can't say how much better they'd do.

Update: I just came back to say again that the CAM software is crap, and it gets even more unstable with each release. If you're buying this AIO for the infinity mirror RGB... sure, it's pretty, but good luck controlling it.

Motherboard

Very happy with this motherboard so far. I debated going with the B450 Steel Legend to save about $80 bucks, but ultimately decided to just go with it to avoid having to flash BIOS to get the CPU working.

Either way it seems to be a very well built board. I love the white digital camo design, and the RGB on the two heatsink blocks.

The chipset fan seems to be silent near as I can tell. The whole system runs very quiet, so I feel like I would be able to hear it if it were making noise.

Aside from the price and aesthetics, I picked this board for the 3 pin 5V addressable RGB header, which I wanted in order to control the RGB fans. It does work, and I'm pleased enough with it, but the ASRock RGB software is buggy and unstable - but frankly that just seems to be par for the course with RGB control software.

Memory

It's RAM, and it works. The Corsair RGB software works well. It doesn't seem to want to sync to ASRocks RGB software, but that software is buggy even with its own motherboard.

I wanted white heatsinks and RGB, and this was the least expensive 3200 kit at the time. My first pick was going to be Team Groups equivalent, and it was better priced, but I waited too long and it went out of stock, so plan B was this one. I haven't been able to get it stable at 3200 mhz yet, but I've not played with it all that much yet. I think I need a BIOS update from what I read, so once I do that I'll come back and update the review.

Update: I did the BIOS update and was able to get the RAM stable at 3200.

Storage

Works well so far. Seems quick. Picked this one because it was newer on the market at the time, and looked like a good price/gb/performance. The new PCIe4 drives are too pricey to justify, as I really don't have a use case as a casual gamer; I'd see no real benefit.

Video Card

This card is a beast. I snagged it on eBay for a pretty good deal. Its HUGE! I was surprised by how big and heavy it is, but Sapphire really outdid themselves with this over built cooler. So far temps are staying nice and cool. The seller even emailed me his uv/of settings as a starting point, and I've measured 5% performance bumps already. As I play with it further I'll update the review.

Update: One thing to note is that I seem to have been hit with coil whine on this card. That's just the luck of the draw. The person I bought it from claims he didn't have that issue, so it could be something specific to my build. It's not super loud, but it's there when I load up a game. Just a little "bzzzz." I usually wear headphones so I don't notice anyway.

Also, I had to uninstall the support bracket because one of the fans was striking it causing a rattling sound. Fortunately, this mobo has a reinforced PCIe slot, so it should prevent sag, I hope!

Case

Best case I've ever owned and maybe the last case I'll ever need. It looks phenomenal and was such a pleasure to build in. I wish the back had better cable management, but there's really plenty of space to work, and when you're done it's all hidden away anyway.

One thing to note - and this is pretty well documented - is that the side rear mounting chamber has the front I/O cables in the way at the top. I was worried because I wanted to put the radiator in the rear chamber to keep the fans flush on the inside. There's just enough play in there to fit the NZXT 240 rad. I was able to do this by kinda forcing it into position and screwing it down, it is slightly tilted, but you can't tell. The 360 would likely fit as well, but if you were trying to fit a 280, I highly doubt it would work, you'd have to mount it either on the inside or top.

Power Supply

Snagged this one on Amazon Prime Day for like $55 bucks, so at that price a 750W Gold PSU is really a good deal. It works! Should it fail in the future I'll update the review.

Custom

They work, and they look great. They're a tad more silver-ish than pure white, but the look matches very well with this motherboard. Why spend more?

Custom

You really can't complain when addressable RGB fans are this cheap. The 6 pack and 3 pack came to 9 fans to fill out the case for under $80 bucks.

Build quality is good enough.

They do daisy chain together and do sync up with the motherboard - you have to hold the Reset button for 3 seconds to sync with mobo - took me a day or two to figure that out.

They are pretty quiet, and I can feel the air moving. So far the temps on my AIO and GPU are fine, so I suppose they're moving enough air. I have the side 3 and bottom 3 as intake, with the top 3 as exhaust.

Update after 2 months: one of the fans stopped syncing RGB with the others, like it can't keep up with the others. I reseated all connections, reinstalled software, hit the reset buttons, all to no avail. I suppose you get what you pay for. The fan still spins and the colors still change, it's just annoying that it can't stay in sync with the 8 others. Taking a star off for that.

Custom

You really can't complain when addressable RGB fans are this cheap. The 6 pack and 3 pack came to 9 fans to fill out the case for under $80 bucks.

Build quality is good enough.

They do daisy chain together and do sync up with the motherboard - you have to hold the Reset button for 3 seconds to sync with mobo - took me a day or two to figure that out.

They are pretty quiet, and I can feel the air moving. So far the temps on my AIO and GPU are fine, so I suppose they're moving enough air. I have the side 3 and bottom 3 as intake, with the top 3 as exhaust.

Update after 2 months: one of the fans stopped syncing RGB with the others, like it can't keep up with the others. I reseated all connections, reinstalled software, hit the reset buttons, all to no avail. I suppose you get what you pay for. The fan still spins and the colors still change, it's just annoying that it can't stay in sync with the 8 others Taking a star off for that.

Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow, that a steal for a psu. And here i thought prime day was just them getting rid of junk they didn't want.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1045610-new-psu-tier-list/

More so, the MWE Gold (even though it has so-so reviews on Amazon) is in the A-Tier, like the Focus.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I lucked out on that, but that was the ONLY deal I found. :(

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build. You should post more pics!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome build!

I'll be build a VERY similar PC this weekend. Same case, CPU, mobo, and similar fan setup (using Fractal Design AL-12 PWMs). Your build got me so much more excited for mine!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! This reply is late so I hope your build went well!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey , im planning on buying the same motherboard-cooler combo , can you tell me if the pump tubes block the first ram slot?

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

They don't block, but it would be a very tight fit.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build! Fans look nice! Where'd you connect the usb 3.0 gen 2 header? Also, is there really a need for it? Last question, sorry. Did the case require any usb 2.0 headers?

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! No, I didn't connect it, and no I don't think so!

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Very nice looking build but I'm a little biased - I just finished a very similar one. I agree 100% on the 011 Dynamic case. I had already decided I was going to use this in my next build, just needed a reason. Lightning 2 weeks ago provided that :( I lost my ham radio station including the computer I use down there for logging and controller my radio. Not every processing intensive chores. The case is really a pleasure to build in! I ended up using Corsair RGB memory and fans (6) to make controlling the lighting simple.

Today I am waiting for a Corsair Hydro Series H150i PRO RGB AIO. The cooling solution provided with the processor is a little weak. I was running into the 80's C when executing Cinebench. The P4000 I had laying around is a real performer - waaaay overkill for my needs.

Good luck with your rig and again, good job!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Wait, where is the power supply (in the photo)? It actually fits on the other side of the motherboard tray?

Yeah that video card is a beast. Good info on the motherboard. I still haven't seen any B450 boards for sale that are guaranteed have updated BIOS :/

I will also be upgrading from a Phenom II, excited.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Yeah the case has a rear chamber for the PSU, hard drives, and cable management. Hope your build goes well!

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 point

I did my BIOS update for my board with the same ram and have not been able to reach 3200mhz. Any ideas? I get random black screens and then the PC reboots when it happens. Running bios version 1.70. Are you using manual timings or just the XMP profile? I haven't tried with manual timings yet, only XMP.