This is my first build, so please bare with me. I've been on a work laptop for the last six years and always wanted to build a PC myself. I'm into gaming and I saw a few PCs I was interested in and saw that the component mismatch that you get with the prebuilds was just not what I was looking for.
I wanted the build to utilize the RGB theme that came incorporated with the case. On my next build, I will definitely be going more with practicality vs. bling. I'll go through that later. What I'd like this build description to do out the gate is to answer questions about the specific combo of components I used and how they worked together and what are the pitfalls you'd have to look out for.
Issue 1 - Case + Mobo + Cooler + Ram: Problem I had here was fitting the cooler on the top. I saw builds that did this with what I thought was a 460X. With the H100iV2, I was not able to clear the top of the RAM, so the cooler went to the front, which was not what I wanted to do.
Issue 2 - CPU power cable length: I had to route this sucker EXPOSED (eew) over the vid card and land in the port on the mobo. Needed about 4 more inches of cable to route through the management ports and drop it off relatively unseen, purchasing a 6" extension will solve this issue. FIXED Bought the 6" extension from Fry's and it looks much better.
Issue 3 - RGB CF OMGWTFBBQ: So... tons of RGB, even a few RGB strips. Mobo has RGB, fans have RGB, RAM has RGB. I know what you're gonna ask. You can coordinate them all, right? NO! Yeah, I know. Things we should have found out beforehand. So MSI has a pretty cool controller app called Mystic Lights and I am able to control the RAM and strip RGB through this, but not the fans. Corsair Link is not much help here, either. I can get pretty close by working the speed on the analog external controller included on the case, but not perfect synchronization.
Issue 4 - Cable Management: This case is tight! Well, rap version tight, but also in space available for managing cables. On the back side, there is not much room to work with and I found with my build that all my cables were just a bit short of getting the result that I wanted. If you're buying cool color extension cabling, you should have no issue with this part.
Issue 5 - Mobo covered by the vid card eclipse: I was looking forward to seeing more of the mobo lighting, but the vid card took care of a lot of that. the MSI logo that's supposed to be the main logo is effectively covered by the Zotac 1080.
issue 6 - For an RGB case, this sucker is dark: After I built this and fired it up, it was beautiful. I didn't fry anything, everything worked. Not gonna lie, it was a minor miracle. Then around 10 minutes went by and the novelty of the RGB wore off a bit and I saw that you couldn't see the motherboard very well. I bought some RGB strips and improved that greatly. (3) 12" strips did the job fine and were able to run them off the same cable in series. Mounted the strips to the back, top, and front of the case. Hard to mount to the bottom of the case with the space being really small between the side window and the PSU shroud. You can't lay a strip down there unless you're attaching it to the shroud itself. Not sure what I'm going to do there.
All-in-all, the build went fine. I would tell anyone using this case to make cable management your first move. I'd un-bundle the wiring as it comes with the case and reroute and re-bundle the way you want BEFORE putting the motherboard in.
In the future, I would change how I picked the parts:
Thanks for taking the time to read this and please leave your comments. I know some will be brutal due to the cost of the components and I get that. A build like this is something I've always wanted to do and after having done it, I fully recognize that the premium on bling is ridiculously high and not worth it. I would NOT do another one like this and instead focus on the practicality of a build.
Added 4TB external storage - 7200RPM Seagate External Drive
OC this mofo. Easy to install and tweak via BIOS.
No issues with this part yet. Keep ion mind that if you want to top mount your cooler, you likely will need to get low-profile RAM. Comes with 2 standard 120mm fans. If you want to do an RGB build, you'd need to swap these out with the SP120's that come in a 3 pack.
Super easy to install. Wish the hoses were about an inch longer, but they are definitely adequate.
Love this mobo. Super easy installation, an adequate number of ports and the BIOS is really easy to navigate. The main logo is suspiciously placed in a spot where it will likely be covered by your GPU. I wish the RGB features were brighter, but as a mobo, this thing is a champ.
So, from a value standpoint, these disappoint. Coordinating the RAM's RGB is simple with Corsair link but from all benchmark tests, the RAM scores consistently low(ish). Unsure if this is a me issue or a RAM issue. Could be both.
This is my favorite part of the build. This drive is freaking fast and I'm seeing 2 second boot times. I likely wouldn't go 1TB again, but the tech is fantastic. Was easy to install and no SATA to organize.
Great card, good price. Fantastic performance. 1080 8GB < $500. Yes, please. Easy installation like most vid cards are these days.
If you're a cable management pro, you'll like this case. If you're wanting to top-mount a radiator, I got bad news for you. Case is also a bit dark with the GPU and the radiator covering the light from the RGB fans. Can fit 2 140mm on the or 3 120mm on the front, 2 120 or 2 140mm on the top and 1 120mm on the back. Good case, I wouldn't recommend for a first time build noob like me. Me, if you're reading this because I went back in time, get the 570X.
You can feel the quality of this PSU when you take it out of the box. Love the fully modular approach, I just wish the cables were a bit longer. Not everyone wants to buy those fancy-shmancy color coordinated extensions! That said, it's a Corsair PSU. It's badass.