After over five years and a lot of saving up, I've finally upgraded. I upgraded everything except my HDD, CPU fan, wireless adapter, and peripherals. I collected parts slowly because I waited for good deals on everything. I built this earlier in the year, but finally upgraded the GPU. With this build, I aimed for longevity as I don't want to have to upgrade for a long while. Although I'd previously built a PC, this was my first time doing it alone, so I'm really proud of the cable management and customization! Disclosure: some of the photos are before I upgraded the GPU from my GTX 960 (there are plenty of photos of the 2060S though!) and the interior shot was before I added the back exhaust fan.
I wanted to go as all-out as I could with the customizing this time around (cost-effectively). I almost regretted choosing purple as my color of choice because it was incredibly difficult to find vinyl and paint that matched each other. I knew it was a tough color to begin with, but was getting disheartened until I finally came across Rustoleum 2x in the color Grape and a soon-to-be discontinued Joann vinyl in Amethyst. (You can bet I stocked up.) The vinyl was a satin finish, so I had to cover the glossy paint with a satin top coat to match. I painted the H7 cooler's plate, the Deepcool fans' sides, the cable combs, zip ties, and PCI grills. This case didn't actually come with PCI grills but instead had the snap-off kind. However, my previous case had ones that matched the hexagons and fit perfectly, so I painted those and stuck em on.
I have a Cricut machine, so I cut out vinyl decals for the build. I cut out tiny chevrons and stripes for the RAM; little logos, stripes, and words for the motherboard; larger chevrons for the PSU shroud; and a purple ring to cover the rainbow one surrounding the Cryorig logo on the H7 cooler. I want to add more decals in the future or maybe an etched acrylic panel with some lighting.
The GPU is the star. Metal backplate; RGB LEDs and big, bold lettering; transparent casing. The ports are a few millimeters misaligned with my case, though.
This case, the Cougar MX330-G, is insultingly underrated. It's dirt cheap, is aesthetically pleasing with the hexagons and mesh on top and front, has great air flow, a huge tempered glass window for only $5 more than the acrylic model, a PSU shroud, 5 USBs in front, an external bay, and decent cable management. I looked at far more expensive cases, but this one had everything I wanted all-around.
Performance-wise, I can't complain. It's very quiet and runs like a dream. No issues at all with the Ryzen CPU. I don't play many new games and the most demanding thing I run is Skyrim with 100+ mods, but I guess I'll see how it does when Cyberpunk is released! I got the NVME SSD at a great deal for $99 on Rakuten. I had the Cryorig from my previous build before they pulled out of the US due to the tariffs, so I got that for only $35. The PSU was on sale when I got it, too. Gold and fully modular for $90? Count me in. The Deepcool fans are also amazing value for three RGB fans. The LEDs are very bright and they portray the colors exactly the way I want them to. Only thing I paid a bit too much for was the memory, probably. If I discount my previously existing parts, this build cost me less than $1k. Overall, I'm beyond satisfied.
Other parts and peripherals:
- Keyboard - Logitech G510
- Mouse - Logitech G602 Wireless
- Back exhaust fan - I have two exhaust fans on top (the stock case fan and one of the Deepcools), but added this low profile Raijintek RGB fan for aesthetics. The RGBs aren't super powerful, but it's really quiet and extremely slim (13mm). I originally had the stock fan there, but it was covering up my MB's ROG eye and the decals I'd painstakenly put on there. Beware: the fan does not come with screws, so I had to scalp some. Also purchased an LED splitter cable for it.
- Monitors - Nothing fancy; just a couple monitors I got pre-owned back in the day. I'm a poor student, so I never bothered to upgrade past 1080p 60hz. Visually, they do the job and I don't need anything nicer. The Asus one is definitely a lot nicer, though, in terms of glare and the ability to change the angle. Asus, Acer.
- WiFi and Bluetooth adapter - Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I
Love this cooler. I painted the top plate and it is so aesthetically pleasing. Kind of a beast to install, but it's cheap for how well it cools.
Cost-effective for this kind of MB. Visually appealing and it works with both the 2000 and the new 3000 series of AMD Ryzen CPUs. The only reason I'm docking it a star is that the positioning of the ROG STRIX "eye" LED can be easily covered up if you place an exhaust fan at the back of your case (which most people do) even with a large case.
This hdd is a trooper. 5-6 years later and it is still fast and running strong.
What's not to love? Metal backplate; RGB LEDs and big, bold lettering; transparent casing. Aesthetically, it is very pleasing. I got it for only $399 after rebate, so great price, too. The ports are few millimeters misaligned with my case, though, so that is my only complaint. Performance-wise, it runs great with no hiccups so far.
This case is insultingly underrated. It's dirt cheap, is aesthetically pleasing with the hexagons and mesh on top and front, has great air flow, a huge tempered glass window for only $5 more than the acrylic model, a PSU shroud, 5 USBs in front, an external bay, and decent cable management. I looked at far more expensive cases, but this one had everything I wanted all-around.
Gold and fully modular for $90? Count me in.
Sufficient cooling and the LEDs are nice and bright! They also portray the colors exactly how I want them to. A 3 pack at this price is a steal!