Since 2011, my system consisted of an Intel i7 875K processor, an Nvidia 250 GTS upgraded to a GTX 970 in 2015, 8GB of DDR3 at 1333mhz, and a 120GB Sandisk SSD, with a 2TB Seagate Barracuda added for games and files. This old system was built my junior year of high school to get into PC gaming, and help with graphic design in college. While it has served me so well for almost 10 years, it was finally time to upgrade.
This new system was built with a target price of $1000 for 1440p gaming on a 144hz monitor. I was able to snag some higher end parts with a combination of black friday sales and local Microcenter deals. The CPU, Motherboard, RAM and GPU were purchased at Microcenter. The M.2 SSD and Power Supply were purchased from Newegg. And the case, extra fans, and RGB strips were purchased on Amazon.
My last system was built by a family member with a strong hate for RGB, so this time around I wanted to do things my way. I totally understand that the theme and colors may not suit most tastes around here, but I am extremely pleased with how things turned out both in looks and performance.
Excellent price to performance. While it is certainly a step down from Ryzen 3000, and the 3600 would have been a better choice for framerate in games, you can't beat $130 for 8 cores/16 threads. I do intend on some light render work in the future, so this processor would edge out the 3600 in this regard. Very pleased with this pick.
The Tomahawk has become a staple of boards at this point. It's excellent quality allows my 2700x to boost comfortably. Purchasing my motherboard and CPU together yielded a $30 discount off the board from Microcenter. At $85, it's hard to find a better AM4 board.
Out of the box, it hit 3200mhz without any bios configuration. I personally think it has the best RGB settings of any RAM out there, however that obviously comes down to personal taste. At $85, there are cheaper options that get the job done, but for me it was worth the extra $20 for some extra RGB.
I was able to find this drive on a newegg black friday sale for $80. Coming from a sata SSD, this thing is lightyears ahead. I think it may be a bit overpriced at it's normal price of $140, but if you can catch it on a sale, it's a great drive. Very aesthetically pleasing as well.
This, like most builders experience, was the most difficult decision for me. I had my heart set on a 5700XT around christmas time, however I opted to wait things out for my tax return before pulling the trigger on a GPU for this build. I knew the 5600XT was just around the corner, and at $100 less, it seemed like a more sensible option. However, driver issues plagued AMD, so this initially scared me off into thinking I should go back to Nvidia. After the 5600XT came out, it had some bios weirdness which I wanted no parts of, so I decided to once again look into the 5700XT. At this point, driver issues are worked out for the most part. So far I have had zero issues with this card. It's by far the best looking card out there in my opinion, and it's able to run everything I throw at it in 1440p at anywhere between 80 and 140 fps depending on the title. It even runs most games in 4k between 50-70 fps which works great for gaming on a TV. Thermals are good, and using Adrenaline's GPU overclock settings, it sits around 2000mhz+ at about 65c. While you can get cheaper 5700xt cards, treat yourself like I did. You will not regret it.
I really wanted to go for an all Corsair build, as their fans are some of the best RGB effects you can get out of the box. This case is an extremely great value, as it can often be purchased for $90 on sale, and the fans alone cost $70 for a set. Airflow is good, and it's easy to work it. It is quite small for an ATX case however, which presents some issues for builds looking to add an AIO. If you have a large GPU like mine, you may not have enough clearance for a front mounted AIO. I certainly do not, as the clearance from my GPU to he fan is about half an inch. If you have decent sized RAM, you also cannot top mount an AIO. For a company that puts out some of the most used AIO's out there, I would have expected more attention to detail in allowing for more options to mount an AIO. But I also understand that being the size it is, you do have to make some sacrifices. My other complaint is the cable management area around back. some wider gaps to route cables would have been greatly appreciated. While not the worst, it could definitely benefit from an extra half inch in width and height, just to account for a top mounted AIO and extra room for cable management. Extremely pleased with the aesthetics however, as it's small footprint really does look nice up on a desk.
A lot of people will probably shy away from Rosewill, not being one of the big players in PSUs like Corsair or Seasonic. I have owned Rosewill PSU's in both of my builds now, and I have not had a single problem is about 10 years. My original Rosewill Hive still runs my old build to this day, and thus far I have had 0 issues with this PSU. Highly recommended if you can find them on sale.
To stay in budget, I wanted some inexpensive fans for exhaust in my system. Eventually I will probably get another set of Corsair SP120s to match my case, however for now, these do the job just fine. They are molex, so no control on them, but they are quiet and are black to blend in well with the build.
I had a hard time justifying spending $60 for corsair's RGB strip kit. It also would have added yet another RGB controller in my case. So instead I went with this kit. It was extremely cheap found on sale on Amazon, and provides bright lighting to the case. It is not individually addressable, however they sync with your motherboard, so for the price it's hard to beat. The adhesive was a bit tricky to place, but once in, they look great.