My first build. After years of getting by on an Acer budget gaming rig with a part upgrade now and then, I decided to take the plunge into the world of mid-range PC builds. My goal was a well balanced machine for 1080 gaming at high frame-rates (with potential to upgrade to a 1440 monitor in the future) as well as something that could juggle multiple simultaneous demanding productivity programs for work without a hiccup.
I'm really happy with how this turned out, both aesthetically and from a performance standpoint. Big thanks to the several users of this site who answered my questions and inspired this project, you guys are really helpful. Shout out to nerwin, for the air-flow inspiration. Also, shout out to the Microcenter employee who looked at me like an idiot when I told him I'd be cooling the i7-8700k with a Hyper 212. Jokes on you, this thing is cool as a cucumber.
The name: when I finally pulled the trigger after a month or so of research and daydreaming on PCParkpicker, I realized that between the high airflow, "stealth inspired" Meshify case, and the ROG Strix GPU and motherboard, I had something of an airship/spacecraft theme going on. So I thought back to my favorite airships in video games, and FFVIII's Ragnarok came to mind as a fond childhood memory. That's when I threw in the B.O.S. funko pop as an impulse buy, because every airship needs a crew.
Bought it on sale shortly after the 9th Gen was released. Coming from a 2014 i5, I'm really impressed by how powerful this thing is. Great value in terms of price to performance. The ASUS AI originally overclocked it to 5.1 ghz, but now it seems to have adjusted to 5.05 ghz, abut that's more than enough for my needs. People say it runs hot, but I haven't had any issues, though that might be in part due to the case's excellent airflow.
This has more bells and whistles than I need, and I probably could have gone with something cheaper, but I wanted to give myself room for upgrades (e.g., maybe grab an m.2 next Black Friday?). It was easy to work with. The BIOS is relatively user friendly, especially the AI overclocking, which flipped my 3.7ghz i7-8700k up to 5.1 with a single click. A few of the Bios settings don't seem to do what they're suppose to, and sometimes you change one thing and it tries to change several, but that's Bios for ya. The Aura RGB software is solid, if not elegant. Except that it doesn't seem to be able to turn the Ram RBG off on sleep, which is annoying.
I watched a Linus Tech Tips video that said 3200 was the best bang for the buck in terms of diminishing returns, so I got these because they're 3200, reasonably priced, and sexy.
Only complaint is that the RGB on this always looks slightly more green than the other components, if set to the same color.
This is actually an upgrade I'd made to my old rig, and ported over. Before this I only ever had hard drives, and I can't believe I waited this long to switch to SSD. Worth every penny. Might get an m.2 in the future, but this gets the job done for now.
Based on my research, this is the best GPU in the under $400 range. (Normally this is a little over $400, but I got it on sale for $380 at NewEgg.) Looks cool. Keeps my Fortnite and Overwatch games crisp on the highest settings and high frame rates. Stays in the low 60's after a couple hours of gaming.
Originally I was looking in the <$100 range, and the Meshify C caught my eye. I like that the design is interesting, without being over-the-top. I find NZXT's square cases dull, and Coolermaster cases better suited for teen boys than manly men like me. This was a happy middle. Except I didn't like how compact the Meshify C was, especially since I had a larger graphics card, and I wanted to make sure I had room for more robust cooling if I decided to make those upgrades in the future.
Meshify S2 was the perfect solution. Its basically just a longer version of the Meshify C. Almost a little too roomy, but it was easy to work with. PSU shroud was a little tight to get the power supply in, and I cut up my knuckles on the CPU cooler a bit trying to squeeze in to get the top motherboard screws, but the velco and ample pass-throughs made cable management easy for a novice like me.
Plus its really pretty.
It powers things and is black. Yay.
The case came with three fans and room for nine, so I grabbed a pair of these to put in the front to fully take advantage of the front-mesh airflow. They work great, and the stickers came off easily, which is good because I don't like the logo. I moved the three case fans to top and rear exhaust, and they get the job done, but I'm glad I have this high powered PWM pair on the front. They're silent, as advertised.