Description

First time builder, wasn't entirely confident I knew what I was doing and was overly concerned about potentially damaging anything. Obviously wanted a fairly high end build. Intend to use it for all my gaming needs, multitasking heavily - browsing + gaming + a second monitor with Netflix etc. As well as some small amount of productivity.

Prices aren't exactly what I paid for them as I bought a lot of these parts close to a month ago now. Will clarify them individually, but the overall cost is basically accurate. Originally bought an NZXT 510 Elite but it is very poorly reviewed and overpriced and most importantly cannot fit this AIO properly. I've seen some people do it but you can't mount the fans which sucks! Deciding on a case proved surprisingly hard as I didn't want to buy an expensive one and then still HAVE to fork out for fans, that said I kind of always intended on buying some high performance/aesthetic ones later, perhaps Corsair LL120s but I just wanted to get it going for now.

Motherboard - £250

Probably my favourite piece, it's obviously a bit more money than you need spend. But it's really worth it in my opinion. It has pretty much all the features you would want or expect. The build quality is solid, back plate makes it much nicer to handle and shows you it's quality. Looks amazing, again plenty of easy customisation on the RGB. Didn't need to update BIOS or anything like that, easy to access and use the BIOS.

ASRock Support were and are absolutely amazing, I ended up contacting them regarding my problems building which weren't all that specific to the board and they could've ignored me really but were absolutely spectacular. Understanding, polite, helpful, the list goes on and on. I met a delightful gentleman named Hans who I simply cannot thank enough. The board has two minor 'flaws' I've seen people complain about which weren't the subject of my questions but ASRock pointed out to me anyway. The first is that there's a small fan built into the board which people don't like regarding noise but they are becoming common place now - it has a silent mode. The other is that there's a USB-C header on the board that is often blocked by larger GPUs, ASRock offered and did send me out an adaptor for this free of charge and it arrived very quickly.

Only thing I would say against this board is the instructions aren't that clear regarding moving the M.2 cover, you need to pull up on the left side of it specifically as there's a heat sink on the right that makes it difficult to detach. This was hard to find any detail about on the internet. But once you know how it's easy enough.

Even if you want a cheaper board, thoroughly recommend ASRock! :)

GPU - £780

I was originally going to get the MSI gaming trio GPU but was concerned regarding physical space in the case. Looks amazing - I need to get a vertical GPU mount, but still looks nice mounted normally. Runs pretty much anything I can throw at it at 144Hz on either max or near max settings. This one in particular I like as it's smaller than the trio and comes with 3 HDMI ports instead of one. This is important to me so I can use the HDMI in my monitor for my Xbox (it only has one) and still connect extra displays without having to unplug it to daisy chain them.

I've not bought and fitted a vertical GPU mount. Looks amazing, customisation is pretty great too. I have heard this is bad with RGB Sync but I've not played with any of that yet!

Case - £70

Actually got a slightly different version that posted, from eBuyer. Basically the mesh version of this (Meshify C was out of stock and I was done waiting!). Really like it though, plenty of space to build and cable manage, build in Velcro to help. Comes with 3 fans which have RGB and work fine. The meshed front is easily detachable if you want to leave it off to improve airflow. Fans are mounted at the front by default so I moved them for my AIO which took a little time but was easy enough. Surely hard to beat this in terms of value for money. I wanted a case with some stock fans and for this price and everything else being adequate this case was amazing. Comes with a dust filter for the PSU and at the top. Tempered glass is easy to detach and sits on nicely and securely, it fits on circles the screws go into so is held in place to some degree without them. I've removed and replaced it several times and no sign of wear and tear. Letters of "Phanteks" on the front were missing part of the N or something but I don't really care. It's going to have some draw backs, I really can't find many others.

CPU - £300 Can't fault this, solid. Probably best price-performance ratio around right now unless you want to go previous gen, some people recommended very similar AMD cores from Zen 1 which are very similar but a fair bit cheaper. Haven't overclocked at all and it's hitting 4.2GHz stock which I'm happy with. Consensus does seem to be that these run fairly hot so I would probably recommend not using the stock cooler even though I've heard it's adequate. Even with my AIO and applying Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut it gets to around 40s idle and low-mid 60s under load. Not too bad though!

CPU Cooler - £140

Bought largely for aesthetics but also performance of course. Some people have complained about instructions but to be fair they are quite good, I found almost everything comes with almost no instructions so this was pretty good. The screws are somewhat tight and I originally mounted it the wrong way/awkwardly so it's just worth being aware of and thinking before you go ahead. Fairly easy to install, software is great. Looks great and there's loads of scope for customisation on the RGB.

Memory - £110

Not much to say really, works fine at 3600MHz as it was at 2133 originally, had to change this in BIOS which was super easy. I had trouble fitting it simply because I'm a first timer and didn't know how much force to give. Also you kind of need to press one specific end (away from the switch) a little more on this board, but again easy if you know what you're doing.

NVME - £140

Works fine, easy to install, you have to stick on the heat sink if you want it, again no instructions but simple enough. Runs crazy fast.

PSU - £120

Super quiet, high quality, efficient. Instructions are useless but everything's fairly easy to work out. PCIe cables have 16 pins so I only needed one to power my GPU, this isn't the case with the CPU cables as I have seen so I simply had to use both cables and split the second. But that's cool too.

Monitor - £400

Had this a couple months now and really like it. Had absolutely no issues with it. It's high frequency, 1ms response time, 1440p, even has G-Sync! Struggled to find anything similar to this around this price point without huge glaring issues in reviews. Drawback is it only has 1 DP and 1 HDMI, as long as that doesn't cause problems it's great. Even the stand is so amazing I don't really want to consider getting a monitor arm for it.

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