Description

This was my first Sensible Systems RTX graphics card build, and also my first to use the new i5-9400F. It was built around a white theme, and intended primarily for gaming.

The graphics card choice for this one was exciting.

I actually built this back in early Feb, when the RTX 2060 had only recently released, and it was really nice to finally have a new card that offered good value as well as performance. I went with a basic model because pricing for the more deluxe cards pushed up way too close to the budget end of the RTX 2070 range, making those cards bad value buys. Temps and noise are totally fine with this card, and performance is of course great for 1440p gaming in recent titles at high settings.

The CPU choice was also kind of interesting.

Intel had just released the i5-9400F, an updated i5-8400 with slightly higher clockspeeds but no integrated graphics. Pricing for these was a hot topic leading up to release, but I managed to find a -9400F for a fair bit less than -8400 pricing, and when it offers such a decent savings I think it is a sensible buy.

(The only hitch I hit with this CPU was 3DMark not knowing what it was!)

Many of the other parts were chosen to fit the aesthetic theme. Case and motherboard most obviously, both being a nice white. The RAM was just a simple black kit for some contrast. The cooler is not necessary from a performance POV, but chosen for the look of liquid cooling, and imo it does look nice.

Storage was a simple SSD + HDD setup, and the power supply was a good deal: Antec's refreshed Earthwatts range is built by Seasonic on their Focus Gold platform, which is excellent, and Antec somehow manage to undercut their OEM on price... Dunno what's up with that, but it's good for us :-)

Building in the 275R is a breeze, no complaints from me on this case.

Performance-wise, the system is great for 1080p or 1440p gaming.

With the GTX 1660 Ti now out, that would be another potential GPU choice for a similar system, if budget was a bit tight, but personally I'd stretch to the RTX 2060 if at all possible (depending on precise pricing of course!)

OK, hope you like this one, and let me know what you think in a comment below or over on Facebook where I'm Sensible Systems.

Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 4 points

I love the white motherboard. Strange to me we don't see more of these in the higher end boards. It blends so well with the white case.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, thanks, and yes, I got pretty lucky I think, with the whites matching fairly closely, definitely keeping this combo in mind for future white builds :-)

  • 2 months ago
  • 3 points

With the GTX 1660 Ti now out, that would be another potential GPU choice for a similar system, if budget was a bit tight, but personally I'd stretch to the RTX 2060 if at all possible (depending on precise pricing of course!)

I disagree because RTX seems to not be worth the extra $$ right now. The FPS hit of ray tracing is annoying and NVIDIA stupidly decided to not let you enable DLSS without RTX. This does help with the FPS hit of RTX but defeats the purpose of it. But the beauty of everyone having an opinion is that we can disagree, agree, and compare/contrast our opinions against others!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

For sure, good to have options to mull over! Can't wait to see how the GTX 1660 and 1650 fit into the picture...

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Honestly I'd stretch for the 2060 because it's a slightly faster GPU than the 1660Ti even if RTX isn't your thing. My guess is the 1660/1660Ti are essentially low-binned 2060s and/or chips with errors in the AI cores- manufacturers often do this to save a buck on chip engineering. For example, I've seen a Ryzen 5 1500X list its cores as #0, 1, 4, and 5- my guess is that it started its life as a 1600X and the middle two cores failed in manufacturing.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Really clean for standard psu cables +1

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Really clean. good job!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you :D

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

I would like to ask if you had to update motherboard BIOS so that it supports the new 9th gen procesor. And also what procesor did you use to update it?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, yes, the board came with the third-most-recent BIOS version installed, and the -9400F needed the second-most-recent one, so I did need a BIOS update. Luckily the local PC place (MSY) where I got the board was happy to do that.

(Just another note on this: rather than install the CPU and try booting to find out if the BIOS version is the right one, you can usually find out online how to decode manufacturer serial numbers to learn the date of manufacture of your individual board, which then lets you find out which BIOS version it would have shipped with, and so whether you need the update, all without having to touch anything.)

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

I want to get an ASRock motherboard or a MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PLUS motherboard for an Intel Core i5-9400F. If I buy an ASRock motherboard with an incompatible BIOS/UEFI for the Intel Core i5-9400F then I will be worried that it will not start to let me update the BIOS. Will the computer start with the Intel Core i5-9400F even without a correct BIOS update?

  • 1 month ago
  • 3 points

The computer won't boot if the motherboard's BIOS version doesn't support the CPU installed, no.

About the MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PLUS:

The CPU compatibility info says the i5-9400F is supported as of BIOS version 7B51v11, and the BIOS history says version 7B51v11 released on Aug 23rd 2018, just a week after the board itself launched, so, you are extremely likely but not guaranteed to get a board that supports the i5-9400F out of the box.

About an ASRock board, without knowing which specific model, I can't say anything much, but follow the same process I just did for whichever model you are considering and you should turn up relevant info :-)

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

I absolutely love the build. Very subtle tone but really stands out from other builds. This actually relaxes my eyeballs from all other crazy RGB shenanigans.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! The RGB shenanigans give me eye twitches as well o.-

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Really nice color scheme and contrast.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, thanks! :-)

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

How would you rate the price versus performance ratio on the CPU? Is it worth the extra price over an AMD?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh man, that's a good question with a long answer. Can I just link to this?

Seriously though, it depends on the price difference at time of purchase, including not just the cost of the CPU but also of a suitable platform: the Intel chip is fine with 2666MHz memory and a basic B360 board, but the AMD one needs faster memory and a decent overclock to get the most out of it, so factor in the cost of a 3000-3200MHz kit and a board with good VRM design.

It also depends on what you want to do with the CPU. For just gaming, the i5 is fine, but if you wanted to e.g. stream games, the 2600 is heaps better thanks to having twice the threads.

So, no definitive answer from me on which is better, sorry!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the link, it actually helped a lot with deciding between the options available. I really like your build btw! the contrast of black and white goes really well together.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh awesome, very glad to hear that it helped! :-)

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

I have BAD news for you. Gigabyte released a white version of that RTX 2060. Don't feel bad, me also want to have that white one as I have a white themed build. I got the Zotac Amp RTX :(

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Gigabyte!!! I saw they were coming out with white versions but no availability at time of building, so yes, I share your pain!

The silver/grey on that Zotac looks really nice, btw!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

I am now in the process of returning the Zotac and i'll be getting the white gigabyte. One question, You have MSI Mobo, Gigabyte GPU , how do you control the lightings of those? 2 separate software? Mystic light or RGB fusion? or you have other software? I have Asus Mobo :(

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

The graphics card has zero lighting, no RGB, not even any fixed-color LEDs, so happily (or sadly, depending on your tastes!) controlling it isn't an issue.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

It begs to be made completely unsensible with a snow blind mod. The price for the mod is quite sensible though. $25 bucks at the Good Will on Wednesday’s! Nice clean build. And like $30 more for the light strips Quite sensible.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point
  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice and clean. I am working on a white build and wanted to use this mobo. But I have to go a different route as the RAM speed is too slow for this mobo. I wish more white boards were available.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, thanks, and yep, seems like there are hardly any white options. Hope you find something suitable for your build!

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