Firstly, thank you for taking the time to look at my new build.
I don't normally post stuff online, however I found this site so helpful when building my computer, as a kind of thank you, I thought I'd do a build page in the hope it may help someone else.
This is my first ever build, I'm 40 years old and I'd been wanting to do one for a good few years now, but with a busy work and home life I never got round to it. I have a laptop and an Apple iMac, so just muddled along with them until now. I've taken 3 years off work (just to take time out and refresh), although at the end of the 3 years now, I finally had some time to dedicate to this.
I spent four solid weeks researching, looking at review after review, searching for the best prices, and watching videos on how to actually build it, I found the build very easy to do in the end, and the PC turned on and everything worked first time around.
I'm not a gamer by any means, the last game I played was Mario Kart on the Super Nintendo, and that is no lie! But I wanted to build a computer that I could play some games on, I only really use my Apple iMac for Handbrake to backup all my Blurays to stream over my home network. So this build was probably very overkill for what I actually needed, but I'm really pleased with the parts I bought, I absolutely don't mind paying extra for good quality and good features, and I feel I got that. I have no plans to overclock anything. I didnt have a budget as such, I just wanted a system that was a reasonable spec that would still be fast in a few years time, with good quality components, that being said I made sure I got a good deal on what I did buy.
I've run a handful of benchmark test, and I'm very pleased as it comes up with superb results, one of the benchmarks said it was 98% better than most other computers, so that was pleasing, with another benchmark giving it 125% score for gaming and 132% score for desktop usage.
I'll make a quick note about a few of the items that stood out to me, the Crosshair board for starters, very nicely made, with lots of bells and whistles, very easy to work with and so many options and settings to play with. I also needed a board that had a BIOS flashback facility to take the new Ryzen CPU.
The NZXT H510 case, for the price I dont think this can be beaten, there was plenty of room in the front of the case for what I needed, I did find the cable management at the rear a little snug though, but this was mainly due to the PSU extension cables I added. This case is very well thoughtout, and I have to say the build quality is very high. I was on the verge of getting a £180 Phanteks case, and I'm really pleased I didn't.
The BeQuiet PSU, German engineering at it's finest!, it has a real premium look and feel to everything about it, even down to the cables and packaging. I read about single rail vs multiple rails, and Over Current Protection, as a result of my research it was a must I got a Multi Rail PSU, which this is, I know I could have probably got away with a 650W PSU, but typical me, I like to be on the safe side and don't leave anything to chance.
The Sapphire Nitro+ GPU, what a monster! I knew it was a size, but it's only when you unbox it you truly realise just how big and heavy this beast is, it's actually like a house brick. That being said it seems very well made. For £300 I felt it was a very good deal, it also came with 3 months free XBOX pass, and two free games.
The Dell monitor, very high quality, I was put off by the quality control or lack of it on a lot of other manufacturers monitors, especially when I looked into IPS screens, this particular one had very good reviews, and Dell appears to make good quality monitors from what I read. Very pleased with the picture quality and the colours.
ASUS, I have no experience with the standard ASUS products, but their ROG products are pure premium, even the boxes they come in are premium made, the keyboard came with velvet cover pouches, detachable braided USB lead, detachable NUM pad, the mouse had a plastic protection cover over the bottom of the mouse (none of the other so called premium mice came with this), spare switches, detachable braided USB lead, a spare normal USB lead, storage pouch, its these little touches I dont mind paying extra for. The design team at ASUS really know what they are doing. You really feel like your getting something special with the quality of product.
Western Digital, I have 24 of their RED 3Tb / 4TB drives currently, 12 have been in NAS enclosures for the last 7 or 8 years (and 12 then as backups to these), I've never had one issue with them and they are used a lot, so this is why I continued with the brand. For the two 4TB blue drives I bought, it was actually a fair bit cheaper to buy the 4TB Portable Elements Desktop USB enclosure and rip the 4 TB blue drives out of it, this saved me £25 per drive at the time by doing this, crazy considering you get a plug adaptor, the enclosure, and a USB lead, and its still £25 cheaper than buying the OEM drive on its own, it comes in a nice retail box too with adequate protection, so I didnt have the usual worry about how well the retailer was going to package the OEM drive up.
Any negatives? I was a little disapointed with the cablemod extension cables, I was going to get MDPC-X extension cables made, but there was a 3 week wait, and I didnt want to delay things further, I didnt like the thought of building the computer only to have to rip it all apart to fit the cables out 3 weeks later. The cablemod cables had very good reviews everywhere, I felt I was getting a better product over some of the other cable extensions that are available for half the price of these. I had nothing to compare them to but I was a little disapointed when they arrived , I just assumed they would maybe be a little better quality than what they were. They were a sod to bend too!, and I must have spent the same amount of time on building the computer as I spent trying to get these cables neat and straight. If I had the choice again, I think for all the hassle it would have been, I'd have gone with the MDPC-X cables.
I'll answer a few questions I may get -
I have undervolted the Sapphire card, and I have applied applied D.O.C.P profile to memory, but thats all I plan to do.
Why did I pay £90 for Windows 10, well I didnt want the hassle of buying these £20 CD keys where its pot luck whether the code works, for as many that work their seems to be as many that dont. The version I bought is the lifetime version too not an OEM. Personally it was a small price to pay to know that it was genuine and that it would work straight out of the box, for £90 I honestly couldnt be bothered with the hassle that could potentially be involved with it.
Why X470 instead of X570, well I was going to purchase a Gigabyte X570 a few days after release, until I started to see posts about the fan noise, and then various other issues, I think the fan was the part that ultimatly put me off in the end with all these new boards. I also found to get a good quality board with good quality VRM's and the features I was looking for, you really needed to spend around the £300 - £500 mark, which I felt was excessive when I compared it to the £212 Crosshair board I got.
Why Vega64 when the new generation has just been released, this was probably one of the longest decisions I had to make, and I went back and forth over it, ultimately I liked the look of the Sapphire card compared to the reference RX5700 cards, and I didnt really want to wait any longer for the aftermarket cards to come out, which I'm sure would have been around the £400 mark, so at £300 I opted for the Sapphire Vega64, I felt in a few years time it would probably have a decent re-sell value too if I did want to upgrade it.
Why TN panel over IPS, I kept reading review after review about the IPS lottery, with backlight bleed and a lot of other quality issues, I drove myself mad looking at articles and reviews, I just decided to get the TN panel for an easy life in the end, I like things to be perfect, so I didnt want to spoil the joy of a new monitor by looking for faults.
Why not AIO cooling, this caused me many a sleepless night too!, I would really have liked an AIO cooler, but water and electricity is not a good mix, maybe I shouldn't read so many reviews as I do, but even one failed unit was probably enough to put me off to be honest, I was on the verge of getting a Deepcool Anti-Leak AIO, simply because it was Anti-Leak, but it was very new out so there wasnt enough reviews for my liking to really see how it performed. I also had a vision of a black and white build in my head and the Noctura fans did a better job at accomplashing this, plus I have no plans to overclock the 65 watt Ryzen.
I've not got the front two intake Noctua fans turned on, at the moment they are just for show, I'm going to test temperatures at some point and see whether they are better on or off, reviews suggest to only have two exhaust fans only for optimum cooling.
Why all the ASUS products, well as I said previously their ROG product lines are very high quality for one, but as much as I didnt really want an RGB light show initially, I did get hooked on it by the end, so I wanted all the lighting to sync together, and to have as few programs to control things as possible, ulitmately you could have 3 or 4 different programs to control your lighting and they still wouldnt sync with each other, so sticking with ASUS solved this. Out of everything the Sapphire card is the only item that doesnt sync automatically, everything else is synced together, but I knew that beforehand anyway.
I have a Phanteks LED strip on the inside roof of the case next to the glass, and one on the outside of the case that lights the wall up. (I did have both inside the case but the second one was too much (some may argue that one is too much!).
The desk is from Ikea (the top is from their kitchen worktop range "Karlby Walnut", perfect size for my room (186cm x 65cm x 4cm), they do include two side strips should you need to cut it, price was £120. Their "Alex" units fit nicely underneath, the drawer unit (not shown in photo) was £55 and the cupboard unit was £45. I was really pleased with this its really sturdy, and I think it looks really smart.
I appear to have gotten a little carried away with writing, what maybe should have been a few summary lines has turned into a book, that being said, I found this site the most useful out of all the sites on went on, I really feel I would have struggled if it wasnt for this site, such a simple idea but such a poweful tool, so if it helps just one person then it was worth the time it took to write the above.
On a seperate note, as I mentioned resourses above, I found the GamersNexus videos fantastic, as well as HardwareCanucks especially in helping me decide on a case. Buildzoid for helping me decide on which motherboard to get, as well as actually learning quite a lot of technical stuff. As well as watching a fair few Der8auer and Kitguru videos too.