After years of potential builds and indecision, I finally decided to take the plunge and build an HTPC.

This new build will be used with my living room TV (gaming, streaming) and will likely replace my giant gaming rig on my nearby desk.

Parts Review

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3600

I finally decided to take the plunge and join Team Red after being an Intel user for a long time, and I'm enjoying the new scenery. While I have yet to push it very hard, I'm impressed.

I am currently using the stock Wraith Stealth cooler. It's a decent cooler on a custom fan curve, but I find the noise it does make to be inconsistent and not the most pleasant sound. It works much better than any Intel stock cooler I am used to, but I do think I will replace it with another solution in the near future.

Board: Gigabyte B450 I AORUS PRO WIFI

I am historically a fan of ASUS boards, but this time around I went for the cheaper option as, at time of purchasing, all ASUS options were very expensive. I have to say, the BIOS is good and the board itself looks and works well. Gigabyte might have a new fan. The included thermal shield for the M.2 slot was a nice touch.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LED DDR4-3000MHz

I stole 16GB out of the 32GB on my gaming machine from 2015. While not ideal RAM for Ryzen, it is compatible and works well. The LEDs are probably unnecessary given the case I chose, but it doesn't look bad. Might move to something a little more Ryzen-ideal in the near future, but I have no complaints with Corsair's performance.

Storage: Samsung 960 EVO

Another recycled item for me, the 960 EVO is a great little SSD. Extremely fast.

GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X

I needed a new GPU that fit, and was preferably low power and quiet. The MSI card caught my eye, and so far has performed admirably while remaining relatively quiet. With the dust filters on, it cannot make use of the Fan Stop mode for very long, even at idle...fortunately, the fans remain pleasantly quiet until around 50-60% fan speed. For the moment, it idles at ~45C at 20% fan speed with the dust filters on, and gets up to around the 75C mark while at around 45% fan speed at load. Dust filters off, load ends up around 65-70C.

While a little under-powered for AAA gaming on a 3440x1440 monitor, it tackles indie and slightly older games at that resolution very well. It also tackles AAA gaming at 2560x1440 impressively well for the price, although some sacrifices are needed to maintain 60 FPS - depending on the game of course. The majority of my use case is playing a game at 1440p or 1080p in windowed mode while watching a video of some sort on the other part of my screen, and that it handles very well.

Case: Silverstone RVZ02B

I went back and forth on case a lot over the last while, but I've always liked the look and size of the RVZ02 (especially with the HB01 handle) so I pulled the trigger while it was on sale on Amazon. The case was surprisingly easy to build in while using an SFX factor PSU. The only real hurdle was needing to remove the top bracket above the GPU to get a card as tall as the Gaming X into the GPU chamber, but that's as easy as removing a few screws. My only real complaint is that the included case feet are fairly awkward to use, but that's a minor point.

Cable management was made a little easier by the fact that I used no 2.5'' drives, and did not connect front USB (I prefer to keep the front I/O panel closed, and use a USB hub under my monitor). Still not as neat as I'd prefer, but space and cable rigidity is somewhat limiting.

PSU: Corsair SF450

Excellent little unit. Cables aren't very flexible (disadvantage in this case) or long (advantage in this case), but overall I definitely recommend this unit. The fan is very quiet.

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