Description

This is a build I use mainly for casual gaming and some photo and video editing.

It is my first build in which I focused also on the aesthetics, with the addition of some led lighting and proper cable management. I was inspired by the Mass Effect series (hence the build name).

Completed in January 2018, I got some of the components used from ebay to save some money. CPU, MoBo, GPU, case, and led case fans are all used components found on ebay, all in excellent or as new conditions, while RAM, PSU and CPU cooler are brand new.

Since the case (which is awesome) doesn't have any 5.25″ slots, I threw in a new card reader / USB 3 hub unit and an external optical drive.

I also got a cheap 4 strips kit of rgb led lights to complete the amazing look of the case.

By the end of 2018 I added a couple more accessories and components to improve the build further: I got two additional RAM banks in red to have a red/white pattern, rgb keyboard and mouse, two custom made led GPU backplates (one of which I use just as case decoration), and the really cool LCDSysInfo 3.5'' screen powered by GOverlay, for which I created my own custom layout (of course Mass Effect inspired).

Later in 2019 I finally upgraded my ancient basic 2.0 speaker setup that was breaking down and got an equally very old used Logitech X-530 5.1 system.

Shortly after that, at the end of 2019 I snatched a used GeForce GTX 1660 Ti to replace the old GTX 960. That was a wild jump in terms of performance! I also grabbed a gaming monitor (144Hz) which completed the graphics upgrades.

The next upgrades are possibly a MSI MoBo if I find a good offer (I just love their red/black design and it would fit perfectly in my build), and some nicely colored cable extensions to hide the basic black ones that came with the PSU.

Part Reviews

CPU

I picked this CPU because I figured it would be more than enough for my casual gaming and minor photo and video editing. Also, I am not interested in overclocking. Indeed it performed as I expected. I think this represent a nice balance between price, TDP and performances.

CPU Cooler

I like more the look of low profile CPU coolers, plus with a locked CPU I'm quite confident the temperature won't rise too much regardless of the cooling solution. That said, I basically went for the looks, and this really looks nice to me. Exactly what I was looking for to add to my build. Very happy with it.

Motherboard

This wasn't my first choice motherboard, but I got a good deal from ebay. Feature-wise it has pretty much everything I was looking for (knowing I was not going to overclock), but the aesthetics are very basic. I would have preferred a gaming oriented MSI. That aside, I haven't found a single issue, and since the aesthetics were not the focus of this board, I feel like it deserves 5 stars

Memory

No issues since I got them. A plus is that they come in different colors, so I could mix them to fit my build theme.

Memory

No issues since I got them. A plus is that they come in different colors, so I could mix them to fit my build theme.

Storage

Works perfectly and its well known reliability gives me the feeling my data is safe. Hopefully it'll have a long and happy life in my build

Case

This is a wonderful case for the price. It has great looks (if you like the red/black theme), all the basic features you would expect and a few extra details that make me love it: the dark mirror front panel is perfect to show off front led fans and it also includes a front bottom red led.

If I have to find some cons: the side window is plastic, not tempered glass; no 5.25" bays, had to say goodbye to my old DVD-burner

Power Supply

Semi-modular and quiet. So far it has performed flawlessly.

Wireless Network Adapter

I have had this USB adapter for several years and it has always provided perfectly stable connections. It looks a bit old-fashioned nowadays, but it does its job well

Case Fan

These fans are really good looking (I'm a fan of the led ring style), and all colours are reasonably good. The downside is that the controller is pretty much bound to stay inside the case, so that you will have to open it to change any setting, but the software operated ones are just too expensive.

Mouse

This mouse looks really good and it's very comfortable. It is also software programmable and the rgb lighting is really nice. The only not optimal details is the brightness: there are 3 levels to choose from, but the difference is barely noticeable. To me even the low brightness setting is still a bit too bright (outshines the keyboard backlighting).

Headphones

I absolutely love the sound of these headphones and they are very comfortable. The bad thing is that after a while the flimsy top layer of the pads started peeling off. By now the pads are completely peeled and a bit ugly, but the quality is still great.

Custom

Got this because I like to have a card reader always available. It is also nice to have a USB 3.0 hub. It does its job well. Once I connected an external hard drive for a while and it handled it perfectly, with fast data transfer.

Custom

I bought this kit to complete the case lighting on a budget. For the price it's a very good kit. It does what it should very nicely, but I have to add a couple of cons: you can regulate the brightness of the leds only for the static colours modes; some of the static colours are terrible, particularly yellow and orange are actually mostly green. The primary colours look really great though. I mostly use red or blue on static mode, so I'm very happy with it.

Comments

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

how did you get that processor for so cheap?

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

I just followed ebay offers for a while. Finally I managed to snatch that one up without anyone else bidding on it. I guess I got lucky. I got it from this UK based ebay user: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/redzrx400 I see that at the moment he is not selling them anymore, but at the time he was selling a bunch of them, so you might want to try to follow him

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build. What are thermals and noise like with that cooler, can't find any good reviews

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Can I over clock the CPU with this fan or will the CPU overheat?

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Can't say for sure as I don't overclock. To be honest I picked this cooler mainly for its aesthetics rather than it's effectiveness.

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks beautiful, wish you had more images.