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A Build of Ice and Fire

by nmoellman


Alternatively known as First Desktop, first gaming rig, first build

With a lot of help and input, I put this together. At the beginning, I emailed a friend with these objectives:

I'm in the process of building a PC. with a budget around $1000 (probably $1300 max). Things I want from the PC are:

1) Ability to handle large data in statistical packages (min 16gb DDR4 RAM, 4 core processor)

2) High enough quality graphics card to play League of Legends on high settings with min 60fps, no screen tear

3) Potential to use PC as console replacement, play games like Fallout 4 with quality as good as console

4) Decent storage, probably SSD HDD combined

After many things going out of stock (looking at you RX 580), and deciding to mildly color coordinate, this is the final list. I ended up buying everything except the monitor from either newegg or Amazon. With free prime shipping I ended up saving money on shipping costs (a blank shipping cost on pcpartpicker doesn't mean free!) The price of all components, including shipping, sans monitor was $1001.97. I payed a bit extra for the monitor because I sprung for a Gsync monitor which was $370.99. After I get everything set up and tested, I will update this with more information and photos.

Parts Review

For the most part, I'm very happy with this setup. I'll outline a few things I liked and disliked about some of the parts.

Mobo--This was probably my biggest problem with the build. First, this mobo is oddly proportioned, to where it doesn't quite fit the full ATX case. I had to move some of the posts around. Moreover, the location of some of the plugs made cable management pretty hairy. Next, there's an issue as you're trying to optimize your hardware. I had the hardest time getting the RAM (which is rated 3200hz) past the default of 2133. The BIOS interface wasn't the issue (although many do have issue with the BIOS, just use the "+" and "-" keys to increase or decrease frequencies). The problem was the default voltage to the RAM was way too low. Thus, when I tried increasing the frequency, I'd get into this weird boot loop where the fans would spin and the LED would flash about 5 times before finally booting, and running the RAM at the low frequency. Eventually I figured out I needed to increase the volatage to the RAM (I didn't go beyond the 1.35V specs), and got the RAM stable around 2933hz.

Case--I think the case looks sexy AF, I totally dig the white and black scheme, and I even spent maybe $20 extra trying to fit that scheme. That being said, the thumb screws on this gave me carpal tunnel. They really require a screwdriver. The only other issue I had was that the fan plugs are zip tied into a bundle and attached to a MOLEX. This meant I ended up plugging the fans straight into the PSU rather than the mobo, so the fans run if the machine is on. I could have cut the zip, and reconfigured the wiring, but I didn't feel like taking my life into my own hands.

HDD--The only issue is it came without an official box, which I found strange. It's not the quietest, but it's not terrible.

I haven't put the rest of the parts through their paces really, but from what I can tell they seem to be working nicely. LOL runs at about 100 fps on high settings and looks great. Many of my issues are probably from being completely new to building my own machine, but hopefully this helps those looking at some parts! Feel free to send me a message with any questions or comments.

Part Reviews


Stock cooler seems nice, seems like I'm getting pretty good performance.


The mobo looks nice, but while it's rated for RAM up to 3200hz, good luck being able to get a stable build with it. I had to adjust the voltage to the RAM, and spend a few hours trying to finagle it up to 2933. Also, the board isn't quite full size, so it was a bit awkward getting it in the case.


Looks nice, seems nice, nice nice nice.

Video Card

I think the card looks cool, and I'm getting nice performance from it.


The thumb screws are super hard to screw in without a screw driver. The case also had a bunch of cables wired together, which would be nice, except the fan cables were wired into a MOLEX. I could have cut the zip tie to remove the fan cables, but by that point it seemed like more trouble than it was worth (everything was already in and running at that time, and being new to this, I was worried I might cut something else). So now my fans run whenever I turn on the case, because they are wired directly into the PSU vs mobo.


I think this is a beautiful monitor. The only issue I have is that it was packed so tightly in the Styrofoam, when I took it out, it seems to have a few Styrofoam flecks in the crevasses.

Comments Sorted by:

dafarnum 1 point 21 months ago

Did you have any trouble with the Vengeance RAM being compatible with Ryzen?

nmoellman submitter 1 Build 1 point 21 months ago

So I'm just putting it together and getting everything set up. I though am having problems with the ram, but maybe not compatibility? I manually set it to 3200 ghz, and I would enter this weird boot loop where fans would spin on and off like 5 times before booting. Went back in to bios and reset at default 2133ghz and it seems to run fine now. I'll have to adjust the settings a bit more to see what's going on. Have you had any issues? I feel like this is a mobo issue not Ryzen issue.

dafarnum 1 point 21 months ago

Well I've done mind numbing research on this supposed Samsung B DIE RAM issue, but I haven't bought the parts yet. I'm pretty new to computer building, but I heard you have to make sure the RAM is on the motherboards QVL (qualified vendor list), and that unless you have guaranteed Samsung B DIE stick it won't run past 2666 MHz right now. There are BIOS updates coming out to fix the problem I guess. Some have gotten up to 3000-32000 MHz apparently, but It's all so confusing I barely understand if I got RAM that will work with my Ryzen. I know for certain G Skill Flare X 3200 is B DIE, but the B DIE sticks expensive.

nmoellman submitter 1 Build 1 point 21 months ago

Hey I edited some info in the build which addresses the RAM which may be helpful.

dafarnum 1 point 21 months ago

Thanks for the heads up, I am probably going to wait this thing out and see if by the end of the summer this whole RAM issue is sorted out by then. Save some more money and maybe I can upgrade to a nice GPU or something by then.

MightyHammer 1 point 19 months ago

Nice build and quite long description (my Favorite) Thanks for sharing