Description

My first attempt at a custom build. I gathered parts over the course of ~4 months without much direction or research in what would make the "best" PC for my needs. I wanted a general high-performance/gaming machine primarily for Blizzard games and maybe some PC exclusives. Ended up buying big ticket parts (CPU, GPU, RAM etc) which had good deals/discounts over time and ended up with this list. I'd say my actual cost was about 25% less than the PCPP estimate here.

The compatibility of all the parts worked out, and since I only used stock cooling I'm running the CPU and GPU at moderate levels of overclocking. Planning on setting it up with either a 4k monitor or 1440p ultrawide.

Part Reviews

CPU

Great CPU, easy to overclock to 4.0GHz with stock cooler.

Motherboard

Highly recommended, large QVL and 2 on-board NVMe (M.2) slots. Also has RGB lighting and simple controller software that also helped control the CPU cooler lights.

Memory

Looks really good, although I regret not spending a bit more for the RGB variant. Started out at base/default 2133MHz but was easy to bring to its rated 3000MHz with no stability issues so far.

Storage

Cheap extra storage, was a little hard to attach connectors in my case's layout.

Storage

Can't go wrong with this. Although it looks like the newer 970 is actually cheaper than the 960, so I would say go for that now. I will probably buy the 970 sometime to fit the second slot in my motherboard.

Video Card

Not the greatest looking card visually, and my overclock is only stable at a bit less than what others seem to be getting. Still a solid buy if you can get it for <$400 (which I did).

Case

Best case for a minimalistic design, if that is what you are aiming for. I think the extra $30 is worth it for the lighting, fans and controllers, especially since I enjoy RGB lighting effects. Cabling was pretty easy with enough freedom to do it your own way, and an easy lower covered compartment to shove all the stiff power supply cables without tying them all up.

Power Supply

My build didn't need this much power but I got a good deal on this. Found it on clearance at Best Buy for half off, making it cheaper than a bronze rated 550W supply. I'll have plenty left to extend my build with extra coolers etc.

Wireless Network Adapter

I like the dash of color and it worked right out of the box.

Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Why did you buy 32 gigs of ram? You could have used that money for a better gpu, or do you video edit?

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Good question -- I definitely skimped out on a better gpu but I don't think saving ~$140 on the memory would get me that much closer to a 1080 or 1080ti since I got this gpu for $370. A bit of future proofing as well since the mobo supports 64GB and I'm only using 2 slots so far.

I don't do any video editing but do plan on running Linux VM's for work stuff, so it's also nice to give them a few gigs while running in the background.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Maybe not a better GPU, but there are a lot of other things you could have done. In most games getting anything over 16GB won't really improve performance. Having a Ryzen, investing in some 3200MHz memory might have. Also, a 2700's performance is comparable to a 2600X and doesn't match the i5 8600K which is the same price. By getting 16GB you could go for an 8700 or 2700X. Anyway, that's just my opinion. Congrats on the build, it's good.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

No doubt, I would've liked to get 3200MHz+ memory also, amongst a few other things I wished differently. This was a low effort learning exercise and in no way a fully optimized build.

  • 12 months ago
  • 4 points

We all learn. I've built three PCs for personal use and every time, I always wish that I did something different. I don't think I'll ever be satisfied and content with a personal build without an outrageous budget haha.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I know that feeling all too well haha

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Just xmp the ram and manually set the Mhz to 3200Mhz. Should work out. If any wierd things happen after you did this step, reverse it, otherwise leave it. I ramped up the xmp 3200 16-18-38 1,35v to 3600 and left the rest as it is. Had no problems with it. So +200Mhz might be possible :D

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm willing to try that, although I haven't changed the default timings. Any ideas on how and what I should set the timings to get some more out of this particular brand of memory?

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

How is the performance of the motherboard going so far?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

It's great, no complaints almost 1 year out.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice, and what monitor do you use? I was researching and majority of the monitors are freesync .

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Cable management is so much better than mine! +1 ;)

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you, the case made it really easy to run any new wires along already established paths and grooves.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

I would recommend moving that top fan to the bottom front for the sake of thermals. Other than that, it looks great!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I have considered that as well. A weird thing about this case, the top fan has a filter even though it is an exhaust and not an intake. What were they thinking ...

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build and lovely cable management

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

How's your Crucial SSD temps? I've got same one and will be building my first PC on Monday, worried about temps in H500 case (because those SSDs, especially M.2, tend to get very hot)

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Somehow, it looks like PCPP has changed the underlying entry for that part to point to a new M.2 version of that SSD. The one I have and had originally listed in my build was the standard SATA SSD (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0764WCXCV/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_4UspCbZJZVRGD).

That said, the M.2 NVMe I do have has had no temp problems whatsoever and I would recommend it.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Do a photo in dark light or with the lights off

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello, I plan on buying the h500i and I was wondering, do the front panel connectors and NZXT smart hub use usb 2.0? I only have 2 2.0s available to me and I have a wireless network adapter that uses USB 2.0. Lovely build and nice cable management btw

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the the late response. The case's front panel smart hub is USB 3.1, but you will also get a ton of other USB inputs in the back from your motherboard that will likely have 2.0 and others. That said, 3.1 should be backwards compatible to 2.0 devices.