Description

March 2020 edit: This build has evolved a lot since I first put it together and a lot parts (new fans / LED strips / peripherals / extra storage / fan controllers) have been added over time, so this is it's current state.

Wanted to build a new pc, so got the main parts around Black Friday 2018 as there were some pretty good deals then, and the new RTX series had just come out. Finished the build soon after.

1440p 100Hz+ was the goal the 9600k and 2070 do it pretty well compared to the higher priced 9700k and 2080. Both are relatively straightforward to overclock too. The AOC AG271 is a pretty solid monitor and when I compared the couple of 1440p 144Hz G-Sync IPS monitors that were around such as the Acer Predator XB27 and Asus Rog PG27, they all used the same panel and this one was the cheapest so went with it.

Don't really need the NVMe storage with the 970 Evo for much but it's one of those parts that you can keep through multiple builds so I thought why not as it was also on sale. Added in the Corsair MP510 some time later, definitely would have picked it over the 970 if it was at that price when I was first buying the parts.

Case looks fantastic, and building in it was straightforward but there isn't much room for cable management in the back, it could have been designed slightly better there, but the tempered reflective glass is amazing.

I like Razer peripherals (Chroma ftw) and never got into mechanical keyboards so picked up the Ornata for that sweet RGB.

MSI Mystic Light is used for the GPU and Motherboard RGB (which now integrates with Razer Synapse whoo), Corsair iCue is used for the fans / PC LED strips and behind the monitor LED strips, and Razer Synapse is for the peripherals. The lamp and the LEDs behind the desk are Phillips Hue (which also integrates with Razer Synapse).

Overall pretty satisfied with it, definitely could have saved some cash but I like RGB, so :)

Note: I'm using custom cables from 'PirateDog Tech' on Ebay to control the AIO RGB through Corsair iCue. Also the vertical GPU mount is custom 3D printed from someone on Reddit.

It's lit.

Part Reviews

CPU

Very solid gaming CPU. Sure it doesn't have 12 threads but you hardly need more than 6 especially when they're this fast. Overclocks very well and pretty much any sample should hit 4.8-5.0 GHz. Is a lot cheaper than the 9700k and 9900k and has very comparable performance when they all run at the same speed.

CPU Cooler

Best looking AIO cooler in my opinion. Priced similarly to other competitors like the Corsair and NZXT AIOs and doesn't require a USB connection or 3rd party RGB software as it syncs with your motherboard. Solid performance and the pump is pretty quiet. Very happy with it in my build.

Thermal Compound

Cheap, not electrically conductive, easy to apply, solid thermal paste.

Motherboard

Honestly a bit expensive for what you get, but my main reason for buying this motherboard was that I got a free game + a free SSD with it so I thought why not. Looks good, has plenty of RGB connections (which is the most important thing obviously!) and has a decent BIOS. Overclocking with it is quite straightforward and I have not noticed any Vdroop with it even on the auto LLC setting which is pretty good.

Side note: actually redeeming the free game code from MSI's website was a nightmare and I had to submit it multiple times before I actually managed to get my code. Will be keeping that in mind next time I'm motherboard shopping.

Memory

Well specced RAM with fantastic lighting effects. Very bright, has no branding on the light bar, and 10 individually controllable LEDs on each stick. Does work with your motherboard software but has tons more effects in Corsair's excellent iCue software.

Not the cheapest though and there are some other options out there, but if you are going to be using Corsair iCue anyway with some other components then this is a no-brainer. Especially as they now have dummy modules to fill out all your slots (be wary that the dummy modules did not work with MSI Mystic Lighting at the time of writing).

Storage

Quite unnecessary for gaming but it was on sale so got it anyway. Lightning fast, with decent software (though you don't really need their software or drivers). Top tier NVMe SSD.

Storage

The best bang for buck NVMe SSD you can get. Much cheaper than other competitors like the 970 Evo or WD Black, very very similar performance but miles ahead of every other SSD with it's insane 1700TB endurance. Going to be keeping this one forever.

Storage

Old HDD from my laptop. Not particularly fast but pretty solid as I haven't had any problems with it yet in over 3 years.

Video Card

Great GPU for 1440p gaming or entry level 4k. Great factory overclock and you can still push it a bit further as it has an 'A' chip. MSI Afterburner even has a great 'auto overclock' if you don't want to go through the manual process and it had the same result as when I tried to manually find the maximum stable overclock.

A lot more expensive than base models though and not really worth it as if you save up a bit more you might as well go for the 2080. I only got it as the deal came with £30 of Steam vouchers and a free game which basically cancels out the price difference with the base models.

Temperatures are pretty good even on the default fan curve. Solid RGB too but wish it had a bit more either on the back-plate or on the fans.

Case

Amazing looking case. Blends in with the furniture very well without looking like a space ship when it's off but allows all your shiny RGB components to shine through when they're on. Very very reflective when off and it's definitely something everyone instantly notices.

It is a fingerprint and dust magnet though so it does require some upkeep. Cable management isn't the best either as the included channel is barely big enough for the motherboard power cable. They also cheaped out on the fans as they only include their lowest end SP120 fans which have no software control without a separate Lighting Node Pro which they should really have included too. Vertical GPU mount is nice too but quite close to the glass, would have been nice if there was a bigger gap or at least included a riser cable as the case itself is quite expensive.

Power Supply

It's a PSU. Hasn't died on me yet. 10 year warranty, gold rated, relatively quiet, fully modular, not long length wise, nicely sleeved all black cables without any of that rainbow wiring.

Case Fan

3rd fan to match my AIO fans. Fantastic RGB, but not the quietest.

Monitor

Pretty solid monitor and when I compared the couple of 1440p 144Hz G-Sync IPS monitors that were around, they all used the same panel and this one was the cheapest so went with it.

Fantastic colours, none of that washed out TN panel nonsense. G-Sync is a must have (or at least Free Sync now that Nvidia plays nice with it) and high refresh rates are great. Can't really tell the difference between 144Hz and 165Hz but it's a verified overclock so no reason not to have it.

Smaller stand footprint than the others which was important as my desk isn't the biggest. It gets 4 stars as my particular one has 3 'hot pixels' which is only really visible on white backgrounds and you can't really notice it unless you look for it. I was initially going to return it and just get a new one but the Amazon seller offered £150 off so I just kept it. Slight IPS glow in the corners as you get with most IPS monitors but not a huge issue really.

Keyboard

Great if you don't want a true mechanical keyboard but want something that is quite satisfyingly clicky nonetheless. Definitely some of the nicest RGB effects out there and Synapse 3 is a great upgrade over their old Synapse 2. Would have been perfect if it used standard replaceable key-caps though but they sadly don't.

Headphones

Good gaming headset but a bit dated now. Booming bass and clear mids. Mic is a bit quiet though.

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Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 3 points

So it's a 2 piece ram kit and 2 dummy heat spreaders? I kinda like the idea of this as I was trying to build my own lighted slot fillers. Build looks super clean man, my only critique is the direct line of sight on the led strips, kinda harsh on the eyes, but I know that case doesn't really have a good place to mount them.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep it's 2 RAM modules and 2 identical sticks just for the RGB. Yeah I tried with the LED strips inside the case too but they were hardly visible then so had to put them on the outside. Still trying to figure out how to diffuse them nicely into a solid bar but nothing I've tried worked :(

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Cut and frost some acrylic, then put them between the LEDs and the glass...maybe...

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Ohh sounds good, might try it later

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi,

How is the RTX card performing so far, any issues ? and how is the overall performance in terms of pc

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build. I used the same case for mine and love it. Cable management was challenging, but worth it in the end. I think it is one of the best looking cases available now, but I may be biased.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Definitely one of the best looking yep!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice, clean setup. Interesting knife collection lol

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Haha they're CS:GO Knife skins :)

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

them karambits tho o.O

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

They're from Fade Case :D

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Great looking build, where did you buy the riser cable? I'm looking for one for my obsidian 500d SE

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I got it from Scan.co.uk but I think it's on Amazon as well now, also the Corsair website.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Great, thanks for that. Now I just need to pay for shipping to Australia. Time to take out another mortgage!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice clean build, love it. I have the same case and it's beautiful!

How are your temps with the GPU compared to traditionally mounted? I was thinking about mounting mine vertically, but was concerned with the clearance for cooling.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! It is quite close to the side panel yeah. ln the default fan curve temps went up by about ~7 degrees ish so had to adjust it in MSI Afterburner to spin a bit faster so now it's only ~2 degrees higher than before. But it is a decent bit louder as well so it's kind of a trade off! You could also try the CableMod or Cooler Master kits which give it much more room.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

That AIO is so sick man

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

This is sick! Nice build!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

How’d you vertically mount your gpu?

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

The case has it's own vertical slots. But airflow is pretty rubbish so I've gotten a new 3D printed mount, will update the build at some point.