My first computer build - this project started off with an idea of doing a barebones Mini ITX build using a Skylake i5 processor around November of 2016. The more I started reading about computers and watching tech-tubers, the further down the rabbit hole I went.
By January, I had already bought many of my parts when I found out about the upcoming AMD Ryzen processor rollout. I was tempted to buy a Kaby Lake i5 processor and call it a day, but I held out until Ryzen 5 was released in April and I couldn't be happier. I've got to say, it was definitely worth the wait.
My parts selection was driven primarily by obtaining the best price to performance ratio at the time of purchase. Some of these parts, such as the graphics card have been superseded by newer models since preparation for the build was dragged out nearly 5 months.
This processor is in my opinion the sweet spot of the current Ryzen range. It comes with a Wraith Spire CPU cooler included and can be overclocked to nearly the same frequency as the 1600x. The Ryzen 7 offerings are at least $100 more and do not offer a performance increase commensurate to the cost premium. The included Wraith Spire cooler is adequate for some light overclocking and quiet to boot.
Since I had already purchased this part, I was worried I would have to shop for a new cooler that was compatible with the Ryzen AM4 bracket. Props to CRYORIG for sending me the AM4 adapter plate free of charge. This CPU cooler offers a great combination of aesthetics and performance at an affordable $30 price point. The black fin shroud and black/white fan feels right at home in my build. It is virtually inaudible unless I'm doing a torture test on the CPU. Installation was a breeze once I figured out how to switch the x-bar mounting system from Intel to AMD mounting points.
Coming from an HDD on my previous computer, I really don't have anything to compare this to. All I know is that this drive makes Windows 10 load in a matter of seconds and it makes opening any applications super snappy. It might not be "high performance" as far as NVME M.2 drives are concerned, but at this price point, who cares? The PCB is green, which stands out against my grey/black motherboard, but the drive itself is hardly noticeable since it sits behind the graphics card.
There is a reason this case is so ubiquitous nowadays. It has a great minimalist aesthetic that is complemented by the full size tempered glass side panel. On top of that, it boasts fantastic cable management that made my first build that much easier. The PSU shroud keeps all the cables of my semi-modular PSU out of sight while also providing a backdrop to showcase up to 3 SSDs should I add them in the future. I cant comment on the two included 120mm case fans since I replaced them at the get go. It would be nice to have the option to mount larger radiators to the top of the case, but you cant have it all.
Great power supply at this price point. You can tell the money went into the quality not the looks though. I'm deducting one star since the non-modular PCI-E cable comes wired to an additional 8-pin connector that cannot be separated. This wouldn't be a problem for those with Crossfire/SLI setups, but I think most people buying this PSU probably aren't putting it into those kinds of systems.
I took these fans off another case I had purchased for my build because they fit my color scheme. That being said, they are super quiet at 7 volts and move a decent amount of air. This is likely due to the hydraulic bearing which transfers nearly no vibration to the frame in both vertical and horizontal orientation. At under $15, they offer a great noise to performance ratio.