Wireless Network Adapter
+ Total (United States):
I built this gaming PC for the kiddo. He hasn't really left his room since...starting to wonder if this might have been a mistake...but that laser etched glass side panel looks really nice!
Anyway, I built this on top of my dryer, since this was the only space I had available. It wasn't too difficult, this isn't my first rodeo by far.
There are a couple gripes I have about a few of the parts. First, the adhesive for the light bar is garbage. A little superglue fixed this, but I used 90% IPA on both the PCB and the case before applying the sticky tabs. They stick well to the PCB, but it fell off of the case twice before I resorted to more permanent mounting.
The CableMod extensions are very flimsy - so much so that the "inside" row of wires likes to push through the "outside" row of wires in bends. More cable combs would have helped, and eventually I got it to look good. But it was a lot of frustration.
Otherwise, a pretty awesome build. It went together easily, and the motherboard accepted the proper RAM timings from the jump. The cooler came with an AM4-compatible plate, even though this site said it wouldn't. I picked up an AM4 bracket kit from BeQuiet! for pretty much no reason. It wasn't too terrible to install the cooler, I think they updated the instructions to match what most people figured out was a much simpler way to install this.
Kid didn't want an AIO or any liquid cooling, didn't care about RGB, 4K or VR. I did decide to throw in the red strip to make it awesomer, as well as to mod the front panel LED's to match the red color scheme. He's happy with the 27" Freesync monitor, this is all an upgrade from the house PC which had a 23" non-sync monitor. It was also a Z87 box with an i3, a 650ti mini, 8G of DDR3, and a crappy SSD, and was roughly the same cost then as this is now.
I did a few other things that seemed prudent. I heatshrink-wrapped both the bare daisy-chain end of the LED strip as well as the connector once it was pushed together. I also spraypainted the remaining PCI-e brackets for empty slots red to match the color scheme. White just detracted from an otherwise sleek color profile, and they stood out too much for my liking. This is also partially why I replaced the stock fans with Be Quiet! PWM fans.
I set everything up with a slightly more aggressive fan curve than stock curves. The case fans and the CPU fans are set to run at 10% minimum 100% of the time, and the GPU fans are set to kick on at a lower temperature and ramp up faster by about 10 degrees (since this card runs hot). Testing was done with Heaven benchmark fullscreen with medium to medium-high settings, and peaked at 160FPS, average of about 80. The CPU was stress tested with Prime95 on a blend test. Both ran for a half hour before posting the temps.