Description

My old setup (4790k/GTX 970) was unchanged since 2015 and what started as a GPU upgrade turned into a total rebuild of my whole system.

Coming from a HAF 932 case from 2011 I definitely wanted to focus on the aesthetics of this build as I planned to move the tower up to my desk as well. All of the components are neutral colors (black, silver, gunmetal) - I like to change up the RGB color scheme pretty often so I didn't want any static color choices to limit my flexibility there. I spent a good amount of time on cable management as this was my first build where I actually put forth an effort to make things tidy. The H500M was pretty easy to build in although having tempered glass on both sides of the case allowed for a little less flexibility in terms of how I routed the cables on the back side

One of my favorite upgrades was going from 2 2.5" SATA SSDs and a 3.5" HDD to the M.2 NVME drives. Not having any SATA cables to route and tie down was extremely nice, not to mention the improved speeds. I'm booting from the 970 EVO Plus and using the Inland drive for games and music.

I had initially purchased an EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Ultra from Best Buy around Black Friday (hence the 2070s box in the photos) but I was having horrible coil whine at ~120 FPS and higher and ended up returning it and upgrading the to Strix 2080 Super (haven't had any issues or coil whine with this card).

Performance is great as I expected it would be - I mostly play Apex Legends at this point and I have FPS capped at 141 with all settings maxed at 1440p. I have never noticed a drop below the 141 FPS cap while playing. I am running at OOTB clock speeds on the CPU and GPU for now but I plan to do some mild overclocking in the near future. Temps while gaming are in the mid 40s for the CPU and mid 60s for the GPU.

Overall I am very happy with this build and plan to keep using the core components for the foreseeable future. The only other plans I have for the near future are some custom PSU cables, some more LL fans and potentially a custom GPU support bracket (although this card has very minimal sag for its size).

EDIT: LL Fans are in (see pics) and they are awesome. Pricey but worth every penny IMO. Having them mounted as top exhaust allows for some really cool ambient lighting to complement the rest of the LEDs in the build. Custom carbon/black PSU cables from CableMod are on order and should be in by the end of June. Will update pics once I get them installed.

Part Reviews

CPU

Had a tough time deciding between this and the 3900x. Since I almost strictly use my PC for gaming, I went with this for the faster single core speeds. It's fast and doesn't break a sweat with anything I have thrown at it.

CPU Cooler

This was a relatively new option when I purchased it so I didn't have a ton of information to go off of, but I have been very happy with it so far. All of the parts seem high quality, the fans are quite and move a good amount of air and the LEDS on the pump are great looking. I also like that you can rotate the logo on the pump so that it is at the correct orientation regardless of how you mount the pump. As an added bonus, you get a second blank pump insert that you can have a custom logo/engraving put on. Lighting works out of the box with Aura Sync with no additional software needed.

Motherboard

Beautiful looking board. Plenty of I/O, memory support is good and BIOS is easy to use. One gripe is that my Corsair Strafe RGB keyboard is not recognized until booting into the OS. I had to scrounge up a PS/2 keyboard just to get into BIOS after Windows was installed! I have tested another USB keyboard since and it was recognized when POSTing - I did read on forums that other asus boards had a similar issue with corsair keyboards but I have not found a solution other than using another keyboard when I want to get into BIOS.

Also - not directly related to the board but to the Aura Sync software...adding any lighting effect aside from a static color results in a constant 8-10% CPU load from the Asus "Lighting Service" process. This seems way too high for simple lighting effects.

Memory

These were not much more expensive that similar speed Trident Z RGB and for the extra money are absolutely worth it. They look fantastic in the case and perform exactly to spec @ 3200MHz when paired with my 9900k.

Storage

Very fast NVME M.2 drive. A little overkill for everyday users but having the extra speed is nice.

Storage

Great price/performance drive. Highly recommend it for either a high speed data drive or boot drive.

Video Card

Great card. No coil whine, temps stay in the mid 60s under load. Value wise the 2070 Super wins but I have been very happy with this card so far.

Case

This case has a lot of flexibility based on your needs. Drive rack is removable as is the shroud covering it. The shroud also has a cutout that can be removed to fit a front-mounted 360mm rad. Cable management is pretty good, although having more pre-cut channels like some of the NZXT cases have would be a bonus.

Removed one star because 360mm rad support, while it is available on both the top and front of the case, is not perfect. In my particular case, top mounting the rad+fans on the inside of the case did not work because my motherboard VRM heat sinks were in the way. I ended up having to use the bracket on the top of the case as a sandwich plate with the rad inside the case and fans in the "attic" portion of the case (luckily the top bracket is removable). This worked out in the end but was not intuitive based on the provided instructions. Front mounting was similarly frustrating because, unless you want to modify the existing front mounting bracket, you are forced to use the preinstalled 200mm fans (or other 200mm fans) and are thereby forced to use a push/pull setup with your 120mm rad fans mounted on the inside of the case. I personally don't think the preinstalled 200mm fans look all that great and wanted to mount my 3 LL120s in the front instead but was not able to.

Power Supply

Works well, fully modular is nice to have. The all black cables are nice as well. Only issue I had was getting the 24 pin motherboard power cable to bend correctly. The electrical tape near the male connector is very thick and I actually had to cut some of it off to shape it properly

Case Fan

Expensive, and a lot of wiring to deal with between the fans and the 2 controllers but they move a lot of air and look fantastic.

Case Fan

Moves air decently and is pretty quiet. LEDs look ok but hotspots are very visible and they are not very bright overall.

Monitor

Great 1080p 144Hz monitor for the price. Never had an issue with it in the 4/5 years I have owned it.

Monitor

Loving it so far. 1440p was a bigger upgrade than I expected. This monitor is super smooth and having Gsync is a great addition.

Keyboard

Tons of customization. I have the Cherry MX Silent switches which feel great and are not obnoxiously loud like the regular Reds are.

Mouse

Solid, responsive mouse. A little lighter than I usually prefer but it has served me well so far.

Headphones

Got these for 60 bucks refurbished directly from Corsair. This was my first wireless headset purchase and coming from Astro A40s with a dedicated mixamp the sound quality is definitely not as good, but at the price point it is perfectly fine. Range and battery life are good as well, and they are comfortable to wear even for extended periods of time.

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Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey just a noob question. I have a the same MB and I was wondering how were you able to get the two usb 3.0 front panel cables plugged in since there is only one header?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I purchased a PCIe card with 2 additional 19-pin USB 3.0 headers on it to accommodate the front panel of my case. Here is the one I used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GSQR6D4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It worked out of the box with Windows 10 Home with no additional drivers needed. Hope this helps!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

This was more than helpful thank you so much! Just ordered this card

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Glad I could help!

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Nice build and description about the whole journey you made building this system! +1

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Glad I could share it!