I built this PC back in December 2018. Before that, my last computer was an Alienware M17X R1 laptop which I had been using since 2009. Needless to say a new PC was long overdue. I use it mainly for 3-D CAD drafting and the occasional gaming (mostly Skyrim and Assassin's creed). Surprisingly the laptop worked out quite well for both these tasks over so many years.
Still I had been wanting a new PC at least since 2016 and had been building imaginary desktops on PCPP for quite some time. Two things I was quite certain about were that, this time around I would pick my own parts and build it myself and secondly I will be using the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX for my case.
However, I ended up playing the stupid waiting game for far too long and delayed on the purchase. Well first it was - Oh, lets wait a little bit, AMD Ryzen CPUs are coming soon (talking about the original Ryzen here). Once Ryzen came, I was like- Wait a little more, AMD Vega is coming and then I will have a full AMD PC. When Vega came, the reviews were bit of a letdown. So I said lets wait some more, new Nvidia GPUs will be coming anytime now. Finally when RTX came along someone told me now Ryzen 2 CPUs are coming so wait a little bit more; which like an idiot I was planning on doing. Also the graphics card prices were fairly high at that time due to bitcoin mining or whatever so I thought - Sure lets wait until Navi GPU arrives, and I will have an all AMD PC :P
I am blessed to say that it was rather fortuitous that the pair of Nvidia 280m GPUs which my old Alienware laptop was rocking since 2009, died completely. So glad that my hand was forced into building a new PC. For a moment, I thought of buying the AMD Athlon CPU as placeholder until Ryzen 2 launches, but then realized what a headache it would be explaining dear wifey few months down the line that I need to buy new processor. I could hear her say: "But husband, you just built a PC 6 months ago. Why the hell do you need new parts for?"
So I said hell with it, I will just get the best I can now and not worry about future proofing. Shortlisted all the parts needed using PCPP and got around ordering everything.
Since this was my first build I was a bit extra careful and slightly worried. But once all the parts arrived, the assembly turned out to be quite straight forward and I was extremely happy to see the PC successfully POST on first startup. Turns out all these years checking out builds on PCPP and looking at various videos ultimately paid off. I think I did a so-so job of cable management. Please feel free to give any advice tips if you observe something.
Overall I am extremely happy with how my build turned out. Hard tubed water cooling, as time permits is something I am looking forward to in future. I imagined I would regret not waiting more for Ryzen 2 or new 4k Acer monitors or Navi GPU. Thankfully that's not the case.
Quite happy with the Ryzen 2700x CPU since it worked out great for my needs. I have to admit that the stock cooler does a pretty decent job and is not super noisy or anything like that. All my past computers have been Intels so initially I was a little concerned about how well AMD would perform, but based on reviews took chance and am pleased to say it's a wonderful CPU. Earlier plan was to check out stock AMD cooler performance first and then may be buy a AIO liquid cooler later on. Yet so far I am more than happy with how my system is performing even during summer. Although am not too fond of all that empty space inside the Phanteks case just going to waste, I feel I can now manage a custom hard tubing by myself so am planning on that upgrade next.
The MSI X470 Carbon motherboard is easy to work with. I went with it because it supports SLI and also I wanted GPU and mobo to be of same brand even though this is not a requirement. Once the GPU was finalized I knew motherboard would be MSI. No complaints there. It's got fancy lighting on it, but I keep all RGB lights off practically always including the ones on RAM, CPU cooler, Video card as well as the keyboard. Only time I turn everything on (and that too in rainbow style :P , is while gaming) The downside is that the missus realizes this soon enough and that increases the probability of being given additional chores in the house.
Now for the GPU, when RTX first launched, based on what I read, was quite convinced I won't be needing Ray tracing and all that jazz since don't get enough time for gaming. Whatever 3d CAD modeling I do is mostly mechanical parts that do not require fancy lighting etc. My expectation and hope was that the RTX launch would drive down the prices of GTX cards like crazy and I could snag a sweet GTX 1080 Ti or even two for a bargain. However these hopes did not materialize. 1080 Ti prices continued to remain high and availability sparse. So I ended up buying the MSI RTX 2080 Gaming Trio. Honestly I am happy with the purchase considering that a cheaper alternative was unavailable and the GPU works pretty well for both gaming and CAD.
With regards to the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX TG case its extremely easy to work with and a wonderful case. I absolutely love that original design even more than the ver 2.0 that came out few months ago. Always dreamed of building my PC in one of those and finally I did.
Plan was for 750 W Power supply. However my local PC shop had some discount going on Corsair 1000 W PSU and the price difference was minimal between the 750 W and the 1000 W (both gold certified and full modular). The PSU does it's thing and Corsair is a solid product. Only thing is that my Phanteks Enthoo Evolv case has glass on both sides. So on the rear side the PSU sticker reads upside down as can be seen in the pics. Not a big deal for me since the rear side faces a wall in this case. But something you might want to think about.
This was the toughest decision for me since all the reviews were so confusing. I ended up holding off on buying a monitor until January. The only thing I was relatively sure about was I wanted a 27" screen. But whether IPS or TN or VA panel nothing was certain. Whether to go for 4k, 60 Hz montior or 2560 (WQHD), 144 Hz panel. Also since my GPU was nVidia, GSync made sense. However in January nVidia dropped the requirement of Gsync panel and started supporting vSync which added to the confusion. I was also worried about the IPS bleed issue which I had read about for the Acer Predator XB271HU as well as Asus Rog PG279Q suffering from. Moreover at least from the photos I liked the look of the Asus Rog monitor better since the Predator's red crow feet looked really childish in pics. To add to all this, there were reports of Acer coming with new 4k 144 Hz X27 panels "soon".
One thing I am glad I did was, postpone the purchase until January. In my country the government reduced the GST charged on monitors substantially in Jan. Also Amazon was offering discount on the Acer Predator. They provide 15 day return window here for a lot of stuff sold on Amazon. Seeing that if something does not work out with the monitor I could return it, I ended up buying the Acer XB271HU panel. All in all I am quite happy with the purchase and do not regret waiting for the new 4k 144 Hz monitor which seem to be quite expensive. The Acer's red crow feet are more like maroon colored and do not stand out too much looks wise, and don't look super unconventional contrary to online pics. I noticed absolutely no IPS bleed issue with the monitor even while watching movies with dark scenes and trust me I tried real hard to find flaws with it. At least to me it seems that you have to have the room pitch black and then some IPS glow is visible on the corners. Strangely the IPS glow looks much horrible if you take a picture of the screen in the dark room than viewing directly with your eyes. Not sure what's going on here.
Cooler Master MK750 is really sweet keyboard. You can do a lot of RGB configuration right from the keyboard itself without need for software. Another feature that I like to have but use only sparingly. The cherry MX Brown keys give the perfect balance of touch feedback and clickity feel in my view.
The mouse is Logitech G502 and feels great. I tend to palm the whole mouse and for me the fit, size and weight seems perfect. It comes with additional weights that can be added if required.