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First Build... Without a Graphics Card

by KevinFumbles



Date Published

May 8, 2018

Date Built

May 2, 2018

CPU Clock Rate

3.9 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

35.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C


So this was my first computer build ever. I have watched hundreds of hours of YouTube videos on how to build one and getting as much knowledge as possible and it definitely payed off. I built this computer with the goal of gaming in mind. Obviously an integrated graphics chip is not the best for gaming but with the price of graphics cards lately, I had no other option. Once I bought all the parts and spent a few hours of my weekend building it, I realized that there were some things that I haven't even seen on the plethora of videos I've watched. First off, building it was a piece of cake. The hard parts were when something wouldn't work and I'd have to re-cable manage everything or just use trial and error to figure out what the issue was. I managed to get about half of the parts (the actual main PC components) at Micro Center and the rest online from various places. Micro Center honestly had really great deals that either matched or were better than online sellers. I'd say the only purchase I slightly regret is getting the G.Skill Trident Z RGB instead of getting the Corsair Vengeance RGB and maybe getting Corsair peripherals instead of Logitech. The only reason I say that though is so I don't have 3 different applications to control the lighting and that way they would be perfectly in sync. But those are extremely minor issues. The real issues I encountered while building this were: not having the BIOS updated to include the Intel 720p M.2 I wanted to install the Windows image on; not knowing I needed the Corsair Commander Pro to control the lighting and the fans themselves; and trying to fit the hard drive somewhere since I went wild with the fans. As far as the BIOS, I tried the internet flash and it said it had the latest version even though I went to ASRock's website and that was false. So I put it on a flash drive and flashed it that way. Once I did that, it recognized the drive just fine. When it came to the fans, I didn't know why there were two 4-pin connectors coming from each fan and used the included fan hub and Lighting Node Pro but that only controlled the lighting. I had to buy the Corsair Commander Pro (or fan splitters) to control both the lighting and fans (which I then had no use for the Lighting Node Pro. Fitting the hard drive wouldn't be an issue if it wasn't for the fact that I installed a fan where the drive bay should be. So instead I just placed it right on top of the PSU shroud. Correct? Not really. Does it work? Of course it does. The only other comments I have on this build is that I bought some thermal compound to replace the stock compound on the stock cooler that comes with the CPU. I haven't tested the difference but I noticed with the stock, the CPU package temperature fluctuates wildly just at idle. So once I run a test to see if the stability is better, I will add a comment onto this. I don't really have anything else to add to this build other than I love it and I can't wait to add a true graphics card!

Edit: I may have made it seem like this was a "budget" build in my initial description, but as you can see it wasn't in many ways. While I did choose the 2400G, it was because I didn't feel like overpaying so much for a part. Then my buddy told me he was going to sell me his 1080 later on so it was definitely the best choice I could make at the time. Since my initial build, I have added a water cooler and have cable managed a LOT better. I am going to be adding another HDD to RAID for more storage, and once I get the graphics card I will be adding that. I will post more pictures as time goes on to showcase the development of the build. I hope you guys like it!

Part Reviews


Amazing APU. I have had this for a few months now and I have had no issues. The stock cooler performs remarkably well without any overclocking. All the cores turbo to 3.9GHz without issue. Max temps I saw were 80 degrees. Overclocking the iGPU however kept throttling the voltage and in turn would reach in excess of 100 degrees. Once I bought an AIO, the temps wouldn't get past 65. I was able to get my RAM to 3200 without issue with the XMP profile. All in all, I didn't really have any issues since I bought my motherboard in-store, so the BIOS was updated for Raven Ridge.

CPU Cooler

I want to give this cooler 5 stars, but the only thing keeping me from that is their software is really buggy with this cooler. In Link, it doesn't even show up whether it is plugged into the motherboard or the Commander Pro. I was able to get it to show up in iCue, but I'm just not a fan of that currently. It did show up in Link once and that was only after I installed iCue. I haven't been able to control the lighting or the pump speed at all though which is a disappointment. On the actual cooler side of things, it works great! I don't see temps above 65 even while overclocking. I did replace the stock ML fans that it comes with with the RGB MLs that I already had though so I can't really speak to those. It really is a great cooler though and if they can fix the software implementation, I would easily give this 5 stars.

Thermal Compound

What can I say? It performs as well as it should, no issues.


By far the best budget board by far. I can overclock my parts without issue, the BIOS is not terrible, and it has everything I wanted. I was able to use the XMP profile to get my RAM to 3200. The BIOS can be a little confusing to find the right place but with a quick Google search, you can do pretty much anything on this. Very nice subdued look without looking cheap. I did a separate build where we bought this in-store and it was DOA but we returned it and the new one worked perfectly.


Great RAM, was able to get it to its rated speed with the XMP profile. I only knocked it one star because the software to control the lighting isn't the best. There aren't a whole lot of options and can be a little confusing at first. I wish there was software out there to control RGB from multiple manufacturers but until that day, I have to use three different manufacturer's software to control them all. That aside, the RAM itself is great and looks amazing!


Pretty good SSD, I get pretty close to the advertised speeds while running Windows 10 Home. I used CrystalDiskMark with default settings and received 2750 sequential reads and 1200 sequential writes. If you want to see the whole test, check out the picture in my build. I had to flash my BIOS in order to get this to work with my motherboard since this is so new, but overall pretty good!


In hindsight, I would have gotten a 7200 RPM drive just to get a little faster speeds, but this does not disappoint. I usually get about 150MB/s when transferring files in Windows Explorer. I have no issues with this though, it is a well made HDD.


I LOVE this case. It looks amazing and is pretty small, which I wanted. I can fit damn near anything in this case. If you are planning on water cooling, I have some advice though. If you are going to put a 280mm radiator in front, I would definitely install that first. You will have to take out the shroud that goes over the drive bay and it will conflict with the drive bay. I have a 29mm wide radiator with 25mm wide fans and it is a TIGHT fit, but I did manage to fit everything in there. I would just suggest you take out the drive bay, install the radiator and fans, then reinstall the drive bay. Which brings me to my only real complaint of this case. It is a huge pain to plug in the data and power cables to the HDDs since, as far as I can tell, you can't take off the PSU shroud to access the back of the drives. Other than that, the cable management part of this case is amazing and very easy to work with.

Power Supply

Works great! The non-modular cables have a nice black sleeving on them so they don't detract from the rest of the computer aesthetics. It is a well made PSU without any issues.

Case Fan

Amazing fan, the light capabilities are great, and the sound is damn near silent. I have nothing bad to say about this fan!

Case Fan

Amazing fan, the light capabilities are great, and the sound is damn near silent. I have nothing bad to say about this fan!

Case Fan

Amazing fan, the light capabilities are great, and the sound is damn near silent. I have nothing bad to say about this fan! The Lighting Node PRO was not what I was expecting, it only controls the light, not the fans themselves. You have to either have the right amount of fan headers on your motherboard, use fan splitters, or the Commander Pro, in addition to the Lighting Node pro. Also, the fact that there is two different modules just for the lighting is pretty annoying, but not detrimental. Overall it is very well made and the software works well.


This keyboard is AMAZING. It has a very nice basic look to it while performing very well in games. The Romer-G switch is by far my favorite. It is pretty silent and the only time you get any "click" is when you bottom out the key. It feels pretty linear, but with a slight bump right at the activation point. The lighting works very well and you can even customize them per profile and set the profiles to specific apps. The only minor complaint I have with this is the fact that if you do have profiles set up, you can't sync the lighting with other Logitech peripherals.


This mouse works very well. Everything is customizable. The mouse pad detection in their software is pretty amazing. The mouse kinda sucks without the tuning. But once you tune it to whatever mouse pad you're using, it works great!


I'm not an audiophile but the sound quality out of these is great! The mic is pretty good, but as far as I can tell there's no background noise cancellation. The only issue I have with it is that it seems to squeeze my head a bit so it can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. I constantly have to readjust it, but it's not that big of an issue. Again, the sound quality is great, just make sure you enable 7.1 audio in whatever program you're using to actually utilize it well. It really makes a big difference from stereo in FPS games.


Works well, stays clean, and is great for gaming since it doesn't inhibit movement of the mouse at all.


This monitor works really well and is even adjustable for the angle. For less than $200, with 144hz 1080p gaming, it performs really well. The only regret I have is not researching a bit more since I missed out on a monitor that had the same exact specs but was curved... And for the same price. But in reality, this monitor is great and I have no complaints.


Amazing little thing. It works with Corsair Link as well as iCue, and can control a plethora of things. If you use it in combination with the Lighting Node PRO, you can control all the RGB fans in your case (lighting and fan speed).

Comments Sorted by:

Otterman366 13 Builds 5 points 11 months ago

what on earth is that 3.5" drive doing on the power supply shroud?

AtomicDonut17 5 points 11 months ago

This looks very nice, but I have to ask, if the goal was for gaming, why did you spend so much on aesthetic purposes? Over 120 dollars for just fans, RGB keyboard, a 4TB drive (which, I'll admit, the necessity of a large drive for mass storage is important, but most starters go for a 1 or 2TB to start with) RGB RAM, etc. I get it, you want it to look nice. In fact, as far as it goes, it looks very clean-cut, excluding the wiring in the back (don't worry, my wiring is also **** in the back).. but you could have saved enough money from fans, drive and RAM alone to net you at least a 1050/ 1050 Ti. Otherwise, kudos. +1

Diaboliic 2 points 7 months ago

I was also wondering why he didn't just use the rest of the money he used on aesthetics for a GPU.

HappyNem 4 points 11 months ago

Yeah, it looks nice, but... should have ditched all the RGB stuff and got a graphics card.

I just put a build together for a friend and I had this same talk with her about lights. She couldn't afford flashy lights and still get the best bang her buck, so her rig is all dark, but she has a little power house.

Still, your rig looks nice. Will be groovy when you can throw a nice GPU in!

Oh yeah, move that HD and take some time to fix the cables on the back :)

Jessiahsmallwood 5 Builds 2 points 10 months ago

I agree, the ram and fans could have bought him a used gtx 970 or a gtx 1050ti

ottok744 3 points 11 months ago

cable management in the back of the case needs work, other than that nice build

chinamanch 6 Builds 0 points 9 months ago

He needs to watch hundred hours more of you tube videos about cable management.

HellRaizrRod 2 Builds 1 point 8 months ago

Harsh lol

PcGamer81 3 points 10 months ago

You literally screwed up your money. Like really. Look if you wanna know more about how to handle your budget checkout Jayztwocent he made an awesome 20m video about it. Man if you removed the fans, went to a lower non-RGB ram, heck went for a lower HDD something like 2TB, removed that RGB lightening and the fan controller obviously, and those 'gaming' keyboard, mouse and headphones, you could have bought a 1080, heck a used 1080 Ti. If you wanted to keep the aesthetics then a 1070Ti would do the trick. Maybe if you wanted those RGB stuff then a 1070. But really you screwed up so hard. Sell those stuff or sell the whole setup if you wanna do it right. Don't get me wrong your setup looks sick AF!! but it would a shame if someone noticed there is no gpu.

chinamanch 6 Builds 3 points 9 months ago

You got hypnotized by them rgb's from watching too many you tube builds ?? HA HA !!!! :p

KevinFumbles submitter 1 Build 0 points 9 months ago

You're not wrong haha

IngeniousTinkerer 1 point 11 months ago

Nice build, but the fans don't make sense.

Joseph19 1 point 9 months ago

Did you get the ram to 3200mhz? I’m planning on the same build but I need to know for sure if it’ll run at the right speed.

KevinFumbles submitter 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

Yeah I did, I just loaded up the XMP profile in the BIOS. I have had BSODs before with error codes that pertain to memory but it is rare and I think it has only happened during gaming.

SuperGT 2 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

What program did you use to control the rgb ram?

KevinFumbles submitter 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

G.Skill has an app specifically for their Trident Z RGB ram on their website.

KevinFumbles submitter 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

Alright so it's been a few months now and I have some more info to add. As for the most common comment, yes I definitely spent too much on the looks of the build before spending it on the performance. A few weeks after I built this, I helped my buddy pick out parts and with building it. Now I spent roughly the same amount of money as he did but he was able to get a 1060 6gb instead of all the RGB and flashiness. At the time I wish I would've gone that route instead, but here I am today. Part of me is actually glad I went the route I did because another friend is selling me his 1080 soon for pretty cheap. When I was planning out this build I had in mind that I would wait until graphics card prices dropped either due to supply and demand or from new cards coming out. Surprisingly that plan actually worked out pretty well so I can't say I regret my initial decision. It has been tough waiting but I know that it'll be worth it. All in all, the parts I chose work great in this build and I'm glad to have this be my first. Thanks for everyone's advice and comments!

JassonRM 1 point 6 months ago

Is there any problem using the h115i with the 3.5 inch hdd cage?

KevinFumbles submitter 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

TL/DR: Doable, but not easily. While it is possible to fit the H115i pro and the 3.5 inch HDD cage in this case, it is definitely a tight fit. So as long as you've got some time to reach your hand in and fit in the cables, you'll be fine. Honestly the hardest part was plugging in the SATA power and data cables; with or without the H115i pro, just because of the unremovable power supply shroud in this case. You just have to remove the little PSU shroud "platter," and move the HDD cage closer to the PSU to fit in the CLC.

KevinFumbles submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

In case anyone is still looking at this build or is interested in using Linux, I have recently installed Ubuntu Budgie 18.10 on this system. I'm personally not a fan of Microsoft or Windows and decided to install a Linux distribution. There is definitely some work involved but it is a lot easier than it used to be in the years prior. I won't get too much into it but if you're interested, let me know and I can give you some pointers. I also created a script to install the applications I use since I had a few mishaps and had to reinstall a couple times so if you're interested in that let me know. It's basically a nice gaming/basic build to get a nice head start on a new operating system to get started.

Jedimaster0905 1 point 5 months ago

Did you use a wireless network adapter?

KevinFumbles submitter 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

I didn't, I find running Ethernet from my router is much better (faster, lower latency, more consistent).

Jedimaster0905 1 point 5 months ago

And also what operating system did you use and what website did you get it from?

KevinFumbles submitter 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

I started off using Windows 10 Home for a few months. I had a license previously through my Microsoft account (which if you already have a PC or laptop it's likely you'll be able to use the same license) that I originally bought from the Microsoft store. But I would go through a third party site to buy a license if you needed to get one. Recently though, I started over fresh with Ubuntu Budgie 18.10. I personally love Linux so much more but I think the OS is a lot more of a personal decision than anything else. Although if you needed some persuasion, do some research on Steam's Proton project. Essentially they're doing a lot of development to allow Linux to play Windows games "natively". It's some pretty promising stuff and it gives me a lot of hope that maybe one day a lot more people will give Linux a chance and have a larger share of the OS space.

Ollie_TCC 1 point 3 months ago

Nice build. got a weird question if you do manage to see this.

How do you wire up the Corsair Commander Pro?

I'm looking at getting one, but am unsure if i will be able to set it up.

KevinFumbles submitter 1 Build 1 point 26 days ago

Sorry for the late response. I have the 5-6 fans plugged into the Commander, the output of the Lighting Node Pro into the first LED input, the LED strips daisy chained into the second LED input, SATA powering it, and the USB output into one of the USB 2.0 headers on my motherboard. Hope this helps.

therewherenonamesavialiibly 1 point 1 month ago

I have one question, how many fans can be mounted onto the front, top and rear of the case?

KevinFumbles submitter 1 Build 1 point 26 days ago

You can fit 2 120/140mm in front, 2 120/140mm on top, 1 120mm in back, and 1 120mm in the bottom (if you don't have the drive cage installed)

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