This was my first ever PC build (and probably not my last), and overall, it was a lot of fun. I will likely be using this build as I go to college next year, so hopefully it lasts me a while. At this point, the only two things I may consider changing is to possibly add 2, 140mm RGB fans to replace the fans I currently have at the front or to upgrade my CPU to a zen 2 CPU when those come out (if they really are as good as the leaks making them out to be). This PC performs well, and I get 100+ fps on ultra settings @1080p in every game I've tried so far, making this great for my 1080p 144Hz monitor!
Note that I had a lot of trouble with the cable management, so I am very open to suggestions/help on that front. Also, I originally built the PC without the RGB Corsair LL120 fans, so keep that in mind while looking at the pictures.
Overclocking: I didn't exactly win the silicon lottery with this CPU; the best I could do was 4.3GHz on all 8 cores ONLY BARELY and at 1.5V. Along with this, I overclocked the RAM to 3400MHz at 1.35V for every test. Obviously this isn't suited for everyday use at this voltage but I managed a cinebench r15 score of 1917. After everything was said and done, I ended up with the following: 4.2GHz on all 8 cores at 1.35V on the 2700X with 16GB RAM @3400MHz. This yielded a cinebench r15 score of 1895. As far as the GPU goes, I have the core clock @2040MHz and the memory clock @8251MHz. With this, I was able to get a Heaven benchmark score of 5852/fps of 232.3 (at heaven's default settings at 1080p and in fullscreen). I have no idea if this is any good for an RTX 2070, so if anyone knows, please let me know.
CPU: I was torn between getting the Intel i7-8700k, i7-9700k, or the Ryzen 2700X. The plan was originally to go for the i7-8700k because of its 6C/12T plus very high clock speeds, but they were very expensive when I decided I wanted to make the build, so I went with the Ryzen 7 2700X, and I was not disappointed. This (in my opinion) is the best all-around, value CPU at this price point that you can get right now. The 8C/16T tears through every workstation tasks, and the clock speeds are pretty good for high-refresh rate gaming too (280-300 fps in CS:GO on max settings @1080p).
CPU Cooler: I knew I wanted a liquid cooler just because I find them good-looking and because they offer very good performance at a reasonable sound level. This cooler was everything I could've asked for. It keeps the 2700X at a cool 65C under load at 1.35V. I would recommend this cooler to anyone looking for a good AIO with nice LEDs.
Motherboard: Picking out a motherboard initially gave me some trouble, but I decided on this motherboard and it has everything I could want at a decent price. The VRMs were good enough to overclock the 2700X, it has some nice LEDs, and it has a nice BIOS. The only thing is that at this price point, I feel that on-board WiFi would be a good feature to have, but not too big a deal in the end (you can just get a PCIe wireless network adapter like I did).
Memory: This RAM is really good, and it's hard to debate that. I sort of wish I went with the Corsair Vengence RGB 3200 kit just so the RGB would sync with my fans and CPU Cooler, but you can't argue with the quality of this RAM. It performs well and is sleek-looking with very nice RGB lighting. I managed to overclock it to 3600MHz stable at 1.35V, but brought it back down to 3400MHz for everyday use (which is fantastic considering its 3200MHz rating).
Storage: The Samsung 970 Evo is high quality with extreme read and write speeds. Perfect for installing windows on for 5 second boot times (after a post). The 2 TB HDD works well I guess. I don't have much to say about these other than that the 970 Evo is extremely fast but a bit pricey.
Video Card: As much as I dislike the RTX launch from NVIDIA, this is a good-quality card from EVGA. I can overclock this card to over 2000MHz on the core clock speed and to 8251MHz on the memory clock speed, all-the-while the card never goes over 55C under load. I just wish NVIDIA would unlock the voltage control and max power a bit so I could overclock it even more, given how cool the card is. Overall, good on EVGA, bad on NVIDIA.
Case: This is a beautiful case, but the cable management was a bit difficult. I don't know if this was due to me being a new builder or if it's the case's fault. Either way, I would highly recommend it. This is a high-quality case with everything you could need header-wise, and I have no issues with it. Trying to get fingerprints off the tempered glass is a pain, though.
Power Supply: It turns out the 850 W PSU was the same price as the 750 W at the time of purchase, and the 750 W was only $20 more than the 650 W. I decided the $20 was worth 200 extra W for a very nice PSU (as I learned, NEVER cheap out on the PSU), and it is very nice. The modularity was helpful for cable management, although I found I didn't need very many of the cables that came with it.
Thanks for taking the time to read all this! Have a nice day!
At the time of purchase (January 2019), this was the best value, high-end processor. It was between the i7-8700k, the Ryzen 7 2700X, and the i7-9700k, and I went with the 2700X, and I have no regrets. This processor is the best all-around processor of the three. Although the higher clock speeds of the 8700k and 9700k may be better for high-refresh rate gaming, my 2700X (which I have overclocked to 4.2GHz on all 8 cores/16 threads), handles itself well in games in addition to being lightning fast in situations where the extra cores and threads help out.
This is a very high-quality 240mm AIO at the price point. It keeps my Ryzen 7 2700X cool no problem, even at higher voltages and under load. The RGB looks fantastic (I replaced the fans with RGB ones as well), and you don't have to worry about privacy problems with their software. cough cough NZXT
I have no issues with this motherboard, and the lighting is a nice touch. It has all the headers and features that I need and at a solid price point for a higher-end X470 motherboard. The only thing that I wish it has was on-board WiFi, but it wasn't too big a deal to get a PCIe WNA. At the time of purchase (January 2019), this was the best value X470 board. At this point, you might as well wait for the X570 motherboards to come out if you are in the market for a motherboard, but if you need one now, this is a very high-quality motherboard at a decent price.
This is high quality RAM. It is pretty fast too - I was able to overclock my kit to 3600MHz stable, but I tuned it down to 3400MHz for everday use. This is fantastic considering the 3200MHz rating (your results may vary). The lighting looks very nice too. I just wish it synced with Corsair lighting since I have a lot of Corsair products with RGB.
If you have extra money to spend for a quality-of-life upgrade, this NVMe SSD is lightning fast. We are talking 5 second boot-up speeds (after post) fast. No complaints. I use this for my OS.
Nice HDD. It's pretty fast for a hard drive; no complaints.
A bit expensive for its performance. I wish I had gone with a used GTX 1080 Ti or waited for the GTX 1660 Ti or something else. The performance isn't bad per se, but its value is not great if you are like me and don't use the ray-tracing capabilities. That aside, EVGA's cooling solution is great, and even with every overclock imaginable cranked up to max, the card runs at 55-60 celcius under load. 10/10 for EVGA's job, 6/10 for NVIDIA's.
A very sleek, good-looking case at a solid price point. The airflow is fantastic, too. This is a good case for beginners and first-time builders (as was my case).
I was initially looking for a 650 W power supply, but the 750 W was the same price, and this 850 W was only $20 more than the 750 W. I decided the extra $20 was worth 200 W more, so I went with this one. I've heard great things about EVGA's customer service, the cables are nice, sleeved, black cables, and the full modularity is extremely convenient. Very nice.
Wireless Network Adapter
It is a pretty cheap network adapter, and its speeds are pretty good, too. Every so often (maybe twice or so in 12 hours of use), it will have a little momentary trouble connecting to my 5GHz WiFi connection. It seems to work fine with 2.4GHz during these episodes, though, and it happens very infrequently. I'm not why this is; maybe my drivers need updates or something. Anyways, it's not too big an issue as it only lasts ~5 seconds or so when it happens.
Expensive, but in this case, you get what you pay for: some high quality, quiet fans with good lighting. They simultaneously look very nice and perform very well. I have 2 on my H100i pro AIO and 1 as an exhaust fan, and they seem to move air very well according to my CPU temperatures as well as feeling the air pushed out the back of the case.