I've been wanting to build a PC for a few years now and finally found myself able to do so earlier this year. I started planning this build in July right after the Zen 2 launch. I was entering this mostly blind, so I'm thankful I had a few friends who could walk me through some of the process. That combined with the incredible community on this site and the extensive YouTube videos explaining every last detail of every part is just superb.
My initial build plan went through several iterations, but I finally settled on the final parts list:
- Ryzen 5 3600
- Gigabyte Aorus X570 Elite
- Gigabyte RX 5700 XT Gaming OC
- Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro (16 GB)
- Intel 660p M.2 NVME SSD (1 TB)
- Seagate Barracuda HD (2 TB @ 7200 RPM)
- Seasonic FOCUS Plus Gold (550 W)
- NZXT H510
I started buying things piecemeal as I found the best deal on them. For instance, I got my PSU for $62 because I jumped on a sale in August. It was such a good deal I didn't want to wait. In retrospect, I wouldn't recommend that to anyone who is building their first computer. If anything doesn't work, you're likely out of the return period. I got lucky that the things I bought first were all in good shape.
I say lucky because I also got very unlucky with the very last item I purchased -- my motherboard. I bought the Gigabyte Aorus X570 Elite. I hooked everything up, confirmed it was good, and turned everything on and...no image. I tried everything I could. I asked three or four friends familiar with PC building what to do and we all ran out of ideas (reseat RAM, move to different slots, make sure PSU is connected correctly, try HDMI/DisplayPort from graphics card, try HDMI from motherboard, try HDMI with graphics card removed, etc...). Eventually, I sent the Elite back and requested a replacement. NewEgg's RMA was very easy and they promptly sent me a new Elite.
I hooked it up and...exactly the same issue. RAM lights up, fans go, but no signal. I even bought one of those motherboard speakers to try to diagnose it and, sure enough, the speakers identified the motherboard as the issue. I RMA'd the second Elite and this time NewEgg just refunded my money. I went looking for a new motherboard and found the B450 Tomahawk Max -- exactly like the B450 Tomahawk but upgraded to be compatible with Ryzen 3000 out of the box. I bought it, hooked everything up, and it worked like a dream.
Now, I'm absolutely in love. I am so ecstatic about having an ultrawide. I could see why it's not for everyone, but I love it so much.
Everything runs stellar. I've run three UserBenchmark tests (1st, 2nd, 3rd). It's kicking ***. I scored a 3368 on Cinebench R20. I got something like ~8864 in 3D Mark, but I can't recall and I can't find the score again.
I've had some slight stability issues. I've had Windows crash twice today, but I've also been tinkering with little things that might be messing with that. I've had some issues with Radeon that are getting better each time I start it up.
Ultimately, this thing is lightning fast and kicks like a mule. I love it to death despite the hellishly frustrating journey to get here.
Not much more to be said about this than has already been said. Great CPU for under $200.
Fantastic board for a fraction of the cost that the X570 boards cost, but compatible with Ryzen 3000 out of the box. Plus, after getting two Gigabyte Aorus X570 Elite boards that were dead on arrival, the fact that this worked was basically enough to get it to 5 stars for me.
My only complaint about this board is that the RGB is pretty trash. Thankfully, there is an option to just have the RGB disabled.
Awesome RAM. Clocked to 3200 in BIOS without issues. RGB is gorgeous but WOW is it bright. I have to keep the brightness at about 25% otherwise it is almost painful to look at.
The iCUE software is -- without question or competition -- the best RGB software out of the three I've used (iCUE, MysticLight, and RGB Fusion). The flawless mix with keyboard, mouse, and even wallpapers make this an easy choice for me over the other main competitor here (G.Skill Trident Z).
Lightning quick. Benchmarks are rating this SSD at ~260%. It has lightning fast read/write. I couldn't possibly come up with a valid complaint about this. For the price differential between this and the Samsung EVO, I'd pick this in a heartbeat every time. The Intel 660p is QLC, but I can't imagine I'll have so many read/writes onto it that I'll ever approach a failure state. Highly recommended -- especially at $85.
Works great. My "2" TB came out as 1.81 TB, but that's fine for me. I currently have 77 Steam games installed on it, 16 games from Epic Games, and 15 other games and that totals out to 519 GB and leaves me with 1.31 TB free. It loads extremely fast. No complaints.
For the most part, I'm really happy with this card. It's fast and it's killing games, even when I'm running them in ultrawide. My monitor is overclocked to 75 Hz, so that's all I measure to and I haven't had a single game run at sub-75 FPS unless it was artificially locked.
That said, the software isn't great. There's an annoying pop-up every single time you start a game. I was able to get rid of it, but it was not intuitive -- to get rid of it, you had to delete the hotkeys that the pop-ups were referencing. Other than that, I had a visual glitch about 15 minutes ago while typing up this review and not doing anything demanding, but it was the first and only time I've seen that happen in the week that I've had my computer up and running.
Another complaint about the software is that it's bad about crashing when I open it. The driver I installed today seems to have fixed that issue though. Previously, it would open a semi-transparent window and then fail to load in the rest of the software and just sit on the transparent screen permanently unless it was forcibly restarted.
RGB on this is also pretty terrible. I have the logo "GIGABYTE" in white, but even at max brightness it's so dim it's practically grey.
Overall, I recommend this card, but it's not without some small reservations.
I really like this case and think it looks fantastic, but it's certainly not without some drawbacks. This is essentially THE case if you want a white/black build and I love the way it looks. I love the "notch"/arm that allows for a lot of cable management. That said, I was expecting it to be easier given the reviews raving about how easy it was to work in. It wasn't hard and it's very possible that my difficulty stems from the fact that this was my first build and I was going solo, but it wasn't quite as easy as I expected. Overall, great case, though. Definitely loved it and would recommend to anyone.
This monitor is stellar. It overclocks to 75 Hz and then starts to have some stability issues at 80+ Hz. But I really wanted to go ultrawide and I'm so happy I did. I love all of the real estate. The colors are gorgeous. It auto-starts when it detects a signal, it has built in speakers (very meh ones, but speakers nonetheless), mounting it was no big deal (although the included mount is also gorgeous and more than meets the task). This monitor is what makes this whole ordeal feel like something special.
Absolutely love this thing. I'm still getting used to typing on red switches because it can be very easy to press something unintentionally and my typing errors are through the roof right now. That said, this keyboard is unbelievable. The rubber wrist rest is super comfortable and just right. The keys feel somehow soft and they're so bouncy. I had initially really wanted brown switch keyboard because I loved the idea of tactile feedback, but after taking the leap to get this, I am really glad I got the red switches. They just feel so nice.
And the volume wheel. It's a luxury I didn't know I needed, but now I can never imagine life without one again.
Great mouse. The only thing that annoyed me was that it constantly reset to the lowest DPI setting every time I turned on my computer, but then I realized there was software in iCUE that allows you to customize your default DPI (and light color). Immediately made this mouse perfect. I love it.
Great headphones. I used the Razer Krakens years ago and loathed them because my ears got so hot, but these are really, really good. My ears get a little warm, but it's 100% tolerable. Combined with these being wireless is AWESOME. I love being able to just stand up and walk to the kitchen and grab a drink without having to take my headset completely off.
I wish I could detach the mic because it's awkward and the light on the mic is ALWAYS red. The mic brings this down to 4 stars.
These were awesome. Reviews that they're a little silvery are totally accurate, but it still looks good to me. These cables are REALLY stiff which is good because they hold the flex right where you want them. The cable combs are also awesome (and totally necessary). Highly recommended.