That upgrade itch never really goes away, no matter how many times I tell myself, that’s it for now. In another trip to the UK this March (the second in twelve months!) I’d decided that my five-year-old Corsair H100i All-In-One (AIO) water cooling system needed replacing and whilst I was at it, why not throw in another 16Gb of DDR4 into those two spare RAM slots? I mean, they’re just sitting there doing nothing and RAM prices have fallen sharply in the last few months.
RGB Is All The Rage
As you may have read in AMD Ryzen 2600X – An Essential Gaming Upgrade, last October I carried out a substantial upgrade to my main gaming PC, replacing the motherboard, CPU, and RAM. The jump from an AMD FX8320 to a Ryzen 2600X was significant, not to mention the motherboard upgrade to an Asus Crosshair Hero VII WiFi, which is an overclocker’s dream. I did, however, leave the old Corsair H100i in place, in spite of its clear wear and tear, not to mention the noisy fans. I also left the Sentey 850W PSU with a view to upgrading it to a fully modular power supply, should funds allow. Luckily I found some special offers at Scan UK and Amazon and had the new items delivered to my brother’s house before I arrived in the UK. By the way, if that makes the notion of the carefree door to deliveries a luxury, that’s because it still is merely a notion in this basket-case country, but that and its related subject will be a topic for further articles in the near future.
The Corsair H100i RGB Platinum is a much-improved version of the original, with added RGB for the pump head and fans, all controlled by iCUE, Corsair’s own suite of software for all their RGB hardware. It’s also very silent when set to the quiet setting and maintains my CPU at between 35C and 40C when idle. It only ever goes much above those temperatures when gaming or encoding video and the highest temperature so far (in summer, no aircon) has been around 53C, which is well within the limits for a Ryzen 2600X with a TDP of 95W.
With iCUE I can also control the RGB lighting on all other Corsair connected devices, such as my RGB Strafe keyboard or, if preferred, no lighting at all.
The Asus motherboard and GPU use a similar RGB lighting system known as Asus AURA and whilst the two software programs don’t actually talk to each other, iCUE works perfectly and is constantly updated through user feedback. On the other hand, Asus AURA fails miserably on this count, resulting in me not being able to control the lighting effects on my motherboard or GPU. First world problem? Maybe so, but ASUS should get real and fix the broken code, instead of handing out platitudes to thousands of users who can no longer use their crap software.
Fully Modular PSU
I’ve built hundreds of computers over the years and it’s always been a puzzle wondering what to do with all those PSU cables that you’ll probably never use, which is why I went for a fully modular PSU this time around. You end up with less clutter and although my CM Storm Trooper Full Tower case has plenty of room for hiding cables behind the motherboard, less is more in this situation.
Whilst it’s debatable whether 32GB of RAM will gain much benefit over 16GB, except maybe a few FPS (frames per second) when gaming, there’s also the possibility of using the extra unused RAM as a RamDrive, a subject well known to our editor Richard Pedersen and something I’ll be looking into very soon.
I opted for Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2400Mhz to match the 16GB I already had installed and bearing in mind that many games still use an enormous amount of RAM, at least now I have a huge overhead in terms of future-proofing. That’s my excuse anyway.
Tempered Glass Is The New Kid On The Block
As I mentioned earlier, the urge to upgrade never really goes away and as I see more and more new cases with full, tempered glass sides to show off our PCs in all their glory, I can definitely see that as my next upgrade path. My Storm Trooper has an acrylic window on the side panel, is prone to scratches at the slightest touch and only fills about two-thirds of the case. Anyway, for the moment, here’s a side view of my current setup, until the next time.