Wraith Prism
I only took photos for documentary purposes, but this one I liked.

So the Dream build has been complete for almost two weeks now. After writing about my full history of PC builds up to this point, I thought I would update with just a few thoughts on this build as they’re fresh in my mind. And also share a few pictures. Who knows, fifteen years from now, I might need this article to remind me of what I did when I update that monolith article again.

Build It
Standard workbench shot.

First thought:

Building a new PC takes a lot longer when you’re planning to reuse the case. It’s the first time since 2005 I’ve re-used a case, so everything took a bit longer than expected.

Goddamn LEDs

Second thought:

Yep, I still hate LEDs. I thought I would be okay with having RGB LEDs all over the place because they would be hidden within my sound-dampening case, but alas, I can see the light from the LEDs shining out of the vents on the back onto the wall, and it is very slowly driving me crazy.

I did set them all to be a matching color (white), and I can turn most of them off, but the Wraith Prism demands to be lit up at least slightly. Luckily, that will be taken care of, because of the…

White and black
Everything is a nice matching white and black when the system is off, at least.

Third thing!

My return to AMD is also going to herald my return to aftermarket coolers, it seems. The Wraith Prism is perfectly fine, but I spent more time tinkering with it than anything else in any build in the past decade.

I used stock Intel coolers for my last two builds because they were good enough if you weren’t overclocking (or, in the Conroe era, even if you were), and Intel chipset motherboards handled them perfectly well as far as ramping up fan speeds and noise levels.

That’s not the case with the Wraith Prism, I’m afraid. It’s a better cooler than any of those Intel ones, but it can get pretty damn loud at the higher RPMs. Luckily, since it is a good cooler, you shouldn’t have to spend much time up there, right?

Except for how aggressive the default fan profiles are, at least on my motherboard. Even on the default “quiet” setting, once the temperature started to creep up it would go from a perfectly acceptable quiet 1,500 RPM to 2,500 RPM instantly as soon as the temperature started to creep up. And cycle between the two. Even at 2,500 RPM it wasn’t loud, exactly, at least not in the case I have, but the instant cycles between the two were annoying me.

Luckily, I’m back to where I like to tinker with these things again, after taking most of a decade off to tinker with server farms instead, and so I set about making my own fan profiles. Now I have both the CPU cooler and the case fans set to low idle until the temperatures start to climb, and then they slowly spin up, with a long ramp-up speed time. It’s perfect, and it sounds like I want it to.

But since I feel like tinkering I’m not going to leave well enough alone anyway, so I plan to slap a giant Noctua cooler on there soon enough. I just need to figure out which one. Maybe I’ll actually update again when I do!

GTX 670
Bonus picture: Disassembling Delight. Another graphics card that lived!