rAge Johannesburg always has a great mix of PC vendors to choose from, and augmenting your build with a new component or peripheral has never been easier than it is today (if you want proof, just stop by the MSI Gaming Workshop under the Dishonored 2 posters and see what building a PC is all about). While Friday is usually filled with people who can get away from work for a while to sample the delights, Saturday is when the horde literally shows up out of nowhere, ready to splurge cash on things! If those things happen to be computer components, you’ve come to the right place! Ihave a short list of things you might want to consider after the jump…
Evetech’s throwing on a few specials at the moment, and one of them hankers after my own heart – a 275GB solid state drive at R1099. Crucial’s MX300 line is still based on TLC flash memory, but this drive family uses NAND manufactured by IMFT, an Intel-Micron joint operation, where both companies share IP and technology to accelerate the rollout of 3D V-NAND in TLC mode. Such memory yields a large die capacity, and enables comps like Crucial to use less chips in the packaging, but still maintain a similar amount of storage. For the 275GB model, there’s an additional 15GB of unformatted space used for wear leveling, so that the drive lasts for longer even with failing sells within the chips. Very good value for money.
Evetech also has Crucial’s Ballistix DDR4 memory available, and the 16GB kit at DDR2-2400 for R1199. RAM is becoming a commodity again, and more is always better. This kit might overclock a bit, given that it has CL16 timings, but this will greatly depend on what your motherboard and CPU is capable of.
They’re also offering MSI’s B150M Gaming Pro motherboard with a bundled MSI Interceptor DS B1 gaming mouse for R1549. It uses an optical 1600DPI sensor (probably not an Avago brand), but it is driver-less, has thumb buttons, and ships with weights to change how it feels in your hand.
Finally, Antec’s TruePower 750W Gold is on sale as well for R1299. It’s a very good, stable design with tight voltage regulation, and it’s suitable for a lot of builds, even fitting in a Core i7-6700 with two GTX 1080 graphics cards in SLI into its power budget.
Looking at cases, we have the… sorry, I had a blackout there. The Cooler Maste… Maste… Damnit, it’s the Masterbox 5 for R1199! This case is the one that makes my wallet itch in my jeans, and I’ve wanted it for a long time. There’s space for a 280mm radiator at the front. There’s unobstructed airflow for your components. It doesn’t have a gazillion LEDs to blind you at night. The PSU has its own shroud, and there’s even washable air filters for the front and PSU air intakes. What more do you need?!
On the RAM side, they’re offering 8GB of Kingston HyperX Black DDR4-3000 memory for only R975. It’s always easier to buy a single stick of higher-clocked RAM now and find anther module later on sale, because memory vendors tend to phase out products at low frequencies first because yields improve. That wasn’t the case with DDR3-1600, but that’s because it was what Intel supported at a minimum, and everyone wanted to ship and sell all the Intel stock they were now saddled with. Heyo, capitalism!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mentioned the Cooler Master Hyper 212X. Millions of words have been written about why this cooler is so good. In a nutshell: if you are using a stock cooler, treat yourself to this one. If you have this one already, buy it for someone you know that has stock cooling. No-one deserves stock cooling. No-one. Buy one for R599.
Finally, at R1099 there’s also Samsung’s SSD 750 EVO. This is basically a reskin of the 840 EVO, but without the voltage drift issues and a much more aggressive caching method than before. If you have to buy a cheap drive to throw into any system, this is it. It’s so versatile and performant that most manufacturers of TLC SSDs have trouble keeping up.
Some people like blinging up their case and adding a permanent Christmas tree into their room, and if you’re one of those people, then perhaps this might be for you. Rebel Tech has Corsair’s Vengeance LED RAM kits for sale in 16GB sizes for around R1500. These modules have LEDs which come in red or white, although the LEDs themselves are white – if you like living dangerously, stripping off the heatspreaders to add a custom colour might be possible. I’d just cut a piece of plastic to fit on top of the white plastic, though. I’m lazy like that.
If the Masterbox 5 wasn’t enough case for you, then the Mastercase 5 definitely is. Cooler Master’s top-of-the-range design is built for flexibility for system builders and overclockers, and it sports two handles that make it easier to lug to a LAN. It fits almost every motherboard form factor on the market, and has space for almost any build you can think of. At R1450, it sits right at the edge of what I’d consider sane to spend on a case, and it feels so roomy inside that it could be mistaken for a full-tower enclosure.
If you’re not getting a case now, get some new fans instead. Cooler Master’s Masterfan 120 Flow and Pressure fans are on sale for R150 each, and these are seriously good quality. Buy the ones that fit your build, or mix up the two to achieve the desired cooling effect. The Pressure fans are great for cases where dust may be an issue and airflow isn’t optimal, while Flow better suits designs that have been optimised for good airflow from the start.
Titan-Ice has a great deal on a 3TB Western Digital hard drive, which is great for those of you who hoard things as if they’re going to disappear off the face of the earth tomorrow. These drives are pretty fast thanks to ever-increasing platter density, and I believe that this is actually two 2TB platters sectioned off in firmware. That should make the drive pretty snappy, even though it’s old tech. Remember that if you’re installing an OS to it that you need to format it as GPT, or else you won’t be able to boot from it.
Also on sale is Lamptron’s FC5 V3 fan controller. This is a beast of a unit, offering up to 30W per channel of power draw, and sports a really nice LED colour display which shows off your fan’s RPM, the temperature sensor that’s closest to it, and how much voltage it’s drawing. One of my chief complaints about the FC6 that I reviewed was that it wasn’t possible to know what voltage your fans were drawing, and getting them to match up required the use of a multimeter to set things up before putting it into the chassis. This is much better.
And then finally, there’s a special on the Intel Pentium G4400, a dual-core Skylake processor that’s the most budget chip Intel offers. Although it isn’t supremely capable like anything from the Core i3 lineup, it does pull its weight for any game that doesn’t require a quad-core processor, and it can be the brains of a very cheap LAN box if that’s your kind of thing.
Matrix has a lot of shared component availability with other vendors, like the SSD 750 EVO and various motherboards and memory kits, but it does uniquely offer the DeepCool Captain 120, a closed-loop water cooler that looks very different from the rest of the pack. This has the pump integrated on top of the CPU socket, but it has clear tubing to show off the red colourant in the system, which is also useful to check for any sediment that may be clogging up the system. The CPU mount may be a bit fiddly, but it will stay attached to your motherboard just fine.
Sometimes all you want is a cheap chassis, but also something that’s not horrible. That’s what the Antec GX200 is for. It has basic cable management and a slot for your 2.5-inch SSDs at the front. There aren’t any real obstacles to installing a large graphics card, and there’s even a basic mesh filter at the front, although getting to it and cleaning it may be a pain. Yours for R550.
Ending things off, there’s the ASUS B150 Pro Gaming D3. If there ever was an overbuilt mid-range board, this is it. It has more than enough chokes to smooth over power delivery to the CPU, there’s an M.2 slot for your NVMe SSDs, Crossfire capability, some really nice gaming audio from Realtek, and a great colour scheme. If you’re looking for a mid-range board for a system that will never see overclocking on the CPU, this should be a serious consideration.