What We Learned
Cable Cleanliness: Yeah, Good Luck With That
Around back, things were an impossible mess of cabling. We could have spent several hours attempting to make things a bit cleaner back here. But really, with all these wires and controller boxes, there was no way the back side of the motherboard was going to look pretty. At least the Level 20 GT case has lots of room for cabling and controllers. Anything less and we’d never be able to close the tempered-glass door.
And so long as there’s a wall or a desk to push the right side of the case up against, our final build looks reasonably clean.
You can also see in the above photo that our Team Group T-Force Delta RGB SSD eventually landed in the bottom of our case, near the front. This isn’t an official drive-mounting space designated in the case manual. But the metal mesh on the bottom did a decent job of anchoring the drive sled.
And we like placing the drive and its impressive “water flow” lighting effects in an otherwise unlit spot in the case, giving the drive a chance to really stand out. It’s seriously one of the nicest effects we’ve seen on any RGB component, period.
What We Learned
Our main complaints about this build revolve around the confusing collection of incompatible RGB parts and ecosystems, which we knew going in were going to be problematic. There’s also no way you’re going to find a motherboard for a build like this that has enough RGB and USB 2.0 headers. Be sure to leave some room in your budget for extension cables and adapters.
Our other major issue revolved around hoses--both our graphics card radiator and our closed-loop CPU cooler. The later was nearly too short to reach the front of our large case.
And worse, the tubes for the graphics card have ugly wires and extension connectors wrapped around them. We tried to clean this up a bit with some standard polyethylene cable wrap.
But the result was nearly as unattractive as the cables and tubes it was designed to hide. We’d like to see Aorus better integrate the cooling tubes and fan wiring into a more seamless, attractive single-sleeve cable in future models.
Another issue on the Aorus card front: The lighting on the graphics card and cooling fans had a tendency to revert to orange during the process of rebooting and moving the system around. Firing up Gigabyte’s RGB fusion software fixed this issue with a few clicks. But this is a problem we’ve heard from other users as well, and it didn’t seem to happen with our other RGB components, which retained their lighting settings throughout our final build and testing process.
In the end, though, were we to start this build again (please don’t makes us do that), we would set our editorial instincts aside and only buy RGB parts designed to work with one lighting ecosystem. Because dealing with several controller boxes and software suites was a minor nightmare, both from a build and usability standpoint.
And one of the the key things we look for in an RGB product is the ability to turn off the lights with relative ease, for those times when you maybe want to watch a movie or play a stealth-based game without a rainbow of colors bleeding into your retinas. With this build, to switch off all the lights, you either have to open up several pieces of software and/or fish around inside and under the case to press buttons on various controller boxes, or just pull the power plug.
For those of you sick of all these RGB lights, stick around for our next build where we’ll be focusing on basic black, and avoiding as many lights as is possible with components and peripherals these days. After this one, our eyes need a break.
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