We recently built a Shadow Box budget PC for an article on the ASUS Edge Up website, and we couldn't resist showing off some pictures here on ROG. The affordable theme called for a restrained approach compared to our more lavish builds, but we selected components that offer a great gaming experience while still making for an aesthetically pleasing system. The full article has all the particulars on pricing and why we selected specific components, plus gaming benchmarks that show how the system performs, but this post is all about the glamour shots.
This build required iron-clad stability combined with a feature set that would defy its modest price tag. The ROG Strix B360-G Gaming microATX motherboard serves as the foundation, and goes beyond the call of duty to offer style without the need for RGB lighting. The red and black color scheme melds well with the darker theme of our build.
The ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC Edition punches above its weight with a nice factory overclock right out of the box, and it adds a little bling with a glowing RGB ROG logo. Aura Sync allows synchronized lighting effects across compatible components and peripherals, so you can color-coordinate your entire system, including your mouse and keyboard.
We used an Intel Core i5-8400 processor and are keeping it cool with a Cooler Master MasterAir MA410M. The Trident Z RGB DDR4-3200 memory installed right next to the cooler splashes RGB lighting across the fans, which adds an element of drama as the colors change.
We went for a combination of HDD and SSD storage so we could max out on speed and capacity. A Western Digital Blue 1TB M.2 SSD lays flat against the motherboard, just below the CPU socket, and is completely hidden behind our graphics card. It has enough storage for the operating system and all my favorite games, and it's complemented by a Western Digital Blue 4TB HDD where I can stash everything else without worrying I'll run out of room.
A Cooler Master V550 PSU pumps power for the whole system. Its modular cables also help to keep messy wiring to a minimum. Good thing, too, because onlookers have a clear view of the internals through the transparent side panel of the Cooler Master MasterBox Q300P chassis. This case fits our shadowy theme perfectly, but it does mean we have to keep things relatively tidy inside.
Be sure to check out how the complete build came together in our Edge Up article. For now though, our Shadow Box budget build is here just “flexin’ for the ‘Gram!”