Building the System - Part 2
The next step is to get the motherboard in the case and plug everything in. However, we need to install the standoffs first. Our motherboard is ATX, so we screwed in a standoff anywhere we saw an "A".
The motherboard we used has an integrated IO shield, so we did not need to install the IO shield first. We then screwed the motherboard in place and put some thermal paste on the CPU.
Next step was to screw in the cooler, and we did our best to hide some of the wires coming out of the pump. If your Phantom Gaming logo is sideways you can pick it off the pump and place it back in right-side up.
We then installed the SSD and did our best to route the wires to the rear of the case.
We then went and plugged in our USB 2.0 header, our addressable RGB LED header, our HD audio header, and some of our front panel headers. You can see how tight the fit is, but in the end it looked great.
The RGB LED controller provided with the cooler was one of our saving graces when it comes to our RGB LEDs. We let the motherboard control the RGBs by plugging in the addressable RGB input from the motherboard into the controller. Then we plugged in an RGB LED splitter for the two fans and pump, and then we plugged in the RGB header from the SSD, and finally we plugged in the RGB LED headers from the front two case fans into the sole normal RGB LED port on the controller.
In the end, we had four addressable RGB LED devices from three brands and one RGB LED device, and everything fit together without a need for us to buy anything to make it all work.
We then hide all access wires behind the motherboard tray, pull on cables so there is no visible slack and install the GPU.
Here we can see everything synced up and lit up. It's a very gorgeous site when everything looks great and works well.
The final build is a thing of beauty. Booted up the first time without issue, everything was fully compatible electrically, physically, and aesthetically. There were no compatibly issues of any sort. We really liked how we had exactly what we needed to get everything going. We got RGB devices from three vendors to sync all up and we didn't need to use software to do it. We got a total of nine RGB LED devices to play nice and we got them all hooked up and didn't need to order an addressable RGB LED splitter. The styling of the machine is also quite nice.
I wasn't sure what to expect since motherboard vendors tend to go over the top when it comes to some of their designs, but ASRock's was tasteful and looked pretty cool. It's nice when your DRAM matches the motherboard, which matches the GPU, which matches the case, which matches the cooler.
ASRock's Phantom Gaming Alliance is a really great idea since it encompasses the entire computer build, and if you are a first-time buyer and just want everything to work and match, then you should look into buying from the Phantom Gaming Alliance ecosystem.