This Impressive All-Corsair PC Build is a Surprisingly Easy DIY Project

A Corsair 6500D AIRFLOW case with a 4080 inside, Corsair AIO cooling the CPU, and it offers blue lighting

A Corsair 6500D AIRFLOW case with a 4080 inside, Corsair AIO cooling the CPU, and it offers blue lighting

Since carefully curating my first ever PC build back in 2020, I swiftly crafted a more powerful computer at a higher budget. Sporting an AMD Ryzen 5 7600, an RTX 4080, and some DDR5 RAM, it certainly blew my GTX 1650 and Ryzen 2600 build out of the water - but it was missing a lot of cable management (which I suck at), great cooling, and, a real feeling of satisfaction.

Thanks to Corsair, however, I’ve had the chance at a do-over. While the company doesn’t make the best graphics cards, the best AMD CPUs, or the best motherboards, pretty much every other part in my new build is Corsair - hence the name of the feature - and while much of my previous PC was already Corsair, I am seriously impressed at how these new parts make my build soar.

Use the patch notes embed to make a complete parts list here:

Full PC Specs

  • Case: Corsair 6500D AIRFLOW
  • Motherboard: GIGABYTE Gaming X X670
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 7600
  • CPU Cooling: Corsair H150i iCUE Link
  • GPU: MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 4080
  • RAM: Corsair Dominator DDR5-5200 RAM (2 x 16GB)
  • Fans: Corsair RX120 iCUE Lin

Corsair 6500D Case

Let’s start with the case. I owned a 4000D AIRFLOW, which was already large enough for my 4080. While the 4000D AIRFLOW is a seriously impressive case, the cable management features are disappointing. In my experience, the case was a little too constrictive to build in, and while the AIRFLOW in the name implies a lot of airflow (which is, admittedly, true), it doesn’t offer the best possible cooling for such a powerful rig.

However, the 6500D fixed a lot of my issues that I had with its older brother. Firstly, the 6500D is a dual chamber design, following many other case manufacturers such as Lian-Li, NZXT, and HYTE, to name a few. This does make it a larger case, making it wider and shorter than the 4500D, but it also makes building feel a lot easier overall. Dual chamber cases are basically setups that are split into two sections, allowing you to organize and compartmentalize your different parts. The dual chamber nature makes it easier to hide your cables, and everything that powers them, in the back chamber.

Cable management within the 6500D is an absolute breeze. The fact that one half of the PC hides away all of the wires and unwanted tangles makes the display chamber look absolutely fantastic. After all, you don’t just want your PC to pay well, you also want it to look nice.

Corsair’s case also results in an impressively quiet build. Despite housing an AIO and seven fans, this build only results in mild background noise while booting up games or intensive programs for the first time. Once the PC has settled, it’s almost unnoticeable to the point of making me double-check the fans were actually working.

Admittedly, some of the case’s dust filters can be tedious to fit back into their slots, especially the one that separates the chambers, so I’d recommend just not taking it out unless it’s absolutely necessary. You’ll also need multiple USB ports for your motherboard to make sure the four USB ports on the I/O can work, which could be difficult if you opt for Corsair’s iCUE fans.

While I opted for the 6500D AIRFLOW for performance, you can actually purchase the 6500X instead to use your PC build as a showcase. It still has the dust filter at the top, but the front-and-center dust filter on the AIRFLOW is swapped out for more glass, letting you boast about your incredible (and expensive) PC, while losing out on the extra cooling potential.

For the PSU, my build used the Corsair RM850, something which I had already owned. The PSU lives in the back dual chamber, sitting on a small shelf and allowing it to keep cool, unlike the 4000D AIRFLOW which had the PSU sitting at the bottom, potentially causing issues if you have your build on a carpet. Hey, some of us don’t have enough desk space.

My talent when it comes to cable management is lacking, to say the least. So, the idea of fans and an AIO making that problem almost completely redundant always appeals to me, and that’s exactly what the iCUE Link system does.

Corsair sent over the H150i AIO, a 360mm AIO that works within the Corsair iCUE Link system, and a bunch of RX120 fans that also work within the proprietary system. You need a iCUE Link system hub to power the fans, with a hard limit of 24 devices for each hub, but one comes with the AIO and a triple pack of RX120 fans.

A Corsair H150i 360mm AIO with the radiator installed and the pump installed onto the CPU
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Credit: StealthOptional

The Corsair iCUE Link system is a unique setup. It’s an ecosystem developed for PC builders that keeps things simple, allowing builders like myself to setup fans and an AIO without the messy nature of seemingly hundreds of wires. It condenses the power and data into one wire, meaning there’s no need for RGB controller hubs, fan hubs, and more. Once the iCUE Link system hub is installed and powered, the rest of the setup is simply plugging in the iCUE Link cables to each device (or set of devices).

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While the AIO works as you’d expect - powered via the CPU fan header on the motherboard - the fans are interesting. Rather than using a SYS_FAN header, they’re powered by the system hub, itself being powered by a PCIe slot on your PSU and connecting to a spare USB header on your motherboard.

The fans alone aren’t anything too special. They’re fairly simple, sitting firmly in the middle of performance and noise, but that’s not where their uniqueness comes from. However, the fact they require less hassle of cables and needing fan controller hubs, which further add to the wires, makes them an essential purchase for myself.

A white Corsair RX120 Fan in front of its box on a marble counter top
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Credit: StealthOptional

Each fan can be powered by the USB-C-style iCUE Link cables that come with each fan, but the fans can be connected in groups. This means you don’t have to wire each individual fan up, but instead, you can put them into triple fans and only require a iCUE Link cable bringing power to the fans, and one that exits, either powering another fan or completing the circle, back to the AIO.

Considering the fans are made by Corsair, it’s no surprise that controlling the lighting and updating the firmware of the system hubs is also done through the iCUE software. I had a minor issue where the AIO pump was “failing”, but it was due a minor issue with the firmware that required updating to fix.

iCUE is not the worst PC software (looking at you, Razer), but I have a fair few issues with it. Occasionally, the UI and UX can be tedious, requiring you to go through menus and submenus of strangely named settings (like murals for the various color themes), and some of the lighting options can be fiddly to deal with, but I’ve left the lighting on the Abstract setting for my entire setup, delivering a blue and pink-style vibe that looks nice and pleasing. However, there’s a range of options and choices you can adjust, which is nice to see, including one that reacts to your monitor’s colors.

Unfortunately, the proprietary nature of them makes it a little difficult to recommend if you have an existing build with other fans. But, if you’re willing to pay the price, and don’t care about messing around with external fan settings, then the lack of hassle makes it a perfect option for people like me.

The best part of building this PC was how easy it truly was. I’m not a veteran PC builder by any means. My first build took 10 hours with help from my father, my second build took six hours. Thanks to Corsair’s iCUE Link system, and with only a little help from some instruction manuals and a YouTube video, I managed to complete this build in two and a half hours, and I imagine most people wouldn’t be too much higher than myself, even if it’s your first build.

Of course, it’s not cheap to jump into the iCUE Link system. The 360mm AIO is $205, the triple RX120 starter pack is $99, and each subsequent fan is $35, so you’re looking to spend at least $445 on copying my setup, and potentially more if you’d like more fans or opt for an iCUE Link AIO with a screen. However, it’s absolutely worth it just for the simplicity. For anyone looking to use the iCUE Link to use with their PC build, this simplifies everything and avoids the tangle of wires, keeping your PC looking beautiful.

A white desktop with the motherboard, AIO, and everything else installed while the AIO shines with lots of colors
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Credit: StealthOptional

Of course, Corsair is not the only company to do something like this. Lian Li offers the UNIFAN setup, where you can combine fans for ease of cable management, but it doesn’t go to the lengths of simplifying the data into chain - each fan or group of fans requires being individually powered by the hub as opposed to being chained between each other - but it’s still a neat alternative. Optionally, HYTE is also working on an iCUE Link alternative, but there’s no announcement as to when that will officially launch.

However, unless you like to tinker around a lot of settings to squeeze every possible inch out of your PC setup, or find cable management enjoyable, I’d recommend using the Corsair iCUE Link system, as well as the 6500D case. It was the first time I had a lot of fun building a PC rather than pulling out my hair in stress, and I’m actually proud of it every time I look at it.

Of course, Corsair can still further push the iCUE Link ecosystem by making the fans even quieter while keeping performance high, and the 6500D AIRFLOW could be just a little smaller, as the 4080 has plenty of clearance near the window. However, it’s safe to say I’m very impressed so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Corsair can further push the iCUE Link in the coming years.

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