Description

This was my first new system since 2009-2010, built around the idea of playing Fallout 4 and pretending to do work (research, writing). I carried over the PSU, monitor, Bluray drive, and a HDD from the old build, but otherwise built a new Skylake system. I had always been an AMD (read: poor) guy, but given a bit more disposable income this time around, I decided to go with the Blue team. All the new system components were bought at Micro Center, just so that I could have the experience of buying parts at a brick-and-mortar store. Granted, I paid a lot more in sales tax, but it was a worthwhile experience.

It took about 2 weeks total to get all the parts (3-4 trips to the store, exchanging parts I didn't quite need for more reasonably priced alternatives). First build would not post. Fans connected to the motherboard would spin, but there was no video output from the integrated graphics. I took it back up to Micro Center where they let me fiddle with it in their walk-in tech support area. I tried exchanging for another one of the same ASRock motherboard, and this did the trick. A month later, I purchased the R9 380X with money I had raised from selling my old parts as well as gift money. My troubles were not over, however.

Sleeving power supply cables was a whole big adventure. Some other time. Two months after the first successful boot, the computer died. The PSU fan would spin, but no power was going to anything else connected to the motherboard. Tried a couple of new PSUs, but no dice. RMA'ed the motherboard. Once my 3rd mobo came in, tried setting everything back up, but it would not post. Back to Micro Center again, and it turns out my CPU and RAM are bad (but the mobo is ok). So I bought a cheap 4gb stick and a Pentium G4400 to get my build up and running while I RMA the broke parts. The 29" ultrawide monitor with Freesync was an impulse buy, because America.

So after 3 months, 2 replacement motherboards, 1 replacement set of RAM, 1 replacement CPU, countless hours of sleeving, defiling my case with hand tools, and a few sessions of marriage counseling, my build is finished! (PC builds are never finished; who am I kidding?)

Comments

  • 47 months ago
  • 9 points

because America

Best quote NA

  • 47 months ago
  • 5 points

10/10 would quote again.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

best smoke NA

  • 47 months ago
  • 6 points

That bungee hard drive is great! Sorry to hear about your RMA problems though. +1

  • 47 months ago
  • 4 points

I like the marriage counseling comment. Looks like a nice build.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Alas the marriage counseling comment... thankfully my wife plays games but she does not care at all about computer parts so she doesn't understand the perpetual search for the better. Congrats on the new build!

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

I would have an easier time if I played games in which she could also participate (local co-op--We played through Halo 3 once, back in school). Unfortunately, those aren't in abundance on PC. I bought Divinity: Original Sin enhanced edition during a Steam sale this past weekend for the express purpose of getting her involved in that game's co-op feature.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Ouch! Those RMA troubles. But glad you got it sorted out.

I have never in my life seen a HD strapped up with bungee cables. That is awesome! +1

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

When I was researching alternative HDD mounting methods, I came across some posts from a while back describing using actual bungee cords to suspend drives in order to reduce vibrations being transmitted to the case. I just used leftover paracord. It works nicely because when I take out the slack in all directions, it doesn't budge. Also, if each strand is truly rated to support 450 lbs, then it should be good to handle one hard drive.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I think it'll be juuuuuust fine haha. It's a really cool move dude, props again.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build w/ a catchy tagline. I'm curious how much a few sessions of marriage counseling cost you. I would like that cost added to the part list so we can all see how much this really set you back. ;>D

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

I added in the marriage counseling. We ended up going more than 3 times because it was genuinely helpful for working out our communication issues and better understanding our relationship. I would highly recommend it, because, let's be honest, marriages could always be better.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Granted, I paid more in sales tax

Sales tax can add up after a while, unfortunately. When I eventually buy parts for myself, I'd like to go to Micro Center, but that sales tax kills me.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Why would you sleeve the cables while the case you have has no window? Great build though, and sorry for the problems you faced.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Great point. I kicked around the idea of putting a window in, but I don't think I will anymore. I probably won't ever sleeve cables again, but it was fun to do it once to say I did

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

gotcha. How is the build holding up?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Aside from a Insider Preview build of Windows that did not play nice with Freesync/AMD drivers, it's doing ok, but I've already been struck by the upgrade bug (more RAM than I need). Kicking around the idea of upgrading the card (thinking it'll be harder to sell as time goes on), even though it plays Fallout 4 just fine at 2560x1080...

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

RMA's suck. After the smoke cleared you have a nice build. Alas your right builds are essentially never done.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Never done. I have already swapped out the ram for 2x16gb Gskill sticks because I was on a spending spree at the time.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Love the way that you are holding the HDD. +1 for that.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I'll give you credit, the bungee setup is ingenious. But I worry about the lifespan of that drive that way, considering all the vibration it has to go through. +1

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm already getting drive failure warnings on the 8 year old drive, so I'm not super concerned about lifespan anymore :P

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

How'd you get that monitor so cheap?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

I did some tricky accounting there. I used $50 visa gift card from Christmas and my $30 Asrock rebate to buy an $80 Newegg gift card. The monitor was on sale for $279.99 at the time with a promo code.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

I believe that's the first time I have seen Marriage Counseling added to a parts list. I appreciate your honesty and accuracy on the true cost of this build. I wish others would do the same.

For what it's worth, I went with my wife a few times before the counselor threw us out and asked to never see us again. Regardless, I believe it helped, knowing that we were utterly helpless.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

The bungee cord sling. Can you describe the attachment points on the sides, please? Maybe a closeup photo from the side - back of case looking forward. Also, what is the bungee pattern on the bottom of the drive?

  • 47 months ago
  • 0 points

Trackball ew

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  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

It's actually a nice little board when it works! M.2 slot, A bunch of USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 port, and a USB type-c port (no sure for it at the moment). The headers are located in places that make sense for my build. And if you time it right, you can probably find it on sale for <$150. ASRock customer service is also not bad.

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  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

It all comes down to features and price. I've tried building with my ASRock, and both Gigabyte Z170 mini-itx boards (gaming vs. regular). One thing I hated about both Gigabyte boards is that the USB 3.0 header was located near the middle of the board. This is dumb because then you've got a big *** cable running across your motherboard. The Gigabytes do have an onboard LED to give you some idea if it's working or not.

USB 3.0 ports should be backward compatible, however, I have read reports of the people with my same keyboard having issues with USB 3.0 ports. If for some reason they didn't play nice, then a workaround would be a usb 2.0 hub.

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  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Board looks nice, and helpful if you want something better than integrated sound on min-itx

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, you can see in pictures 1 and 4. I had to drill new rad mount holes to prevent cooler pushing on the backplate. And, thanks! :)

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