Description

Rolled over and broke my laptop screen off, decided it was time to finally get my act together and build a pc. Not planning on doing any serious gaming (hence the older model gpu from a buddy), but wanted to build a solid base to improve on later if I want. Not planning on OC, so stock cooler is fine. Microcenter had a good deal on the cpu/mobo combination, until the end of April 2013 I believe. Mostly planning on using Windows/Ubuntu for code development and music recording.

Issues:

  • Found out during the build that apparently the high profile on the Corsair Vengeance RAM can have clearance issues when installing an after-market cooler, maybe should have gone with the low-profile version for a bit of future-proofing.
  • Challenger U3 case is lacking a little bit in cable management options. Not a big problem at all, but you can see in the pictures that I'm still trying to figure out where to stash some of the extra.
  • 140mm case fan (top) isn't working from mobo header, still trying to figure it out.
  • I've heard other people complaining about this power supply
  • Optical drive is quite noisy when running at high speed, not a big deal.
  • Originally bought the Asus PCE-N15 wireless adapter before realizing it wasn't dual band. Returned it and bought the PCE-N53 (I'm on the top floor of my apt, need all the connection I can get)

...will upload more pictures once the build is actually done

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 83 months ago
  • 2 points

Does the top fan move at all? It should spin up for a second or two when the system is first powered on, even if the motherboard then shuts it off. Have you tried connecting it directly to the power supply with an adapter?

  • 83 months ago
  • 1 point

It doesn't spin at all. I've traded headers with the other case fans, no dice. I haven't had the time to really look at it, but connecting straight to the PSU via molex is my next try. If that doesn't work, it's dead right?

  • 83 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes. you could also try a 9 volt battery if you have some smaller wire available to manually make the connection. 9 volts should be enough to make it spin, but not enough to shock you.

  • 83 months ago
  • 3 points

Looks as if it's just dead. Thought I'd share my customer service story if anyone's interested:

Called Amazon to say the fan was dead, but I didn't want to uninstall my pc to ship the whole case back. They made an exception and are sending me a whole new case - I'm supposed to cannibalize the parts I need and return the rest to them. I had heard their customer service was good, but damn that's nice...

  • 83 months ago
  • 2 points

Most of the RAM clearance issue can be solved by moving over your ram to slots 2+4. It should allow you to fit a Hyper 212. Your cable management isn't that bad for this case. Nothing wrong with the power supply. Anyways, nice build!

  • 83 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the 2+4 slot suggestion, hadn't thought of that. The cables (surprisingly) took me the longest of the whole process and still aren't as neat as all the others I see around

  • 83 months ago
  • 1 point

What GPU do you have?

  • 83 months ago
  • 1 point

The GPU is an XFX Radeon HD4770, which (as I understand it) is a pretty solid card if this was 2009 lol. The GPU doesn't really matter to me, so I took what I could scrape up. My buddy gave it to me for free, I'll likely upgrade to a Radeon HD7xxx in the next year or so.

edit: punctuation

  • 83 months ago
  • 1 point

If the heatsinks on the vengeance RAM are a problem, you could try taking them off. There are a few tutorials I have seen on youtube, but it might void the warranty. The heat shouldn't be a problem though, they are really for looks.

  • 83 months ago
  • 1 point

I saw someone else reference taking the sinks off, but hopefully shifting slots (thanks bbooiigg) will work if I ever decide I need a bigger cooler :)

  • 83 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah yes! I see that now, good luck!

  • 83 months ago
  • -2 points

To avoid future problems with aftermarket coolers I would advise you just get a closed loop watercooler (Corsair, Zalmann, Antec, etc.). People around here seem to love the H100 or above by Corsair.

I have an Antec and Zalmann and despite some issues with the Zalmann at first I am finally getting it working "well enough" since Zalmann is not cooperating with an RMA...yet. I am very sensitive to ticking and the Zalmaan has a slight tick to it. If you have more than three fans in the case you probably won't hear it. I got the Zalmann for $35 after rebate, so keep your eyes open for that deal to come around it again, as it does every few months.

Cabling looks fine to me. My theory is that if you don't see what appears to be a rat's nest that is obviously hindering airflow you have done a good enough job. Thumbs up.

Finally, people are going to probably say something about you not wanting to OC and having a K series processor, but as someone who doesn't have a Microcenter near by, and wishes they did, I understand the thought process of buying that processor and mobo combo.

  • 83 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the advice, but I think a watercooler is a little out of my league at this point. I'm just happy to have built my own pc that booted on the first try, working my way up to some of the other builds I've seen around :)

Thanks for supporting the cpu/mobo choice - this really was the best deal around and even stepping down on both (extreme3/i5-4570) would have been more expensive. I'm still trying to figure out the Microcenter fixation, is it just because of these sorts of in-store deals? I wasn't super impressed with the store itself (selection included 2 aisles of 1001 Solitaire Games etc.)

  • 83 months ago
  • 2 points

It is the processor deals. I could've built both of my rigs with i5's instead of i3's for a little more due to the motherboard discounts. Nobody will price match them so I have to wait for deals on each component which can take some time. Everything else I can purchase from Amazon/Newegg tax free.

Don't be intimidated by the closed loop coolers. I've done three of them and they are hard to screw up with the internet as a resource (my stepfather still found a way though). They keep your temperatures lower than the stock cooler as well as being dead silent (the good ones). Look up the Corsair H60. That is probably all you need.

  • 83 months ago
  • -3 points

I don't recommend that motherboard. Very unreliable. I had problems with it from the get go but they weren't serious so I kept it. Regret it now.

  • 83 months ago
  • 4 points

i have that motherboard and i haven't had a single problem with it, sounds like you got a bit of a lemon.

  • 83 months ago
  • 1 point

For what it's worth, I've heard great things about this board. I went with it: 1. for the combo price 2. lots of USB 3.0 ports 3. heard it had a quality voltage regulator circuit, which seems like an important thing haha

I was able to boot this build on the first try.