New Computer Part 1 – Initial Build

Time for a “build log” of my latest project, a new PC. This will be presented over at least 2 separate entries as I at the time of  writing part 1 I was still waiting on components, and even now almost 3 wks after set up I am still monkeying with it.

What is going on is that I had been running a gen 4 Intel i7-4770K for awhile and have done supplementary upgrades over the years to replace the videocard from a GTX770 to a GTX980 and currently a GTX1080 so that I could run me some VR without framedrops. At the time of deciding to build a new PC I was having minor stability issues on occasion and felt like it was time to upgrade as it has been a few years.

To head off some comments about AMD vs Intel and so forth please be aware I spent a good 2 weeks debating the pro’s and con’s of each platform against what I planned to do with it. And what is it I plan to do? Play the games and consume content. I want to be clear that on the CPU side of things I have really no bias over what I run. Some of the earliest PC’s I built used AMD CPU’s. Now on the GPU side…. I bleed Green. I ran an ATi board years ago and had nothing but problems and have since reverted back to nVidia and have not looked back.

Given the above statement and everything I have looked at, coupled with how I wanted to do the build, I went with Intel Z270 platform with an i7-7700K. Yes I know that Intel had just shown X299 and the X-series processors but it is a little late to go back and change out what I am doing….

For the new computer I am doing the following:

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-7700K
  • Mobo – Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 8
  • RAM – G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32GB (4x8GB 16-18-18-38)
  • GPU – ASUS Strix GTX1080 8GB
  • Storage – NVMe M.2 – Samsung 960 EVO 500GB
  • Added Storage – Planned combo of SSD/HHD’s
  • CPU Cooling – Liquid Cooling with EKWB Supremacy EVO
  • Case – Corsair 570x


Now for the beginning of the series I have done the basic assembly of the computer guts into the computer and the fun times there.

The basic build started like any computer with a once over of manuals. Following that I installed the mounting brackets for the CPU water block and installed the processor and water block. After that it was the RAM. Now before placing all of these items in the computer case I built up the radiator onto the front fan bracket and attached the reservoir to a 120mm fan mount on the radiator.


After finagling the radiator and pump assembly back into the case and mounting the motherboard to the chassis I realized my fatal error…. The pump and reservoir combo that was included in the kit was the D5 model and not the DDC model. The difference being the design of the pump housing and its mounting. Because of how I built up the radiator and pump it would interfere with the GPU…. Since I did not get a GPU block for the timing being.



After pulling everything back out of the case I removed the pump and put the radiator back in. I then adjusted the position of the pump on its bracket and set it into the case to see if it cleared the GPU shroud. Now In the photos I am using a GTX980 for reference as it is about the same overall length and height since the 1080 is in my current system.

Once those items were sorted I spent way to long applying thermal paste to the CPU as it is always a choir making sure you apply just the right amount. With all that down it was time to wait for the remaining components needed to finish the build. Chiefly the fittings and tubing. I did realize though that it would be beneficial to boot the PC and make sure it posted into the BIOS screen. So to do that I removed the CPU block and bracket and dug out an old stock Intel cooler from a i7-2600K as a stopgap measure. And that is when first blood was drawn….. The CPU fan cable caught a counter edge and the cooler fell from my hand and I went to catch it mid fall so as not to damage the floor or cooler. I did catch it but tore open my pinkie finger.

Now after disinfecting the wound I installed the stock cooler, ran the PSU cables and crossed my fingers. And boy howdy was it a butt clenching 15seconds.. It did not immediately post but did a quick reboot and posted into the BIOS no problem. With that confirmed I powered down the computer as the CPU temp was steadily climbing with the older cooler and replaced it with the water block again.

This brings us to now. When I wrote this post I was still waiting on tubing and fittings. In addition I realized two things. First I will need to get some additional 120 or 140mm fans for the top and back of the PC. And second, I need some cable extensions to reach the 8-pin and maybe the 24pin (also want to get custom sleeved cables). So those are on deck for the next update.

Addendum comments as of 6-2-17;

Now I did not cover it up top but I just want to comment on my reasoning for Intel a little more. In all the research I have done since Ryzen 7 launched there have been performance issues and memory support issues. It felt like the platform was released a little prematurely as some of these things were not addressed before ahead and has placed the motherboard vendors under the gun to release BIOS updates in a rapid fire fashion. That’s great that things have improved since the launch in March but it was not enough for me to pull the trigger at the time as I was really considering an 1800X and RAM support for DDR4 3200 is spotty at this time. And so those items coupled with my more gaming usability slant I went with the Intel Z270 platform. Also RGB RAM from G.Skill…. I know that is a silly reason but for me I really liked the aesthetic of the RAM and so wanted to be able to run it. If AMD X370 had support for the DDR4 3200 RAM I went with then it would have been a no brainier and AMD would be going in. Someone my call me out on this and that’s fine but for the 3days of solid searching I did I could not find a clear answer saying it was OK to use.

Addendum comments as of 6-25-17;

As I was a little slow in posting this I know that there have been more updates and such for Ryzen that have fixed more problems and Threadripper has also been shown in more detail. Also X299 has launched.


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