Build Advice Advice on My First PC Build

Jul 5, 2022
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Hello and thank you to anyone who reads this and is able to help me out. I apologize if I've posted incorrectly, as I have never done this before. My laptop (ASUS, 2018) just isn't capable of doing what I want from it anymore. I love playing video games, and for some of the heftier ones – Rust, Conan Exiles, Borderlands 3, etc. – I get major FPS lag, sometimes to the point of unplayability and frustration. It seems like a daunting task to build a PC for the first time, but my friends and family have convinced me to do so. Tom's Hardware has been suggested as a place to get better help/opinions than they could offer, and I would greatly appreciate any guidance/improvements others can offer to my build.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month or couple of months; flexible.

Budget Range: $3,000 – $3,500.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, streaming over discord (maybe on twitch one day), watching movies/shows, multitasking (e.g. two different games at the same time, gaming + streaming or watching something else on another monitor or tabbed out).

Are you buying a monitor: Yes. For now, only one Asus ROG Swift PG279QM, and a second one at a later date.

Parts to Upgrade: It is a fresh, new, first-time build.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, in that order. Open to other trusted sites.

Location: Hawaii, USA. It gets very humid here in the summer, especially being on one of the hotter sides of the island, and I don't have AC – just a junk ceiling fan and windows in my room. I am also prone to termite season here. When it comes around, a bright gaming night will be met with many, many termite wings and bugs in my PC's vicinity. Lord knows there are some lurking (R.I.P.) in this very laptop I am typing this from. It's rough.

Parts Preferences: Intel.

Overclocking: No.

SLI or Crossfire: No. Unless, do I need to choose one or the other? From what I've seen, since I don't plan on using multiple GPUs, I don't need SLI or Crossfire.

Your Monitor Resolution: I currently do everything on my laptop, which is 1920x1080. I'm looking to buy a 2560x1440 monitor -- the Asus ROG Swift PG279QM.

Additional Comments: As stated earlier, I have a bug problem where I live. They (ants/termites, mainly) have crawled into my laptop and died, taking it with them. Not as a hive attack or anything, just as stragglers here and there. I don't think they are crazy ants that chew through electronics, since I haven't noticed that issue, but they are annoying. Because of this, and because it seems like a task I am not yet ready for, I will not be looking into liquid cooling. Is there a way to bug-proof my PC? Also, I may ship some things to my family in either WA or FL and have them ship it to me. Sometimes, companies are unable to ship certain things to my state – or they are able to ship here, but the rates are atrocious.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I want to have a better gaming experience. Struggling to run games like Rust, Conan Exiles, Borderlands 3, etc. on my laptop because it is dying. I want to have the option to upgrade parts of my PC that I see fit more easily than I would with a laptop, if at all.

Parts List:
CPU:
Intel Core i7-12700K Desktop Processor 12 (8P+4E) Cores up to 5.0 GHz Unlocked LGA1700 600 Series Chipset 125W - $379.99
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FXNVDBJ?tag=pcpapi-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15, Premium CPU Cooler with 2X NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fans (Brown) - $99.95
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L7UZMAK?tag=pcpapi-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi D4 LGA1700(Intel® 12th Gen) ATX Gaming Motherboard(PCIe 5.0,DDR4,16+1 Power Stages,WiFi 6,2.5 Gb LAN,BT v5.2,Thunderbolt 4,4xM.2 and Front USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C) - $319.99
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09J1RM86X?tag=pcpapi-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

Memory: G.SKILL Trident Z Royal Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) Intel XMP 2.0 Desktop Memory Model F4-3600C19D-32GTRS - $152.99
https://www.newegg.com/g-skill-32gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820232822?Item=N82E16820232822&nm_mc=AFC-RAN-COM&cm_mmc=AFC-RAN-COM&AFFID=2558510&AFFNAME=PCPartPicker&ACRID=1&ASID=https://pcpartpicker.com/&ranMID=44583&ranEAID=2558510&ranSiteID=8BacdVP0GFs-xudD_zzm_24AybPWd2qzsQ

Storage: SAMSUNG 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB - M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-V7S2T0B/AM) - $219.99
https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-970-EVO-Plus-MZ-V7S2T0B/dp/B07MFZXR1B/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2Y1DMLQIDWUVZ&keywords=SAMSUNG+970+EVO+Plus+SSD+2TB+-+M.2+NVMe+Interface+Internal+Solid+State+Drive+with+V-NAND+Technology+(MZ-V7S2T0B/AM)&qid=1657001971&sprefix=samsung+970+evo+plus+ssd+2tb+-+m.2+nvme+interface+internal+solid+state+drive+with+v-nand+technology+mz-v7s2t0b/am+,aps,312&sr=8-3

AND an extra SSD for Windows only: SAMSUNG 980 SSD 500GB PCle 3.0x4, NVMe M.2 2280, Internal Solid State Drive, Storage for PC, Laptops, HMB Technology, Intelligent Turbowrite, Sequential Read Speeds of up-to 3,500MB/s, MZ-V8V500B/AM - $54.99
https://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-Technology-Intelligent-Turbowrite-Sequential/dp/B08V7GT6F3/ref=sr_1_3?crid=6E7K2CEX2JOD&keywords=Samsung+980+500+GB+M.2-2280+NVME+Solid+State+Drive+Samsung+980+500+GB+M.2-2280+NVME+Solid+State+Drive&qid=1657002012&sprefix=samsung+980+500+gb+m.2-2280+nvme+solid+state+drive+samsung+980+500+gb+m.2-2280+nvme+solid+state+drive,aps,175&sr=8-3

Video Card: EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming, 12G-P5-3967-KR, 12GB GDDR6X, iCX3 Technology, ARGB LED, Metal Backplate - $1,141.07
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09622N253?tag=pcpapi-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

Case: Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – Black - $149.99
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08M49WW51?tag=pcpapi-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

Power Supply: Corsair HX Series, HX1000, 1000 Watt, Fully Modular Power Supply, 80+ Platinum Certified, CP-9020139-NA - $254.07
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5NWKHH?tag=pcpapi-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

Operating System: Windows 11 Pro

Monitor: ASUS ROG Swift 27” 1440P Gaming Monitor (PG279QM) - WQHD (2560 x 1440), Fast IPS, 240Hz, 1ms, G-SYNC, NVIDIA Reflex Latency Analyzer, DisplayHDR400, Eye Care, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB, Height Adjustable - $749.00
https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-PG279QM/dp/B08LCNWQWL/ref=sr_1_3?crid=4WVRCS0USQDH&keywords=Asus+ROG+Swift+PG279QM&qid=1657017165&sprefix=asus+rog+swift+pg279qm,aps,367&sr=8-3

Keyboard: G.SKILL KM360 Professional Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard, Cherry MX Red, ABS Dual Injection Keycap, (Black) - $54.99
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X4Y5RDC?tag=pcpapi-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

Finally, here is my list from pcpartpicker, for easier viewing.
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/GyrkjZ

Total: $3,497.02


Notes:
I selected these parts using pcpartpicker. The compatibility notes at the bottom are as follows:
"Note A: A USB 3.2 Gen 2 to USB 3.2 Gen 1 header adapter is required."
"Note B: The Noctua NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler may require a separately available mounting adapter to fit the Asus ROG STRIX Z690-A GAMING WIFI D4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard."
"Disclaimer: Some physical dimension constraints are currently not checked, such as CPU coolers and RAM clearance." I assume this means the website just doesn't have the ability to confirm the compatibility of some parts as they would fit in the case. I would have to use my best judgement according to the size of the items listed compared to the size of the case.
What am I lacking or what would be a better selection to avoid these potential incompatibilities? If you guys have any recommendations or improvements to make to my build, please let me know -- I'm a noob! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post, and even more so if you've responded – I greatly appreciate it!
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Aloha, newcomer!

Honestly, your build looks spot on!

Pertaining to the cooler;
Socket compatibility

Intel LGA1700 (included since Q4 2021, older coolers require NM-i17xx-MP83), LGA1200, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150, LGA2066, LGA2011-0, LGA2011-3 (Square ILM) & AMD AM4, AM5 (included since 2019, older coolers require NM-AM4)
^ listed here;
https://noctua.at/en/nh-d15/specification

Says that you should be good to go out of the box. If the cooler you picked doesn't have LGA1700 support, you can contact Noctua for a mounting kit for your cooler.
 
Reactions: mementomorality

KyaraM

Notable
Mar 11, 2022
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That looks like a good build. Wouldn't really change it. As for the bug problem, probably the best you can do about it is to get a roll of PC dust filtering material and putting it over every opening. The classic intakes, like the front, usually have filters already to stop the computer from becoming dusty in a short time, but the PSU fan grid and classic exhaust areas like the rear exhaust behind the CPU and GPU slot blends usually don't. Note that this might hinder cooling, but I don't think it should be too bad. Those filters are made for use in a computer after all.
 
Reactions: mementomorality

Why_Me

Champion
Nice build ^^ ... the only drawback I see with your choice of case is the single front intake fan it comes with. This case down below comes with dual 140mm front intake fans, built in fan speed controller and dust filters.

Lian Li LANCOOL II MESH C Performance Mid-Tower Case $129.90


If you're interested in DDR5 then here's a few ideas.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N63G5R7
Kingston Fury Beast DDR5 5600MHz 32GB (2x16GB) CL40 $219.44

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09J1SD9J2
ASUS Prime Z690-A $269.99


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09RKTL5L3
ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-Plus WiFi $279.99


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09PX5WHMB
MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi $259.99

https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/MAG-Z690-TOMAHAWK-WIFI-DDR4

MSI MPG Z690 Edge WiFi $279.99

https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/MPG-Z690-EDGE-WIFI
 

geofelt

Titan
Love the build, but there is a compatibility issue.

Noctua maintains a compatibility list for their coolers.
Some motherboards, like the one you picked have VRM coolers that interfere with the NH-D15.
https://ncc.noctua.at/motherboards/model/ASUS-ROG-Strix-Z690-A-Gaming-WiFi-D4-5375
Another issue with the NH-D15 will be clearance for your ram which is 44mm tall.
The NH-D15s fixes that particular ram issue.
The NH-D12L is probably the best that will fit properly.
Other large twin tower coolers may also have similar issues.
I think I would simply pick a different motherboard.
There are plenty of alternatives

On the case, here is where you can get a good defense from bugs.
Look for a case with washable front intake filters.
This Fractal design Meshify would do:
https://www.newegg.com/black-fractal-design-meshify-c-dark-tg-atx-mid-tower/p/N82E16811352072?quicklink=true
If all of your cooling air comes in at one source and is filtered, you will have a pc clean of dust and bugs.
I would use two 140mm front intakes instead of 3 120mm fans. 140mm fans are quieter and still move a lot of air.
 
Jul 5, 2022
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Hey, thank you all for your responses and guidance! I'm looking forward to exploring your guys' input and responding individually and better, after much-needed sleep and more work tomorrow. Mahalo!
 
Reactions: keith12
Jul 5, 2022
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Aloha, newcomer!

Honestly, your build looks spot on!

Pertaining to the cooler;

^ listed here;
https://noctua.at/en/nh-d15/specification

Says that you should be good to go out of the box. If the cooler you picked doesn't have LGA1700 support, you can contact Noctua for a mounting kit for your cooler.
Hey, thanks so much for bringing this to my attention! This tool was really helpful in making some adjustments to my build. It took me a while to figure out what I think works.

Sadly, as geofelt pointed out, the CPU cooler has an incompatibility with the motherboard that I chose. Since I want to keep the NH-D15 CPU cooler the same (changed the color to black, though), I swapped out the Asus ROG STRIX Z690-A GAMING WIFI D4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard for the Asus TUF GAMING Z690-PLUS WIFI D4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard. The CPU cooler remains compatible with my CPU and includes a LGA 1700 mounting-kit, and is also now compatible with the new motherboard!

If you don't mind taking a look and letting me know what you think, I'd be very happy and thankful -- I've made a short list of the changes:

Updated pcpartpicker list here

I'm pretty happy with the new changes! I thought I'd just make a few easy changes to the build, but the more I read, the more I had to google to understand, and the more unsure I became, the longer it took. Super stoked that I'll have extra defense against those dastardly bugs, though. I do have a few concerns regarding the changes, even though I do like them and feel positively about things:

Are they actually as good as I'm seeing, or have I created something questionable? I cross-referenced so many things, so many times. I think it's turned my brain to mush.

Pcpartpicker estimates my wattage at 669W, so is 1000W overkill? The last thing I want is to make my PSU work harder than it has to for any reason. However, I used Greg Salazar's method of multiplying the CPU watts, GPU watts, and the sum of the two by 1.5, which came out to a total of ~1,075 estimated watts. Another YouTuber by the name of JayzTwoCents said to get a PSU that is double what the estimate is (I think. I've absorbed so much information, I can't recall which video it's from). Watt... is the truth? Math shown here:

Core: 125W
125W x 1.5 = 188W

GPU: 350W
350W x 1.5 = 525W

188W + 525W = 713W
713W x 1.5 = 1,059.5W = ~1,075W (I rounded up to 1,060W and added 15W for a total of 1,075W because he did in his video)

I think that's it -- all I can remember, at least. I think the motherboard change was a bit of a downgrade (goodbye, single USB 3.2 Gen 2 x 2 Headers), but that's how it is, sometimes. Thanks again!
 
Last edited:
Jul 5, 2022
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Love the build, but there is a compatibility issue.

Noctua maintains a compatibility list for their coolers.
Some motherboards, like the one you picked have VRM coolers that interfere with the NH-D15.
https://ncc.noctua.at/motherboards/model/ASUS-ROG-Strix-Z690-A-Gaming-WiFi-D4-5375
Another issue with the NH-D15 will be clearance for your ram which is 44mm tall.
The NH-D15s fixes that particular ram issue.
The NH-D12L is probably the best that will fit properly.
Other large twin tower coolers may also have similar issues.
I think I would simply pick a different motherboard.
There are plenty of alternatives

On the case, here is where you can get a good defense from bugs.
Look for a case with washable front intake filters.
This Fractal design Meshify would do:
https://www.newegg.com/black-fractal-design-meshify-c-dark-tg-atx-mid-tower/p/N82E16811352072?quicklink=true
If all of your cooling air comes in at one source and is filtered, you will have a pc clean of dust and bugs.
I would use two 140mm front intakes instead of 3 120mm fans. 140mm fans are quieter and still move a lot of air.
Thank you for pointing that out! I did end up swapping out my Asus ROG STRIX Z690-A GAMING WIFI D4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard for a Asus TUF GAMING Z690-PLUS WIFI D4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard because I like that fan so much... but maybe I focused too much on that part, now that I've typed it out. I love the case you recommended and am going with that one! Sleek design and nice options for dust filters. Since you helped to address the motherboard issue, would you mind taking a look at the response I made to Lutfij just above this? I made a list of the changes with my reasons for them, an updated pcpartpicker list, and a couple of questions/concerns I have. I'd greatly appreciate your input!
 
Jul 5, 2022
12
2
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Nice build ^^ ... the only drawback I see with your choice of case is the single front intake fan it comes with. This case down below comes with dual 140mm front intake fans, built in fan speed controller and dust filters.

Lian Li LANCOOL II MESH C Performance Mid-Tower Case $129.90


If you're interested in DDR5 then here's a few ideas.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N63G5R7
Kingston Fury Beast DDR5 5600MHz 32GB (2x16GB) CL40 $219.44

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09J1SD9J2
ASUS Prime Z690-A $269.99


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09RKTL5L3
ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-Plus WiFi $279.99


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09PX5WHMB
MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi $259.99

https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/MAG-Z690-TOMAHAWK-WIFI-DDR4

MSI MPG Z690 Edge WiFi $279.99

https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/MPG-Z690-EDGE-WIFI
Wow, thank you so much for these recommendations! I took a lot of time debating between the Lian Li you suggested and the Fractal Meshify that geofelt picked, and ultimately went for the latter. The extra dimensions that Lian Li offered were tempting, but the design and specs of the Fractal won out by a smidgen :giggle:.

As for DDR5, I was convinced by various YT videos/articles to stick with DDR4 for now. DDR5 is definitely the future, and I'll be coming back to your message to take another look at them!
 
Reactions: Why_Me
Jul 5, 2022
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That looks like a good build. Wouldn't really change it. As for the bug problem, probably the best you can do about it is to get a roll of PC dust filtering material and putting it over every opening. The classic intakes, like the front, usually have filters already to stop the computer from becoming dusty in a short time, but the PSU fan grid and classic exhaust areas like the rear exhaust behind the CPU and GPU slot blends usually don't. Note that this might hinder cooling, but I don't think it should be too bad. Those filters are made for use in a computer after all.
Noted, thank you!
 

geofelt

Titan
The NH-D15 will need to run with only the single one middle fan in order to clear the ram which is 44mm tall.
Here is the spec diagram:
https://noctua.at/en/nh-d15/specification
That is not all bad, it will still be an effective cooler.
What extra can be done?
You could plan on using a 120mm front fan.

You could possibly move the front fan to the rear in a pull configuration.

If you were to use low profile ram like the corsair LPX 3600 speed cas 16:
It would fit, perform better(cas16) and be cheaper.
The trident Z is lovely to look at though.

On the psu, I have no problem with overprovisioning.
The psu will only consume the wattage that is demanded of it.

You can fit any psu made in the new case which limits the psu length to 225mm.
You may want to look at the seasonic Prime 1000w unit.
It is shorter at 170mm, cheaper, and has a longer 12 year warranty.
https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-prime-ultra-platinum-ssr-1000pd-1000w/p/N82E16817151200
 
Reactions: mementomorality

Cyberat_88

Distinguished
Apr 9, 2011
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Have a computer shop build one for you or someone that knows what they are doing. This is not something you decide you go get up and do yourself out of the blue. There are a lot of issues involved and then some that require expertise, tools & knowledge to get it right. These technologies do not slow down for anyone, even the experts, and will not make it easier for you, just cause you want to do it. But what do I know, if you want to go burn $3000, don't listen to me, the "new kidz on da block" will put you on that path.
 
Reactions: mementomorality

geofelt

Titan
Your last partpicker list looks good.
I like to have all on a single windows C drive.
I would defer on the second m.2 which is designated for windows.
I find it easier to manage a single space which is on the C drive.
You can always add storage later.
Do you have plans for external backup?
Once you have things to protect, plan on an external usb connected HDD for that purpose.
Lastly, for a first time builder:
MY build process:

Before anything, while waiting for your parts to be delivered, download
and read, cover to cover your case and motherboard manual.
Buy a long #2 magnetic tip philips screwdriver.
A small led flashlight is also useful.

I find it handy to buy a power switch like this for testing.
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16812119009?Description=power switch&cm_re=power_switch-_-12-119-009-_-Product&quicklink=true
1. I assemble the critical parts outside of the case.
That lets me test them for functionality easily.
A wood table or cardboard is fine.
2. Plug in only the necessary parts at first. Ram, cpu, cooler, psu.
Do not force anything. Parts fit only one way.
Attach a monitor to the integrated motherboard adapter if you have one, otherwise to the graphics card.
  1. If your motherboard does not have a PWR button, momentarily touch the two pwr front panel pins with a flat blade screwdriver.
  2. Repeatedly hit F2 or DEL, and that should get you into the bios display.
  3. Boot from a cd or usb stick with memtest86 on it. memtest will exercise your ram and cpu functionality.
They boot from a usb stick and do not use windows.
You can download them here:
If you can run a full pass with NO errors, your ram should be ok.

Running several more passes will sometimes uncover an issue, but it takes more time.
Probably not worth it unless you really suspect a ram issue.

  1. Install windows.
  2. Install the motherboard cd drivers. Particularly the lan drivers so you can access the internet.
Do not select the easy install option, or you will get a bunch of utilities and trialware that you don't want. Drivers only.
  1. Connect to the internet and install an antivirus program. Microsoft defender is free, easy, and unobtrusive.
  2. Install your graphics card and driver if you tested with integrated graphics.
You will need to remove the graphics card later to install your motherboard in the case.
As a tip when screwing the motherboard into the posts, give the screw a small counterclockwise turn until you feel a click.
That lets you know that the screw will engage properly.
Make a note of how the graphics card latches into the pcie slot.
The mechanism will be hidden under the card and may be difficult to work if you have not previously checked how.
  1. Update windows to currency.
  2. Only now do I take apart what I need to and install it in the case.
  3. Now is the time to reinstall your graphics card.
  4. Opinions vary on updating the bios. On a new build, I will update to currency right away. My thought is that I have no big loss if
I encounter a problem. Use the usb option, not the windows option.
 
Reactions: mementomorality
Jul 5, 2022
12
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15
0
Your last partpicker list looks good.
I like to have all on a single windows C drive.
I would defer on the second m.2 which is designated for windows.
I find it easier to manage a single space which is on the C drive.
You can always add storage later.
Do you have plans for external backup?
Once you have things to protect, plan on an external usb connected HDD for that purpose.
Lastly, for a first time builder:
MY build process:

Before anything, while waiting for your parts to be delivered, download
and read, cover to cover your case and motherboard manual.
Buy a long #2 magnetic tip philips screwdriver.
A small led flashlight is also useful.

I find it handy to buy a power switch like this for testing.
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16812119009?Description=power switch&cm_re=power_switch--12-119-009--Product&quicklink=true
1. I assemble the critical parts outside of the case.
That lets me test them for functionality easily.
A wood table or cardboard is fine.
2. Plug in only the necessary parts at first. Ram, cpu, cooler, psu.
Do not force anything. Parts fit only one way.
Attach a monitor to the integrated motherboard adapter if you have one, otherwise to the graphics card.
  1. If your motherboard does not have a PWR button, momentarily touch the two pwr front panel pins with a flat blade screwdriver.
  2. Repeatedly hit F2 or DEL, and that should get you into the bios display.
  3. Boot from a cd or usb stick with memtest86 on it. memtest will exercise your ram and cpu functionality.
They boot from a usb stick and do not use windows.
You can download them here:
If you can run a full pass with NO errors, your ram should be ok.

Running several more passes will sometimes uncover an issue, but it takes more time.
Probably not worth it unless you really suspect a ram issue.

  1. Install windows.
  2. Install the motherboard cd drivers. Particularly the lan drivers so you can access the internet.
Do not select the easy install option, or you will get a bunch of utilities and trialware that you don't want. Drivers only.
  1. Connect to the internet and install an antivirus program. Microsoft defender is free, easy, and unobtrusive.
  2. Install your graphics card and driver if you tested with integrated graphics.
You will need to remove the graphics card later to install your motherboard in the case.
As a tip when screwing the motherboard into the posts, give the screw a small counterclockwise turn until you feel a click.
That lets you know that the screw will engage properly.
Make a note of how the graphics card latches into the pcie slot.
The mechanism will be hidden under the card and may be difficult to work if you have not previously checked how.
  1. Update windows to currency.
  2. Only now do I take apart what I need to and install it in the case.
  3. Now is the time to reinstall your graphics card.
  4. Opinions vary on updating the bios. On a new build, I will update to currency right away. My thought is that I have no big loss if
I encounter a problem. Use the usb option, not the windows option.
Wow, thanks so much for your in-depth replies! I appreciate the time you've taken to help me, especially that last bit about your build process.

True, the Trident Z is a sight to see, but I'll be forgoing it in favor of the Corsair Vengeance you've linked. It just makes more sense.

As for the second m.2 designated for Windows, a cousin of mine has his set up that way "so that Windows isn't affected when he eventually downloads more things, enabling the computer to boot up fast and allowing everything Windows-related to run quickly". I quite like the sound of that, but as you say, a single space is often easier to manage.

A question I have: I've been told by friends that I should actually consider liquid cooling if I'm going for an expensive build like this, as it would be counter-productive to do otherwise. Considering my situation (bugs, dust, humid area), do you think liquid cooling is the way to go? I'll have help while I build, so the "only" worry I'll have is to maintain the AIO system regularly.
 

KyaraM

Notable
Mar 11, 2022
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Wow, thanks so much for your in-depth replies! I appreciate the time you've taken to help me, especially that last bit about your build process.

True, the Trident Z is a sight to see, but I'll be forgoing it in favor of the Corsair Vengeance you've linked. It just makes more sense.

As for the second m.2 designated for Windows, a cousin of mine has his set up that way "so that Windows isn't affected when he eventually downloads more things, enabling the computer to boot up fast and allowing everything Windows-related to run quickly". I quite like the sound of that, but as you say, a single space is often easier to manage.

A question I have: I've been told by friends that I should actually consider liquid cooling if I'm going for an expensive build like this, as it would be counter-productive to do otherwise. Considering my situation (bugs, dust, humid area), do you think liquid cooling is the way to go? I'll have help while I build, so the "only" worry I'll have is to maintain the AIO system regularly.
I wouldn't worry too much about having stuff on the C-drive, honestly. You just have to make sure you got enough room left for Windows updates and a small allowance of ~20% to keep the SSD from getting too full and performance dropping off a cliff, but that's all. I got a drive dor games exclusively recently to stop them from chewing into my C-Drive space (had only 200GB of 1TB left... back to 500GB now, haha), but the most important ones are still on the much faster C-Drives. It doesn't affect Windows much, if at all.
 
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geofelt

Titan
Wow, thanks so much for your in-depth replies! I appreciate the time you've taken to help me, especially that last bit about your build process.

True, the Trident Z is a sight to see, but I'll be forgoing it in favor of the Corsair Vengeance you've linked. It just makes more sense.

As for the second m.2 designated for Windows, a cousin of mine has his set up that way "so that Windows isn't affected when he eventually downloads more things, enabling the computer to boot up fast and allowing everything Windows-related to run quickly". I quite like the sound of that, but as you say, a single space is often easier to manage.

A question I have: I've been told by friends that I should actually consider liquid cooling if I'm going for an expensive build like this, as it would be counter-productive to do otherwise. Considering my situation (bugs, dust, humid area), do you think liquid cooling is the way to go? I'll have help while I build, so the "only" worry I'll have is to maintain the AIO system regularly.
When you install an app on a second drive, it will do some updating of the windows registry on the C drive to reflect that addition.
You need both drives to be sound to run. I think it is easier to back up one drive than two.
With steam games, there is a procedure to move games and disconnect from windows, but I am no expert on that.

I rarely boot my pc.
As I look at task manager, I see that I have not done so in 28 days.
I use sleep to ram which is only a matter of a few seconds to sleep or wake.
That puts the pc and monitor into a very low power state that is close to a full power off.
Past that, using fast boot, and a ssd, boot times are not an issue.

On the AIO question, there is no maintenance possible that you need to do.
They do not last forever, air intrudes, or the pump fails and you need to replace it.
If you were heavily overclocking or running heavy loads that would heat up the cpu, you could consider a 360 or 480 sized aio.
But, those would not fit in your case.
No matter, the NH-D15 with twin radiator stacks has about the same cooling capability as a 280 sized aio.

My canned rant on liquid cooling:
------------------------start of rant-------------------
You buy a liquid cooler to be able to extract an extra multiplier or two out of your OC. Or, to keep heat under control to get the best turbo boost out of your processor.

I do not much like all in one liquid coolers if a good air cooler like a Noctua, Phantex or bequiet can do the job just as well.

Liquid cooling is really air cooling, it just puts the heat exchange in a different place.

The orientation of the radiator is a catch 22 problem.
If you orient it to take in cool air from the outside, you will cool the cpu best, but the hot air then circulates inside the case heating up the graphics card, and motherboard voltage regulator coolers.
If you orient it to exhaust(which I think is better), then your cpu cooling will be less effective because it uses pre heated case air.

Past that, a AIO radiator complicates creating a positive pressure filtered cooling setup which can keep your parts clean.
The basic principle of positive pressure cooling is to have all air intake from one source and filtered.
Added fans, excepting perhaps a rear exhaust fan will tend to draw in unfiltered air from adjacent openings.

The ultimate cooling ability of air or aio is the fin volume of the radiator which dissipates heat.
A 280 aio will have two 140mm fans, each in front of a radiator fin stack that is typically 30mm or so in thickness.
.
This is essentially the same size as the two fin stack on top air coolers like the Noctua NH-D15, Be Quiet drp 4 PRO Phanteks TC14pe and others.
The twin fin stack on a NH-D15, for example is about 40mm each.

AIO coolers do not last forever. The cooling tubes have some degree of permeability that lets air eventually enter the system requiring a cooler replacement. The pumps are mechanical devices which will eventually fail or get clogged. I do not worry about
fans for air or aio, they can be easily replaced.
But, should an aio pump fail, you can not keep running until you replace it.

If budget is an issue, a top air cooler will usually cost less than a 280 aio.

And... I have read too many tales of woe when a liquid cooler leaks.
Google for AIO leaks to see what can happen.
While unlikely, leaks do happen.
A AIO leak may be covered by warranty but a leak is a nasty problem to recover from.

Where is an aio a good fit?
If you are into maximum overclocking and can use a 360 or larger aio, then liquid is your only option. Custom liquid will be even better(and more expensive)
Another good place for an aio is
in a space restricted case where there is insufficient height available to mount a good air cooler.

If one puts looks over function, The RGB "bling available on aio coolers may direct your choice.
That is a personal thing; not for me though.
-----------------------end of rant--------------------------
 
Jul 5, 2022
12
2
15
0
When you install an app on a second drive, it will do some updating of the windows registry on the C drive to reflect that addition.
You need both drives to be sound to run. I think it is easier to back up one drive than two.
With steam games, there is a procedure to move games and disconnect from windows, but I am no expert on that.

I rarely boot my pc.
As I look at task manager, I see that I have not done so in 28 days.
I use sleep to ram which is only a matter of a few seconds to sleep or wake.
That puts the pc and monitor into a very low power state that is close to a full power off.
Past that, using fast boot, and a ssd, boot times are not an issue.

On the AIO question, there is no maintenance possible that you need to do.
They do not last forever, air intrudes, or the pump fails and you need to replace it.
If you were heavily overclocking or running heavy loads that would heat up the cpu, you could consider a 360 or 480 sized aio.
But, those would not fit in your case.
No matter, the NH-D15 with twin radiator stacks has about the same cooling capability as a 280 sized aio.

My canned rant on liquid cooling:
------------------------start of rant-------------------
You buy a liquid cooler to be able to extract an extra multiplier or two out of your OC. Or, to keep heat under control to get the best turbo boost out of your processor.

I do not much like all in one liquid coolers if a good air cooler like a Noctua, Phantex or bequiet can do the job just as well.

Liquid cooling is really air cooling, it just puts the heat exchange in a different place.

The orientation of the radiator is a catch 22 problem.
If you orient it to take in cool air from the outside, you will cool the cpu best, but the hot air then circulates inside the case heating up the graphics card, and motherboard voltage regulator coolers.
If you orient it to exhaust(which I think is better), then your cpu cooling will be less effective because it uses pre heated case air.

Past that, a AIO radiator complicates creating a positive pressure filtered cooling setup which can keep your parts clean.
The basic principle of positive pressure cooling is to have all air intake from one source and filtered.
Added fans, excepting perhaps a rear exhaust fan will tend to draw in unfiltered air from adjacent openings.

The ultimate cooling ability of air or aio is the fin volume of the radiator which dissipates heat.
A 280 aio will have two 140mm fans, each in front of a radiator fin stack that is typically 30mm or so in thickness.
.
This is essentially the same size as the two fin stack on top air coolers like the Noctua NH-D15, Be Quiet drp 4 PRO Phanteks TC14pe and others.
The twin fin stack on a NH-D15, for example is about 40mm each.

AIO coolers do not last forever. The cooling tubes have some degree of permeability that lets air eventually enter the system requiring a cooler replacement. The pumps are mechanical devices which will eventually fail or get clogged. I do not worry about
fans for air or aio, they can be easily replaced.
But, should an aio pump fail, you can not keep running until you replace it.

If budget is an issue, a top air cooler will usually cost less than a 280 aio.

And... I have read too many tales of woe when a liquid cooler leaks.
Google for AIO leaks to see what can happen.
While unlikely, leaks do happen.
A AIO leak may be covered by warranty but a leak is a nasty problem to recover from.

Where is an aio a good fit?
If you are into maximum overclocking and can use a 360 or larger aio, then liquid is your only option. Custom liquid will be even better(and more expensive)
Another good place for an aio is
in a space restricted case where there is insufficient height available to mount a good air cooler.

If one puts looks over function, The RGB "bling available on aio coolers may direct your choice.
That is a personal thing; not for me though.
-----------------------end of rant--------------------------
Ah, okay, that makes sense.

AIO looks fancy and enticing, but since I don't plan on doing any overclocking, it isn't really necessary for me. Plus the added hazard of a leak already had me feeling it'd be a no, unless I'd have a good enough reason to liquid cool.

Again, thank you so much for how helpful you've been! It's put a lot into perspective.
 
Jul 5, 2022
12
2
15
0
I wouldn't worry too much about having stuff on the C-drive, honestly. You just have to make sure you got enough room left for Windows updates and a small allowance of ~20% to keep the SSD from getting too full and performance dropping off a cliff, but that's all. I got a drive dor games exclusively recently to stop them from chewing into my C-Drive space (had only 200GB of 1TB left... back to 500GB now, haha), but the most important ones are still on the much faster C-Drives. It doesn't affect Windows much, if at all.
I know that feeling! I find myself having to delete games/programs now and then to install others. Will definitely be keeping a drive for games only, they take up so much space. Especially when you mod... :LOL:
 

KyaraM

Notable
Mar 11, 2022
809
283
890
33
I know that feeling! I find myself having to delete games/programs now and then to install others. Will definitely be keeping a drive for games only, they take up so much space. Especially when you mod... :LOL:
Yeah, especially games like Skyrim can grow really bloated with mods, hahaha! But honestly, every single game the past couple years seems to be 50+GB big, it's getting ridiculous. I know harddrives and SSDs grow bigger and bigger each year, but come on!
 
Reactions: mementomorality

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