The Process - Building a Gaming PC

I am getting ready to build a new gaming PC and thought I would document the process. I know some GRG members have wanted to do this but have been scared away by the process. Full disclosure I taught myself how to build computers off the internet back in the AOL days. It is so much easier now but I still don’t know what I am doing so take all this for what it is worth.

I planned my build at www.pcpartpicker.com. This site will help you in a few ways. Compatibility, Power usage, Price/Where to buy. It is supposed to give you the best price but it isn’t always correct. I got everything from Amazon cheaper overall than what the site listed and with Prime free shipping.

What you need: CPU, CPU Cooler, Motherbaord, Memory, Storage, Video Card, Case, Power Supply, Windows 10 or other OS (Intel i7 7700k will only work with Win10. Check your CPU for restrictions)

My Parts List

All my parts are compatible. It shows that the system will require 480 watts of power. I picked a 850 watt PSU so I am good to go. I have no intentions of running SLI so the overhead power will take care of anything I decide to add down the road. Lights, Optical Drives, PCI-E cards, etc.

Notes on each part I picked…

CPU: I wanted Kaby Lake(7th Gen) and I wanted a unlocked chip so I could overclock if I wanted to. If you are trying to save money and do not plan to overclock you can get a locked processor. All Intel i3,i5,i7 that are unlocked have a K at the end. Example: Intel i7 - 7700K.

CPU Cooler: Intel is starting to phase out supplying a stock cooler. They suck any way. There are all kinds of coolers out there but I prefer Liquid AIO (All In One). They are closed loop, low maintenance, liquid coolers. They get similar numbers to a good traditional fan cooler but are less noisy and look cooler, IMO.

Motherboard: The socket on your motherboard has to mach the socket your CPU requires. So make sure you pay attention to that. I wanted to try a new brand this go round and I wanted something that had premium sound built into the board. The audio chip on this board is isolated from everything else. Even left and right audio are separated from each other on the board.

Memory: If it isn’t obvious I am a Corsair fan. I have used Dominator in the last 3 builds so why stop now. The motherboard supports different speeds so pay attention to that. pcpartpicker.com will make sure you pick something compatible.

Storage: My first build with m.2 SSD. I will be running the OS on the Samsung EVO 960 m.2. The Samsung EVO 850 SSD will be dedicated to STEAM. One of the Seagate FireCuda Hybrids will be for game recording and the other will be media storage.

Video Card: This is the only thing I am keeping from my old PC. It is only a couple months old. I may try a ASUS Nvidia card next go round.

Case: OMG THAT CASE IS HUGE!!! I am actually down sizing. I love the Corsair Obsidian series cases. I am downsizing from a 800D(7 years old) to a 750D. I almost went with the 450D but go big or go home right? Check out this monster, The 900D.

Power Supply: Power supplies have ratings based off metals. If you aren’t overclocking a Gold rated PSU is fine. I needed 480w so I decided to go with a Corsair HX850i. It will tie into all my other corsair stuff in Corsair link. I will be able to control the fan on the PSU and monitor temps. That being said I would recommend the EVGA SuperNova series PSU. They are IMO the best.

Fan Note: My case and CPU cooler will provide all the fans I need. Airflow is very important and can cause audible issues. In most cases air comes in from the front and out the back and top. If you pick a case with no fans provided be prepared to buy some. Do you research you don’t want to buy some fans that sound like a A-10 Warthog.

All parts have been ordered. I will update the OP when every thing gets here. I will post step by step pictures to walk through the process. It’s kinda like LEGOS with electricity.

Teaser image of motherboard…

Stay tuned!

Update 8/6/2017

And a heeeeere we go…

The Hardware

Step One

The first thing I do is strip the case down to the bare minimum. Take off both side panels, remove any HDD bays you aren’t going to use, remove any fans that could be in the way. I ended up having to remove the rear fan that is in the image.

Step Two

Next you want to lay the case down. Make sure you are not kinking any wires from the front panel or fans. Your case will come with a bag of motherboard standoffs. Install the needed standoffs. They will vary depending on whether you have a ATX, Micro ATX, or mini-ITX sized motherboard. You can see the standoff in the image below. Just screw them in with your hands

Step 3

Install the IO Plate. I forget to do this all the time, and this build was no different. It just snaps in to place.

Step 4

Install the motherboard. Make sure that all your ports line up in the IO plate then screw the board down with the MB screws supplied with your board or case. Do not over tighten. Just snug is fine. Ignore the arrows in the photo. Paint 3d decided to fuck it up and I didn’t notice until now. Just look for the black screws. The screws screw into the standoffs you added in Step 2.

Step 5

Install the CPU. This is the most delicate part. The CPU will need to go in a certain way. Make sure you read the instructions. Hold the CPU on it’s sides and drop it straight down into the socket. You do don’t want to touch the bottom or top and transfer you body oil onto the chip. I wear non powdered latex gloves.

Step 6

Install your CPU cooler. I used a AIO liquid cooler. So I needed to install a backplate, standoffs, radiator, fans, and the pump.

Backplate

Standoffs

Radiator

Fans & Radiator ( I actually had to take the radiator out to install the fans on the radiator so think a head :grin: )

The pump just screws down on the standoffs. Center the pump up and screw it down. Make sure you start at one corner give it a couple turns, go to the diagonal screw a couple turns, rinse and repeat.

Step 7

Install your storage drives. I only took a picture of the M.2 SSD as it is new tech. It is actually installed on the motherboard instead of being wired to it by SATA cable. My case has tool less HDD trays and SSD trays. All I had to do is slide them in place.

M.2 are installed at an angle then pushed down and screwed.

Step 8

Install your power supply. You actually can do this at any time up to this point.

To be continued…

In the next update I will show some of the wiring and wire management. The computer is up and running. I was even able to game on it last night and this morning. M.2 SSD are so fast. Windows installed in 5 minutes or less and it starts windows in a few seconds. I am waiting for my order from cable mods to show up before I start cable management so right now it is running with the panels off. I don’t know if it is the larger cooler or the cpu but it is running about 10 degrees cooler than my I7 4790k.

Update 8/7/2017

I finished up the wiring today and the PC is complete. Final photos and a video to show of the lights I will never use.






The End!

6 Likes

This is a cool idea - I’ve often thought about going down this route but figured I wouldn’t know what to buy and I’d probably end up damaging it putting it together…

Is it generally cheaper to buy parts than order a pre-built?

1 Like

Exact same here

Yes getting this PC from Origin would be $1000 more. You are getting tech support with that. It’s funny though the only PC I have ever needed tech support for is a Alienware. Never needed it for a PC I built.

At some point in the future I’ll build another PC that’ll game and serve as a media center. Just too damn lazy right now and the consoles fit my gaming needs ATM.

You have a budget when you put this monster together? Pcpartspicker is great for organizing and laying out the parts so you know you are not missing anything and going over your power consumption.

I hate huge cases. I always go mid atx. But with the size of videocards now that is becoming a huge issue. Almost forcing you into a full atx case.

I also almost always go Amazon as well. Cause Prime.

All hail Amazon.

1 Like

I really wanted to go mid atx but I didn’t for the reason you posted. I plan for this case to last me 7 or so years and I don’t want to have to buy another one.

Definetely a good idea. Are you gonna do a step by step thing? I’m gonna buy a new and bigger case the next time, mine is a mid but I don’t mind the bid case. I also considered building one on a wall mount or inside a desktop. If we well our house, definitely gonna sneak some upgrades in somewhere.

1 Like

Love this thread great idea.

1 Like

Yes.

Under $2000. Already having the GPU made that possible.

Quick update. All parts will be here today except the case. It will be here Saturday. Going to be a long 3 days looking at all that geeky goodness and not being able to do anything with it.

4 Likes

Erm.
Lay it all out in the positions it would be in the case?

Sketch the arrangement out on paper?
Or in paint.
Or in CAD software.
Then buy a 3D printer and make your own case.

Problem solved.

1 Like

OP Updated.

Nice build. I want to do a mini ITX build but, my 4670k is still running flawlessly @ 4Ghz.

So sweet. Nice work.

Damn you to hell and back…making me think back on my days of PC builds and wanting now to build one and connect up to the TV/sound system.

Oh wait…that’s right…college payments = no disposable income for 3 years. Nevermind.

2 Likes

OP updated with final photos.

2 Likes

Awesome.
I feel like there should be a toast or ceremony or something.

Here’s to hoping it lasts you a few years (at least) and treats you well!

LOL on the video at the end.