New PC build

This weekend I built my new PC. All the parts arrived, eventually.  Case, not shown, is a Corsair Obsidian 550D – supposedly a mid-sized tower, but in reality it’s huge.

Parts list:20140911_225943_sm

Desc Make Model Link to product Store
Case Corsair Corsair Obsidian Series 550D CC-9011015-WW Quiet Mid-Tower Cases Amazon
Power Supply Corsair RM850 Amazon
Motherboard Asus ROG Maximus VII Hero Amazon
CPU Intel Intel Devil’s Canyon Core i7 i7-4790K CPU (Quad Core 4GHz, Socket H3 LGA-1150) Ebuyer
CPU Cooler Corsair Corsair CW-9060014-WW Hydro Series H110 280mm Rad Extreme Performance All-In-One Liquid CPU Cooler Amazon
RAM GSkill G Skill 4x 8GB PC3-19200 DDR3 2400MHz Gaming Memory Kit Amazon
HD Samsung Samsung 840 EVO 500GB 2.5-inch Basic SATA Solid State Drive Amazon
Front Panel Asus Asus 4 inch USB 2.0 ROG Front Base LCD Dual Bay Gaming Panel Amazon

Basically, this is a beast. No graphics card yet because nVidia is announcing the 900 series in less than a week. Current gen cards will drop significantly. I’ll look at the new cards and performance/price when they are announced. Until then, I’ll live with the onboard Intel HD (which sill kills my present machine’s GeForce 9200).

Onto the build.

Chassis unboxed:

20140912_092750_smFigure the first thing I should worry about is the CPU watercooler radiator and fans.


People talk about “push” and “pull” systems and say the most efficient way to cool the CPU is to “pull” cold air from the outside of the case. It might be more efficient for the CPU, but all that heat is then dumped into the case. I feel better with a push to put the heat outside.

There is a cage you need to build for the waterblock/pump – a little fiddly and the instructions need careful attention. I got it wrong the first time, turns out I just needed to rotate the screw mounting cuffs. Cage constructed:


I didn’t know what way the fans blew, so took a guess and fitted them to the case. One thing here – I thought the screws were a little too short for the washer + rubber case mounting + fan size to reach the radiator casing it screws into. I had to apply some pressure for the screws to bite. Then I could tighten them… little did I know I’d be doing this several times later in the day… And here is why: 🙁


The radiator block extends over the top of the motherboard, enough to obstruct the EATX12V supply (direct power supply to the CPU). This is an 8 pin (4×2) block, the radiator blocks 4 top pins. The last time I built a PC, this didn’t exist and so my pre-purchase check that the AXT powersupply plug on the motherboard was far enough away didn’t throw up any red flags.  I had a real problem. Case (Corsair Obsidian 550D) + Watercooler (Corsair H110) were listed as compatible by Corsair, but throw in my choice of motherboard Asus Maximus Hero VII and suddenly they are not compatible.


I don’t believe Corsair should list a case/heatsink as compatible if it is going to cover 5mm of the motherboard – especially since there are power and fan connections on most motherboards up there.

Seriously considering having to go with the retail fan on the CPU… 🙁

I then noticed that the blocking part is just part of the mounting frame, that I didn’t need on this side…. I could cut out a hole with the dremel.



Buffed it to be sure no little metal filings would be left to drop down, shorting components, and refitted it back into the case.

This time, I should be able to fit the motherboard and have clearance for the power plug.  Because the CPU and Fan powersupply would also be blocked, I plugged the cables in before sliding the motherboard into position.


Few screws later, and we’re in:


Fitted the powersupply, and because I was pleased with myself over the motherboard/radiator fiasco, completely forgot to take pictures of it.

SSD was another issue. Screwed it into one of the drive trays and then found I couldn’t plug in the right-angled power cables.



Looks like I’m resorting to velcro (or rather 3M Picture hanging tape). These strips are very useful:



RAM added, all 32GB of it and powered on…. It glows!




Front Base fitted and covers on. Had to remove the front door from the case as it wouldn’t close with the knob on the Front Base.




Front Base while idle:


So how does it perform?

Ran Prime95 to stress the CPU…  Hello heat.




Passmark score – not bad. In a few weeks with a decent graphics card, scores will be great.

PassMark Rating



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