Woohoo! I’m excited to announce (Not “The start of something stupid”) but The start of something awesome! – [I cannot stress how powerful this book is >Click<]
As some may already know, I have been without a desktop workstation computer for some time now (too damn long), which has meant I have had to postpone any large photo / video projects for the time being, and just work on the small scale stuff that doesn’t require much computing power.
Right now, I have a rather large collection of boxes of all shapes and sizes sitting in-front of me, as you can see.
(I’m a very happy chappy’ right now)
Computer parts! Of course. What else?
All of the parts (excluding computer mouse) were all purchased from my absolute favourite online computing store ‘CCL Online’. I use them all the time, and they are leaps and bounds in-front of their competition in terms of prices, customer support, availability, and just about everything else. I will run through a list of components that I bought for this particular build, yes that’s correct. I’m building the system myself. No crappy pre-factory-built PC’s in this house!
CPU: Intel i7-4770K
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H100i
MOBO: Gigabyte Z87X-D3H 1150 Socket
GPU: Nvidia GTX 770 2GB EVGA ACX
PSU: Corsair HX750 750W
CASE: Fractal Design Define R4
BOOT DRIVE: CorsairForce GS F240 240GB SSD (Solid State Drive)
SCRATCH: Seagate 1TB 64MB CACHE SATAIII
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600Mhz
MOUSE: Roccat Kova+
Corsair AF (Airflow) 140mm Fans
The entire system, costed around 1200.00 UK Pounds, which is a respectable price to pay considering the high quality components I managed to bargain!
Top and Front panel view of the Power buttons and USB2/3.0 ports (Very Handy)
View of the top two 120mm fans blowing air out from the radiator.
Having previously built numerous PC’s using the Fractal R4 case, I was still (needless to say) deadly impressed with the finish, and overall quality and features of the case. This time round, I opted for the matte black finish with the brushed metal front face, which I think looks gorgeous in my current setup. Prior to building the PC, I took the time one night to build a 6″ raised platform out of wood, which would be the correct size for the R4. This would also allow some cable management hidden away beneath the top lid. I was able to construct this accurately after finding the exact dimensions from the CCLOnline website, which allowed me to calculate distances between the top surface of this desk, to allow for adequate airflow to the top fans.
I took the build slowly, despite how eager I was to get going on it straight away. I made sure to ground myself of any static that may have charged on my clothing as and when I could, to limit the possibilities of frying a component whilst handling and installing.
This build was my first ever time building with Corsair parts, as well as any kind of watercooling loop (sealed or not). Skeptical at first, but soon realized it was going to be even more simple and easy to install than a normal dual-fan air heatsink.
Having bought a fair few Corsair parts for the build, and trusting the words of ‘Professionals’ over time, I was confident in my choice of components. And rightly so. The Corsair products (At least the ones I bought), just simply shone out “Quality” in my mind. Without a glimpse of hesitation. From the SSD, to the H100i Rad. All just sung high quality right out of the box.
H100i Block & pump secured down.
Fitting the H100i was possibly the most time consuming part of the physical building, as I wanted to configure the fans in a pull flow method which would suck air through the rad, and vent out through the top of the case. I do however have some Corsair SP120 quiet fans on the way, to replace the stock cooler fans. This is because the fans that come with the H100i, are stupidly loud for my liking when cranking up the RPM. I have been deadly impressed with the AF140 quiet fans I bought though. They have been fantastic, and not heard a peep out of them.
Configuring the SSD as primary (0) drive prior to installing Windows was easily done with the blazingly fast and easy to navigate BIOS these new 1050 socket boards have.
SSD & HDD secured in the bays.
Storage installed, GPU installed, and all cables routed neatly (OCD when it comes to new PC builds). The system powered right up, and all of the fans were powered to my surprise, as the wiring config is quite messy and hard to get your head around.
Which brings me onto the OS (Operating System). I opted for my trusty Windows 7 CD for this build. You might be confused as to why, when Windows 8 is around now and trying to take over. But I have spent many many hours on one of my other Windows 8 computers, and I simply do, not, like it! I detest the Metro overlay you are greeted with, and it just flips a Power-users world upside down in my eyes. I decided to install Windows 7 64Bit Professional.
Full view of R4 case with all components installed.
Speaker/headphone Amp & USB3.0 Kingston Reader secured in place beneath monitor.
After the install, I only ran into one minor problem. I had an error code on boot, which read; Fatal Error: One Or More Table Pointers Are Invalid
This line appeared before it would boot into Windows, though it would still let me boot in without problem, I still wanted to solve the issue completely before moving on to installing software.
The answer was simple. I had to type a line of code into the command prompt Window after re-inserting and booting from the 7 disk again. Here is a link to the solution that worked for me: http://ingonet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/how-to-solve-fatal-error-one-or-more.html
Once the error went away, I installed AVG2014 Anti-virus software, among-st some other benchmarking software for the HDD’s, SSD, CPU, GPU & RAM. All tests ran perfectly fine, and came back with blazing results!
Wide shot of the desk setup – All Tidied, after all hardware & software installed.
I have transferred all of the data I need to the appropriate drives, and I’m all set to go. Most software has been installed now. It’s finally time to start booking some projects! It’s been far too long, and I’m more eager than ever to get some editing underway with this new killer machine.
RAM, New SP120 Rad fans and possibly a Wireless card will be added in the coming weeks. I just couldn’t wait any longer!