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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife was in desperate need of something that could process her RAW image files, run Photoshop, Lightroom, and it was time to kick her off my machine, get her a proper rig, and trash this old laptop of hers. The following is the process and end result. Simple build with nothing too fancy, but overkill like it should be.

Parts List:

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146075

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128545

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116501

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814162074

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148663 (32GB)

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151121

Storage: (1) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-148-443 and (2) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

Monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824260055

Fans, Mouse, DVD, and Extras:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099 with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835242019

(4) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835553006 with (4) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811999234

(3) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835553007 with (3) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811999226

(2) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204





Installing Standoffs:

Dry fit MOBO:

Installing Backplate and standoffs for the cooler:

I think deep down, we all love this part the best. The 3770k is the most powerful processor I've held in my hand to date. I felt like there should have been a chorus playing in the background as I lowered it into the slot and locked it in:

Prepping cooler and CPU surface with rubbing alcohol:

The pea method: (temps do not get over 65C by the way under Prime95. Idles at 33C. Stock clocks. Pretty darn happy with that for a <40.00 cooler.)

Mounting the cooler:

Cooler mounted and RAM installed. Decided not to go with a push/pull config. If I ever use this hardware myself, I will. I was happy to see the cooler came with the bracket to add an additional fan. No zip ties on this one!

Installing into the case: (Yes, I did have to remove this after realizing I forgot the I/O panel cover

The clearance of the cooler to the case. Not a cm to spare.

Power Supply: Why bother going modular when I almost used every port here? Sigh...

Installing some fans:

Front intake fans:

Dust filters on all the intakes. The front intakes are the only ones I used the screws on, I figured with the front panel going over them it would be better to hold them in place. The other ones remove easily (held on by magnets) and I LOVE these filters. Won't do another build without these:

Installing DVD drives: (One of these will be removed soon to accommodate this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817998185 instead for backups and my own use if I ever need to quickly transfer a lot of data. I haven't used it yet, but this thing looks awesome.

This fan on the bottom is a joke for this case. I have used this case before and I would again, for 39.00 I'm in love with this case. But in what world you could put a fan here after installing your PSU cables, I haven't a clue. I had to resort to leaving this bottom part open with a dust filter but no fan. With 5 intakes and 1 exhaust fan (plus the GPU and PSU exhausting) it is still very much positively ventilated:

Beginning to see a mess:

Getting that bad boy in there. Kind of wish they put the power inputs on the end of the card instead of the side. Most cases have the routing holes right there, but I guess they couldn't on this card:

A little bit of cleanup to get this side to close:

SSD installed, and close to the final outcome:

Hardware is always sexy:


Removed those silver screws holding in the PSU and replaced with black ones:

Yeah, my paw prints are all over this thing but I was ready to get started with software installs:

Not the most expensive or best case on the market. Cable management is not necessarily a breeze, you do have to fight with it but it certainly is possible. The Hyper 212 Evo cooler only clears by 2cm, (it seems like less, are standoffs part of those calculations when you compare specs of case clearance to specs of cooler clearance required?) and the side fan just barely slips in between the GPU and the PSU. The end result however is a sleek, normal looking computer with a supercharger under the hood. Well worth the little extra work to get a nice simple looking tower:

I'm not sure if my wife understands what she really has. There's nothing she has had to do that has pushed this thing even a little yet. (Well, maybe with the exception of being limited by flash card speeds, but even that has sped up dramatically just going to USB3.0). If I had to add anything in the future, I would probably add another 128GB M4 just to use as a scratch disk, but with 32GB of RAM, I really don't see her needing it.

This is what the knowledge is all about fellas. Now I'm jealous and itching for an upgrade myself...

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