Description

First off I wanted to thank this entire community for all the help that was given. During the build, I must have asked several dozen questions, and all were answered with complete courteousness and respect. Not once did I feel uneasy or nervous asking a single question.

This is my first build in over 20 years. Last build was a 486.

The build consisted of 1.25 people, me and my 6 year old daughter. She was rather interested in helping which I was amazed that a little girl would be so interested in helping to build a computer. There was not a whole lot she could do, but I did let her unbox everything; install the RAM, MB back plate, PSU, keyboard, mouse, monitor, and power cables. I also let her remove the stock fans. The RAM was a little tricky for her, so I lined the sticks and helped her push them down. I performed the rest of the installs.

The things I learned from this build:

Install the CPU cooler first. It was a major pain to install the fans with the MB, RAM, and various cables in the way. I got it in, but was not the easiest to do and did not want to start removing components.

Realize how much distance you have for the rear cable management. I spent about 30 minutes making all the rear cables crisp, tight, and very clean, only to find out that some of it extended past the available space. I was fed up and just made it as nice as possible (me and my daughter will be the only ones to see them asides from you so I think it looks ok).

All the hardware that comes with all the components, yeah don’t put them all together LOL. I all the filled bags in a box and took me awhile when it was time to install a component. I had a tough time figuring out which screw was for this and that.

I should have done more research on the fans. I did not know the difference between air flow and static pressure fans. I initially had to AF fans mounted on the top of the radiator. Was told to use SP and my configuration was wrong, I bought the two SP fans and thermal paste, and reconfigured it to what you see in the pictures. After that, I saw a drop of 4 degrees of temp at idle. With the two AF fans just sitting there, I took off the 200mm front fan and installed them there as I was not going to return them.

The rest went great. The system powered on the first time and gave me my first error – CPU fan failure. This ended up being my fault. The X61 instructions clearly stated to connect the fans (2 of them) to connectors 1 and 2. I had them on 2 and 3. After moving them to 1 and 2, the error went away. After that the system booted to bios.

I loaded defaults and then installed Windows 7 via USB. After that placed all drivers on the USB, and installed. I was completely blown away at the speed Windows load off the SSD. I have never owned one but clocked it at 8 seconds from power on to login screen.

The performance of the GPU is astounding. First, all of my daughters’ games run flawlessly. All her Dora, Monster High, and some other games I have no idea what they are run like a champ. I have not done a lot of testing on games I play (going from console) but I am beta testing Elite: Dangerous, and it runs on ultra-settings at 1440p. I intend to purchase other mainstream game FPS, but mainly am into space sim and combat flying games.

The monitor is simply amazing to look at, I cannot complain about the cost. I was going to go for a 4k monitor, but they are a bit too pricey for the size I wanted. Will wait for prices to drop, hence the 980 GPU.

You will notice that I flipped the PSU (in later pics) as I was told it would be better with the fan facing down.

The keyboard and mouse are great; they are for basic usage, as I normally game with a HOTAS.

I have not done any stress testing yet, or done any overclocking. I am not up to date on this and want to learn more before doing this. I read in the manual for the MB (yes I actually read the whole thing) that this has an EZ overclock option and would love to read more about this, and if it is just as easy as going through the setup or if manually doing the overclock is better. I will ask these questions in the forum.

Let me know what you think about what I have built. My daughter and I thank you all for the help given to complete the project.

Total build time was about 9 hours.

Yes, the choice of wallpaper is mine! No, my daughter is a huge fan and I put that wallpaper up as a thank you for her help.

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Comments

  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

I imagine you have a good job if you can raise a kid AND have nice things :p

+1. Wish I had a 980. How far do you plan on pushing that i5?

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

To the limit!

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Why you name hello kitty?

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

My daughter named it.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

oh. i understand now. Are you rich or something? Because even though you have children, you can still buy all this stuff?

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Work bonus

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

nice, pay me some, :p

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

After Xmas presents for my daughter, its all gone :(

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

the mouse pad came with the graphics card ?

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes it did!

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

I have the 970 version of that card but it didn't come with a mouse pad :(

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

That is odd? I looked online and saw it does not come with one? Strange to not include a mouse pad

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

wow very nice especially the motherboard how is that msi gpu is it like what they say?

  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

It flies and stays quite cool. Insane FPS, every game on ultra settings and not a single stutter at 1440p.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah... but can it play Star Citizen? (Space sim..)

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

It plays Elite Dangerous on ultra at 60fps with v-sync on. I have Star Citizen on ultra settings, and looks great, but have not been to more "crowded" areas to test the fps.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Plays SC at max without issues!

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

With that name, it should have had at least 1 Hello Kitty logo on the front.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

I was not about to drive around looking for a hello kitty sticker. But there is a hello kitty stuffy next to it now :)

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

How's that SSD working for you? About how big are the keys on the keyboard? Are they big enough for fat sausage fingers like mine? +1

  • 64 months ago
  • 2 points

SSD is working fine. OS boot in about 5 secs.

Keyboard is nice. Keys are larger then normal ones. Keystroke is a bit longer then standard though, but ok for the price.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay, thanks!

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Well done my friend +1

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

why does this case needs case fans? isn't it has good airflow?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Truly Awesome Build !!

Love how you not only made it a Family Project, but weren't too prideful to Document the Mistakes you've made and learned from to help others avoid the same possible pitfalls.

SP vs AF (Static Pressure vs Air Flow) is something a lot of people stumble with. LinusTechTips on YouTube (FailTube) has a video dedicated to just that topic.

Main PSU Fan pointing Down so it takes advantage of the Case Filtering (if it is a Good Case that has PSU Filtering) and has proper Air Flow Directions trips MOST people up, because Instinct is to put the Big Pretty Fan sunny side up So everyone can See it Grin..

You can Kick me, but I had to laugh when I read the part about mixing all the different screw types and mounting hardware up into a sort of Grab Bag. The only reason it is so funny though is because I think at one time or another we have all been there, or at least done something real similar.

I NOW have very small screw dishes that are semi-transparent and small white stick on labels that I slap on each dish to give it a custom label of what it is, where it goes, and to which darn system it belongs to !! Not because I'm smart by any means !! Because my wife saw me turning red and smoke rolling out of my ears in a similar situation where I had 8 Electronic sized screws left over after a Laptop Deep clean one time and had NO IDEA where they came from or even Which Laptop (1 of 3 possibilities at that moment).

Sad Part, that system made it back to the user and I had to swallow my pride and admit my failure. Luckily they are also a fairly good friend, so they might eventually let me off the hook. But it was fairly embarrassing all the same.

From the reviews I've seen, that GTX 980 should tear through about anything you can toss on 1080 maxed out. And be buttery smooth on 1440 as well. You go 4K and put some HUGE Texture packs in the mix and then it is likely to feel it. But in my option with the price of 4K panels and most of the current content. I feel 4K is going to make more since a few years down the road.. Seems I do trail a bit though, most of my media is still 720p content for my 1080 display, and I'm not honestly bothered by that Grin..

Thanks for EVERYTHING you have done here.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

I disagree, I love looking at all the individual products. Plus walking through the build is awesome, it feels like you're getting to watch it being built all over again.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

I can see product pictures on any website. No need to repost them on every build.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

I second the notion of more images. I have yet to post a build but it often times seems as if they are in reverse order of the build. Is there an issue loading images or at least arranging them?

I like to see the build process and in situations like this I'd LOVE to see his daughter pushing the ram into the slot. To me that puts the "P" in to "PC".

By the way... I really like the part choices and your build looks wonderful.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. Aside from the first boot, watching her (helping of course) insert the RAM was a little nerve racking :S

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

But a moment she will cherish

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL!

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Boring? What would you like to see?

  • 65 months ago
  • 0 points

Less is more. It's just boring to spam click through tons of individual product pictures. That's all :)

  • 65 months ago
  • 3 points

Sorry about that. I only tried to copy what I saw from other builds, and how people complained about not enough pictures. I did not upload all of them. I had about 50 :)

  • 65 months ago
  • -2 points

Most people just want pictures of the completed build itself, and sometimes of the building process. Individual part pictures are sort of unnecessary.

  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

I like when there's a mountain of all of the product boxes viewable. To me that is the one and only efficient picture to point out everything that's going into the build. Anything else is eye candy. Perhaps a closeup picture of the GPU unboxed.

If something was paid extra, like special looking RAM or whatnot that's okay as well. Another way is to make the pictures more saturated with information (i.e. The box with the product outside of it)

and why am I even talking about how to display products... lol. Need more coffee or something.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Have to see I've seen build log picture sets done both ways and see advantages and disadvantages to both methods.

Doing individual parts does increase both the time for others to navigate if they are just looking for the "Glamour Shots" of the completed system or Sexiest components. And also takes more time for the content creator as well.

BUT, for some the detailed documented build log with all corresponding components as with this build are not only for others benefit and learning but a form of a keep sake experience that they would also like to look back on from time to time.

Personally, I'm just thankful to Everyone that puts in the Time and Effort to create a quality build log, despite their preferences on how it was done, or possible motives for doing so Grin..

Look on my 8 Year Old Sons face on this Dell Inspiron 6400 Laptop tear down is priceless when he pulls the Panel off. It is honestly hard to describe. But I have the video, and it speaks volumes.

Counting down the days before it is time to Convert my Work Tower into a Steam box and the Boys get to do their own Upgrades !!