Author Topic: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC  (Read 12675 times)

Zero3

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2016, 07:02:42 PM »
Hi there!

Thanks for the guide! I love the walkthrough of how the system is put together. Also thanks to the guys posting above me. It's been quite interesting to read about your experiences.  I'm seriously considering doing this build to replace my aging gaming laptop. I have a bunch of questions though, that I hope you don't mind me asking. It has been a decade since I last build a PC from scratch, so my knowledge is a little outdated.

A) Do I need to buy any additional items like cables, thermal paste, ..., or is it all included with the various components?

B) I'm a little worried about this part of the guide:

"Well, almost... it turned out that the semi-passive mode of our unique Arctic Freezer i32 cooler tripped up our motherboard's UEFI. It simply would not turn on, and this is a recipe for overheating in the long term. Yikes! We simply installed Gigabyte's Windows-based fan control app (called SVI), ran the fan tuning routine, and we were in business. Phew!"

Is this app available for Windows 7? And did running the fan tuning routine solve the issue permanently? I assume it did, since nothing more was mentioned of this issue.

C) I would like to purchase slightly cheaper versions of some of the components, and would like to ask whether you think my alternatives will be compatible with the the build. I also had some issues finding the exact versions of all the components at my local retailer.

Case: Fractal Design Core 500. Unchanged.

Motherboard: ASUS Z170I PRO GAMING. You recommended this as a better alternative in the guide.

SSD: Samsung 850 EVO. Unchanged.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 DC 8GB x2. Unchanged. I assume the DC part of the name is okay?

CPU: Intel Core i3-6320. Appears to be a pretty good alternative if you want something cheaper than the Intel Core i5-6600K.

Cooler: Arctic Freezer i32. Not changed, but there is also a "CO" version available. Which one should I pick?

GPU: Geforce GTX 970. I would like to go with this somewhat cheaper card, instead of the proposed GTX 980. However, there are like 50 variants of the GTX 970 available at my retailer. Even if I filter for the EVGA brand, there is still 5 different variants (SC / SCS / FTW+ / Hybrid / <no suffix>). What do I go for?

PSU: EVGA Supernova 650 GS. Not available at my retailer, but the G1 / G2 / P2 variants are. Are any of these capable replacements?

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2016, 10:39:52 PM »
Hi there!

Thanks for the guide! I love the walkthrough of how the system is put together. Also thanks to the guys posting above me. It's been quite interesting to read about your experiences.  I'm seriously considering doing this build to replace my aging gaming laptop. I have a bunch of questions though, that I hope you don't mind me asking. It has been a decade since I last build a PC from scratch, so my knowledge is a little outdated.

A) Do I need to buy any additional items like cables, thermal paste, ..., or is it all included with the various components?

B) I'm a little worried about this part of the guide:

"Well, almost... it turned out that the semi-passive mode of our unique Arctic Freezer i32 cooler tripped up our motherboard's UEFI. It simply would not turn on, and this is a recipe for overheating in the long term. Yikes! We simply installed Gigabyte's Windows-based fan control app (called SVI), ran the fan tuning routine, and we were in business. Phew!"

Is this app available for Windows 7? And did running the fan tuning routine solve the issue permanently? I assume it did, since nothing more was mentioned of this issue.

C) I would like to purchase slightly cheaper versions of some of the components, and would like to ask whether you think my alternatives will be compatible with the the build. I also had some issues finding the exact versions of all the components at my local retailer.

Case: Fractal Design Core 500. Unchanged.

Motherboard: ASUS Z170I PRO GAMING. You recommended this as a better alternative in the guide.

SSD: Samsung 850 EVO. Unchanged.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 DC 8GB x2. Unchanged. I assume the DC part of the name is okay?

CPU: Intel Core i3-6320. Appears to be a pretty good alternative if you want something cheaper than the Intel Core i5-6600K.

Cooler: Arctic Freezer i32. Not changed, but there is also a "CO" version available. Which one should I pick?

GPU: Geforce GTX 970. I would like to go with this somewhat cheaper card, instead of the proposed GTX 980. However, there are like 50 variants of the GTX 970 available at my retailer. Even if I filter for the EVGA brand, there is still 5 different variants (SC / SCS / FTW+ / Hybrid / <no suffix>). What do I go for?

PSU: EVGA Supernova 650 GS. Not available at my retailer, but the G1 / G2 / P2 variants are. Are any of these capable replacements?

Welcome to the TBG Forum, Zero3!

I think you should check out the monthly $1,500 VR-Ready ITX Gaming PC Buyer's Guide, which is based on the step-by-step guide you read but with updated components. It actually includes many of the parts you mention, such as the motherboard and video card.

But two of your questions really do need direct answers, as follows:
(1) in regard to the CPU, the i3-6320 is a high-end dual-core CPU. Generally speaking, this level of dual-core doesn't make a lot of sense. If you're interested in gaming, you should get a quad-core, but you can save some money going with the excellent Core i5-6500 instead of the 6600K. This will also allow you to skip the CPU cooler entirely, as the 6500 comes with a very capable cooler in the box.

(2) You cannot use any of the alternative EVGA power supply models you mentioned. You really must use a unit no longer than 150mm. The Corsair CS550M is a model that comes to mind. While not as good as the EVGA models, it is quite easy to find in most stores, and still more than capable of running this system.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 10:41:40 PM by Ari Altman »

Zero3

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2016, 03:21:55 AM »
Welcome to the TBG Forum, Zero3!

I think you should check out the monthly $1,500 VR-Ready ITX Gaming PC Buyer's Guide, which is based on the step-by-step guide you read but with updated components. It actually includes many of the parts you mention, such as the motherboard and video card.

But two of your questions really do need direct answers, as follows:
(1) in regard to the CPU, the i3-6320 is a high-end dual-core CPU. Generally speaking, this level of dual-core doesn't make a lot of sense. If you're interested in gaming, you should get a quad-core, but you can save some money going with the excellent Core i5-6500 instead of the 6600K. This will also allow you to skip the CPU cooler entirely, as the 6500 comes with a very capable cooler in the box.

(2) You cannot use any of the alternative EVGA power supply models you mentioned. You really must use a unit no longer than 150mm. The Corsair CS550M is a model that comes to mind. While not as good as the EVGA models, it is quite easy to find in most stores, and still more than capable of running this system.

Thank you very much Ari!

I actually visited that page before posting, so I must have missed the fact that the building guide uses a different/older component list than the buying guide. My bad, and thank you for the link! I will base my build on the guide from your link instead, and post any remaining questions in the thread for that guide.

Regarding the CPU, I see your point with regards to the number of cores. I think I will go for the i5-6500 and stock cooler instead then. That should also fix my worries about the fan issues mention in the article.

Regarding the PSU, I will order that from a different retailer then. Rather be on the safe side :).

jsgiii74

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2016, 10:11:27 AM »
Hey Ari:

I'm glad I found this site. I haven't rolled my own PC in about 10 years, and thought it would be fun to put a small PC together (having cleared this with my wife--don't laugh.)  In any case, I appreciate your meticulous consideration of the small builds you've put together on your site. 

I am considering stepping up the GPU on your high end mini-ITX build (the most current with the Fractal Design Core 500 case).  I absolutely understand your recommendation for an external exhaust 980 ti card for temperature management and because of the EVGA step-up program.  The 06G-P4-4992-KR seems to not catch a break on price though.

So, is there any other 980 ti card (perhaps ACX 2.0+, etc) that perhaps could work in your mini-ITX build without burning the box up? Maybe some fan/size placement tweaking?  I'd like to stick with EVGA brand and the FD 500 case.   The prices for anything other than the rear exhaust card seem to be coming down a lot faster.  I defer to your judgment on this one! 

Thanks again for a great site! So glad I found it!

Welcome to the TBG Forum, and welcome back to the world of PC building. I think you'll find that things have gotten a whole lot better over the past ten years!

So, yes, generally I have found open-air coolers underperform in ITX cases. But the Fractal Design Core 500 is different and better. Fractal realized what so many other manufacturers had failed to see previously: small cases live or die by how fast hot air can be exhausted. With its 140mm rear-mounted exhaust fan and fully-vented top panel, the Core 500 can spit out hot air very, very quickly.

You can feel free to go with the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB SC ACX, but I would highly recommend that you give the Core 500 a helping hand by equipping it with a second Fractal 140mm exhaust fan mounted in the top panel. The EVGA ACX cooler, like most open-air coolers, exhausts most of its hot air out the top of the card. In a case with a solid top panel, this can spell doom for CPU temperatures, but the Fractal allows all that hot air to escape before it hits the CPU cooler, and a fan placed above the CPU area will really help move that heat out quickly.

Good luck with the build - you'll love this system!

Just following up from my April 16th post.  I pulled the trigger and ordered all the parts for the FD500 mini-ITX build just before the Memorial Day break. You are absolutely correct, a whole lot has changed from ten years ago.  I decided to stick with the 6600K processor, and I deviated slightly from your great recommendation of mitigating the heat issue with the 980ti card.

First, following your advice in your May mini-ITX build update to take advantage of the EVGA step-up program, I bought the EVGA 970 SSC you recommended, since the 1070 is just going to be a phenomenal card, and from what I read goes neck-in-neck with the 980ti!!!!  No brainer.


Secondly, I decided to just go ahead and purchase the Corsair Hydro H60 for the CPU cooling.  My only problem was trying to figure out the best placement of the cooler CPU component on top of the cpu (up, right, bottom, left) since the tubing and the loop connectors are fairly large. Of course, the cooling fan and radiator are mounted at the top with the fan blowing through the radiator into the case.  I did have to slide the radiator component a few millimeters up since the tubes running into the radiator bumped into the exhaust fan in the back.  And although this intake fan is very close to the exhaust fan, so far mild overclocking (wow, modern OC tools are nice--especially in the ASUS board) is keeping internal temperatures in the 85-105 F range (not a big fan of Celcius).


End result, this thing is unbelievably quiet, even when I crank the fans up, and just boots up faster in Windows 10 thanks to UEFI. I can identify with what fowlscotch noted in his post about the drive housing.  I'm using an external DVD drive for now, but may revisit an internal Blue Ray reader/DVD burner when I get my GTX 970 card replaced and use that as an opportunity to tidy up the cables a bit more inside.


In any case (no pun intended), in addition to the Samsung EVO 850 SSD, I did mount on an additional 1GB Mushkin Enhanced Reactor 2.5" 1TB SATA III I had lying around and found I even had room to mount a WD Black 5TB (WD5001FZWX) I caught on sale, since I was STILL under budget. The WD drive was placed behind one of the SSDs on the same side.  The FD 500 does has a mount for the SSD in the front, but as Ari may have mentioned, it gets in the way of the DVD drive slot, and I didn't have any cables handy that would accommodate mounting the SSD upside-down.

Ari, thanks again for a phenomenal suggestion for a phenomenal build. . .did I miss anything?

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2016, 11:34:03 AM »

Just following up from my April 16th post.  I pulled the trigger and ordered all the parts for the FD500 mini-ITX build just before the Memorial Day break. You are absolutely correct, a whole lot has changed from ten years ago.  I decided to stick with the 6600K processor, and I deviated slightly from your great recommendation of mitigating the heat issue with the 980ti card.

First, following your advice in your May mini-ITX build update to take advantage of the EVGA step-up program, I bought the EVGA 970 SSC you recommended, since the 1070 is just going to be a phenomenal card, and from what I read goes neck-in-neck with the 980ti!!!!  No brainer.


Secondly, I decided to just go ahead and purchase the Corsair Hydro H60 for the CPU cooling.  My only problem was trying to figure out the best placement of the cooler CPU component on top of the cpu (up, right, bottom, left) since the tubing and the loop connectors are fairly large. Of course, the cooling fan and radiator are mounted at the top with the fan blowing through the radiator into the case.  I did have to slide the radiator component a few millimeters up since the tubes running into the radiator bumped into the exhaust fan in the back.  And although this intake fan is very close to the exhaust fan, so far mild overclocking (wow, modern OC tools are nice--especially in the ASUS board) is keeping internal temperatures in the 85-105 F range (not a big fan of Celcius).


End result, this thing is unbelievably quiet, even when I crank the fans up, and just boots up faster in Windows 10 thanks to UEFI. I can identify with what fowlscotch noted in his post about the drive housing.  I'm using an external DVD drive for now, but may revisit an internal Blue Ray reader/DVD burner when I get my GTX 970 card replaced and use that as an opportunity to tidy up the cables a bit more inside.


In any case (no pun intended), in addition to the Samsung EVO 850 SSD, I did mount on an additional 1GB Mushkin Enhanced Reactor 2.5" 1TB SATA III I had lying around and found I even had room to mount a WD Black 5TB (WD5001FZWX) I caught on sale, since I was STILL under budget. The WD drive was placed behind one of the SSDs on the same side.  The FD 500 does has a mount for the SSD in the front, but as Ari may have mentioned, it gets in the way of the DVD drive slot, and I didn't have any cables handy that would accommodate mounting the SSD upside-down.

Ari, thanks again for a phenomenal suggestion for a phenomenal build. . .did I miss anything?

Congrats on getting your build up and running. Sounds like an awesome system. The issue with fitting the H60 is why I recommend air coolers for this case, but as you found, you can use liquid cooling if you are willing to do a little extra work inside the case.

By the way, if you'd like your system featured in The Gallery, simply send three photos to theguru@techbuyersguru.com. It would be a great example for others on what can be done with the ITX format!

Ventarus

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2016, 09:41:49 PM »
Hey Ari, I just wanted to say thanks!  I successfully built out the June 2016 Vr Ready Mini-ITX PC.  I'm very happy with it.  I made only a few changes: dropped the DVD-burner and went with the Samsung 850 Evo 500GB.  I was able to get all the components (minus the DVD-burner, Windows 10, the GeForce 970, and with the Samsung 500GB) for right under $1000 on Amazon.  I borrowed a GeForce 970 for now as I'm considering getting the Radeon RX 480 in July.  Any thoughts on that?  Obviously not as powerful as the new Nvidia Pascal-based cards, but seems like a great value for a VR build. 

Also, the only thing I'd add at all to your fantastic step-by-step instructions, is a note to consider running a breadboard test of the motherboard/CPU/DRAM/case-and-fan-connnections before moving it all into the case.  It's just nice to know that the motherboard will boot BEFORE it's in that mini-ITX case, just in case there's anything to troubleshoot.  I did this with the PSU loose and not installed (used integrated video out). Seeing it boot to the BIOS made me feel good that it was ready to move into the case.

Now time to play with the Vive. :)

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2016, 07:08:12 AM »
Hey Ari, I just wanted to say thanks!  I successfully built out the June 2016 Vr Ready Mini-ITX PC.  I'm very happy with it.  I made only a few changes: dropped the DVD-burner and went with the Samsung 850 Evo 500GB.  I was able to get all the components (minus the DVD-burner, Windows 10, the GeForce 970, and with the Samsung 500GB) for right under $1000 on Amazon.  I borrowed a GeForce 970 for now as I'm considering getting the Radeon RX 480 in July.  Any thoughts on that?  Obviously not as powerful as the new Nvidia Pascal-based cards, but seems like a great value for a VR build. 

Also, the only thing I'd add at all to your fantastic step-by-step instructions, is a note to consider running a breadboard test of the motherboard/CPU/DRAM/case-and-fan-connnections before moving it all into the case.  It's just nice to know that the motherboard will boot BEFORE it's in that mini-ITX case, just in case there's anything to troubleshoot.  I did this with the PSU loose and not installed (used integrated video out). Seeing it boot to the BIOS made me feel good that it was ready to move into the case.

Now time to play with the Vive. :)

Glad you got your system up and running. Definitely a sweet setup! Report back on the Vive - seems like that's the VR system to beat!

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2016, 03:09:34 PM »
Hello Ari,

I just saw the build you posted 6/10/16 for the $1500 high end mini-itx case. I'm about to ready to pull the trigger on buying the components and had a couple of questions:

1. You seem to really favor the Fractal Design Core 500 for how they maximized internal space for greater air circulation. How does that compare to the Corsair Obsidian 250D Mini ITX Case you recommended as an upgrade to the past builds? I just love the way this one looks.

2. When do you think the 1080 will be ready for public purchase at a reasonable cost? I don't want to have to go through the hassle of buying a 970 and trading in later, so I'd rather just wait to purchase the best when it comes out.

Thanks!
Entail

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2016, 04:37:39 PM »
Hello Ari,

I just saw the build you posted 6/10/16 for the $1500 high end mini-itx case. I'm about to ready to pull the trigger on buying the components and had a couple of questions:

1. You seem to really favor the Fractal Design Core 500 for how they maximized internal space for greater air circulation. How does that compare to the Corsair Obsidian 250D Mini ITX Case you recommended as an upgrade to the past builds? I just love the way this one looks.

2. When do you think the 1080 will be ready for public purchase at a reasonable cost? I don't want to have to go through the hassle of buying a 970 and trading in later, so I'd rather just wait to purchase the best when it comes out.

Thanks!
Entail

Welcome back - glad you're getting ready to jump into the latest ITX build!

Two great questions, let me address them one by one:

1) From a design and cost perspective, the Core 500 is superior to the older Corsair 250D. It can fit everything the 250D can, and more, while actually being quite a bit more compact. In particular, the 250D's support for air coolers is pretty limited. It's actually larger than some micro ATX cases, but the one thing it has over such cases, like the SilverStone SG09, is liquid cooling support. If you want air cooling, skip the 250D and go for the Core 500 (ITX) or SG09 (mATX), otherwise it's definitely a good choice.

2) I don't have a crystal ball on GTX 1080 availability, but I have followed the market for a really long time, and so have a sense for when the 1080 will become easier to purchase. I'd say that by early July, it should be in fairly good supply. In part this depends on when the 1070 actually arrives (as in can be purchased, not a paper launch as in what happened on June 10th). It's in Nvidia's interest to get 1070 supply up to speed before the June 29th release of the AMD Radeon RX 480. If it doesn't, AMD is going to take a big bite out of its market share with the RX 480, which will offer about 75% of the performance for less than 50% of the price. So if Nvidia is able to, it will ramp up 1070 production quickly, which will lessen demand for the 1080 substantially.

Engali

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2017, 04:55:12 PM »
Hey Ari,

I just finished the September 2016 build (No HD, replaced recommended SSD with the SanDisk 1TB). I tried connecting it to my TV using HDMI and my Acer XB270HU bprz 27-inch WQHD NVIDIA G-SYNC (2560 x 1440) 144hz Monitor using DisplayPort. I tried connecting to the comp's graphics card and motherboard for the Acer and to the mob for the TV. The computer would turn on, but it wasn't sending a signal to either the TV or the  monitor. I have two questions:

1. Do you have any guesses on what might be the issue?

2. I haven't installed anything yet. Is there anything I need to do early on when installing the OS or anything else? IIRC, there was a note somewhere to change the profile for the RAM (Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB) to get the most out of it? Anything else?

Thanks!

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2017, 08:23:39 PM »
As is usually the case in these situations, the problem is likely something other than a video issue. In other words, something is throwing an error that's causing no video to display, but it's not the video card. By the way, keep in mind that when a video card is installed, you cannot get output from the motherboard, so the test you did on the TV wasn't going to work in the first place ("I tried connecting ... to the mob for the TV").

My guess is that the memory is not fully inserted. Pull it out and reinstall just one stick in the second slot.

Let's turn to your second question once we get the system booted!

By the way, if reinstalling the memory doesn't fix the issue, list all the parts you have so I can refer to them in the next stage of troubleshooting.

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2017, 03:35:10 PM »
Hey Ari,

I pulled one of the sticks of RAM out from slot A in the Asus Z1071 ProGaming and tested things. The led on the motherboard for RAM used to stay a solid red when I would turn it on, but now that I have removed one of the sticks of RAM it's only on temporarily and then shuts off when the computer is turned on. However, the computer still won't output a visual signal when I connect the graphics card DisplayPort output to a monitor. The Boot_Device_led light on the motherboard remains lit a solid red, so this might indicate an issue.

Btw, I found putting the RAM stick into slot A was a tight squeeze when I first put it in since it is pressed up against the cooler fan (Artic brand in white)...I don't know if this means I will eventually need to reposition the fan slightly so it isn't pushing against the RAM stick in slot A,

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2017, 04:17:55 PM »
Hey Ari,

I pulled one of the sticks of RAM out from slot A in the Asus Z1071 ProGaming and tested things. The led on the motherboard for RAM used to stay a solid red when I would turn it on, but now that I have removed one of the sticks of RAM it's only on temporarily and then shuts off when the computer is turned on. However, the computer still won't output a visual signal when I connect the graphics card DisplayPort output to a monitor. The Boot_Device_led light on the motherboard remains lit a solid red, so this might indicate an issue.

Btw, I found putting the RAM stick into slot A was a tight squeeze when I first put it in since it is pressed up against the cooler fan (Artic brand in white)...I don't know if this means I will eventually need to reposition the fan slightly so it isn't pushing against the RAM stick in slot A,

OK, well at least you're making a bit of progress here. At this point I'd suggest you pull the video card out of the system and see if you can get any video via the motherboard's DisplayPort output. The boot device LED being lit just means the proper boot drive hasn't been selected yet, but that's because you haven't been able to install Windows yet. This error shouldn't stop the board from getting to the POST stage where you'd be able to enter the UEFI.

If you can't get video output from the motherboard's video ports and you're absolutely certain all power cables are connected (particularly the 4+4-pin CPU cable), then we potentially need to look for damage to the CPU socket.

By the way, another reader pointed out that the Arctic Freezer i32 doesn't fit perfectly with the Asus Z170I motherboard. Unfortunately, I didn't pick that up in the guide, as I tested with a Gigabyte Z170 board, which had the socket about 1mm further to the left. For what it's worth, I don't think you'll damage the RAM by having slight pressure on it from the fan. Due to the design of the Arctic fan clips, it cannot easily be re-positioned.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 04:51:09 PM by Ari Altman »

Engali

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2017, 09:16:25 PM »
Hey Ari,

I pulled one of the sticks of RAM out from slot A in the Asus Z1071 ProGaming and tested things. The led on the motherboard for RAM used to stay a solid red when I would turn it on, but now that I have removed one of the sticks of RAM it's only on temporarily and then shuts off when the computer is turned on. However, the computer still won't output a visual signal when I connect the graphics card DisplayPort output to a monitor. The Boot_Device_led light on the motherboard remains lit a solid red, so this might indicate an issue.

Btw, I found putting the RAM stick into slot A was a tight squeeze when I first put it in since it is pressed up against the cooler fan (Artic brand in white)...I don't know if this means I will eventually need to reposition the fan slightly so it isn't pushing against the RAM stick in slot A,

OK, well at least you're making a bit of progress here. At this point I'd suggest you pull the video card out of the system and see if you can get any video via the motherboard's DisplayPort output. The boot device LED being lit just means the proper boot drive hasn't been selected yet, but that's because you haven't been able to install Windows yet. This error shouldn't stop the board from getting to the POST stage where you'd be able to enter the UEFI.

If you can't get video output from the motherboard's video ports and you're absolutely certain all power cables are connected (particularly the 4+4-pin CPU cable), then we potentially need to look for damage to the CPU socket.

By the way, another reader pointed out that the Arctic Freezer i32 doesn't fit perfectly with the Asus Z170I motherboard. Unfortunately, I didn't pick that up in the guide, as I tested with a Gigabyte Z170 board, which had the socket about 1mm further to the left. For what it's worth, I don't think you'll damage the RAM by having slight pressure on it from the fan. Due to the design of the Arctic fan clips, it cannot easily be re-positioned.

Hey Ari,

I played around with the computer more and was making no headway. I had a computer guy at my school look at it (I wasn't there when he did this). He reseated the gfx card and got it to display video via DVI. Honestly, I think I just had a faulty DisplayPort cable and that is why I was having issues.

So my next steps are to put the extra stick of RAM back in, boot it up (will test the DP cable again now that I know it's not the computer) and then...do something to change some profile something to get the most of my RAM? Should I run the installation CD that came with the mobo? I have the LG disc reader/writer, so I can run that. Do I just follow the steps? I have a key for Windows 10 through my school, so I guess I can download Windows 10 (once I can get online) and then put in the license code. Any recommendations/directions on what to do next? Thanks!

-Vincent

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling an Extreme Gaming ITX PC
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2017, 06:53:03 AM »
Hi again Vincent. Seems like you're almost there.  First try to boot with both RAM sticks, and if it works, leave it at stock settings until all software is installed. You never want to overclock before installing Windows.

Once Windows is installed, yes, use your motherboard product DVD to install drivers. You can have it install all automatically.