Author Topic: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)  (Read 3710 times)

Ari Altman

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TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« on: February 22, 2017, 02:21:02 PM »
Questions or comments regarding TBG's hands-on look at assembling a High-End PC for 2017? Post them here!

Abowman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2017, 06:27:43 AM »
Great guide! I especially liked the mention in the CPU Cooler section that it sometimes feels like you need 3 hands *cough*Macho Rev. B*cough*. I will say putting the cooler and heat sink fans on were probably the hardest part of my build.

Oh and what card did you use in the upgrade to the build? It looks like a 1070 FE? Just a guess since you said the system runs fine that you'd need a blower style card on the bottom to make it work.

Either way, great looking PC!

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2017, 06:57:46 AM »
Oh, Thermalright Macho, how I love and hate thee! Yes, that's one of the hardest coolers to install, but at least it comes with an awesome magnetic screwdriver, which I use for everything. Thermalright should start selling that separately it's so good.

And you figured it out, I dropped a GTX 1070 FE in.  Having two open air 1070s in this compact case with a compact air cooler and no aftermarket top-mounted fans would lead to some serious overheating of both the top card and the CPU. Always important to find that right balance for each particular build.

Thanks for the positive feedback on the article, by the way!

Abowman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2017, 11:09:00 AM »
Oh, Thermalright Macho, how I love and hate thee! Yes, that's one of the hardest coolers to install, but at least it comes with an awesome magnetic screwdriver, which I use for everything. Thermalright should start selling that separately it's so good.

And you figured it out, I dropped a GTX 1070 FE in.  Having two open air 1070s in this compact case with a compact air cooler and no aftermarket top-mounted fans would lead to some serious overheating of both the top card and the CPU. Always important to find that right balance for each particular build.

Thanks for the positive feedback on the article, by the way!

Yeah the screwdriver is great! But if I ever have to take off Macho for any reason, I don't think I'll have the willpower to put it back on.

On a guide note, have you ever thought about doing video guides for your builds? I know there are tons on Youtube but most of them always skip over or go quickly when they're doing "easy" things like making sure the I/O board isn't pinching any wires, or cable management, or plugging in the various case lights and buttons into the motherboard. For a newbie (like myself) though, some of  these things aren't second nature. It can sometimes be difficult to find a video that really explains every little bit in detail or at least that's what I found.

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 01:37:23 PM »
Oh, Thermalright Macho, how I love and hate thee! Yes, that's one of the hardest coolers to install, but at least it comes with an awesome magnetic screwdriver, which I use for everything. Thermalright should start selling that separately it's so good.

And you figured it out, I dropped a GTX 1070 FE in.  Having two open air 1070s in this compact case with a compact air cooler and no aftermarket top-mounted fans would lead to some serious overheating of both the top card and the CPU. Always important to find that right balance for each particular build.

Thanks for the positive feedback on the article, by the way!

Yeah the screwdriver is great! But if I ever have to take off Macho for any reason, I don't think I'll have the willpower to put it back on.

On a guide note, have you ever thought about doing video guides for your builds? I know there are tons on Youtube but most of them always skip over or go quickly when they're doing "easy" things like making sure the I/O board isn't pinching any wires, or cable management, or plugging in the various case lights and buttons into the motherboard. For a newbie (like myself) though, some of  these things aren't second nature. It can sometimes be difficult to find a video that really explains every little bit in detail or at least that's what I found.

I actually addressed this briefly in the guide. Here's what I had to say about it:

Quote
We've put together a compilation of photos to help guide you through each step. Many of our readers have asked us to post "build videos" to help them through the process, but from our point of view, videos really can't provide the level of detail required to truly teach you how each component goes together.

While I agree that for aspects of PC building that involve motion, like clamping down the CPU bracket, it would help to see a video, but a lot of what takes place during PC building really has more to do with precision than motion. So the article instead uses close-up photos, with highlighting to point out specific areas of the photo. Also, because every motherboard has a slightly different layout, a video could be confusing if you think you'll find something in one area of your PC but it's actually in another area.

Cable management is an interesting issue, and a video could be helpful there, but it's completely case-specific. What you'd see for one case wouldn't really apply to others.

rwh03001

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 01:31:44 PM »
Hi Ari,

So I received all my components, spent way too long putting them together, the moment of truth arrived, and the computer is not booting.  All of the fans power on, my mouse and keyboard light up, and a light along the motherboard turns red (which I'm assuming it's supposed to?).  However, nothing shows up on my monitor. 

What should I do to start narrowing down the likely culprits?  Is the fact that part of the motherboard is lighting up a good sign or do I still need to check the CPU?  I really felt like I had to press hard to close the latch after inputting the cpu, I hope it isn't that.  Ram seems locked in appropriately.  I'm lost, any advice?

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 02:33:36 PM »
Hi Ari,

So I received all my components, spent way too long putting them together, the moment of truth arrived, and the computer is not booting.  All of the fans power on, my mouse and keyboard light up, and a light along the motherboard turns red (which I'm assuming it's supposed to?).  However, nothing shows up on my monitor. 

What should I do to start narrowing down the likely culprits?  Is the fact that part of the motherboard is lighting up a good sign or do I still need to check the CPU?  I really felt like I had to press hard to close the latch after inputting the cpu, I hope it isn't that.  Ram seems locked in appropriately.  I'm lost, any advice?

Hello again, rwh03001! I hope that when you say "you spent way too long" putting the system together, you meant that you were having a good time!

Not to make light of your frustration, but I'd say about 50% of people have the exact same thing happen to them when they first turn on their new builds. In fact, someone came to the forum last week with the exact scenario you described. His system is working just fine now.  ;)

Here are the trouble-shooting steps:
(1) Remove all sticks of RAM and reinsert just one stick in the second slot from the motherboard, making sure it snaps all the way in on both sides.
(2) Remove the video card from your system entirely, and connect the monitor to a video output on your motherboard. This eliminates one potential failure point, and with an Intel system (which I believe you have), it's a good temporary step. Don't worry - we'll get the video card back in eventually.
(3) Double-check that both the 24-pin and the 8-pin (or more precisely, 4+4-pin) power cables are firmly connected to the motherboard.

The thing to keep in mind when you're not getting any video output at bootup is that there are very, very few things that can cause this issue, and almost none of them have to do with broken or defective components. The CPU locking mechanism is designed to be very tight, and I've actually never had a single reader break a CPU during the installation process. A broken or defective motherboard is a possibility, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

rwh03001

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2017, 07:20:09 PM »
Hi Ari,

Thanks for the reply.  Yeah, building this has largely been a positive experience, but it's taken a long time. 

I narrowed it down to the video card.  After taking it out and putting it back in a few times, I was able to boot up.  Unfortunately, it still only recognizes the basic card, so I am in the process of getting the appropriate drivers for my card.  Do I have wifi access using this computer or did I need to purchase a separate wi-fi card or something?

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2017, 07:25:54 PM »
Hi Ari,

Thanks for the reply.  Yeah, building this has largely been a positive experience, but it's taken a long time. 

I narrowed it down to the video card.  After taking it out and putting it back in a few times, I was able to boot up.  Unfortunately, it still only recognizes the basic card, so I am in the process of getting the appropriate drivers for my card.  Do I have wifi access using this computer or did I need to purchase a separate wi-fi card or something?

Glad you got it working. Once you have your drivers installed, you should get full video support.

Very few PCs today have WiFi built in. You typically have to pay a big premium for a motherboard with that capability. Luckily, add-on adapters are quite inexpensive and work far better than built-in WiFi too. I strongly recommend the TP-Link Archer T6E for most users, but you can browse TBG's top-rated recommendations in the Wireless Networking Buyer's Guide.

By the way, as long as you're here, you should enter the TBG Holiday Prize Drawing!

rwh03001

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 10:01:53 AM »
Thank you Ari,

The PC is up and running now but I'm not out of the woods yet.  Something is very amiss with the way things display.  The color on my full screen games is horrible, the fonts on most websites are nearly unreadable, the fonts on my Chrome bookmarks have an odd glow, and several of my desktop icons are blurry.  I've installed the latest Windows updates, used DriverBooster 5 to make sure all of my drivers are up to date, and ran benchmark tests (which seem to be kind of a mixed bag given my poor HDD speed, RAM performance, and inexplicably high 19% CPU usage despite minimal background programs running).  My assumption is that it's video card related, but the benchmark test shows nothing wrong with the video card.  I've attached a screenshot of the poor display along with a copy of my benchmark test results.  Any advice?

Thanks,

Rob

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benchmark" border="0

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2017, 10:08:53 AM »
Glad you're up and running, but I agree, something doesn't look right about those fonts. Can you tell me what monitor you're using and what type of cable you have? I'm not familiar with DriverBooster 5, but typically I recommend going straight to the source for drivers. You should download the latest Nvidia driver from the Nvidia website. The current GeForce driver is ver. 388.31, released yesterday, Nov. 15th.

By the way, I don't use UserBenchmark, as I conduct my own performance benchmarks using actual benchmarking software, but the low RAM speed its reporting is likely due to the fact that you haven't yet selected the XMP profile in the UEFI (which you access at boot by tapping the delete key). It's not a problem with the actual hardware.

rwh03001

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2017, 10:22:22 AM »
I had the computer delivered to my family's house in the U.S. because it's way cheaper than in the UK, so I am at the mercy of my dad's SyncMaster S24B300 for the time being.  It isn't a great monitor, but it's got HDMI which should suffice.  I've also tried it on two TVs using different HDMI cables with more or less the same result.

I can confirm that I am using the 388.31 driver. 

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2017, 10:30:48 AM »
I had the computer delivered to my family's house in the U.S. because it's way cheaper than in the UK, so I am at the mercy of my dad's SyncMaster S24B300 for the time being.  It isn't a great monitor, but it's got HDMI which should suffice.  I've also tried it on two TVs using different HDMI cables with more or less the same result.

I can confirm that I am using the 388.31 driver.

OK, let's do some trouble-shooting. Pull the video card out of the system entirely, and attach the Samsung monitor directly to the motherboard using the HDMI output. Boot up the system, then make sure to install the latest Intel VGA drivers. You can get these on the motherboard manufacturer's website, which if you followed the most recent TBG guide would be the for the Gigabyte Z270X-UD3.

rwh03001

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2017, 10:58:18 AM »
Done.  Not surprisingly, everything looks exactly the same as it did before - no better no worse. 

I'm using the GIGABYTE GA-Z270XP-SLI, and just updated the latest VGA drivers.

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Guide to Assembling a High-End PC (2017)
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2017, 11:04:28 AM »
Done.  Not surprisingly, everything looks exactly the same as it did before - no better no worse. 

I'm using the GIGABYTE GA-Z270XP-SLI, and just updated the latest VGA drivers.

Something tells me it's your monitor. I know you tried some TVs, but do that again, and if that doesn't work better, I think you should just wait until you're at your own monitor. There is absolutely zero chance that both the Intel integrated video and the GeForce GTX 1080 both have corrupted outputs. Try resetting the monitor to factory defaults. It could also be your HDMI cable, by the way.