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Building a gaming PC

This is second example of computer build using average cost components. I have used Corsair C70 Gaming computer case. This particular computer case has a window so you can see components inside. I have not used a water cooling system so there is not much to see. However, I have installed 2 14mm fans with blue LEDs.

Front Panel

I like the original front panel military style. The buttons are not moving but are working find. The front USB is connected to USB3 so this is a modern computer case.

This computer case has total 3×5″ front devices but I have used only 2. One is free for use in the future.

Top view

On top, this computer case has venting holes. So you can install 2 additional 12 or 14″ fans. Also, this PC is using handles for easy transportation that are very useful if you go to a computer LAN party or game party. However, there is no room on top of the PC to put anything. For example a mobile device or external HDD like I use on other computers that I have.

On this side, you can see how I have connected the HDD using SATA cables. I have used permanent markers to mark the SATA disk on both ends of the cable. So it was easy to install I to SATA 1 then II to SATA 2 and so on. I have used SATA 0 for system HDD and SATA 6 for DVD-RW. There are only 6 SATA positions on the motherboard so I can’t install 6 HDD.

I find this system with open drawers unreliable and difficult to use. The power cables and SATA cables are in a fragile state. I barely touched them and one cable was moved away from the HDD when I put the side face on.  I had to open the case again and fix it.

Side View

The power supply is on the bottom. This computer case has also filters on the bottom that you can remove and wash from time to time. On this view you can see 6 HDD drawers for 3.5″ and no mounting for 2.5″ HDD. So you must use an adapter if you wish to install SSD. I have installed only 4 HDD of 500GB each for a RAID 0 array and One disk for the operating system using a Vantec drawer with separate fan indicator.
The drawers are made from flexible plastic and use no screws to install. I find this system very flimsy and unreliable. The unusual position of HDD is not classic with
the connector towards the motherboard but on the other side.

In the back…

As you can see the back is vented with one 12mm fan and plenty of holes. This computer case is a dust magnet. Since all fans are exhausting fans and none of them is intake fan it will be impossible to create positive air pressure inside. So all these holes are a way for the dust to enter in and cover your processor and video card fans with dust.

 

Motherboard

This computer has installed on a motherboard GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3P with 8 core processor AMD FX 8350 at 4GHz and 8 GB RAM Corsair Vengeance at 1600 MHz. This motherboard has UEFI support. However, I have installed Windows 10 professional on 64 bit in legacy mode.  To use UEFI mode the HDD must be converted to GPT then Windows reinstall is required.

This is the most popular AMD chip. It is very robust and supports overclocking. Unfortunate this chip requires 124 W of power up to 300 W of power if is overclock. Since is so powerful it may compete for power with the video cards so I recommend not to overclock.

This memory is very good for games, it can be run at 1333 variable frequency up to  1600 MHz. It has large fins for cooling and only 2 memory chips will keep the air flowing between them.

The video cards:

This computer has support for 2 video cards connected using crossfire cable or SLI. I have installed one video ASUS NVIDIA 750ti that perform extremely well for all video-games. This video card has support for 2 dvi monitors and one VGA monitor. You can use 3 monitors for games.

System HDD and Game RAID

For this computer, I have used total 5 HDD. One is for Windows OS (WD 250GB Enterprise class HDD). One is for backup (WD 500GB Green Edition). Other 3 HDD used for RAID 0 where you can install games (3x500GB for a total of 1.5 TB). Having more then one HDD into a PC is good if you play many games.

Lessons learned:

This computer case is based on a screw-less system to install 5″ bay extensions. This is not a reliable system and is difficult to use with some devices that are based on case rigidity and screws. However, it does the job to keep all components in place.

The sides are hard to install even if there are no screws. You have to be careful not to hurt your fingers and if the fan cable is short then you have hard time connecting the side fans to the motherboard before you put the side into place.

However, this computer case is not from plastic but from metal and has only plastic drawers and plexiglas window. So I guess is a resilient PC to move from place to place.

This computer case does not absorb any noise at all and therefore you can hear any fan and any HDD inside. The dust is difficult to remove from internal fans and you can’t create positive pressure inside to keep the dust out.

The bottom filters are easy to remove and wash but unfortunately they are not good quality filters and there is little that can do with all the other holes this computer case has plenty.

Conclusion: Overall this is a good computer case for a gamer !!!