CPU: Intel i7 860
RAM: Corsair XMS3 1600MHz 8-8-8-24
MOBO: ASUS P7P55D Pro
PSU: Corsair HX650
GPU: MSI Twin Frozr GTS 250 512MB
HDD1: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
HDD2: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit
HSF: Corsair H50
LCD: ASUS 21.5'' 1920x1080
Optical Drive: Some ASUS drive
Case: Antec 300
As you can see, a bit changed from my initial build around April as seen here:
Most notably, the removal of the SSD, the addition of the Samsung 1TB, and the upgrading from the ATi HD4670 to the Nvidia GTS 250.
The SSD was removed because
A. I could not decide between the new Sandforce controller drives and the older Intel controller drives
B. Intel is going to refresh their SSD line later this year
Because the SSD was removed, I had a bit of extra money which was used to upgrade the 4670 to the GTS 250, and increase the storage space. I still intend to add a SSD later on, but as of now I'll live without.
As far as the build, it went fairly well :> (note that the times for the pictures are all completely wrong!). I apologize in advance for the blurry pictures!
Parts laid out on the ground.
Mounting the PSU
Mounting the PSU into the case first is generally good practice since once you plug the PSU into a power outlet (and turn it off), it effectively grounds your computer which is good for those people who are afraid of static shock. Generally you mount the PSU by screwing 4 screws into the back of the PSU. Some cases (Lian Li notably) have tool-less ways of doing it.
I chose a modular PSU so there aren't many cables (only the 24 pin mobo power and the 8 pin CPU power). If you choose a non-modular PSU, there will be a lot more cables attached to your PSU.
CPU and 1 DIMM of RAM installed
Only 1 DIMM since I want the computer to POST before anything else. It actually matters where you plug in your RAM sometimes. Many Intel motherboards have the channels separated so that the 2nd slot from the socket is the 'first' slot. I assume this is because many heatsinks like the Scythe Mugen cover up that first RAM slot. Consult your motherboard instruction booklet to see where to install it.
Motherboard, H50 Radiator and Backplate
I didn't actually get a picture of the backplate, but it's just a plastic piece that you put 4 headers through. The thing on the right is the CPU Cooler. The square thing is the radiator, and the cylinder attached to the tubes is waterblock that goes on the CPU.
I did a bit of research on the Corsair H50 before I actually got it, but apparently the TIM/thermal paste they preapply is high grade Shin-Etsu, which happens to be among the top 10 thermal pastes (That's Corsair for you! <3). So if you're buying the H50, don't take off the thermal paste and add on your AS5 or anything, that'd be a waste!
Anyways as far as the cooler goes it's pretty simple. Water flows through the tubes, takes heat away from the CPU, goes down the radiator where heat is blown away by a fan.
GTS 250, H50, and motherboard installed
This situation is actually a bit un-ideal. Normally I like to try to post for the first time while the motherboard is still out of the case, but with the H50, it seemed like a hassle to attach the radiator, then unattach it again. (A mistake on my part T_T)
I recommend keeping your motherboard out of your computer during your first attempt to post.
Front Panel Connectors and terrible cable management
Not much changed here. That is all you need to have in your computer to post. Motherboard, 1 Stick of RAM, CPU, PSU, Heatsink, GPU (don't even need GPU if your motherboard has onboard graphics). You do not need anything else, and I would recommend against anything else in the case your computer fails to post, it's easier to see what went wrong, and there is less trouble to take things off.
Makeshift Posting Station
Moved from the carpet just for a bit of extra safety. Don't want to invite danger!
The Most Beautiful Screen
This means that none of your core components are DOA, and you didn't fuck anything up. Awesome. This is what you want to see when you press the power button.
Just the HDD I think
Yeah, cables are messy as fuck because I suck at cable management. However, I have fixed a bit since this picture.
I think this is partially Corsair's fault since their SATA connectors are geared towards a PSU that is going to be top mounted. In order to get the SATA Power to fit correctly, I had to bring the cables up, and then back down instead of just bringing them up.
Also they decided to add a floppy connector on the ends of each of the molex. That was a bit annoying since the molex cables already had like 4 connections.
I fucking hate molex.
I may have installed the second RAM DIMM here as well.
Windows, any monkey can take it from here
With my ABS M1 Keyboard and Microsoft Sidewinder X3 mouse
In general, this build is completely half-assed and I know it. New GPUs coming out next year so I can't be assed to splurge on an 5850 (also compounded by the fact that Newegg can't stock the ASUS 5850s I've been waiting for). SSDs are awesome, but I can't justify spending $230 on tech that will be EOL'd later this year or early next.
I still love my new computer though :>