I started building the rig with the motherboard and this ASUS TUF Gaming Z370-PLUS is my motherboard of choice, mainly because of the price tag. It’s the most affordable board made for the latest 8th Gen Intel Coffee Lake chip.
There’s a lot of TUF components on this board, and TUF happens to stand for The Ultimate Force, which I think it means ‘pretty good hardware’. At this point in my life, head shots and frame rates per seconds is not so much on my priority list.
And below here, we can see 6 SATA slots, which means there are plenty of rooms for additional storage devices.
Here the socket where you insert the CPU. See that ‘Important: Install processor FIRST then remove and KEEP the cover’. I have no idea how I missed that, maybe the word ‘REMOVE’ etched onto the cover looks more enticing. So, I took off the cover BEFORE I install the processor, which means I didn’t get to use the thermal silicone that came with the motherboard. Luckily, I have a few syringes of thermal silicone prepared for ‘important’ incidents like these. Note to self: Always RTFM!
Here are all the holes you can plug into for the Z370-PLUS. I am very happy with the number of USB slots, ranging from USB 2.0 to USB-C. The considerate engineers color-coded each of the USBs so you plug in the right devices to enjoy the optimum speed.
This big chunk of plastic shell is one those things to give the Z370-PLUS the TUF look. Designs that don’t serve any functions should be removed because clumsy people like me have the tendency to break them.
Here are the 4 slots for RAMs. I only got one piece of 16GB RAM, so I have room for another 48GB in the near future.
Here how the motherboard looks like from the under side. It gives you a quick view on all the standoff screw positions on the motherboard.
It comes with 2 slots for graphic card. All in all, this motherboard is very expandable.
The next piece of hardware is something very new to me- an SSD storage device. I have heard about their legendary read-write speed.
Next, we have the ATX casing which will house all my investment. For this purpose, I’ve got the Corsair Carbide 400C. I did not read the specs for this casing. I got it because it’s white in color.
Yes… more USB slots! Apparently there’s a karaoke mode too (next to the headphone jack). These buttons and holes are well-positioned because unlike most casings, you have to harass the casing from top to bottom trying to locate the fucking power button.
Here’s the rear view of the Carbide 400C. It’s made for lots of air-flow.
Here’s where the power supply will slot in. Everything looks very robust, and white.
The top of the casing has a layer of filter to increase even more air-flow. I haven’t RTFM the Carbide 400C in detail yet, but I expect these filters to be washable. Otherwise, I cannot imagine the amount of dust trapped in these vents over time.
The Carbide 400C also double as a wine chiller.
It comes with an 8-inch fan blowing air from the front vent, and a 5-inch exhaust fan on the rear, sucking the heat out of the casing.
On the other side of the casing, we are allocated 3 slots of SSD cards. Very thoughtful.
Here’s the most expensive ingredient in this whole build – the Intel Core-i7 8th Gen 3.2GHz CPU.
For power supply, I opted for the Corsair TX850M, which can output up to 850W of raw power.
The TX850M also comes with a myriad of cables.
And it fits snugly into the Carbide 400C. Notice that the PSU is located at the bottom of the casing, which is ideal because it makes the casing low-heavy, hence more stable.
The power supply is then covered with a 2-piece removable covers, mainly for aesthetics purpose.
Next, we will fix the CPU onto the motherboard. This is the step we want to be most careful because the CPU is very expensive.
This is literally the core of it all. Note to self: Don’t fuck this up!
This oil-rig-looking apparatus is the fan made solely to cool off the CPU.
There’s only one correct way to insert the CPU into the slot on the motherboard, so it’s hard to get this step wrong.
Once it sits correctly on the motherboard’s socket, we just need to clamp it securely.
Before attaching the oil-rig, I applied some ‘caramel’ onto the surface of the CPU for better thermal conductivity.
Snapping the oil-rig onto the board should not require too much force. If you hear a loud crack, repeat Step 1.
Next, we slot in the Kingston 16GB RAM. Compared to the CPU installation, this is really simple.
Next, we unbox the graphic card. I’ve only got a 2GB card, since I am really not into gaming, and those bitcoin miners are causing unjustified hikes on graphic cards pricing.
I slotted it to the motherboard just for photography purpose. It’s better to attach the motherboard onto the casing first and then install the graphic card.
Everything is right where it should be now. I admit the wiring looks messy but a few cable ties should do the job. Besides, the utmost priority is having a system that works when the power button is switched on.
Oops.. almost forgot the SSD drive.
Here’s the Compact Touch 850T UPS from NeuroPower. It’s like an insurance policy against power surges from Tenaga Nasional Berhad.
And voila! On the first boot up, the system runs perfectly. Booting up Windows 10 took less than 10 seconds.