So apart from building web-things and a house, I kind of started building a new gaming rig too. I say ‘sort of’ because it’s been an incremental process for over a few months now, and today I finally hit that point where I thought “well fuck it, let’s go all the way”.
How this came to be
See, a few years back I bought an Acer Predator G3-605 gaming tower. It was a good quality midrange gaming tower which could do whatever you wanted when it came out. However the graphics card fell out of fashion quickly enough, but instead of upgrading, The Last of Us 2 was announced and God of War released, so I got a PS4 instead.
This resulted in my Predator only being used for the sparse time I needed to boot Windows. One day I tripped over the cables hard and broke the video connector on the GTX 745 and tore out the power supply (PSU) connector in one foul fall. The power supply turned out to be working still, and I could still use the GTX by connecting it with DisplayPort instead of HDMI.
So nothing was really lost, but the knowledge that that PC was semi-broken and unused didn’t sit right with me. So I started to game more on it, but I got a 4K monitor for work in the meantime and the performance was lacking. So I figured; sell it, or upgrade it.
Upgrade it is
So I replaced the GTX 745 by a 1070 Ti and whoo, this excitement reminded me of the day I first bought the machine. But then I heard the PSU crackle sometimes, sometimes the PC would just shut down, or boot by itself randomly. Clearly that PSU had taken a hit. As did the case, over the years.
So I decided to get a new case (Corsair Carbide 275R) and PSU (Corsair CX550M). And after years of watching PC builds on YouTube I felt confident enough I could tear out the insides of one case, replace the power supply and put it in the new case. But this is where the ‘prebuilt’ term reared it’s ugly head.
New motherboard, then?
I knew buying prebuilt is ‘frowned upon’ in the community, but at that time I didn’t care nor felt like building my own; at that time I wanted a game PC and I wanted it the same day. I upgraded the video card without any issue, so it has served me fine. But that motherboard is an Acer OEM unit without any documentation. And after ripping all cables out without much thought, I got puzzled by connecting the front IO to unmarked connectors on the board. Also, it appears it won’t allow me to connect the case-included fans. Oh, did I already mention the Corsair PSU 24-pins connector doesn’t connect to the 12 pins connector on the motherboard? Oh lord.
So I have a conundrum now; I can spent more time, energy and money finding all kinds of hacky adapters to make it work, or I could save myself the trouble and just get a new motherboard, one that adheres to industry standards and has a flexible setup in stead of an OEM product with nameless components.
I’m inclined to the latter, seeing as this case also has a tempered glass panel and the thing is fugly af. So then, I need to figure out what to look for when shopping for a new motherboard. Like, can I use the memory or CPU I already have? Or are there other hidden OEM-related issues lurking for me?
Besides, I’m by no means an expert at this. Great affinity with the whole concept and scene of building PCs, but the last time I really built my own was in the Windows 98 era. But I’ve seen it done countless times. Then suddenly having to translate for weird undocumented OEM boards is not a fun thing to do. So let’s go find a new motherboard I guess!
…aaaand we’re done
Skipping ahead in time, when I had two empty cases and a bunch of unusable hardware lying on my kitchen table I wanted it to work ASAP again. So I just bit the bullet and invested a bit. Turned out my prebuilt had an onboard SSD that I couldn’t use, same for the network Wifi/BT chip. So I bought those, then I also needed a new Windows licence (cuz OEM). As I expected the memory wasn’t DDR4 so I got those fresh as well. Bottomline, looking back, all I took from my previous system was the HDD… I kind of feel bad I destroyed the other case further when taking it apart. I have the most of the components to ‘remake’ my prebuilt. Maybe I will.
The short of it is this setup. I almost replaced everything except for the HDD and GPU. But shucks, I can play Assassins Creed Odyssey on 4K with 50-60 FPS without screen tearing (yay!).
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core w/ Wraith Stealth|
|Motherboard||MSI – B450 Tomahawk ATX AM4|
|Memory||2x Kingston ValueRam 8GB DDR4-2666|
|Storage||Kingston – A400 120GB 2.5” SSD|
Crucial MX500 500GB 2.5” SSD
Western Digital – Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5” HDD
|GPU||MSI – GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB|
|Powersupply||Corsair CXM 550W ATX|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Case||Corsair Carbide 275R White Tempered Glass|
|Monitor||Samsung LU28E590DS/ZA 28.0” 60Hz|