We are building a new test computer: Built

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Then it is time for the actual construction of the monster computer and what is worth thinking about during the various steps. First of all I just want to clarify that I’m no expert when it comes to building computers but more of a very interested semi-professional amateur but with that said I’ve probably built about 20 computers by now and accumulated quite a few experience over the years. Building a computer is a bit like building Lego or maybe more like putting together a puzzle and you have to fit the parts together piece by piece and take it step by step without stressing. I usually start by setting up a clean surface to hold with good light and plenty of space. As a building site, the kitchen table therefore usually works perfectly as it is both clean and large enough. Then it is necessary to pick up suitable tools and also an ESD bracelet is recommended to avoid static electricity.

Here you will find the first article about the component choices.

We are building a new test computer: Built
The chassis from Cooler Master is huge, which is required to accommodate Asus’ new motherboard, which is also gigantic.

(1) Prepare the chassis
I probably hadn’t really anticipated how crazy big the chassis is because it’s completely huge and it was a pain just to carry it into the kitchen. What I then did was start by taking apart the chassis to be able to plan how the cables would be routed and checked how it looked inside. To say that there is plenty of space is a real understatement because it would be possible to build another computer inside the chassis without any problems whatsoever. After I had removed the plates for where the graphics card will sit and looked at the location of the power supply unit which was conveniently located behind the motherboard, I started by checking what should be plugged in.

This is an ad:

We are building a new test computer: BuiltWe are building a new test computer: Built
Intel’s new flagship processor “Raptor Lake” is brutal.
We are building a new test computer: BuiltWe are building a new test computer: Built
Working memories from Kingston on site. 64 GB.

(2) Mount the processor, memories and hard drive
If I thought the chassis was big, I can’t say anything else about the motherboard, which is the biggest and heaviest I’ve seen. It felt like it weighed several kilos and to call it well built is an understatement with the huge heatsinks which are even bigger in real life than in the picture. After a small quick test to see how the card would sit in the chassis and that the nuts there matched the hole pattern on the motherboard, I started to mount the processor. I am usually very careful when I loosen the jumper that is supposed to hold the processor in place and at the last moment realized that the protection that sits there should not be removed. That protection comes off by itself when the locking bracket presses the processor and here I was super careful to check for the grooves on the processor so as not to turn it the wrong way and destroy it. When I then pressed the bar down, I was surprised at how easy and smooth it was, and the locking bar itself was as easy as any to secure. Once I had got the processor there, it was time for the ram memories and they are the physically largest ones I have ever mounted and it was quite cramped thanks to their huge heat sinks. The dim memory for the motherboard was also really big and the last time I built the memories were nowhere near as big as they are now. Next, I inserted the hard drive and there it is the exact opposite in terms of size for the M2 drive because it is pitifully small compared to how it looked before and clicks directly onto the motherboard. Here, however, I ran into a bit of a problem as the motherboard has its own heatsink for the M2 slot and it also has the Western Digital disk, and therefore I had to remove the Asus board’s “heatsink” before I could mount the disk there. I would of course have thought of this before, but it was only a cosmetic difference and nothing that affected the functionality.

We are building a new test computer: Built
My new tea4st jar is growing, slowly but surely.

This is an ad:

We are building a new test computer: Built
The power adapter comes from Cooler Master.

(3) Mount the motherboard and power supply in the chassis
Now that the processor and memories are in place, it’s time to screw the motherboard into the chassis, and I did that with the chassis lying down because it was much easier to screw in the screws. I have to say that it was a joy to have a really big chassis for the assembly itself as there was plenty of space and even though the motherboard is very large, it actually looked quite plump in the sea of ​​space. When I screwed all the screws tight enough to not break the card, it was time to screw the power supply and in this particular chassis it is located on the back and on the high side. The wide chassis allows this type of mounting which was new to me as the power supplies always sat at the bottom on my previous builds but I have to say that I prefer this solution as all the cables end up behind the plate where the motherboard sits and makes the tangle of cables not visible at all.

We are building a new test computer: Built
The cooling also comes from Cooler Master.
We are building a new test computer: Built
We are building a new test computer: BuiltWe are building a new test computer: Built

(4) Prepare and install the cooler
Then it was time for the AIO cooler for the processor and it’s the first one I ever mounted but I have to say it was really super smooth. The first thing I did was to decide if I should put it on the top edge or at the top of the chassis and I chose the top as it was much nicer and easier. Next, I screwed the correct bracket for the processor onto the heatsink and then attached the fans to the heatsink. Here I got lost first and turned the cables the wrong way as I didn’t think that it was mirrored when I put the cooler in the chassis but it was quickly done to turn them back. In my case, it was better to get the hoses from the right because there are high heat sinks on the left side of the processor on the motherboard which would make the assembly cumbersome. Then I screwed the entire top part to the chassis and put a dab of cooling paste on the processor and then carefully screwed the cooling block until it sits firmly against the processor. I have always found this particular moment to be a bit nasty in the past as it requires a lot of force to secure the air coolers I have mounted on my previous builds and have therefore been terrified of cracking the motherboard. On this cooler, however, it was super smooth with four screws that I tightened a little at a time one by one until it stopped and it felt much better.

We are building a new test computer: Built
A little wiring…
We are building a new test computer: Built
We are building a new test computer: Built
The RTX 3090Ti will eventually be replaced by a 4090.
We are building a new test computer: BuiltWe are building a new test computer: Built
Now most things are finished.

(5) Insert the graphics card and connect all cables
Now only the graphics card remains and I gently pushed it into place until the locking tab on the motherboard clicked and then I screwed it into the chassis. Then all that was left was the wiring, but it really wasn’t like that with all the fans sitting on the cooler and in the chassis there were lots of cables that had to be plugged in. Fortunately this chassis has its own RGB hub and the motherboard also has such a hub which allowed me to easily connect all the cables and still have room for more fans without any problems. The rest of the wiring was a breeze once I connected the fans and did itself as the wires were labeled for each specific component. This chassis was really the dream to do a nice cable routing in and has smartly placed holes everywhere so that no cable is unnecessarily visible and it looked as professional as possible when I was done. After I connected all the cables it was time to start the computer and install Windows 11 using the USB stick I prepared and after a check in the bios to see that everything had started, the computer is ready and what an incredible monster to computer it was.

We are building a new test computer: Built
Photo: Niklas Sundin

Summary:
There is nothing else to say other than that it is by far the most brutal and brutal computer build I have done by a wide margin. The Cooler Master chassis is truly a joy to build in thanks to its enormous size and with all the nifty solutions, cable routing was as easy as it gets. All the components I assembled had clear and simple instructions which made the whole build very smooth.

In the next article from this series, I thought I would offer a report from the test bench with some benchmarks. It will appear at the end of next week.

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