It’s been a while since my last flurry of posts and actually putting this site together but I’ve finally
found made time to write some new content and actually use the PC I was so thrilled to write about in the first place.
It’s been over three months since I received all of the parts to build my first PC and the first step of the build can be found in Part 1 so here’s how the actual build went and my experiences so far.
The build took me probably around 3 hours to physically put everything together, my cable management was quite honestly horrendous to start with and I needed to wait for another SATA cable for my 2nd HDD as my motherboard only came with two. I decided to redo all the cables once I actually had everything I needed, more on that later.
I did have one failed boot straight away, everything powered up and then sort of dropped out again and would continue to do so… Turns out I’d missed two things, firstly I’d forgotten to put the tiny little speaker onto the MOBO so I had no BIOS beep! Once I’d done that, the beep code told me it was something to do with the GPU. I simply hadn’t clicked it properly in the first time so after reseating that everything booted up perfectly! Installing Win 10 Pro was a breeze as I’d already created a bootable USB from my girlfriends laptop. Boot time is roughly 10 secs or quicker!
For the first month or so I was temporarily using an old 22″ 720p, LCD TV with a rubbish 30Hz refresh rate, which was less than ideal to say the least. I had all sorts of over/underscan frustrations too. Nothing was quite sharp. These problems all went away when I got my Hanns G monitor later. Once everything was finally ready and I’d run all the updates and found all my drivers it, I left WoW to download nearly 50GB over night. This would be the first test. Once installed and running WoW suggested the 7/10 setting on the graphics scale and a little over 60fps, drastically better already than my iMac which was at about 2/10 and max FPS of 25/30. I then maxed all the settings to “Ultra” and still got 60fps down to about 55fps in a busier area. Awesome.
The only other thing I’ve played a little of was Heroes of the Storm and got great performance out of that too, I’m unsure of the exact FPS though.
In May I finally got my new monitor, it’s really lovely and is an entirely different experience to my old TV. I’m quite honestly shocked as to what a difference it’s made to the load on the GPU. This is mainly noticeable due to the increased temps coming off the 560 Ti. It’s still only maxing out at around 70c after a couple hours on WoW.
Updated settings for WoW, everything is set at 7/10 and I still get roughly 45-50fps in nearly all zones. I could get higher FPS by lowering the settings but I’m more than happy with where I am right now. The main difference in between gaming now and with the TV monitor before is that the GPU runs hotter and everything looks drastically higher quality!
The other major change was swapping out the stock cooler from the G4560 as honestly that thing was loud! I purchased a BeQuiet! BK008 Pure Rock Slim, the temps are possibly a little lower than before but now I can hardly hear the fan. It’s also huge in comparison to the stock Intel cooler.
In addition to the CPU cooler I’ve also switched out the two stock case fans for three Corsair AF120 Quiet Editions. Frustratingly there was no green LED version of these so I went for blue. Strangely I’m sure these are louder than the stock ones were but they definitely move lots more air. I now have one at the front and one at the top of the case pulling air in and one at the rear of the case as an exhaust. I can probably lower the fan speed without increasing temperatures too much but I’m yet to really experiment with this.
Cable management is something that is done almost entirely for aesthetics, however, for me it was more of a “I want to do this properly” kinda thing that lead me to stripping all the cables and starting again. This is where I discovered what I’d sacrificed by going for a very cheap case.
The CiT F3 has two removable side panels, one with a plastic window and the other is made of the same metal as the rest of the case. The space inside the side panel is so incredibly narrow that my 24pin motherboard power cable barely fits in there. There really is not enough space to make it “pretty” but it’s certainly better than it was before so it’ll have to do.
This post is now a tad out of date as I’ve made a fair few changes since beginning this but that’s for a later date!