Definitely in flux, and forever TBD


Current: Jan 21


Motherboard Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 LGA 1151 ASUS X99-A/USB 3.1 LGA 2011
CPU Intel Core i7 8700K - 6 Core Intel Core i7 5820K V3 - 6 Core
Graphics Card MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X 8GB EVGA GTX 970 4GB SSC GAMING /ACX 2.0
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U14S - single fan Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - single fan
System Memory G.SKILL Ripjaws 4x8 GB DDR4 3200 MHz G.SKILL 4x8 GB Trident Z DDR4 3200 MHz
PSU CORSAIR HX 750 Plus Platinum EVGA 750 G2 Gold
Case Lian Li PC-B70 Fractal
SSD Samsung 860 Evo 1 TB Samsung 840 Evo 500 GB
HDD WD 2TB Blue WD 1TB Blue 7200 rpm
HDD WD 3TB Blue  
HDD WD 1 TB Caviar Black  
Mouse Kensington Expertmouse Trackball  
Mouse ET Model T9 RGB  
Input WACOM Intuos 3 GraphicsTablet  
Monitors Dell U2713HM, Dell U2412M  
Printer Canon Image CLASS D420 Laser printer/scanner  
Audio Realtek  
Speakers Logitech Z2300 THX 2.1  


Buidling your own?

Click on the logo. Tech Reports (TR) takes you through the process of how to build your own computer, step-by-step.

Buidling your own?

Click on the logo. The link will take you to the last of a three-part guide by to building your own computer. The links to Part 1 and 2 are in the article itself..


The Tech Report System Guide (just type 'system guide' into the search box, and it'll take you there) is an invaluable tool/guide for the home-builder.



It was time to replace some components. The problem was, after nearly going nuts, trying to see the NVMe SSD in the BIOS, I ran across a detailed review of the motherboard and that explained the limitations. This was one. It didn't work here.




The Z370 AORUS populated with the i7 8700K CPU, the Noctua CPU cooler, and 32 GB (4x8) G.Skill 3200 Mhz RAM



Motherboard, PSU, and CPU cooling fan now in place. The convenient locking mechanism (arrow) became a real headache, when trying to install the graphics card.


Then I discovered that in this beautiful, old, all aluminum, Lian Li case, the lockdown system was removable. Here it is, with the GTX 1080 installed and all SATA connections as well as case connectors and switches hooked up.


power hooked up

Definitely not as pretty as some, but this is not a beauty contest, and here all power cables are where they are needed


PSU wiring

The Corsair HX 750W modular PSU safely strapped down


Aside from my blue lighted case fans, I really didn't expect this 'light show'. Pretty though.


This Lian Li case is really huge. A detailed Review is at the link. I made fun of the size relating it to the black alien monoliths from the movie '2001' Kubrik/Clarke


All of the sellers I use have a high rating on the Web (e.g. Newegg, amazon). That is important to me. I rather pay a few dollars more for an item, than spend days of anguish trying to get things straightened out with an uncooperative merchant. So, while price is important, don't let it be the sole motivator for your purchases.

All the components I use are either already Editor's choice or reviewer award winners, or at least supported by large numbers of positive reviews.

After you finally have your new computer up and running make sure that you revisit the component manufacturers to see if there are BIOS or driver upgrades available.

reviews & prices Tom's Hardware & Store
reviews & prices The Tech Report
reviews & prices CNET


As shipped, with all of the mounting hardware in the box


my setup
Current, 2021, temporary setup

Adding the Samsung 860 EVO SSD

After looking around my enclosure, I decided to use the former floppy disk compartment for the SSD. Once installed in the housing, the included software from Samsung let me migrate everything from the current C drive partition, containing the Windows 7 OS to the SSD. Easy. One of the reasons I went through this exercise was that the WD 640 GB Black, my original C drive, was failing. It sounded grindy and kept asking to have a check disk (chkdsk) run over and over. The replacement is a WD 1TB Blue, 7200 rpm. That way I can move anything I don't want in the system partition on the SSD, to that drive.


With the drive I had purchased a bracket. You see here the SSD in the bracket and the floppy disk compartment

Combining everything and securing it together

And back in the case, where a floppy was originally supposed to go


The SSD (arrow) connected to the SATA cluster on the motherboard


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