First time builder. I needed a home PC for 3D and 2D art production. I started by selecting a graphics card certified by my 3D software, and progressed from there. I picked the Quadro M4000, middle of the road for performance /price.
The case is Corsair Carbide Clear 600C. It's very roomy, which made it easy to attach the mobo to the case first and then climb inside and assemble the rest. Yes it's that spacious... 10" w-i-d-e from the front. This case is inverted, so I had to hold the mobo users guide upside-down during install. The case's clear door removes easily, and the back panel by 2 thumbscrews. There is a rear cutout in the back wall to allow access heat sync mounting support behind the mobo. It has removable covers over the power supply and drive bays, to minimize visual clutter. The case comes with 3x 140mm fans, and a fan speed control switch built into top of the case. After plugging my fans into the case controller I got very noisy results on the slower 2 of the 3 available speeds. After failed troubleshooting I opted to plug the fans into the mobo, and control them with the Asus software Fan Expert. All is quiet at various speeds now.
The motherboard is the Asus - STRIX Z270-E. I was considering another mobo for a while, but its bios would have needed to have been flashed before building to be able to use the i7-7700K. So I spent a little more, and got the Z270-E to avoid the hassle. Thanks to people on this forum that mentioned the metal tabs on the IO shield. There are these metal tabs on the shield that need to be bent back on themselves completely so that the shield will rest flatly against the IO ports.
I was a little nervous about installing the solid state in the M.2 spot. The drive is the size of a stick of gum, and uses the smallest screw provided with the mobo. I took a break and had a beer after that one.
When it came time to boot up for the first time, I powered up and… there was a LED indicator specifying a RAM problem. I pulled all the RAM out and tried again. Success! After that I tried various combinations of RAM in different slots. Eventually I found the right combo and all 32 GB shows up in BIOS.
When it came time to install win10, I scratched off the silver scratch-off stuff to reveal the key number on the sticker. But the paper sticker basically turned to mush obscuring the key code. I even got out my son’s microscope, only to reveal that it was totally illegible. I took pictures, got on Microsoft chat with support. After reviewing my receipt and the damaged sticker I was reissued a usable code.
The Asus boards ships with Aura software that controls mobo built-in lighting, and any components that are plugged into the mobo that are Aura compatible. None of my components [memory, graphic card] had built in LED’s so I was looking for Aura compatible LED strips, and possibly LED fans for lighting. I purchased 2x 60cm CableMod WideBeam LED Strips [Aura compatible]. I plugged each of the 2 strips into separate RGB headers. The Aura software shows only one controllable strip. Both work well, but they are unfortunately tied to the same color “zone” in the Aura software. These are great lighting strips and are held in place with magnets, which makes it easy to tweak their position later. They are bright. I use them as indirect lighting, positioning them so I don’t have to look at the LED’s directly. After I couldn’t separate the coloring of the 2 strips I unplugged one from the mobo and control it with a CableMod controller that came with the strip.
Thanks to pc part contributors! It was very helpful to be able to read experiences with specific hardware.