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[Project 25] First Build as 25th Birthday Gift to Myself - Finished and Up Running on the Birthday!

by chrisma666



Date Published

Oct. 23, 2017

Date Built

Oct. 20, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

4.2 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

25.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

50.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.632 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8 GHz

GPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C


I didn't realize how long it is until I finished typing. Please pardon it as I am very excited and proud. I would appreciate your comment on what I have done wrong and/or what I can improve on. Thank you!


I grew up with the dream to build myself a powerful machine, and finally I am financially and mentally prepared! I am so excited that I want to write a short journal here to document this dream coming true.

I initially came up with the idea to buy a $800 Lenovo Cube PC to play PUBG but happened to see a Thermaltake P3 build. I was like, "WTF a PC can look like this, not a bulky case". I was right way intrigued and decided to double my budget to build a killer monster bearing the $$ pain, the justification being - this is not for only gaming anymore, this could become a hobby.

I am fairly tech-savvy and have basic knowledge about computer hardware, but have not touched any build-related work before - not even a memory upgrade. So SHOUT OUT to PCPARTPICKER and all previous posts. As ignorant as I am, they provided all answers to potential problems that I could've run into and saved most of my worries, including getting good quality PCIe riser cable, cable management, and so on and forth.


Read almost all Thermaltake P3 case posts here;

Watched 1 or 2 YouTube videos capturing entire build process. I probably should've watched more to get better sense of what to screw first, etc. I just don't have that patience. Wasted lots of time on screwing in actual build;

Most exclusively use Motherboard and Case manuals during the actual build; P3's manual is actually not bad. I found it useful.


Part Purchase: 3 weeks

While I tried to wait for best deals, I gathered all parts within 3 weeks to be able to gift myself on the day-of. Amazon 20% off Amex Offer, Google Express 20% helped a bit. Slickdeals helped a bit.

Actual Build: 7 hours (10pm to 5am, best way to celebrate a birthday)

Embarrassingly it took me 30 minutes to figure out how to put back the back panel of P3 case. And it took me so much time to screw and unscrew pieces as I made lots of mistakes such as tightening motherboard to the case before attaching TT cooler waterblock, etc. Should've watched more build videos.

Roadblocks During Build: (I am hoping the following 2 sections can help other rookies avoid same mistakes)

Motherboard manual doesn't make it clear about the Front Panel connection part. So I had to look up online to figure that out.

Case manual doesn't make screws super clear, so I made time-confuming guesses first, and then didn't care at all - just screwed whatever I deemed fit.

I spent time on figuring out how to hook up TT waterblock. Videos of the exact same model on YouTube do not capture that part.

Had to install/uninstall the video card a few times as the way it's positioned with riser cable blocked cable hookup, apparently due to my terrible installation order.

I accidentally saw a comment saying the waterblock need to be cross-pattern screwed for even pressure. Would never know that had I not seen that comment. I may have made lots of such mistakes simply because I didn't know.

Roadblocks During First Boot:

I am so excited when I first pressed the power button. And expectedly (unexpectedly), it didn't post. There was no signal with ASUS Z270E Motherboard DRAM yellow LED lit up. I went through most relevant google posts and tried to all methods like swap memory stick(s) in all slots but nothing worked. Most people said they ended up RMA concluding the motherboard was defective. No way I am gonna unscrew all the parts! I was so hopeless.

Luckily I encountered one post saying he fixed it by resetting CMOS on CLRTC jumper. I used the paper clip to short it. IT WORKED. I almost cried when I saw Republic of Games on my screen.

I hooked HDMI on the motherboard to boot with CPU graphics. Then after the computer successfully started with OS installed, I switched it to GPU. It showed no signals. In BIOS GPU does come up. And it's lit as well. So I went into Device Management and updated all drivers with question marks. I believe the one that worked is something called "basic display". After that driver installed, I was able to boot with HDMI connected to GPU.

Next Steps:

I didn't know TT cooler came with so many cables connected to HUE. They are quite bulky. I need to figure out how to hide them. Also, I still haven't put back the back panel of the case. Need to rearrange the cables in the back and then put it on.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

I was debating between this and NZXT X52. I ended up choosing this as it saved $$ on buy extra RGB fans on the rad and the branding/quality seems better than NZXT. It works great and looks soo great.


The WIFI/bluetooth card it comes with is so fast and looks sleek. Better than most separate WIFI card I think. It's totally worth the $40 premium I am paying for this motherboard. And needless to mention the ASUS Aura RGB.


Best looking memory. Works great with ASUS Aura sync.


The write speed is constantly at 120MB/s. Very happy about it at the price.

Video Card

Its temp is at 60C when on All Extra in PUBG. Looks sick!

Comments Sorted by:

Enrico411 2 points 15 months ago

Build looks great and happy birthday! +1

Last pic makes me dizzy lol.

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 2 points 15 months ago

Thank you!

RollingSushi 1 Build 2 points 15 months ago


chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago


juicebox22 2 points 15 months ago

Nice build but in my opinion should have worked some things around and got a 1080. You are going to regret it soon. I only say that cause I did the same thing.

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

I know. But I have pushed budget boundary for so many times that I couldn't pull the trigger on this extra $100. So far it's much more than I need for the games I played. Hope I don't get addicted to those demanding games...

hi_im_snowman 1 point 15 months ago

First off, happy birthday!!

Second, your build is fantastic! I've chosen many of the same parts myself so I can tell you from personal experience that you'll love the performance :)

I think the case choice is certainly interesting, the open concept is sweet! I'm just curious on your experience so far with dust on the glass and on the parts? Do you have pets? Seems to me like it might be annoying to upkeep.

Also, what do your thermals look like? I'd be curious to read about that!

+1 of course, looks AWESOME :)

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Since it's been only 3 days and I haven't put on the glass, can't say too much on the dust part. I don't have pets but it's on first floor, so I expect to see decent amount of dust over time. Thinking about getting an Electric Computer Duster in lieu of Compressed air. And since it's open case, it would be easier to blow. So shouldn't be a hard problem!

I was playing PUBG on ALL EXTRA for a few hours and the CPU stayed at 40C. Otherwise it's 25C for most of times. May need to stress test it. Or you can teach me how to test thermals!

darkxm 1 point 15 months ago

happy birthday and nice build! +1

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago


FlyinToasteronie 1 point 15 months ago

Happy Birthday! May your framerates be high and your temperatures low!

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Haha, appreciate it a lot.

alexcatanzaro 1 point 15 months ago

Happy Birthday man! This is almost the exact build I'm going for, its cool seeing other people interested in the P3. Honestly my favorite case. I'm still waiting for a few parts to come in, but I'll definitely tag you in my post once its done. I was considering going for the thermaltake cooler, but I decided to go with the NZXT instead kraken x52 instead. I went with the corsair ll 120 rgb fans, and I got the thermaltake rgb power supply for additional lighting. But other than that all our parts are pretty much the same. Love the build man! Probably the best Core P3 build I've seen on this site.

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

haha I have gone through the same debate! Wanted to save a few bucks from buying extra fans. NZXT looks so sick. Definitely keep me posted!

alexcatanzaro 1 point 15 months ago

I gotchu. And btw did you use a thermal paste, or did yours have it pre applied?

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

It’s pre-applied, and I believe all All in one is pre-applied. It came with a plastic cup that covers the thermal paste area. I don’t think additional thermal paste is needed. I’m sure the amount it already has is likely to optimize the performance.

Vecheetah 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

It pains me to see a 850W power supply on a single card build ;-(

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Only reason I bought it is that one went on sale and was only $10 more expensive than 650W/750W... It's such a waste I know haha.

alexcatanzaro 1 point 15 months ago

Also how is the Logitech mouse? I was looking to get the Rival 500 mouse by Steelseries, but it got super bad reviews saying that the mouse completely stops working. I recently came across the G502 and its reviews are amazing. Just wondering how it is from personal experience.

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

It does everything I needed, but honestly it could be that I am not a super avid gamer. Feels high quality and weights are adjustable. I use it to play FPS games and I can't sense any improvement area. Wait for Black Friday and it could drop to ~$30. I bought it at $40 and found it a great deal. Plus I trust Logitech a lot. And it has extensive positive reviews, so I don't think it can go wrong.

OccamAsylum 13 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Why just a 60hz 1080p monitor?

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

It's an existing monitor. Will upgrade it once I have more $$. :)

PotahProcessor91 3 Builds 1 point 14 months ago

Great choices! Sooo many screws with that case, well built. +1 !

salipcio 1 point 13 months ago

Hi, only a question... I saw your cpu cooler. Did you use the CPU_FAN of your motherboard ? Or only USB ? Is not necessary?

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 13 months ago

Hey! Do you mean the RGB control for the CPU cooloer?

salipcio 1 point 13 months ago

yes, many people use usb 2 instead of cpu_fan. so they control the rgb and the speed of fans depending on the heat of cpu. is it right ?

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 13 months ago

Oh now I see what you meant. For my cooler (Thermaltake Floe AIO Riing RGB 360 TT), the fans/water block are connected the controller box and that's connected to USB 2.0 9-pin. I might be wrong but I don't think cpu_fan can handle both speed and rgb....

gibzafico 1 point 12 months ago

Same build as mine but I'm ryzen 7 1700x with b350 f strix. Haven't completed mine yet though just need the gpu and the thermaltake riiing. Awesome build man! Let's play some PUBG!

Branaldo 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

Awesome build, i found this because i am considering buying the P3 case. I love how you decided not to use the glass panel to save gpu temps but maintain the awesomeness! Good Job.

Salem434 1 point 11 months ago

i have problem connecting the Floe Riing RGB 360 TT Premium Edition because the manual is not clear. would you please explain to me how did you connect it step by step. thanks

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Hey! Sorry I just saw the message. Have you figured it out?

Nico_G. 1 point 8 months ago

forgive me for being a bit of a noob here, but how did you get your gpu 90 degrees rotated, so that fans face outwards?

chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Hi! It’s done through a PCIE Riser Cable. There are some good options on Amazon at ~$30.

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chrisma666 submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Yeah I anticipated it to be dusty. Will just be diligent to blow it once a while. The fact of being an open case makes blowing easier I hope!

[comment deleted by staff]