Date: 28 September 20, 03:59 AM
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 Wife's Intel Z97 i5-4690K Build



scuzzy


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The monster is awake.  ;D It's currently up and running and in the BIOS screen. I will try loading Windows shortly, after I verify that the SSD is recognized. There's an issue with mounting it behind the motherboard plate, in that the SSD sits flat against the plate. The problem is the power connector is not straight; it's angled. The connector is currently lodged between the plate and the SSD as far as I could get it in, but I don't know if I have a good connection. I guess I'll find out momentarily.

The Noctua CPU cooler is a freakin' monster. It took a little patience to install it, but it's properly in place. The whole thing overall was easy to build, with only minor mishaps that are attributed to operator error.

I'll try and get some photos up before too long, but I ask that you be patient. I'll get them up as soon as I can get either Dropbox or OneDrive to cooperate. Both are being difficult at the moment. I'll get it sorted out one way or the other.

scuzzy


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So far, so good. Windows 7 is installed and activated. I'm just going through doing the endless updates, etc.

Bill


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Outstanding!   Are all the SSD power cables 90d.?  But, I'm sure you checked.  How about mounting the SSD on a couple of washers on the connector end?  Or a small wedge?
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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I have some plastic shims I can use for the SSD, but the problem then becomes the screws. If I can find some screws that are long enough I can make it work. It will be a pain in the butt, as I will have to remove the motherboard and the power supply to get to it. I really like the idea of mounting the SSD behind the motherboard tray, but it would have been so much better on some type of mount instead of directly to the tray.

I have one issue that I cannot resolve. I did a clean installation Windows 7 Update, which I then had to install over itself to activate the "Update" license. After the second install, I activated Windows with no problem and I completed the normal barrage of Windows updates. When I checked C Drive for usage, the installation was taking up just over 50GB. I am accustomed to a clean installation being in the low-20GB range. I looked hard, to include searching for hidden system files, and could not find where all the extra space went.

In frustration I started fresh again. I did another clean installation and I verified that the SSD did not have any bloat. After formatting it, the 256GB drive was reporting around 238GB available, which is about what I expected. After that clean installation I immediately checked the SSD usage and found that Windows was taking up just shy of 40GB. What the??? I then did the second installation and activated Windows once more. I'm now going through the endless updates (currently 212 pending) with no answers to my problem.

So I checked my old systems. The last time I looked at my current setup it was at about 30GB. Today it is at 48GB. I next checked my wife's system, which was also around 30GB. But not today. It is currently at 77GB! Keep in mind that both of our systems are nearly identically set up, and I am meticulous about keeping them maintained. The only real difference is that PaperPort 12 is installed on her system, so I'm perplexed.

Storage Space Goblins aside, the new build is running fine. It is no doubt the fastest computer that I have ever touched. From a dead stop Windows is up and running in 20 seconds. Everything is snappy, but of course I haven't loaded it with programs yet. The onboard WiFi is nice and fast on the 5GHz frequency, to the point where it feels like a LAN connection. I'm setting it up on the kitchen table, which is about 25 to 30 feet from the router.

I did not have any significant issues putting it together, besides dealing with my own human errors. For example, I knew I had to mount the SSD before mounting the motherboard. But I'll give you one guess as to what I did anyway. ::) Installing the Noctua NH-14D CPU cooler was fun, as the unit is huge. I did not have any problems with its installation, but it was slow going. I am glad I switched RAM because I think the G-Skill Ripjaws would have been too tall for the NH-14D, which hovers closely over the RAM slots. The HyperX Fury RAM I selected as a replacement is comfortably nested under the cooler. The obvious problem with this setup is having to replace the RAM for some reason, in which case I may have to remove the CPU cooler.

At night, in a very quiet house, the system is barely audible. I had to listen carefully to hear it running unless I set the case fans to high. The fans are controlled by a 3-speed case switch (low/med/hi). If I set the fans to low I cannot hear the system at all.  I can't wait to try the silent case. BTW: The case came with 3 each 140mm fans; one in front, one on top and one in back. I removed the top fan and moved it to the front. The silent case only has 2 fans (front and rear), so I'm guessing it will work just fine. Besides, the NH-D14 has 2 massive fans installed (120mm & 140mm). It'll be obvious once the photos are up. The BIOS is reporting a CPU temperature of 34C, which is comfortably very low.

BTW: I have not installed the EVGA GTX 960 GPU card as of yet. The onboard graphics is very fast, so I may end up leaving it as is and installing the GPU on my build. I'll make that decision as soon as I get everything else loaded up and run some tests.

I ran Windows Experience Index on the new build. Results are as follows:

Processor: 7.7
RAM: 7.9
Graphics: 6.8
Gaming: 6.8
Primary disk: 7.9

I still have to get the photos figured out. Once I do I'll poast them here.

Hey, guess which CPU cooler just got Tom's Hardware editor's choice?: Best Air Coolers of 2015

Bill


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The Windows Experience numbers are great, particularly for the onboard graphics.

The two clean installs were 10 g apart in size.  What's the likelihood the "old" W installer is fubarred?  You must have other 'known good' disks from other machines you could try, yeah a pita.  FWI my C:\ is 45g including programs, but I haven't done any updates in a long time.  Did you notice the pre-update size of C:?"
I seem to recall someone here having a problem with Windows installer files not self-deleting.  Would CCCleaner tell you that, or Belarc Advisor?

I think any screws from a case with rubber grommets for the drives would be worth a try for the SSD.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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After formatting the SSD, it showed 238 GB available, which is right where it should be. I did a clean installation of Windows 7, and before any updates it showed around 39 GB used. I just ran CCleaner and I cleaned out the system as well. With all the updates, it's now at 49.5 GB used. The only program I've installed is CCleaner.

I doubt there was a problem with the installation disc, although I suppose anything is possible. That also doesn't explain how my other systems suddenly got so fat. I'm gonna have to do some more research, but I'm just not in the mood to do another installation as of right now.

I'll look around for some screws for the SSD. It's just the pain of redoing the whole thing. I should see if there's a way I can install a mounting bracket back there.

scuzzy


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I removed the motherboard and PSU to remount the SSD. I found some longer screws, and then used aluminum rivet washers as spacers. It worked out perfectly and added nearly 1/4" space between the SSD and the mounting tray. I like this better, as it allows a space for cooling behind the SSD. The connectors are nice and secure.

I also moved the SSD higher up, just in case I have to remove it again. This way I won't have to remove the PSU the next time around. I'm going to start mounting the SSD, PSU and DVD burner on my silent case, in preparation for that build.

BTW: I'm currently poasting from the new build. It's humming right along.

scuzzy


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I ended up installing the GTX 960 GPU card anyway. The onboard graphics was a little jittery at times when scrolling pages, despite having the latest driver. There's a big difference with the GTX 960, which is so much smoother. Here's my new Windows Experience Index:

Processor: 7.7
RAM: 7.9
Graphics: 7.9
Gaming: 7.9
Primary disk: 7.9

Bill


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Well those numbers are impressive.  I wonder if the silent case has the same SSD mounting arrangement, I know you said it's in the same place.  It appears Fractal Design missed that design issue.  But I'm glad you get it sorted out.  Hopefully you won't have to take it apart again, ever.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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Internally, the Define R4 (silent) and the Midi R2 are identical. You'd be hard pressed to tell them apart. I'm going to start putting the silent build together shortly by installing the PSU, the DVD burner, and the SSD. I still need to order the motherboard, the CPU cooler and the GPU card.

I'm very much satisfied with this build. While I would have preferred to have 2 each Define R4 cases, the rest of the build is great. Despite the very open design of the Midi R2 case, I can barely hear it with the fans set to medium. I am still befuddled with the size of Windows, which is currently at 48.9 GB.

I have only installed MS Security Essentials, CCleaner, and Firefox. For now, I'm going to take a break from installing any further programs. I'll try and get the photos up later today.

Bill


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It might be worth contacting Fractal directly to see if they have a solution to the SSD mounting.  You never know...

The remaining parts are all relatively high ticket parts, guess there's no real rush.  I'm still wondering why the new O/S install and your other machines have grown so much.  That's a real puzzle.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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Some changes...

Before getting too deep in trying to figure out where the storage space went, I decided to start over. I have a total of 4 copies of Win 7 Home Premium (Update), and decided to try a different copy. When I did, the second copy would not recognize my keyboard or mouse, so I could not get an installation going. Instead of trying another Win 7 copy, I dropped Windows 10 Preview in the DVD tray and installed it. I'm currently running Build 10130 with updates currently running in the background.

I also took the GTX 960 GPU back out after I learned that the scrolling problem is either the monitor or the HDMI cable. At the moment I'm running the onboard graphics with no issues, so I may save the GTX 960 for my build. I still have time to figure it out.

The Windows 10 installation is only taking up 18.9 GB and so far is running as smooth as a baby's butt. It's nice that I did not have to install any drivers. Even the WiFi & Bluetooth were connected and working properly. My sound is currently being provided by my TDK A33 Bluetooth speaker.

I'm using Project Spartan (soon Edge) to poast this. Once the downloads complete, this should update to Build 10240, or whatever the latest iteration is. I do like the autocorrect feature as I write this, as I misspelled "iteration". It did not underline, but actually corrected it. Nice.

I'll play around with Windows 10 awhile, but if first impressions count it's off to a good start.

Bill


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That's a pretty major change, but 18.9 g sure sounds nice.  I will be watching for your evaluation....
But OK, I'll bite, how did you discover it wasn't the graphics chip?

Any idea about program compatibility with your usual flock of apps.?

Edit: Nevermind, I thought I'd be a smart azz until I thought about the problem.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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After installing the GTX 960, everything seemed fine until I scrolled some pages in Firefox. The same problem popped up, so I knew then that the problem had to be the monitor or the HDMI cable. I'm thinking it's the cable, but I have not had time to troubleshoot. I disconnected and removed the monitor when I took the GPU out, then put it all back together. The problem has not resurfaced, but I haven't installed Firefox yet.

I'll have to see what works with Windows 10. I keep my programs fairly updated, so I can't think of anything that may not be compatible. I suppose I'll find out, but I'll wait for the latest Windows 10 update before getting carried away.

scuzzy


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I'm now on Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview Build 10166, and I'm poasting using the new Edge browser. So far, so good. I haven't messed with it much, but I like what I'm seeing.

Scuzzy; said the blind bat.

scuzzy


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I finally have some photos up. I could not get the thumbnails to display with either Dropbox or OneDrive, so I gave up and uploaded all the photos directly to the Poasters server.  8)

In the first photo, I updated the BIOS with nothing more than the PSU connected and a flash drive. It worked perfectly. You'll see that I moved the top case fan to the front of the case, as there is plenty of air flowing in that area with the addition of the dual-fan Noctua CPU cooler. The lower drive cage is still attached, as I have to temporarily install an HDD for backup. Once I install an external SSD to the router's USB 3.0 connection, I'll remove the HHD & cage.

You'll also see the tight power connector to the SSD, and the eventual fix in which I used aluminum rivet washers as spacers. The last photo shows the GPU installed, but it has since been removed for use with my i7 build. The onboard graphics is so far working very well.

If you look carefully at the case you'll notice it is a very open design. Regardless, it is quiet overall. I'm looking forward to putting the silent case together. Internally they are the same, but the silent case only comes with a front fan and a rear fan. The rest of the case, including the top, is sound insulated.

Click the images for the full size photo:










Bill


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What a nice clean, uncluttered build!  I have a couple of questions.  I picture #11 of the rear, there appears to be a tray below the PSU, between the feet.  What is that?
In # 19 you show the front panel header wires emerging from under the M/B.  And in # 14 are the wires running behind the HDD rack from the font panel?   And finally, did the Noctura cooler come assembled?  I recall having to mount the fans with the odd wire holders.

All in all I think you did an outstanding job with a good looking, functional case.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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There is a filter tray below the PSU that slides out from the rear. While it would be nice if it slid out from the front, I can see how that would have been too long and impractical. Since I have a fanless PSU, I doubt it will get much use anyway. The front filter that rests over the front case fans is super easy to get to. All I have to do is press at the top of the front grill face and it easily pops forward for removal. Getting to the top filter requires removal of the top cover, but I plan to replace the top filter with sound dampening material since I moved the fan to the front.

The wires running directly behind the HDD cage are for the case fans, and are now neatly tucked away. The wires for the front panel are bundled together and running behind the motherboard tray from the top of the case. I should take a new photo of the finished product, as the back is now very nicely cleaned up.

The Noctua cooler came fully assembled, but I had to remove the center fan (140mm) to install the unit. Once installed I replaced the center fan, which required just a little dexterity and patience getting it properly aligned and centered. For my next build I will install the RAM, CPU and CPU cooler prior to mounting the motherboard inside the case.

Scuzzy; thanks. ;)

scuzzy


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Here's the backside today. You can see the SSD was moved up from its previous location. The loose connector below the HDD cage is the power connector for the eventual hard drive.

Click image for full size photo:

Bill


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Thanks for all that.  Looks great.  Wire ties anyone?
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

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A quick update, I ordered the remaining parts for my Intel i7 build. I also ordered a Samsung 850 Pro 512GB SSD, currently on sale for $250.

The idea is that my wife needs the additional storage for photos and videos, and I will further set it up as a network drive.

scuzzy


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My wife's system is finally up and running. It's been at her desk for the last few days and has been running great. I am really enjoying just how quiet it is. I still need to make some minor tweaks and then back up the system, but so far so good. I named her computer Spartan, and the shared drive as "Warrior" (S:).

I'm now working on building my Intel i7 build.