Henry Quach

Mechanical Engineer

Small Form Factor PC

Fulfilling my self-promise for passing the 2019 written Ph.D. qualifying exam, I built myself a computer in late August.
Build specs were driven by a variety of needs, such as # of cores for parallel computing, sufficient RAM for active 3D modeling, and a sufficient GPU to rear my zoo animals in the upcoming Planet Zoo.

Component Model Specification
Case Sliger Cerberus 19L, Powder-Coated Steel, Machined Al Handle
Motherboard ASRock B450M Steel Legend AM4 Chipset, mATX
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 8-Core, 3.7 GHz Core Clock, 4.3 GHz Boost Clock
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-C14S 142 mm Fan, 82.52 CFM
GPU EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6 GB XC Core Clock: 1500 MHz
RAM 32 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX (2x16) GB, DDR4-3200
SSD Samsung 970 Evo M.2-2280 1 TB
HDD WD Caviar Blue 1 TB
PSU Corsair SF450P Modular, 80+ Platinum Certified
Top Intake Fan Noctua NF-A12X15 1X, 120 mm Fan, 55.44 CFM
Bottom Intake Noctua NF-A12X25 2X, 120 mm Fans, 60.1 CFM
Rear Exhaust Noctua NF-A9 1X, 92 mm Fan, 46.44 CFM

Not surprisingly, building a PC for the first time took far longer than budgeted. I budgeted for 5 hours, but took closer to 9. I fell prey to all the rookie mistakes: 1. forgetting to connect the separate CPU power cables from the PSU to the motherboard. 2. plugging in the power/reset paneling buttons incorrectly. 3. not flipping the power switch before mounting the PSU. 4. Even after hardware was "done", I realized I had installed Windows onto the HDD partition; basically I resigned to doing things the right way - I reinstalled everything from scratch onto the SSD the day after.

All in all, it was a 5/5 experience and I can understand why everybody goes down this computer-building rabbit hole and never returns the same. I'm really looking forward to doing this again in a couple years.

Copyright © 2019 All right reserved