|A Custom Computer Build with the ASUS
H370 motherboard and all the associated goodies!
My ASUS P5K3 motherboard and the Antec case are
well over 10 years old (the case is over 20!) although it is not really slow the
technology of the motherboard is not supported by the latest and greatest kludge
Therefore time to upgrade.
My steps to replace my old Custom Computer Build that has:
ASUS P5K3 Wi-Fi Deluxe motherboard
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 3..0 GHz
12 GB of DDR3 Ram
A Thermaltake high capacity cpu Cooler
All the other devices will be transferred over to the new computer case.
Last summer my Wife decided that her iPad was too old, well she found out that
after six years the components in the iPad just couldn't support the latest
version of the Apple OS. The cost of the new iPad was over $800 so out of kindness
she said she would budget the same amount if I would like a new desktop...
After giving it some thought (and she said the money would not be in the
budget until after my birthday in October) I did some research on what I would
consider a fair replacement for my current Custom Computer Build. The cost was a little under
$3000, oppss. that would take about three years by my Wife's budget standards.
After doing the research these are the items I decided I would buy (to keep
in the budget) to do the
Custom Computer Build:
1. ASUS TUF H370-Pro Gaming (Wi-Fi) LGA1151 (300 Series) DDR4 DP HDMI DVI M.2 ATX Motherboard with Gigabit LAN and USB 3.1 Gen2 (TUF H370-Pro Gaming (WI-FI))
2. Intel Core i7-9700K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 4.9 GHz Turbo unlocked
LGA1151 300 Series 95W
3. Patriot Viper Elite Series DDR4 32GB (2x16GB) 2666MHz PC4-21300 Dual
4. Crucial MX500 500GB 3D NAND SATA M.2 Type 2280SS Internal SSD - CT500MX500SSD4,Multicolor
5. ML 240L RGB AIO CPU Liquid Cooler
6. Corsair Carbide 100R case
What I will move from my 14 year old tower computer to the new Corsair Carbide 100R
1. LG DVD/CD drive
2. Seagate 2 TB hard drive
3. Sandisk Ultra 480 GB SSD
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650
Thermaltake 750 Watt power supply
The first step of my Custom Computer Build:
Order the parts for my Custom Computer Build; the total cost of the new parts: 875 USD, I went over my
Wife's 800 USD budget but
made a small deal that I would not ask for any thing special at Christmas.
Not quite the "state of the art" but very close to the "latest and greatest"
after all an Intel i9 would be over 1000 USD and the corresponding motherboard
would be well over 500 USD.
In a week I had all the parts (Amazon is great isn't it?) the two parts that
Amazon did not have were the Cool Master Liquid Cooler and the computer case.
The second step of my Custom Computer Build:
Once I had the case I commenced to build out the new
Custom Computer Build, I had to get
to a point where I needed the power supply from my old tower to proceed, once I
had the data backed up I downed it for a short time (the motherboard/cpu/memory, ect) will be my new Server 2008 R2 Primary Domain Controller...
First and foremost: Read the documentation! Another resource for doing your
first build is this ebook: DIY Build a Custom PC.
As in a normal Custom Computer Build I would do it this way:
Install the motherboard, this is a new case so it will be easier to install
and get to the front panel connections; all the cables will be routed after the
hardware is in place.
After installing the power supply, connecting the two connections from the PS
to the motherboard, I proceeded to install the Core i7-9700K cpu and the
new ML 240L RGB AIO CPU liquid cooler. Something I discovered while positioning the radiator was if
you have a case that the only openings for the cooler exhaust fan are either on
the top or the back is this: the pressure and return liquid lines are very
short. If I used the top two spaces for fans the radiator would block access to the
mounting nuts for the Core i7-9700K heatsink. If I moved it forward to the other space it
would block the memory slots and the liquid lines barely reach. So I decided to
put it in the rear space. If I had bought the two fan version of the liquid
cooler I would have to buy another case, that would be a waste of money. (more
about this in my review of the Corsair Carbide 100R case).
My next step was install two 120mm fans, one came with the case the other was
a spare from an old heatsink, the fan that came with the case I put in the front
mounting position behind the front bezel, the second fan I mounted in one of the
Next I installed the drives, the Crucial MX500 500GB M2 SSD is a
motherboard mounted drive, it does take up a SATA slot from the BIOS but does
not use a cable, the slot is built into the motherboard, be careful with this,
some of these newer SSD's come as either PCIe or SATA. On the H370 motherboard
there are two slots for the M2 type SSD, one is SATA and the other is PCIe, the
documentation is a little sketchy but after reading it a few times I figured out
which slot the M2 SSD would go into.
Next step in my Custom Computer Build is mounting the drives from my old tower, the Corsair case has two bays
for drives, one for front panel access and one that is for 3.5 or 2.5 inch
drives in an enclosed bay under the upper bay. The upper bay has the CD/DVD
drive and with one open bay if I decide to add another CD/DVD (I left the old
ASUS IDE CD/DVD drive in the tower, no IDE connection on the new motherboard).
In the lower bay I mounted the Seagate 2 TB drive in a bottom slot then leaving
two slots open the Sandisk 480 SSD in the top slot. This configuration gives
space for air to pass by the drives for some cooling.
My EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 card has to go into a PCIe 16 slot, there are two
however I am using only one video card and unfortunately I have to use the slot
next to the M2 SSD card, this will cause a small heat problem when I play a
graphic intense game after the build.
Last thing will be installing the SATA drive cables, then routing the power
cables to the drives. When routing cables try to keep them bundled together and
out of the air flow of fans... Good idea, and a best practice, however there
will be three 120mm fans in the case in different places so keeping the cables
from interfering with the air flow is a challenge...
The third step of my Custom Computer Build:
Now the power on test, this is a test of the motherboard and video, I routed
the SATA cables but left them disconnected, unfortunately I had to leave the M2
SSD in the slot, I could have taken it out for the test but decided I need to
know if it will power up with the motherboard.
Once the POST was done on the ASUS TUF H370-Pro motherboard the BIOS setup came up, from there
I set my parameters (some of the things required such as time/date, the video
preferences - embedded or add on video card, ect) then saved the settings and
exit. Because the M2 SSD was not formatted on restart I get the error of no
bootable device. Power down and connect the drives...
After connecting the SATA cables power up and select the BIOS setup once
again, set the boot devices. With the CD/DVD as the primary boot device and the
M2 SSD as hard drive boot device I am ready to install the Operating Systems.
One thing that took me a few minutes to figure out was the M2 was recognized
but the BIOS was setting it as a PCIe device not a SATA device. I had to read
the documentation through a few times to find out that the M2 SATA drive would
take a SATA slot and it has to be the #2 slot, any other slot would not
work. Any other slot and the BIOS would set the M2 SSD to PCIe. The effect was
the M2 SSD on boot up would not be seen by the OS install media, thus the only
way to use the drive would be after the OS was installed and a driver loaded. Kinda defeats the reason for having the M2 SSD as the boot device.
The fourth step of my Custom Computer Build:
Once the computer is built and operational I proceed to install the operating
systems, this will be a multi boot computer, however XP is not even close to
being supported so I will use Windows 7 and Windows 10.
Installing the oldest OS first then the newer OS, well that is not going to
work out well...
First problem: Windows 7 does not have USB drivers support (there is a
process where you can add those drivers - it is called slip streaming) so to get
the install started with Win 7 I had to use the keyboard only method.
Second problem: I have USB wired/wireless keyboard and mouse, however
the motherboard does have the old PS/2 keyboard or mouse connector, I have a
PS/2 keyboard, couldn't find the PS/2 mouse, it is here somewhere but must be in
a box I didn't look in. Makes installing Win 7 a challenge, once it is in
stalled I have an add on USB 3 card with Win 7 drivers and the mouse and
Note: When Microsoft in it's infinite wisdom announced the end of
support for Windows 7 when Windows 10 came out the hardware manufactures took
this as gospel and stopped supporting Windows 7 with new hardware, unlike XP the
hardware manufactures supported XP for a long time after Microsoft stopped
support. This time when the announcement came out the hardware manufactures
stopped supplying Win 7 drivers, there are a few work arounds however you would
need to have extensive knowledge about the drivers and the installation
During the Windows 7 installation normally my first step is to split the
boot/OS drive into separate partitions, however this will not work out for me,
for some reason that I will have to experiment with the Windows 7 install would
not install on a partition already available, I had to delete all the partitions
and use the Windows 7 installation setup to make the partition, that is at first
normally I make all the partitions first leaving them unformatted. As with any
multi boot OS installation always install the oldest Operating System first.
Note: The H370 motherboard and BIOS supports the Coffee Lake / Kaby
Lake processors thus the chipset Coffee Lake / Kaby Lake from Intel for the
embedded devices such as USB, some sound devices, video devices, and network
devices. If the chipset drivers are not available then any driver you may find
for the embedded device may or may not work. In my experience the device has a
10% chance of working properly. That was why the embedded devices such as the
USB will not work with Windows 7, I had to install an add on USB 3 card to get
my USB mouse and keyboard to work.
The fifth step of my Custom Computer Build:
Once Windows 7 was installed and working fairly well I loaded Windows 10 on
one partition, this is where I figured out the problem with the chipset.
The final product has one installation of Windows 7 has very little use, no
Wi-Fi, no USB 2, no sound, no embedded video, no embedded network. I have two installations of
Windows 10, one for work and one for games/experimenting on.
Overall it was a learning experience considering this is the first real new
computer I have built in over ten years, the computer I built for my e-book: DIY Build a Custom PC.
was a Core 2 Duo/Quad processor motherboard. The three i series processor
computers I have are all laptops and with the exception of the newest an i7
series have XP and Windows 7.
If I hadn't had the EVGA video card, drives, and power supply this build
would have cost well over 1000 USD.
The finial step of my Custom Computer Build:
As with any new build or change of the Operating System you should do a
backup image, so I made a basic image of each OS installed. Once I had all the
software installed on each OS partition I made a working backup image.
With the Windows 7 install and my Windows 10 games install this will come in
handy when things don't work out...
Remember: Your recovery will be only be as good as your last backup - no
backup? No Recovery!