Corsair 700D Undercounter Core i7 build on a Friday night – Part Two

• October 23, 2010

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Undercounter Corsair 700D

 Since becoming a part of the BYOB podcast I have really come to appreciate the Intel Core i7 processor. I needed a new build for garage but wanted to integrate into my existing space. I also wanted to create a build that showcases the Core i7 and use Corsair components where possible. Check out how I created the first-ever undercounter Corsair 700D Core i7.

Saturday Afternoon

 2:35 PM – Component Installation Start

 Corsair Components

 
2:36 PM – Time to mount and install the Corsair TX650W PSU.

 Corsair 700D and PSU

 
2:48 PM – Figure our where most of the wiring will go. PSU is really far from mobo. The cables were barely long enough.

Corsair 700D opened up

 
2:59 PM – Installing mount for Corsair H70 Cooler.

Corsair H70 Mounting Bracket

 
3:02 PM – Prepare case for mobo installation. This case has plenty of space and grommets.

Corsair 700D Case

 
3:03 PM – Mount Mobo, connect cables and install RAM. This is about the time where I had to find directions online since my B-Stock mobo did NOT come with a manual for the front case wiring. Ugh.

Corsair 700D Case with X58 Motherboard

 
3:43 PM -  Install GTX 460 Video Card

Corsair 700D Case with X58 Motherboard

 
3:49 PM – Secondary Drive inserted.

Drive inserted incorrectly

 
3:50 PM – Secondary Drive inserted correctly. Time for a beverage break.

Drive inserted correctly

 
3:58 PM – SSD Drive installed. Thank you to Andrew Edney for the gift!

SSD inserted correctly

 
3:59 PM to 4:30 PM – Neighbor came over so I could teach him how to lock out his 16 year old from accessing the internet between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM. Had to explain MAC addresses to him in detail. Good thing I had listened to the BYOB Podcast.

 4:40 PM -  Installed H70 and connected all fans.

Final mounting of Corsair H70

5:00 PM – Computer will not start. Are you kidding me? No video and GTX sounds like a harrier jet. Flippers. (Notice I only had one power cable to the GTX?) Flippers².

5:45 PM – Finally changed GTX 460 (assumed not working) for an old PCIe-1X VGA card to get the computer to boot. Booted first time. Sweet.

Temporary video card for first time start up

 
7:03 PM – Windows installed and running Windows Updates. Right on!

Installing Windows 7 in IDE mode

 
8:03 PM – Windows installed a SECOND time because I forgot to set BIOS to AHCI. Thanks PC Doc!

Installing Windows 7 in AHCI mode

 
8:30 PM – Need black SATA cables and some lighting from Fry’s before I mount it. I will have to wait till morning. Time to watch Stargate Universe and reflect on the days work. Ready for a real beverage.

8:49 PM – Ran a WEI to see how it performed. My score of 7.3 is sweet!

Windows Experience Index

Sunday Morning

 11:03 AM – Back from Fry’s with cables. These cables suck by the way. The ends are too fat, bind on stacked SATA ports and are $8 each!

 Wife remembered to bring $50 in Corsair rebate cards. Thank you my love.

 Frys SATA Cables

 11:30 AM – PC running on test stand with matched black SATA cables. Last tests before mounting. PC Doc reminded me to set memory in BIOS to XMP mode. Thank you again!

 Final Testing before mounting

 11:31 AM – Final component check and rear panel installation. Notice GTX 460 is back in? I only had ONE PCI-e power connector on it on Saturday. I thought it would be able to get by with one connector. It requires TWO to work. Since the PSU only had two, I was hoping I could save one for later. Nope.

 GTX 460 and lights installed

 11:42 PM – After PC Doc gave me the XMP guidance I reran the WEI. Although the 7.3 did not change, my memory went from 7.4 to 7.8. Excellent performance considering 7.9 is the highest!

 NOTE: ONLY USE XMP MODE IF YOUR MEMORY SUPPORTS IT!

 Windows Experience Index

11:47 AM – Final slide into place. Makita drill and 8 wood screws ready to go. Yes, I do actually use those drills.

Final mounting

 
11:56 AM – Connect two gigabit network cables, power and mini HDMI connector. Keyboard and mouse are wireless.

700D Mounted and connected

 
11:58 AM – All done.

Set in plastic grommet and glass and clean counter

 
11:59 AM – Ready for years of enjoyment and many questions.

Glass Removed

11:59 AM – It is time to benchmark Notepad and MS Paint.

Glass just sits inside grommet

 
See you next Friday night,

Timothy Daleo

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Category: BYOB Hardware

Comments (5)

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  1. bboy says:

    Could you please explain why you had to reinstall windows with AHCI enabled rather than just changing the bios once Win7 was installed? Awesome build btw!!

  2. pcdoc says:

    The reason is that if you change to AHCI after windows installed it will blue screen. There is a way to do it but you must make a small registry change first.

  3. bboy says:

    Sorry to bother but does ahci increase performance with all HD’s or just SSD’s? thanks for the help!

  4. pcdoc says:

    Besides Trim for SSDs. AHCI allows for Native Command Queing and Hot Swapping, if your drives allow it. Most SATA drives can be hot swapped, but not all of them have NCQ as a function. You need to look up you individual drives to see if can benefit. Personally, my only interest is Trim.

  5. dvn says:

    Craziest thing I’ve seen in quite awhile. Had to look twice to make sure you didn’t actually drill holes in the front of that $200+ case. Man, what a neat idea!

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