First build some advice


After months of researching and comparison I finally got all of my parts .. hopefully not RMA.
I've read on couple of online guides but they seem to be incomplete. Couple questions came up as a how and when to update SSD firmware if planning on clean install of OS. And what do I need before start. There is one very good guide right here on tomshardware from tecmo34.
Still would like some input and maybe personal experience from you guys.
My components are:
Fractal Design Arc Midi
Asus P8Z68 Deluxe/Gen3
Corsair TX750 V2 PSU
Corsair LP 8Gb RAM
Crucial 64Gb SSD
EVGA GTX 560Ti Superclocked
Barracuda XT 2Tb
Zalman 9900 MAX

So couple questions.

What would be the best airflow set up?
Arc midi comes with 3 fans front, top and back. Would it be better idea to put top fan in front for a positive pressure? And with Zalman heatsink will it benefit if I position it so it blows up and out of the case?

I think my SSD is up to date. Firmware revision says 0009 and it's most current one.
If I'm to install OS on SSD I understand I have to switch to AHCI in BIOS before install. Should I connect HDD or do it later?

Is breadboarding is really necessary ? I don't mind taking components out of the case.

What is best way to put TIM on the CPU? Or should I just follow manufacturers instruction ?

More questions will come as I progress with a build.
I will post pictures as I go.
Thanks for input.
4 answers Last reply
More about first build advice
  1. The best airflow is to leave the fans where there are now 1front,1rear,1top. In the case you need an negative or better 0 presure. The higher is the presure the more hot air stay in the case because he can not be pull out.Or to be an equal intake outake ( 0 air presure) you can buy another fan and put him in front. Then you will have 2 fans front , 1 rear , 1top.
    For thermal paste just follow manufacturers instruction.
  2. Breadboarding isn't really necessary imo. It's easier just to build everything into the case and then boot up. It's not like your in a rush to take your time and just do everything slowly and carefully.

    Generally the easiest recommended method for thermal paste is to just add a blob in the middle of the CPU, place the heatsink on top and tighten it down doing opposite corners one at a time. This will allow the paste to spread naturally under the heatsink and saves you messing about trying to apply a certain thickness layer all over ect ect.

    Best fan sets ups are generally, Front Intake, Rear Exhaust, Roof Exhaust.

    The Zalman heatsink would be best positioned so it exhausts air out of the rear of the case, not the roof. (Draw air in from the RAM side of the CPU, exhaust directly out into the rear exhaust case fan). This ensures no heat build up and keeps the RAM a little cooler too (although this is never an issue).
  3. The whole top of your case is perforated, so I would mount the Zalman to blow upwards. Mine blows to the rear because there's a big fan right there, and my top is solid but for a small fan in the middle.

    I installed my HDDs after installing Windows because I was afraid I'd have to argue with the installer about which drive I wanted to install to. I don't think it matters, though. Be aware that Windows will want you to jump through a few hoops before it will recognize new drives. Ask here if you run into trouble at that point.

    If you have any experience of electronics assembly or disassembly, just put everything right in the case. I do. I like to see everything mechanically secure and properly grounded, and less handling is better for many reasons, the risk from static electricity not least.
  4. Yes I think I'll do it with two fans in front on in rear and cooler pointing up. Heat raises so I won't need another fan on top. As for cooling RAM it is not necessary. As for negative or 0 pressure - I'm trying to keep as little of dust in my case as possible. So positive pressure will actually work better for me.
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