Page 1:ITX And DTX: When Less (Space) Costs More (Money)
Page 2:Motherboard, Graphics, And CPU
Page 3:Case And Its Accessories
Page 4:CPU Cooling, Optical Drive, And Power
Page 5:DRAM, SSD, And Mass Storage
Page 6:Assembly Part 1: Finding The Right...Saw?
Page 7:Assembly Part 2: Now, For All Of The Parts That Fit...
Page 8:Assembly Part 3: The Finishing Touches
Page 10:Test Systems And Benchmarks
Page 11:Results: 3DMark And PCMark
Page 12:Results: SiSoftware Sandra
Page 13:Results: Battlefield 3 And F1 2012
Page 14:Results: Skyrim And Far Cry 3
Page 15:Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 16:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 17:Results: Productivity
Page 18:Results: File Compression
Page 19:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 20:I Fought The Law!
Assembly Part 1: Finding The Right...Saw?
All of the parts in this build were carefully and specifically chosen to fit each other, so I take none of the blame for any required modifications. Follow along to see why!
For example, the Prodigy case’s top cage still fits with a long graphics card in place, but the tabs of its trays do not. I knew this assembly was removable, so it played no part in my component selections.
I would need to move the front fan up to the center position in order to get my desired airflow pathway, but the middle mount only supports 140 mm fans. This could have been problematic, except that a spare I had on-hand alleviated the issue altogether. Since Newegg lists my spare part, I simply added it to the build sheet.
Also notice that in the rear of the case, holes surround the stock 120 mm fan. Fitting a 140 mm fan here reduces the amount of air that flows around the fan, which could have otherwise hurt its performance.
The problem exists between Asus and Asetek, ODM of more than half of the closed-loop liquid cooler brands that I’ve tested. Its universal bracket isn’t quite universal; the bumps for LGA 775 and 1366 stick out far enough to touch surface-mounted components under the board. This is the same cooler and motherboard used in the famous Tiki, and nobody from any of the associated companies mentioned the need for an alternate support plate.
Some cooler manufactures send a different plate for each processor interface. Others use sliding mounts to fit multiple sockets. Either of those solutions work, because both of those solutions reduce the support plate’s contact area. Unfortunately, multi-hole universal plates collide with a couple of motherboard components that might easily be broken.
A sharp knife will cut into the plastic, but resistance increases as the knife is pushed in further. To avoid slipping and cutting the entire nub off, I tried using a file. The plastic was too slippery for the file to grab, so I tried a rasp. Eventually, I found that a fine hacksaw blade was my best cutting solution.
This fitment issue is specific to this motherboard, but covers several types of CPU coolers. I’m starting to feel a little better about not handing Asus an award for this otherwise excellent product.
- ITX And DTX: When Less (Space) Costs More (Money)
- Motherboard, Graphics, And CPU
- Case And Its Accessories
- CPU Cooling, Optical Drive, And Power
- DRAM, SSD, And Mass Storage
- Assembly Part 1: Finding The Right...Saw?
- Assembly Part 2: Now, For All Of The Parts That Fit...
- Assembly Part 3: The Finishing Touches
- Test Systems And Benchmarks
- Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Results: SiSoftware Sandra
- Results: Battlefield 3 And F1 2012
- Results: Skyrim And Far Cry 3
- Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: File Compression
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- I Fought The Law!