first PC build since 1994 a success!
For a complete parts list with up to date pricing for this build visit: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/3CfH99
The last PC I built from purchased components was in 1994 (a 486 DX266 :) so needless to say I was a bit intimidated to even attempt this, but this site was a great help. As an aside I do want to mention that the whole concept of this site is genius and I wish I had thought of it!
It might help to understand where I am coming from since if you have different goals this build might not be for you. I've been a linux user since the 90s. Nothing against Windows - I do run a Windows network for work after all, just a personal preference. I am not a huge gamer, but that might just be because I've been using seriously under-powered machines for so long I couldn't really ever be one. I like to record music (not EDM but the old school, analog, play-an-instrument variety) and over the last year I got into streaming using OBS. I have suffered enough with my little Intel NUC with a i5-4250u and integrated graphics. I couldn't really go full screen hdmi without occassional lag, and I couldn't play really any games other than GO (I highly recommend Online-Go at https://online-go.com/). This ends today!
I got all the parts (except the DVD player) from NewEgg which means I didn't get the lowest prices on everything, but I wanted to deal with one vendor and I've had the best luck with them over the years.
I wanted the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X but it was out of stock everywhere online and I have limited time to get this done so I decided to get the 2600X which was readily available. I figure I can upgrade someday if needed, and theres going to be a 4 to 5 times increase in speed from what I've been using anyway.
I made a bunch of mistakes but all were order of operations issues. By this I mean it becomes impossible to get your hand in certain places to connect up cables if you install things out of order. The best way (for me) was to pre-assemble the board and CPU, pre-connect the power ATX/CPU on the motherboard outside of the case and then mounted the board in the case with those attached. Remember to get the connector panel in place in the case as you install the motherboard you can't do it after the fact. All the cables for power and LEDs and fans and such should get connected before the graphics card because you can't really get your hand in there with the graphics card in.
Because I'm old and need glasses to see up close this build took a lot longer for me than it should have if you can see like a normal human.
I like the case, its decently built and came with everything I needed to assemble this machine. I don't have it listed because it came from another machine but I'm also using a 2TB spinny disk for long term storage and the Focus case came with nice 3.5" disk mount sliders which were easy to use. The only odd thing (I thought) was that the only way I could get it to fit was if I mounted the drive with connections inward which makes it cleaner when you look at it through the glass, but just seemed counter-intuitive to me as I'm used to the way Dell has them outward. The front just snaps off so you can access the 5.25" bays. Both sides come off which makes routing cables a breeze. I found the screws that hold on the sides a bit fiddly and I'm worried if I open it a lot I'll eventually strip them since they aren't as substantial as in the business Dells I'm used to. That said, they have a backing so you can't lose them. I find the space adequate and easy to work in even though its an ATX "mini" form factor.
Since my only experience with motherboard manuals is from back in the early 90s where they would ship you a tome, the tiny little booklet that came with the MSI felt a little shy on detail, but it had everything I needed to know except I was a little confused about how the front system fans connect and work. They seem to be working correctly and there really was only one way to connect them but it still confused me a bit.
Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS loaded without complaint. Using the proprietary nVidia driver 435.21. Almost completely moved in (rsync from the old machine brought over all data and settings, just had to reinstall the applications). After opening it up to take the drive out that I was copying stuff over from I realized I had forgotten to connect one of the fans. This should have been obvious since they light up and I had only seen one do so. The lower one is plugged into the System Fan while I have the upper one plugged into the CPU fan port.
I added an ASUS DVD writer since these pictures were taken because I do rip CDs and DVDs on occasion and have a lot of archive DVDs I may need to access someday.
I get 1100+ fps regularly in Minecraft, and everything I've played in Steam has run without a hitch. OBS streaming and creating videos in Openshot, as well as compiling stuff is all amazingly quick compared to my old rig.