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Some general help to all novice builders...there is no "close enough" when building.

Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:28 pm

So I thought I should post here because there are a LOT of novice builders who come here seeking advice, and I just encountered an example of someone who likely thought they were "close enough" when building their computer, but weren't.

I just bought a used Z270 motherboard and nice i5-7600K. It had a decent CoolerMaster aftermarket cooler on it. I bought it for a pretty good price, which often makes me wonder if there was any "issue" the seller had that didn't disclose. When I ran this, it had a slight OC to 4Ghz, but the temps were decent, not great, but liveable, however, when I took off the cooler, I noticed it was not fully seated on the cpu. In fact, it was only touching about 1/4 of the top of the cpu ! I initially thought it was because the previous owner was simply sloppy, and didn't check that the cooler was seated, and that the push pins were all the way in on all 4 corners. But what I discovered upon closer inspection was that the previous owner had incorrectly assembled the mount of the cooler. It had more than one position to place the fastening screws of the mount, and he'd chosen the correct positions for half of the screws, and an incorrect position for the other half, as a result of this, the push pins which secured the cooler to the motherboard, did not line up exactly with the holes in the motherboard....but it was "close enough" that 3 of the 4 push pins would "click"...

From what I see, he obviously thought "close enough" was good enough, and just went with it, rather than doing what you should do. Figure out why it doesn't fit properly.

There is never a situation in assembling a computer where "close enough" is ok, these things are standardized to the point where everything should fit properly. If it doesn't you need to do a LOT of investigating to find out why. In a very, very small number of cases, its simply a badly fitting piece, but from about 300+ builds, I would say that is very rare. Most of the time, if it doesn't fit, you're doing something wrong...
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Re: Some general help to all novice builders...there is no "close enough" when building.

Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:44 pm

I chased a cooling problem on my 6700K for a while...turned out my waterblock was resting on the chokes near the socket on my last motherboard. Only a corner of the chip was making good contact, the rest was touching but essentially zero pressure, just TIM contact.

It took me far too long to find, and I've been building systems for 20+ years.
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