Overall, this was pretty easy
I’m thankful that generations of enthusiasts have agreed (mostly) on standards, and written oodles of documentation and guides to make stuff like this easy. Seriously. To put things in some perspective, when I first started building and tinkering with desktops, I remember having to manually set IRQs when there was a conflict. It was stupid.
But that’s not to say everything is simple. You still have to screw all this stuff in. With a non-magnetic screwdriver, mind you. That could screw stuff up.
That and… Well, let’s call it a supply chain error.
It all begins with Microcenter
When I placed my initial order for the CPU and Motherboard with them, it sat around for about an hour, then got canceled. I called to ask why, and no one knew. So I replaced the order, and it was magically ready a few minutes later to pick up. They both sat on my desk while I waited for the rest of the parts to get shipped.
Around a week later, when I had most everything, and a few days off to tinker, I started assembling things. The case is a Fractal R5
But back to the supply chain issue! Here’s my motherboard box, unopened.
After a while of excited assembly, a few things started to add up.
I had the wrong motherboard in my box. In fact, I had an oddly beat up motherboard in my box.
The first clue should have been when the back panel didn’t match the motherboard ports at all:
After getting most everything installed…
I got a motherboard error about the RAM. It wasn’t compatible.
The next big clue here? The x99-E doesn’t have a LED with error codes. I learned this after flipping through the manual in disbelief for a while.
Like I said, “supply chain errors”.
Back to Microcenter
They were… okay about me returning it, as long as I replaced it with another board. I sort of get it. When a guy who looks like me comes walking in with a few-hundred-dollar motherboard and a week-old receipt saying they put the wrong one in the box, it’s a bit odd.
On the plus side, they had another X99-E in stock, and this one had the right one in the box. I made them open it in the store this time.
Back home, and with the right motherboard, I put my day of work back together.
Fast forward to yesterday
And, for reference, yesterday is the 4th of January, year of our SMOD 2017. I finally got the last piece of the puzzle, the M.2 chip.
It’s a lot smaller than you’d expect.
This is what the final product looks like now
There are a few differences between the final build and what I planned on, but I’ll talk about those in another post.
Thanks for reading!
Brent says: you always read about how Apple gear is overpriced, and to some extent, I agree. However, when you factor in assembly time, it’s not all that bad of a deal. When something like the motherboard switcheroo happens, that can burn a ton of time, and your time is money. Well, not Erik’s time. He’s an employee, and as we all know, employee time is practically free. That’s why Erik is currently giving Ernie a foot massage.