First PC Build (NFC S4 Mini)

Ben

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 5, 2017
9
11
Hello everyone, new guy from the north here!

This will be my first PC build ever, i.e. a complete noob.
I'd love it if someone would check over my build and tell me if I've missed something obvious (or not so obvious).
Main usage (right now) would be relatively light gaming, CAD work & photo editing.

After doing some research in SFF cases I kept going back to the NFC S4 Mini.
And even though being in Canada it would end up being relatively expensive, I just liked it too much.
So that's the case I'm going with. I got in on the July pre-order, now I just need everything else. :)
After holding it I have to say it's just lovely, so kudos to Josh for such a nice product.


Parts List: (§ Have, § Ordered, § Not yet ordered)
  • Case: NFC - S4 Mini
  • Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z270i Gaming
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7700 3.6GHz 7th Gen (BX80677I77700)
  • Heatsink: Noctua - NH-L9i
  • Memory: G.SKILL Trident Z RGB 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000MHz (F4-3000C15D-16GTZR)
  • HDD: HGST Travelstar 7K1000 2.5-Inch 1TB 7200 RPM SATA III
  • PCI-E ribbon: NFC SILIFLEX Riser
  • GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC GAMING 6GB
  • PSU: HDPLEX 400w DC-DC PSU, Adapter: Dell DA330PM111
  • Switch: 16MM Vandal Switch



Several random-ish questions: ( Answered, Not)
The hard-drive I have left over from something else, so I'm going to use it. But I plan on adding a boot SSD eventually. I believe the motherboard comes with SATA cables so I shouldn't have to buy any, unless their too short/long? Couldn't find any info on their length. Do I need any other cables, etc.?

Regarding the power button, any buttons I've seen have 2 wires for the switch and 2 for a LED.
Is there any way of using a button where the LED ground is shared with the button, i.e. only 3 wires?
I've ordered several buttons, so if I can't use the 3 terminal one I do have a couple of alternatives.

Do I need a RTC CMOS battery? I know what it's for but most builds I've seen don't mention one.
 
Last edited:

W1NN1NG

King of Cable Management
Jan 19, 2017
616
532
Hello everyone, new guy from the north here!

This will be my first PC build ever, i.e. a complete noob.
I'd love it if someone would check over my build and tell me if I've missed something obvious (or not so obvious).
Main usage (right now) would be relatively light gaming, CAD work & photo editing.

After doing some research in SFF cases I kept going back to the NFC S4 Mini.
And even though being in Canada it would end up being relatively expensive, I just liked it too much.
So that's the case I'm going with. I got in on the July pre-order, now I just need everything else. :)
After holding it I have to say it's just lovely, so kudos to Josh for such a nice product.


Parts List: (§ Have, § Ordered, § Not yet ordered)
  • Case: NFC - S4 Mini
  • Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z270i Gaming
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7700 3.6GHz 7th Gen (BX80677I77700)
  • Heatsink: Noctua - NH-L9i
  • Memory: Ballistix Elite 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR4 3000 MT/s (PC4-24000) DIMM 288-Pin
  • HDD: HGST Travelstar 7K1000 2.5-Inch 1TB 7200 RPM SATA III
  • PCI-E ribbon: NFC SILIFLEX Riser
  • GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB SC
  • PSU: HDPLEX 400w DC-DC PSU + DA330PM111
  • Switch: 16MM Vandal Switch


Several random-ish questions:

The hard-drive I have left over from something else, so I'm going to use it. But I plan on adding a boot SSD eventually.
I believe the motherboard comes with SATA cables so I shouldn't have to buy any, unless their too short/long? Couldn't find any info on their length. Do I need any other cables, etc.?

Regarding the power button, any buttons I've seen have 2 wires for the switch and 2 for a LED.
Is there any way of using a button where the LED ground is shared with the button, i.e. only 3 wires?
I've ordered several buttons, so if I can't use the 3 terminal one I do have a couple of alternatives.

With the memory I could go with either the Ballistix Elite 3000 MT/s or 2666 MT/s. Is there any point in going with the 3000 MT/s versus 2666 MT/s? Right now I'm going for the 3000 because it's available, however, it also costs ~$70 more.

Do I need a RTC CMOS battery? I know what it's for but most builds I've seen don't mention one.
Motherboards come with the battery preinstalled. and to the best of my knowledge youll probably never have to replace it. I know I've never replaced one myself and I've had a few mobos now.
 

Ben

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 5, 2017
9
11
Motherboards come with the battery preinstalled. and to the best of my knowledge youll probably never have to replace it. I know I've never replaced one myself and I've had a few mobos now.
Cool, taking a closer look at the pictures of the motherboard I can actually see it now. :)
 
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Choidebu

"Banned"
Aug 16, 2017
1,163
1,148
I believe the motherboard comes with SATA cables so I shouldn't have to buy any, unless their too short/long? Couldn't find any info on their length. Do I need any other cables, etc.?
No you shouldn't need to. Length varies, what I'm used to seeing is around 25-30cm.

Regarding the power button, any buttons I've seen have 2 wires for the switch and 2 for a LED.
Is there any way of using a button where the LED ground is shared with the button, i.e. only 3 wires?
3 wire button with led works when the circuit is on while the switch is closed.

Motherboard power button header, however is supposed to be wired to a momentary switch. Power led header is v+ and v-, which just means there's voltage difference if the system is on. A switch can be connected to anything. It most probably have voltage difference but you shouldn't count on it. Tldr; doesn't work like that, forget it.
 

Ben

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 5, 2017
9
11
No you shouldn't need to. Length varies, what I'm used to seeing is around 25-30cm.
Thanks, that's good to know. :)

Motherboard power button header, however is supposed to be wired to a momentary switch. Power led header is v+ and v-, which just means there's voltage difference if the system is on. A switch can be connected to anything. It most probably have voltage difference but you shouldn't count on it. Tldr; doesn't work like that, forget it.
Ok, that makes sense, good thing I bought an alternative then.
 
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Ben

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 5, 2017
9
11
Got a Dell DA330PM111 adapter in the mail. :)

I bought one from eBay since the price was significantly better than anywhere else. It was advertised as a genuine new adapter from a decent looking seller, and as far as I can tell it is. However the exterior is slightly scuffed up which makes me wonder... When I plugged it in the green led turned on, but since I don't yet have anything else I can't really test it.
 
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Ben

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 5, 2017
9
11
Finally got the HDPlex adapter (~2 days ago), it shipped from their china warehouse so it took a-bit. Now that I have the power supply side I'm going ahead with ordering the Motherboard, CPU, Heatsink, & Memory. Hopefully everything gets to me at around the same time and I can test it all and nothing is faulty. Doing a return would be slightly annoying...

I actually changed my mind about the memory I'm going to use. Instead of the Ballistix Elite I was looking at before I went with G.SKILL Trident Z RGB since I like it better. (Actually, It's just because it has RGB lighting :p) Not 100% sure if its a better/worse choice but it is slightly more expensive. It's used in the example configuration on the NFC S4 Mini page.

Looking at that page I notice that I've drifted back to the example configuration even though I wanted to do research and choose my own components. It kinda shows that I'm a beginner and not quite confident about my own choices. Oh well, I guess that's not necessarily a bad thing.
 

Ben

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 5, 2017
9
11
Almost all the parts are now here and I just realized that I didn't order a motherboard speaker. :oops:
I do however have this piezo transducer from one of my electronic projects and I can easily wire it up, would that work?

Edit: 2018-02-08
That piezo didn't work, however I just got one specifically marked as a motherboard speaker and it works fine. Dunno what the problem with the other one is because it did work with my micro controller.
 
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Ben

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 5, 2017
9
11
Finally got all the parts I needed and installed everything, only to find out that the 24 pin connector that was included with the HDPlex had a badly crimped wire which pulled out while I was installing it... :(

It doesn't look like the insulation got grabbed in the crimp.

Now I'm waiting again, this time for some crimp terminals to ship. While I was at it I also ordered enough other parts to redo most of the wiring to be more compact, so that's the next plan. Regarding the terminals, what's the best way to unplug them now? Because of the tight fit I can't really grab them at the housing to unplug like I normally would. And I think pulling on the wires would be a bad idea.

The rest of the install went reasonably well. Except for me installing the heatsink wrong the first time around (go figure, I even watched the install video sometime in the past) and having to reinstall it. Which wasn't too bad, and showed me that I used slightly too much thermal paste. Good thing Noctua includes more than enough thermal paste to redo it if needed.
 
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Ben

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 5, 2017
9
11
On Saturday I decided that I didn't want to wait for the crimp terminals, so I soldered the terminal on the wire instead. The system booted up fine to the BIOS, but for some reason my DIY motherboard speaker doesn't work.
No internal pictures yet, I'll take some when I have better light.

This is the first time I've installed windows outside of a virtual machine and it took several hours till I could finally run the installer from a USB stick. After eventually figuring out how to get the drivers included with the motherboard to be recognized by the windows installer I got everything installed. :)
However the wifi driver will not work, windows says that it can't verify the digital signature. I even went and downloaded the drivers directly from Asus, but that didn't fix anything, and googling the problem didn't help either, so now I'm kinda clueless as to how to fix it. I do have internet through the ethernet port but I'd really like to get the wifi working.
 
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