The 2018 Verge PC Build

  • In September 2018, The Verge posted a tutorial on how to build a PC. This video has since been removed by The Verge, but before it was taken down a number of enthusiasts reacted to the tutorial. With a few exceptions, most of what needed to be said, was said. Below is the original video and a subsequent video of various enthusiasts who posted their reactions. After the original video, I will explain what went wrong. This video is an example of what not to do when building a computer.



    Builder talks about the price:


    0:15..."You can build a gaming PC for around a thousand dollars"

    In an online shop, I picked out parts for a gaming PC and it totaled 770.- Euros. If I bought used parts, I could put together a gaming machine for around 400.- Euros.


    0:18..."but I want to go all out, so I spent around two thousand."

    Maybe for his budget two thousand is all out, but I could easily imagine an all out gaming machine costing over ten thousand.


    The builder describes the things you will need to build the gaming rig:


    0:33..."a thermal paste applicator"

    What the crap is that? Never heard of one of those.


    0:34..."an Allen wrench"

    What? What for? I have never needed an Allen wrench to build a PC. Maybe The Verge is thinking about some custom loop water cooling kit. Which is not included in this build.


    0:36..."some tweezers to tie up the wires"

    Those aren't tweezers, those are zip ties or cable ties.


    0:40..."a Swiss Army knife that hopefully has a Phillips head screwdriver"

    This made me laugh. I'm assuming he's not building this PC in a forest with no access to tools, so why the crap would he want to use a clunky Swiss Army knife to assemble a computer? This makes no sense whatsoever.


    0:44..."and last, but not least an anti-static bracelet..."

    That is not an anti-static bracelet. I'm thinking this dude has never seen a real anti-static bracelet before.


    0:45..."which is to protect you and the parts..."

    Why would you need an anti-static bracelet to protect yourself? First of all, nothing in your pc build should be plugged in. Second, that's not how an anti-static bracelet works. It's not meant to protect you from being shocked by your electronics. And if something was plugged in, the last thing you want to be is grounded. If you were to stick your finger into a live PSU while wearing a real (or fake) anti-static bracelet, you are going to get electrocuted.


    1:41..."a gamer might care about a graphics card more than a video editor, who might want extra RAM to assist in editing large files"

    This is not true. A gamer and a video editor are going to equally care about what CPU, how much RAM and what graphics card are installed in their systems.


    2:16...He has a knife to open the boxes, there is no reason to tear the boxes open. You might need them later.


    The Installation begins:


    2:42...Why is he installing the motherboard before installing the CPU, CPU cooler and RAM onto the board? If you install the motherboard first, you will limit your work space, making it difficult to install the CPU, CPU cooler and RAM.


    2:42...It looks like the standoffs are already installed. In a tutorial it would be important to inform the viewer about the standoffs for the motherboard. If they are not pre-installed and a first-time builder installs the motherboard without the standoffs, then the builder will screw the motherboard directly onto the case causing the system to short circuit when powered on.


    2:50..."pay close attention to the brace that goes at the back..."

    It's not called a brace, it's called an I/O Panel.


    2:54..."you always have to make sure you really hammer it in..."

    In some 1990s PC cases I needed something harder than my hand to tap in the I/O Panel. Usually I used the hard end of the screwdriver, but never used an actual hammer. Over time it's gotten easier, but occasionally I'll still need a screwdriver tap to install a stubborn Panel.


    3:28..."secondly, it's pretty fast RAM. It's 2666 MHz I believe, so it's pretty fast"

    If he is comparing this to the previous system this new build is supposed to replace, then maybe this is fast. As far as DDR4 RAM is concerned, 2666 MHz is not very fast. DDR4 4000 MHz is fast.


    3:37..."open the slots first..."

    He is installing two modules and doesn't need to open all four slots...just saying.


    3:38..."aligning the stick with the middle of the strip..."

    It's not a strip it's a slot and most important, he has the DIMM in backwards. It will never fit into the slot the way he is holding it. A second later they cut away and show the DIMM aligned correctly before he installed it.


    3:50...The RAM is installed incorrectly. The Modules are installed in slots A1 and A2, they should be in A2 and B2. The RAM will not be able to function in Dual Channel mode if they are installed in A1 and A2. If he needed help, page 19 of the manual demonstrates the correct installation in detail.



    4:20...He installed the M.2 without installing the standoff on the motherboard. That will bend the M.2 and put unnecessary strain on the M.2 slot. If he has never done this before, then he should have read the manual. Page 44 demonstrates how to install the standoff and the M.2.



    4:48..."Now which lane you choose depends entirely on what other parts you are going to put into the system. I'm just going to pick the top one because the SSD is at the bottom and I don't want to cover it. I just think it looks nice."

    No, this is wrong. The top slot on this board is PCIe x16, the second slot is PCIe x8. You always install your graphics card in the slot with the most data lanes (band width) and not because it just looks nice.



    5:22..."with these little insulating pads, so that the power supply doesn't short circuit and come into contact with the rest of the system."

    Those aren't electrical insulating pads, they are anti-vibrating pads to help reduce noise from the PSU. Your PSU will not short circuit anything if it touches the case. Where does this guy get his info?


    5:34...He just put the power supply in backwards. He has the fan side pressed up against the case's wall. The fan in a PSU sucks in air to cool the components. As soon as the power supply is under load it's going to overheat. I'd be surprised if this power supply lasts more than a few weeks before breaking.


    5:57...He didn't install the fans onto the radiator before putting it into the case. That is going to be next to impossible now that the graphics card is already installed. He'll have to remove the radiator to install the fans.


    6:02...He already removed the plastic cap off of the CPU water block. You don't want to do that unless you are going to install the water block right away. Keeping the cap on will prevent accidental smearing of the paste.


    6:12...He is screwing the wrong screws into the wrong side of the radiator. The longer screws he is using in this scene are for mounting the fans. I'd be surprised if he doesn't puncture the radiator.


    6:24..."Every power supply is going to come with a big bag of Velcro cables..."

    Wrong. Not every PSU is modular and not every modular PSU manufacturer delivers their cables with a bag. Some just have them laying in the box.


    6:34...You should plug in the cables you are going to use before you install the power supply into the case. Some cases won't have enough room to install the cables after the power supply has already been installed.


    6:57...He doesn't explain how to install the front I/O panel cables, internal USB plugs and front panel audio connector.




    7:13...You should never throw away the CPU socket cap. Asus and some other manufacturers will not process RMAs without the cap on the socket. Read the manual, page 94.


    7:17..."and now we have an exposed CPU holder or rather slot on the motherboard"

    It's not called a holder or a slot, it's a socket. Just saying.


    7:27...CPU Applicator (CPU Installation Tool)? Never seen one, never used one. Just line up the arrow on the CPU with the arrow on the socket. You don't need a CPU Applicator (CPU Installation Tool). You can throw that away.


    7:38...That CPU is an engineering sample. The Verge probably got that for free, which means they didn't go all out and spend two thousand dollars on this build.


    8:17..."every CPU cooler actually comes with a bit of thermal paste..."

    Wrong. Many coolers, especially air coolers, do not come with thermal paste already applied.


    8:21..."but it's usually not enough, it's good essentially PC building practice to have a little extra..."

    Wrong. If the CPU cooler already comes with thermal paste, then that paste should be enough. What should be the concern is: how old is the paste and what is the quality.


    8:29...What the crap is he doing? You do not need that much thermal paste on the CPU. Usually a drop the size of a pea, in the middle of the CPU, will do. If you put too much thermal paste on a CPU, it will squeeze out onto the motherboard when you tighten down the cooler.


    8:42..."and they're going to keep the cooler raised off the processor, but it's also going to be close enough to actually physically come in contact with it...like basically keep it cool."

    What!?! If your cooler is not directly contacting your CPU, the CPU will overheat. Basically keeping it cool is not close enough to work.



    9:03...Here you can see the case's side vent. If the PSU was installed correctly, then the fan would be sucking in air from this vent.


    9:05...OK, I'm not the most artistic cable manager, but posting a PC building tutorial should include how to properly manage cables in the build.


    9:20..."...installed Windows in a couple of minutes..."

    No he didn't. Depending on which version is on that flash drive, the updates alone will take a minimum of 30 minutes.


    And this was a sponsored video. If I was the sponsor, I would be pissed.



    Enthusiast's reactions to The Verge tutorial.


    CPU: Intel i5 3.2 GHz * CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Advanced C1 * RAM: Crucial 2x 8 GB * Motherboard: ASRock H97 Performance * Video Card: Sapphire RX 570 Nitro Plus 8 GB * Hard Drives: Crucial 256 GB SSD, 3x Seagate 1 TB * PSU: be quiet! 750 watt gold * Case: be quiet! SilentBase 800 * Speakers: Logitech Z-640 5.1 * Displays: 2x Eizo 19" and 1x Samsung 27" * Keyboard and Mouse: Logitech K800 and G500S * Headphones: Philips SHP8900