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Once a case is decided upon it becomes time to fill it up. From here on in things start to get important. In the past I was happy to cheap-out on the motherboard. As long as it had whatever ports I needed (USB, etc.) I was happy.

It turns out, that’s not a good attitude. I don’t know that the motherboard is the heart of a system, but I would guess that it is. It’s the junction of all the other devices that you’ll have in a computer. There isn’t anything that doesn’t go through it. I suppose it’s more the soul of the thing than the heart.

I decided, finally, on the Asus Crosshair V Formula. It’s relatively new, it had sound built onto the board (as most do these days), supported the processor that I wanted to get, and it looked kind of neat. Because, you know, that’s important. It does have a bunch of gizmos that I’ll probably never use, like buttons for overclocking and the like. It also has ports for PS/2 mice and keyboards, which I totally don’t need, will never need again, and don’t want. But, what can you do?

It’s also got a really cool name. I mean, can you really go wrong when  you’ve got “Crosshair” and “Formula” in the name? The “V” is just icing on the cake. The letter ‘X’ is kind of overused these days, so striking out in a different direction and going with ‘V’ just says, “Yeah, I’m more than IV and cooler looking than VI.”

Asus Crosshair V Formula

The Soul of a New Computer

Once you have your motherboard it’s usually a simple matter to pop it into the case. The Corsair Obsidian 800D doesn’t have a removable tray to put the motherboard on, but that’s okay because there’s enough room in the thing to put a chair in there. If the case is otherwise empty, it’s mostly a matter of matching the screw holes and then screwing it in. The only inconvenience may be the risers (little pegs that keep the motherboard off the metal) need to be put in place, first. Luckily, the 800D already had them in.

For the record, this is the case I’m using:


So, plenty of room to work. Motherboard installed in mere moments. Easy peasy. The only thing to do after the motherboard is screwed into place is to connect all the stuff on the front panel to the board. These are things like the power switch, the hard drive lights, any USB connectors, headphone and microphone ports, and stuff like that. Usually that’s where I screw up; I won’t have a power light or the hard drive lights won’t flicker. Little annoyances. But Asus makes it a lot easier by having an adapter thing that’s labelled with what wires go where and then that plugs onto the motherboard. Nice.