Update: Check out "The Family That Plays Together #2" here This last few weeks I've been drawing up plans to beef up the family gaming ecosystem. I started a couple of years ago when I added a second PC to the living room for my girlfriend, this was for mooching on Faceboook, co-op gaming, simultaneous redditing and the usual crap, but now I feel it's time for version 2.0 and a big boost to our overall performance levels. How our setup looks, although this is an old picture, I don't even have a 750D any more, or that keyboard, mouse, mouse mat, in fact a lot has changed, but the old picture was of a clean desk haha. With Oculus Rift ordered and on its way I'll be making the jump to a pair of high end AMD graphics cards (not sure which just yet), my current GTX 660Ti SLI setup will be split, with the first GPU going to my girlfriend to replace the GTX 460 Super Clocked in her rig, the second into my sons first gaming PC for his birthday next month. He's only eight and it's a big secret so far so shhhhhhhhhhh. My son will get the ASUS Mini-ITX board from my girlfriends current (well, old board as of today) as well as the A8-8400K APU that resides within it. I've just treated my girlfriend to the ASRock Fatal1ty H97 Performance (LGA 1150) motherboard and an Intel Anniversary Edition CPU, a be quiet! CPU cooler, oh and a new 120mm Aerocool DS fan for the CPU cooler. Let's not forget the GPU upgrade, although she's actually had the 660Ti in the old system for a few weeks now. So, onto the pictures! First up we've got the massive Cosmos SE chassis with a tiny mini-ITX motherboard, looks silly right? Well she did have a BitFenix Prodigy for this setup, but she loved this case and we decided we'd fill it up with components some other day, today is that day. Stripped down the chassis, gave it a relatively comprehensive cleaning, washed the filters, got a few random cobwebs out of it, the usual crap and dust really. I didn't remove the PSU, as that's still getting used, and the SSD drive stayed in place too, no point taking everything out for a motherboard swap! Only took a short while to get the motherboard in, actually that's a lie, I threaded a screw on a motherboard standoff and had to remove it with pliers, then once the board was fully installed again I had to take it right back out... have you seen how big that CPU cooler is, no freaking way could I tighten those bolts on it, damn you be quiet! CPU cooler installed, motherboard back once again, new Aerocool red LED fan in place, matching the motherboard aesthetics nicely and covering up the bright blue Intel Masters DDR3 (4+4GB) behind it. All major components in place now. Just this chaotic clusterfark to deal with, oh my! Piece of cake, all cables wired in and ready to go! A few quick cable ties around the back, side panels back in place and we are ready to rock and roll! Booted first time, don't you just love it when that happens Actually booted to the OS too, despite the motherboard swap and leaping from an APU to an Intel CPU... not that I care, I blew its brains out and did a fresh install, a fresh start is rarely a bad thing. The whole thing took four hours including driver and OS installations. For now, the CPU is running at a stock 3.5GHz, but I've seen great things from the Intel Anniversary CPU recently and will be overclocking that cheeky chip tomorrow, and benchmarks will soon follow, so stay tuned! I'll be posting the next two parts in this series in the coming weeks. Only four weeks until my sons birthday, so I'll be doing his rig next, and given that it'll mostly be playing Minecraft and Skylanders, it's going to be total overkill for his needs, but meh, at least I'll have a spare gaming rig up stairs that I can fall back on when I want some peace and quiet. My new rig, dubbed "Oculus Rig" will follow shortly after.