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How to guides? Tips/advice from the experts?


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#1 Zebug

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:00 AM

It won't be long until I'm on my first computer build. So I've been browsing google just reading different step-by-step guides on how exactly to put everything together. How do the experts feel about what is said in this guide:

http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Computer

Also, how long from when I start to stick pieces together until I first hit that power button does it take? It doesn't seem too time consuming...2 hours for a first timer seem about right?

Also, are there any little tips/tricks that you guys have picked up through your builds? I can't wait for the July 4th weekend, thats going to be my building time so forgive me if I'm a bit excited...I am an engineer so I like to have things planned out in my head before starting to ensure it goes as smooth as possible before starting the job.

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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 08:57 AM

Seems like a reliable guide.

One thing I got into the habit of doing is assembling the motherboard/CPU/Cooler/Memory/Video card outside the case, hooking up the power supply and making sure everything works (at least a boot screen) before I put everything into the case. Saves a lot of troubleshooting time. Always assemble the motherboard/CPU/Cooler/memory before you put the mobo in the case (a moot point if you have a backplate for a CPU cooler).

Timewise, 20 minutes to 2 hours(minus the OS install). 20 minutes for a cookie cutter build, 2 hours for a custom build if Jr. "helps" me and I answer all of his questions. Jr. changed his own videocard all by himself last week, me proud papa.

EDIT: Leave the mobo screws loose until you have at least one card mounted in an open slot. After the card is mounted, then tighten the mobo screws down. Sometimes you get a tolerance stack and missalignment (motherboard to case) that makes the expansion cards difficult to insert if the motherboard is tightened down first. Oh, small needlenose pliers for putting on the front case connectors to the mobo header. I have big hands so those little connectors are hell for me.

Edited by dpunisher, 16 June 2010 - 09:01 AM.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#3 Zebug

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 09:20 AM

EDIT: Leave the mobo screws loose until you have at least one card mounted in an open slot. After the card is mounted, then tighten the mobo screws down. Sometimes you get a tolerance stack and missalignment (motherboard to case) that makes the expansion cards difficult to insert if the motherboard is tightened down first. Oh, small needlenose pliers for putting on the front case connectors to the mobo header. I have big hands so those little connectors are hell for me.


these are the type of lessons learned/best practices that I am looking for...things that you simply pick up with experience. Many thanks big guy. I also tie flies as a hobby so I have the small tools available for such use.

Edited by Zebug, 16 June 2010 - 09:22 AM.


#4 the_patriot11

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 06:43 AM

Some things I like to point out here, from personal experience-quick tips. First off, cooling is important, but so is case layout. I have found, if you have not ordered parts that is, this is my personal opinion-that a case that mounts the power supply on the bottom, is much better (in my opinion) then a top mounted, especially if the bottom mount has its own intake and exhaust for the PSU like the coolermaster 690. I think it allows for much better cooling, and definetly better cable management-the extra cables can be shoved behind the motherboard tray (at least in the case of the CM690) or in other cases that dont allow that-sit at the bottom of the case instead of dangling everywhere and getting in the way-leaving only the cables you need running up to the various components. Also makes installing the components easier-because whether you install the motherboard first or the PSU first, it dont matter they wont get in each others way.

Another thing I learned, is with power supplies, dont look just at the wattage, but also the voltage, particularly on the +12v rails, especially if your running a high end video card. I cannot emphasize this enough-youd be surprised how many people skimp on the PSU and end up frying it. You can skimp on many things on a computer, but never, never, never skimp on the PSU or the motherboard-these are the backbone of any computer. If you need to, buy a smaller hard drive, less memory, or even a slightly slower CPU, but never skimp on motherboard or PSU. And Modular PSUs are always a good idea-I find myself more and more spending the extra for the modular capability, because its worth it, the ability to remove cables you dont need to improve airflow, is a nice feature.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#5 Zebug

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 10:05 AM

well that just popped a buncch of questions in my mind. What do I need to look at for the PSU? Is a single +12V rail better than something that has multiple +12V rails. Lets take this comparison for example:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompa...139%2D005%2DS01

taking name brand out of the equation, is it better to have one big rail or multiple smaller rails?

#6 RainbowSix

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 01:33 PM

Multiple rail PSUs are supposed to be more stable, but they also makes things more complicated.
I think it would be better to get a single 12V rail, but I don't have enough experience to say for sure one or the other is better.

Edited by RainbowSix, 17 June 2010 - 01:34 PM.

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#7 dpunisher

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 02:49 PM

The vast majority of multirail PSUs are simply single rail PSUs with their output split between 2 or more rails with each rail having a current limiter/overload protection. No difference in the actual parts of the PSU that convert/regulate the current.

I have never understood the appeal of multirail PSUs. I suppose if one is an idiot and piggybacks enough connectors on to one set of wires you could have an overload problem with a single rail PSU, but I can't see it in the real world. To me single vs multirail, as a consideration, is not near the top of the worry list.

Modular is nice. Not as important with bigger cases, but as seen here, in smaller HTPC cases, sometimes there are just too many wires. And that's without the 7.1 soundcard in it as well.

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3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#8 the_patriot11

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 08:37 AM

A lot depends on personal preference there, there are single rail and multiple rail systems. As long as its a good quality, name brand PSU (coolermaster, antec, corsair, OCZ, for example) it doesn't really matter which way you go. Originally, they couldnt get enough amps on the single rail to handle high end components, so thats why they started making multiple rails-but now, the technology has improved, more and more manufacturers are moving back toward single rail solutions, which allow for easier overclocking. I tend to prefer having at least 4 rails, but Im old fashioned that way, either way you go, I would try to find one with at least 30 amps in the +12v rails (combined) whether it be on multiple rails or single. And both of those PSUs you listed would be good power supplies for you, would do you well.

Edited by the_patriot09, 18 June 2010 - 08:39 AM.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#9 Zebug

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 06:55 AM

another tip that I JUST learned last night....the motherboard standoffs DON'T come with the motherboard, they come with the case. I spent a good 15 minutes re-reading the mobo manual and looking all over my motherboard box trying to see if I was suppose to get standoffs and if not, what size they should be in case I needed to find them at the hardware store.....or order from newegg.


Ahh the simple things you learn. Also, at least my CPU (AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2 GHz) didn't come with thermal compound. I was expecting to see a little one time use packet in with the CPU but just had to take a quick trip to Best Buy (only store in my area that has that stuff)

Oh ya, another TIP, if you have to decide between putting together your new PC and watching a movie with the Mrs.......watch the movie, I started to say, "go ahead I'll watch it another time" but then I saw the wrath of hell and all its fury start to build and quickly changed my mind. Needless to say, all I was able to "build" was putting the IO backplate for the mobo on the case:)

Edited by Zebug, 29 June 2010 - 06:56 AM.


#10 RainbowSix

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 12:29 PM

Did you put thermal compound on the stock heatsink? There is already thermal compound pre-applied. Too much thermal compound can fry your CPU.
Did you read the CPU instructions?

Edited by RainbowSix, 29 June 2010 - 12:31 PM.

[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

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#11 Zebug

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 12:48 PM

hmmm, no I haven't gotten that far. I only took a quick inventory of the big box from newegg, opened the box to the CPU and was just looking for a tube of thermal compound, which I then saw there wasn't any so I went to the store. Once my 2 year old went to bed I was going to start on it but the whole movie thing came up with the Mrs so I didn't get far at all.

Thanks for that tip, I will check to make sure there is/isn't any thermal compound on the heat sink or CPU prior to doing anything else. Believe me, I plan on reading every manual that came with every part more than once, just haven't gotten there yet. That would be awesome if its already applied as I can return that tube I just bought and get a 6-pack of beer to celebrate:)

I'm stuck in the office so I don't have it with me to read the instructions (and I did consider bringing all the instuction booklets with me to work to read on my breaks...oh well)

Thanks again RainbowSix!!!

Edited by Zebug, 29 June 2010 - 12:50 PM.


#12 Zebug

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 06:54 AM

RainbowSix...you the man (unless you are a woman...then you the woman). The Heat sink had the grease pre-applied.

Now, I do have a question though, I have some wires coming out of the PSU and I think they are used to power various components (4 big pins on each). Anyway, on that one cable there are several of those larger 4 pin connectors in series. Does it matter which one I use to plug into whatever I am plugging it into? Would it be best to use the very last one, the very first one, or whatever one helps out the most with cable management?

#13 the_patriot11

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 07:52 AM

heres a quick thing here about the thermal paste, I have found that the thermal paste that most manufacturers apply to the heatsinks are normally of low quality, put on sloppily, or to heavy. Not all the time, Ive seen some that are done right, but Im never to trusting, every time I pull out a heatsink I always, without fail, clean off the old heatsink (using a damp paper towel, and then letting it dry) and then applying my own to the CPU die. I use arctic silver, many people here recomend OCZ freeze, either one would be a good option, just apply a small amount (about the size of a grain of rice) to the CPU die (silver metal part on top of the CPU) and spread evenly. With some compounds you can use a credit card, the stuff I use is a little thick to do that with so I just use my finger, just make sure you dont touch any computer components with that hand until you clean it off, and like previously mentioned, make sure you clean off all the old stuff-to much can be a bad thing. you want a thin, even coat.

As for the cables, those big ones with 4 pins are called your 4 pin molex, and usually, about the only thing that uses them these days are your fans. And it doesn't particularly matter, whichever works for you, that helps with cable management. If your using older style optical or hard drives that use these, I tend to like to start at the top drive with the molex that is closest to the PSU, and work my way down, so that any extra molex connectors are free to be hooked up to fans or other peripherals. If you into severe overclocking, you might have to worry about splitting all your components onto multiple rails etc, but since your not, I would find a way that gets the cables out of the path of the airflow while still getting everything plugged in, as best as possible.

Edited by the_patriot09, 30 June 2010 - 07:56 AM.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#14 Zebug

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 09:02 AM

thanks patriot, I looked up a picture of the 4 pin molex and yes that is what I was trying to describe...I'll get all this computer lingo down someday. Ya I think I plugged in a fan for it as well:) At least I know I have one of the wires plugged in to where it is suppose to go.




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