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Questions about parts of computer I'm building


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#1 Ran-K

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 12:04 AM

Couple of questions:

- Is the thermal paste necessary, and if so how much should be applied?

- When installing two SATA hard drives, do you have to set one as master and the other as slave? How?

- My case (Cooler Master Gladiator 600) comes with an HD Audio and AC '97 connector. What are these for and where do I connect them?

- There's a couple of SYS_FAN and a PWR_FAN inputs, but my fans only have the 4 pin connector to connect to the PSU. Are these obsolete or something?

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#2 dc3

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 01:00 AM

Couple of questions:

- Is the thermal paste necessary, and if so how much should be applied?

- When installing two SATA hard drives, do you have to set one as master and the other as slave? How?

- My case (Cooler Master Gladiator 600) comes with an HD Audio and AC '97 connector. What are these for and where do I connect them?

- There's a couple of SYS_FAN and a PWR_FAN inputs, but my fans only have the 4 pin connector to connect to the PSU. Are these obsolete or something?



Yes the thermal compound is essential. The surfaces of the heat spreader on the CPU and the heat sink are not truly smooth. Because of that the thermal compound fills the gaps between the two providing thermal conduction which is dissipated through the heat sink and fan assembly. Without the thermal compound there is a very good chance that the thermal limits set would wind up shutting down the computer to protect the CPU from overheating.

SATA hdds don't configure as Master or Slave.

As for High Definition Audio, you might wish to read this.

As far as the fans, without knowing what motherboard you are going to be using I can only guess.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#3 MrBruce1959

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 01:22 AM

Hello, your questions will be in bold text, my answers will be in normal text.


Is the thermal paste necessary, and if so how much should be applied?

Thermal paste/grease is used to help fill the gaps/scratches that are sadly part of the machining process at the factory when the heat sinks are molded and surfaced.
The thermal paste helps fill those imperfections to allow better heat transfer from the CPU heat spreader to the heat sink.
It should be kept in mind, that you are trying to full the scratchs, so it should not take much of a layer thermal paste to do this.
A thin layer is ALL that is needed, because adding too much thermal pastes can be just as bad as adding a piece of cardboard instead.
In otherwords, if too much is applied, it will force the heat sink even under pressure to float above the processors heat spreader and cause poor heat transfer to result.
So the object is to apply just enough to lightly cover the spreader and not a more.



When installing two SATA hard drives, do you have to set one as master and the other as slave? How?


SATA hard drives do not need to be set as master and slaves because they do not share the same data cable like E-IDE/PATA does, those have to be set as MASTER and SLAVE because they share the SAME electrical connections in the cable.

SATA drives use a seperate cable per each hard drive, they use their own seperate ports SATA 1, SATA 2, SATA 3 and SATA 4.

In the BIOS they are set as SATA 0, SATA 1, SATA 2 and so on.

Now unless the drives are set up as a SATA disk array, one is like a MASTER on SATA 0 and the other is like a secondary drive as SATA 1.


My case (Cooler Master Gladiator 600) comes with an HD Audio and AC '97 connector. What are these for and where do I connect them?


These would connect to your motherboard connectors if they are available, you would need to check your motherboard manual for the connectors if it has them, they might be called PANEL or CASE connections, this would allow you to connect devices from the front of your computer tower rather than having to access the rear panel where the motherboard's rear panle connectors are.

There's a couple of SYS_FAN and a PWR_FAN inputs, but my fans only have the 4 pin connector to connect to the PSU. Are these obsolete or something?

Some motherboards allow for the 3 pin cooling fan types, they have a 12 volt +, a 12 volt ground and a rotation sensor wire, to detect fan speed. These fans can also be controled by the BIOS to speed up or slow down as needed according to the sensor reading, more voltage or less voltage is applied to the fan as required to speed up or slow down the fan speed.

Cooling fans that are directly wired to the PSU, do not have this ability, since there is no sensor readings being sent to the system BIOS through these power circuits.

The Processor cooling fan for example should always be powered through a power connector on the motherboard.


Hope this answers your questions.

Bruce.
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#4 Ran-K

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 09:55 AM

Should I add thermal grease even to a new Intel Core i5? I know some coolers "in a box" come with their own pre-applied compounds.

#5 dc3

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 10:03 AM

If the CPU and heat sink come separately, yes you need to apply thermal compound.

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#6 Ran-K

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 10:14 AM

They come separately, but in the same box. Packaged together.

#7 dc3

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 10:29 AM

Right, but they aren't assembled together. You will need to apply thermal compound. The amount that you need is only about the size of a grain of rice. With the CPU installed in the motherboard apply the compound to the metal surface of the CPU (this is the heat spreader) and spread it evenly over the surface, and then mate it with the heat sink.

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#8 Ran-K

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 10:30 AM

I mean it's the retail Intel core i5! I thought they came with it pre-applied.

#9 Ran-K

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 10:40 AM

The heatsink itself seems to have three big stripes of a gray compound on it. I dunno, I'm guessing with this more thermal compound shouldn't be necessary?

#10 dc3

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 10:41 AM

You should be able to see if there is anything on the heat spreader of the CPU. Some CPUs will come with a thermal pad, these aren't nearly as good as the thermal compound.

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#11 dc3

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 10:49 AM

That is a type of thermal compound, it's more like a putty than the normal thermal compound which is more like a paste. I have a personal preference to clean that putty off and then apply a good thermal compound like Arctic Silver.

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#12 Ran-K

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 11:07 AM

Got it. But if I'm not overclocking, that putty would be adequate, correct?

#13 dc3

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 11:31 AM

Obviously Intel believes that it is.

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#14 Ran-K

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 12:35 PM

Should I connect both the HD Audio and AC '97 to the motherboard, or just one?

The motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3

#15 MrBruce1959

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 12:41 PM

DC3 is correct with what he is saying about those thermal pads not being as adequate at transferring heat, you have to look at the cost of production in manufacturing, the manufacturer will try to cut costs as much as they can to stay in business.

Those thermal pads work, but not nearly as good as the thermal paste which costs more and costs more for the factory to apply to each setup. So they cut costs by using the next best thing which is those thermal pads, which are cheaper.

Those pads can be removed, but you have to be careful not to scratch the heat sink by doing this, you can use isopropyl alcohol to help loosen up the pads before removing them.

Then apply a small bead of Artic silver 5 thermal compound to the spreader of the processor and then install the heat sink on top of it.

So yes it is important to have a decent heat transfer medium regardless of whether you're over-clocking your computer or not.

Bruce.
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