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- First time build my own PC
November 12, 2005, 10:55 am
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I intend to build my own pc, any tips I need to know, for instance is it
better to install the CPU and RAM on the Motherboard before fixing the
MBoard into the case. I have bought a Epox 9NDA3J and a AMD Athlon 64
3500+. Any recommendations on Ram type, graphics card et cetra. Any tips on
what settings would be best in the BIOS, SATA drives for instance make and
size, what to set them to as RAID. I do appreciate your suggestions and
help, hope that I can do it and it works.
Re: First time build my own PC
Sometimes it matters, others it doesn't. Installing these
parts after the board is in the case is fine, but sometimes
the orientation of the heatsink or drive cages or (whatever)
can impede installation of parts. On the other hand,
sometimes a huge heatsink can make it more difficult to
install the board into the case with the heatsink already on
PC3200, CAS2.5, budget-grade but name-brand memory. Buy
from someplace with a good return policy and test system
with Memtest86+ for several hours _before_ installing the
operating system or booting windows.
Graphics card has everything to do with your needs. I
prefer nVidia cards in general but others maybe ATI, just
pick what suits your uses and budget - there are plenty of
video card reviews on the web.
Leave the settings at the defaults until you have specific
reason to change any of them. CHeck the motherboard
manufacturer's website for bios update notes to see if there
are any significant bugs they've patched, that might impact
your use, and update the bios if so.
Do not use RAID if you're not already knowning how to do it.
Just because a feature is supported doesn't necessarily mean
it's a good idea to use it.
In other words it would be best to take this build one step
at a time and RAID is going to be a large bite to chew on
and an heavy penalty of data loss if there is a problem.
Otherwise, depends a bit on budget and size needs, but
generally many find Seagate a good value due to their 5 year
warranty, though 3 years is probably enough to get the value
out of a drive while 1 year is not, IMO. Most drives are
now relatively quiet and reliability data is only good in
retrospect on a per-model basis. If that last few % matters
most then seek online reviews of the drive du jour as that
changes often, but generally I suggest getting a good
price-point instead, as a pair of drives can cost under $100
after a rebates or twice as much for little performance
difference. If utmost performance matters then consider a
WD Raptor for the operating system.
Bearing this in mind, maybe get a couple 200GB Seagates. Or
not... that's the beauty of DIY, you get to pick the parts
you want/need/etc, instead of someone else doing it for you.
Re: First time build my own PC
That's what I do. However, I don't install extension cards until the
motherboard is in place. The general order is:
- Install power supply in case.
- Install processor on motherboard.
- Install CPU fan and radiator, if required.
- Connect the CPU fan (you don't want the CPU to melt the first time
you start up the machine just because you forgot to plug in its fan).
- Install memory chips. Be sure you put them in the correct slots,
based on what the manual for the motherboard says.
- Install motherboard in case.
- Install any extra case fans and connect them up (to the MB or to
power supply, as required).
- Install disk drives and other peripherals that require a bay in the
- Install a video card, if applicable.
- Connect all cables as required within the case (power, disk, fans,
buttons and lights on the case).
- Connect a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to the outside sockets.
- Fire up the machine and see if it comes up and boots.
- If all is well, install extension cards. If machine fails to boot
after installing the extension cards, remove them one by one until it
boots in order to find out which one has a problem.
Take care to avoid static electricity; resting one hand on the case
helps, as does a static bracelet if you want to get really fancy.
Read the manuals for the motherboard and processor carefully. Disk
drives are pretty consistent but make sure you connect the right
drives to the right places on the motherboard (SCSI drives can't be
connected to IDE connections, although normally the shape of the
connectors will prevent you from making any mistakes).
The only tool you need is a Philips-head screwdriver (the kind with a
head shaped like a plus sign). The components you bought for your
machine will include all the necessary screws and cables.
A large case makes the machine easier to assemble, especially if you
don't have tiny hands.
In most cases, if you're careful, the machine will come right up with
no problems, which is always a delight to see. Once it does, you can
install your chosen OS and you're on your way. For your first time,
allow a couple of hours from start to finish at least, so that you can
take things slowly.
Transpose mxsmanic and gmail to reach me by e-mail.
Re: First time build my own PC
Congratulations on your first build. It won't be your last.
I'd go with Crucial memory, their lookup chart is the best and their
quality is very good. I've never had a bad stick. Still, deals at
Tiger Direct can't be ignored. I have a few sticks of their Ultra
RAM running and it's been good stuff. The same thing with Viking.
For Hard Drives, it depends. If you're going to have an active fan
directly cooling the drives, I recommend Maxtor Diamond Max 9 or 10
drives. Buy a matching pair. Set the system in RAID 1 for data
redundancy. While this will cost you a drive, you'll sleep a whole
lot better at night. It's saved my butt a few times.
Stay away from RAID 0! It's not a RAID at all. Better to go with
RAID 5 with three drives then to do that.
I run dual RAID 1 on four Maxtor 9 SATA's cooled by a 120mm fan. They
run cold as snow and I've never had a problem. They're smok'n fast.
By the way, if your solution supports SATA 2 and your drives do;
DISABLE IT! SATA 2 is a server solution and the overhead will slow a
home system down.
If you're not going to have direct cooling, Wester Digital Sata's
should more then fit the bill for you. They run cooler, but the
Maxtors are faster.
I know many people swear by Seagates, but when you read about problems
with hard drives, invariably, it's usually a Seagate.
A warranty is best, if it isn't needed at all...
The systems I build for others, all run Western Digitals in a RAID 1
array. For the gamers and myself, I run the Maxies in RAID 1. I've
never had one of them go bad. (this out of about 30 drives) A couple
of the WD's are turning 4 this year. (yes, as data drives. I don't
trust anything that old for mains. LOL) Keep in mind though, the
Gamers all keep their machines spotless and check the fans from time
to time, to make sure they're all working. Maxies can burn the skin
off your fingers if they're not properly taken care of.
The size of them should be determined by you. This will depend what
you are going to do with the system. Tons of songs or video encoding
takes a lot of space. If that's the case, buy big drives and
partition them. Keep your music and video stuff on a separate
partition. This will keep your defrags under control.
If you don't plan on going crazy with the above, you'll never fill an
80 or 120 gig drive. Partition the 80's as a pair of 40's; or the
120's as a 40 and an 80, with Windows using the 40. Watch your price
I didn't look up your motherboard so I don't know if it a PCIe or AGP.
That said, the sweet spot is the BFG Nividia 6600 OC. The OC means
overclocked at the factory. This card uses DDR 3 RAM and it's cooler
cools the memory chips as well. It will in many cases, run right with
a 6800. It's pricier then a stock 6600, but much cheaper then a 6800.
Great card, it's what I use.
As far as mounting, I always put the CPU and cooler in last. I run
temperature probes so I have no other choice. If the cooler doesn't
make installation difficult, it can't hurt to mount it first. If you
don't plan on doing a lot of swapping out with your processor, use
processor pads instead of Arctic Silver. All liquid solutions will
eventually run out, or dry out and harden up.
Want a whisper quiet cooler? Get the Thermal Take Silent Boost. It's
all copper and your processor will run as cold as a refridgerator.
What are you going to use for a monitor for this new project?
Right now, I'd guess the Viewsonic VX724 (17 inch) and it's bigger
brother, the VX924 (19 inch) are probably the best monitors on the
market at this time. I have both of them and love them. They're
great all around monitors and at 3ms, a gamers delight. They're very
pretty to look at too.
Oh, almost forgot; you can get an OEM copy of Windows Home for around
85 bucks at Mwave.
If you want to protect her and not have to worry about it, AOL 9 SE
can't be beat. Read my review on it.
Best of luck to you, I hope this helps.
Sorry about the long post, but, you asked...
Re: First time build my own PC
> Thanks alot for your advice it is really appreciated
> Hi guys,
> I intend to build my own
pc, any tips I need to know, for instance
> better to install the CPU and
RAM on the Motherboard before fixing
> MBoard into the case. I have bought
a Epox 9NDA3J and a AMD Athlon
> 3500+. Any recommendations on Ram type,
graphics card et cetra. Any
> on what settings would be best in the BIOS,
SATA drives for instance
> and size, what to set them to as RAID. I do
> and help, hope that I can do it and it works.
Anytime, happy to help.
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