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View Full Version : Help! in need of confidence


ryan29121
11-06-07, 11:20 PM
Hi, I'm about to build a pc in a month or two and I'm nervous because it will be my very first build. One of the big reasons is because these parts are going to cost me a lot of money (money in which i don't have too much of). I consider myself good at installing the common parts in a computer (i.e RAM, anything pci, GPU, fans, drives, etc.) but i have never actually built a computer from scratch. What is the hardest part of building a computer? Any helpful advice you recommend? The parts I will be using are in my SIG. Thanks way in advance for anything you do to help. I just need a little bit of confidence.

I apologize that this thread is posted in the wrong area but i couldn't seem to find a board that pertained to computer building so i picked the one at the top of the list. Thanks again

MUYA
11-06-07, 11:44 PM
Hi, I'm about to build a pc in a month or two and I'm nervous because it will be my very first build. One of the big reasons is because these parts are going to cost me a lot of money (money in which i don't have too much of). I consider myself good at installing the common parts in a computer (i.e RAM, anything pci, GPU, fans, drives, etc.) but i have never actually built a computer from scratch. What is the hardest part of building a computer? Any helpful advice you recommend? The parts I will be using are in my SIG. Thanks way in advance for anything you do to help. I just need a little bit of confidence.

I apologize that this thread is posted in the wrong area but i couldn't seem to find a board that pertained to computer building so i picked the one at the top of the list. Thanks again
Building from scratch can be cumbersome, trying to fit everything together etc. But it is well worth it in the end. As for for your sig, I think its ok, maybe you can get a better heat sink fan - like a thermalright ultra 120

methimpikehoses
11-06-07, 11:54 PM
YOU CAN DO IT :D

ninelven
11-06-07, 11:54 PM
Hardest part is the first boot because if something goes wrong it is harder to diagnose the problem. Still, motherboards today usually provide enough help that it shouldn't be a problem. My only advice is don't use an Antec power supply.

mythy
11-06-07, 11:56 PM
take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the smell of a new PCB's and solder joints :cool: Grab some pizza set it all in the living room turn on the TV and get to work.


I often rebuild my rig just for fun and to be honest it shouldn't take more then 15 mins to slap the hardware in a case and set it up. Its the cable management and planing that takes the longest.

My advice:
1: Don't tighten the motherboard mounting screws to much! If you do the mounts will unscrew when you go to remove the MB
2: well uhh ok I have no more advice :rofl

MUYA
11-06-07, 11:56 PM
Hardest part is the first boot because if something goes wrong it is harder to diagnose the problem. Still, motherboards today usually provide enough help that it shouldn't be a problem. My only advice is don't use an Antec power supply.
My one is serving me well. True power 550W ;)

LORD-eX-Bu
11-07-07, 01:00 AM
building PCs nowadays is almost fool proof. You'd really have to f something up to get it wrong.

The hardest part I think is connecting all those little connectors for the case lights and stuff to the mobo

CaptNKILL
11-07-07, 01:22 AM
Yeah its pretty easy now compared to how it was back in the old days.

I just recently scraped together an AT system (consider yourself lucky if you don't know what that is) for a cheapo email\typing machine. It has 96Mb of EDO, a 333Mhz Evergreen Tech K6-2 "overdrive" chip (board normally only supports Pentium MMX 200Mhz, which is what was in it for the past 10 years) an S3 Virge 4Mb PCI video card and a 2.5Gb WD Caviar drive.

It wasn't really anything too difficult, but you'll never appreciate the simplicity of USB and the ATX form factor until you've had to repair a freaking serial port so you can screw it onto the case and plug it into the motherboard... just to be able to use a MOUSE. These old things have nothing on board at all... just a DIN keyboard connector. The rest has to be attached to the case and the board separately.

Putting a modern PC together is a piece of cake.

The hardest thing used to be installing the heatsink\fan. But anymore its pretty easy.

I don't recommend anything too fancy or complicated for a first build though. My Thermalright Ultra 120 extreme was a bit tricky to set up just right. I had to add some washers and stuff to make it stay on tighter. The Zalman is probably a lot simpler.

Main thing to rememebr that will make your life much easier: put the CPU, thermal paste and heatsink on with the motherboard OUTSIDE the case, then put the whole thing into the case. Its just a hell of a lot easier. Back in the Socket A days it was actually quite dangerous (for the PC) to try to change the heatsink in the case because it required you to use a screw driver and at the wrong angles it was rather easy to slip and break something off of your motherboard. Now, you mostly just have to flip a lever or tighten a couple mounting screws.

I'd recommend looking over any reference sheets that come with your motherboard or other components. They usually come with some really awesome stuff now for beginners. Step by step guides showing you how to do everything. It'll vary depending on the parts you're using (especially the heatsink, which will have its own manual too) but overall everything you need to know should be in the manuals and reference sheets that come with your parts.

Zynx87
11-07-07, 03:01 AM
How big of an issue do you guys think static is, like when installing the cpu?

I know they sell those wrist strap things that "ground" you I suppose... but I'm hoping its something that as long as you don't drag your socks on the carpet its not a problem.

Vanzagar
11-07-07, 03:26 AM
Hi, I'm about to build a pc in a month or two and I'm nervous because it will be my very first build. One of the big reasons is because these parts are going to cost me a lot of money (money in which i don't have too much of). I consider myself good at installing the common parts in a computer (i.e RAM, anything pci, GPU, fans, drives, etc.) but i have never actually built a computer from scratch. What is the hardest part of building a computer? Any helpful advice you recommend? The parts I will be using are in my SIG. Thanks way in advance for anything you do to help. I just need a little bit of confidence.

I apologize that this thread is posted in the wrong area but i couldn't seem to find a board that pertained to computer building so i picked the one at the top of the list. Thanks again

Go for it!!, I've been building machines for over 15 years, I'll try to think of things that can help you out...

1. Be patient, don't force or rush things together. Go slow and do a good job, i.e. smearing thermal paste on the CPU... use a razor and make it very thin, remember it's just suppose to fill in the imperfections of the surface...

2. Touch the case often, to ground yourself, before you pick up any components, just touch the case.

3. I like to build the system with as few componenets as possible and get Windows up and running. Then I ghost that version to another drive... optimize a little, ghost again... then start adding other componenets... I ghost about every hour or so until I'm happy, then delete all the old fimage files. That way if you screw up or when your machine gets full of craps 6 months from now, you just ghost back to your latest optimized version and you have a fresh install in 10mins (don't install any games or crap yet - just the basics and your basic preferences)... highly recommend getting Norton Ghost...

4. Tie wrap and bundle all your wires together. It takes more time but you have a nice clean case and don't have to worry about a wire getting caught in a fan... go get some tie wraps...

5. Make sure your fans are working before you put your machine under any load, check the temps...

6. Get a good power supply, you can spend tons of time tying to diagnose a problem until you find you don't have enough power. Looks like you've selected a pretty good one, I'd highly recommend this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703009 ... alittle pricey but it will last you for many years and many upgrades...

7. If you run into problems and can't figure it out, dont force it or guess!! Come back here and ask... then wait... patience!

Good luck, I'm sure you'll do fine and after you got it all together you'll be so glad you did it yourself... let us know how it goes...

rhuala

Inglo
11-07-07, 09:00 AM
Whenever something goes wiggy, don't panic. I just recently put this PC together, it started rebooting constantly and then the display began corrupting in the BIOS. Yikes, I panicked (against my own advice). But not too much. When something like that happens, shut everything down, open up the case and check everything, recheck the cables and the power leads, reseat all of your cards. If necessary, take everything out and put it all in again. Check that there aren't any obstructions of your fans. I don't know for sure what was wrong, but my best guess is a stray cable was interfering with the fan on my video card. This could have been a problem if I didn't shut down and correct things, but no lasting problems.
That's another thing you need to become comfortable with, you may have a problem, fiddling around with things will fix it and you'll never ever know for sure what the real problem was.

mythy
11-07-07, 09:01 AM
How big of an issue do you guys think static is, like when installing the cpu?

I know they sell those wrist strap things that "ground" you I suppose... but I'm hoping its something that as long as you don't drag your socks on the carpet its not a problem.



Heres a short story for you.


There once was a fool who got a new Q6600. He decided to lap it and he did it in a rush. A small piece of sandpaper grit got on the rear of the CPU. I foolishly installed it with out cleaning the back side of the cpu. It shorted out and smoked 3 seconds latter. The CPU was removed, tossed around, touched all over :p and even thrown across a room in rage.


After sitting on a desk being fooled with for a few hours it was retested and it worked 100% after the short was removed.


So if I were you I wouldn't be to concerned with static :p

ephmrl
11-07-07, 10:28 AM
So if I were you I wouldn't be to concerned with static :p

This is bad advice. Certainly a lot of ESD protection is built into today's components, but you can still easily fry something you just paid some hard earned money for, especially now that winter is setting in. Most often its non-fatal damage too, such that a part seems to work ok, but you'll get some sort of intermittent fault or significantly reduced lifetime.

Just install your power supply into the case first, and then keep it plugged into the wall (with the supply power switch off if it has one, and nothing else plugged into the cables of the supply - keep them out of the way while you work too) so that you've got a good ground handy. Touch any metal point inside your case often to try to stay discharged, and leave your parts in the static bags right until you are gonna put them in. Most importantly, don't touch any component after walking around a room or shifting in a chair without discharging (touching metal in your case) first - especially if the humidity is low & you're working around carpet or poly chairs (pretty much all office furniture these days).

There's still risk for ESD damage doing this, but this goes a long way to minimizing it. Using an ESD strap is really the way to go if you're worried about working in a PC (can be had for a few bucks) - but even I've done builds many times in my past without caring about static, and only a few (known) problems have come of it.

And as far as shorting cpus at the socket level, that really isn't as hazardous as ESD, since you're looking at tens of volts tops (and the current is going across the short, not INTO the cpu). ESD is a problem b/c you're looking at thousands to tens thousands of volts easy, which can punch through even the most conservatively designed IO pads on a chip, be it a cpu, ram, whatever. I've learned the hard way, believe me :D.

ryan29121
11-07-07, 03:22 PM
Well ill keep all this advice in mind. I think i will be able to do it. I have been reading up on it its just now i actually have to do it for myself. Thanks again for all your help. I will let you know in a few months how the build went. Until then I probably will have more questions for you guys for you have been very helpful when it comes to answering them. Thanks again.