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Crazy_Nate

How To Successfully Build A Computer

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I just purchased my parts from Newegg (Expected delivery is tomorrow, but watching the UPS tracking has me thinking they might be a tad late) and although I have found a few decent - good building guides, this is by far the very best one. Over at Tomshardware, I got loads of input on parts and such ... add that with your guide and I'm feeling like I'm in pretty great shape! Thanks!

 

Purchased system:

 

Antec Nine Hundred Mid Tower Case

CORSAIR 750TX 750W Power Supply

ASUS P5Q Pro P45 Mobo

C2D E8600 Proc

Seagate 640GB SATA Hard Drive

SAPPHIRE HD4870 X2 2GB Vid Card

4GB Mushkin (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 Mem (5-4-4-12 1.8v)

Sunbeam "Core Contact Freezer" CPU Cooler

Arctic Silver 1.75G Thermal Compound <- was a waste because the sunbeamtech includes a tube of tx-2 :sigh:

LITE-ON 20X DVD

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I don't have my parts yet, but I am reading up on this.

 

Go to your memory settings. Change the voltage to what is recommended by the manufacturer. Set the primary timings that are also recommended by your manufacturer (CAS/tRCD/tRP/tRAS/CMD - or CPC).

 

Shouldn't voltages be set by default?

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Thanks sir!

 

Now, I'm going to be using a hard drive from an old computer, do I have to wipe everything off? Or can I pop it into the new computer?

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Thanks sir!

 

Now, I'm going to be using a hard drive from an old computer, do I have to wipe everything off? Or can I pop it into the new computer?

I assume you are going to install a new operating system. When installing XP (?) you will delete partitions and make new partitions and format. The OS install will give you these options.

 

Simple answer: No need to wipe.

Edited by Syngensmyth

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No need for a new OS.

 

I'll probably clean it to give it that "new" feeling anyway.

I'm not sure you understood my answer. Not trying to argue but what I said, no need to wipe if you are installing a new OS.

 

If you are planning on using the old OS you can try a repair install. Of course you can always try ...

 

Just my attempt to clarify. I would do a clean install on a new system. But do as you wish.

Edited by Syngensmyth

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Thanks!

 

If anybody has any comments, or thinks I should add anything, feel free to say so.

 

Crazy_Nate

 

If there's one thing I've learned over the years it is that electrostatic discharge can be a real problem. You touched on it briefly and the dangers of carpeted floors, nylon can be a killer

 

I served my apprenticeship, many years ago, as an electronics technician and the effects of static electricity are sometimes not immediately apparent. Most electronic devices can be damaged by electrostatic discharges, especially MOS devices, quite commonly used on computer hardware and the use of anti-static bags to wrap motherboards, graphic cards, etc., is for good reason. I can't explain it in simple terms really but MOS device substrates can get punctured by static discharges which may not cause immediate failure but stress the component leading to premature failure somewhere down the line, maybe months later.

 

To this end I think you should advise the use of anti-static wrist bands, especially for newcomers, when building computers as good practice:

 

wriststrap.jpg

 

 

They are available at most electronic component outlets for a few pounds (The one in the photograph is available from Radio Spares in the UK). The strap goes around the wrist and connects you via a 1 megaohm resistor to a convenient earth to which you attach the clip. If you wear it while installing the components into the case, crocodile clip connected to the case, power supply plugged in but NOT yet connected to any devices, it will ensure you are at the same potential as the case and usually prevents any electrostatic discharge occuring.

 

I honestly think the use of such devices can and will prevent problems some people have when putting systems together and it's well worth a mention.

 

Regards

 

Paul

Edited by paulktreg

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Awesome review, it was very informative and to the point. I just have one question, for the memtest86, is it recommended to test out the memory? Cause I just plan to put everything together, fire it up, load all drivers and play. What do you think? And yes I'm a noobie when it come to computer building :(

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If you happen to follow my guide, you will test the memory and processor (and I hint at ways to test your graphics card - 3DMark / FurMark / etc).

 

I would recommend testing your hardware, just from the standpoint that you've just obtained it and do not know that it works properly.

 

Yes, you can just put everything together and it could run. However, if something doesn't work properly, you'll have a very hard time figuring out what is broken. If you find that something isn't working properly while you are testing things on the motherboard box, it is much easier to RMA, than having to take things apart (ie, installed everything in your case).

 

It takes about a day or two to test, I usually run memtest86+ overnight and if I'm doing 8 hours of Prime95, I'll do that overnight, however, I usually like to go the full 24 hours.

 

If you can bear waiting a day or two to do the testing, I feel that it is definitely the way to go.

 

As an additional note, if your motherboard defaults to improper memory timings (or more importantly, voltages), it can be unstable. If one were to install an operating system under these conditions, there's no guarantee that the entire OS install is 100% correct...

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