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Need very easy and helpful advice for first build

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August 18, 2006 7:26:31 PM

Hello!

My conroe parts have arrived, now im very very very very very nervous. I'm afraid of putting wires where they dont belong or bad enough breaking the processor. I have the Maximum PC edition of building your own PC. Ive read several books not including this one. I want to build one because Im tired of spending over $2000 on a system, getting a warranty, then it goes bezerk after a year or it has parts that cannot be replaced. I want to build my own because I want to use the best parts and be able to replace parts at will and upgrade with no hassel or pay for a warranty thats useless. When It breaks I dont have to call a number lol.
Can anyone please help me with my nerves/gitters and please give me advice on putting the processor, thermal compound, mounting the processor on the mobo and mounting the mobo onto my case. My case also has USB ports, mic, power, and reset buttons. If I have a sound card, do I still plug in the mic thats on the front of my case? Any other advice not mentioned is also welcome.

I appreciate all help and knowledge to get me over the nerves and butterflies. Thank you
August 18, 2006 7:45:18 PM

You should start by thoroughly reading through any manuals or online instructions for your new stuff. Especially the motherboard manual.

I would also hit up RadioSmack and invest in a static grounding kit. They're not expensive and are a sound investment if you plan on tinkering with your new setup.

EDIT: And patience...patience
August 18, 2006 7:48:40 PM

Got any buddies that have built their own system? Get them to supervise :D 
Related resources
August 18, 2006 8:06:33 PM

#1 - relax

#2 - find a friend who can help

#3 - building a PC is really very easy. There aren't many real danger spots that can fry something.

#4 - relax

#5 - Get the grounding kit. VERY good advice. Don't build on carpet.

#6 - The only only significant danger spot is the cpu cooling. Did you get the OEM Conroe (no fan) or the retail, pretty box, cute fan? This makes a big difference and the CPU / HSF interface is THE danger spot.

Post all your parts and specs here. These guys are really good. Expect to take a little abuse from them because, well, they like to abuse people... But we were all there building our first system all alone and sweating bullets. Hell, I've built 50+ systems but when I turned on my new X6800 system a few weeks ago I still held by breath. The anticipation and nerves makes the sweet sound of the boot worthwhile!

Post your specs.

My Rig:
Core 2 Duo X6800 Conroe (Stock Clock for now)
Intel D975XBXLRK - 304
Thermaltake Big Typhoon HSF
2 GB Corsair Pro PC6400 4-4-4-15
ATI X1900XTX
74GB 10K Raptor HD
Soundblaster Audigy 2 SZ
NEC OEM DVD Burners (x2)
Gigabyte 3D Aurora Case
Ultra X-Finity 600W SLi Certified PSU
August 18, 2006 8:44:26 PM

Parts:

E6300-Retail
Gigabyte-DS3
Corsair xms2 ddr2-533 latency:3 3-3-3-8 (awaiting shipment)
Soundblaster X-fi XM
graphics- havent picked one yet but leaning toward x1900xtx
hard drive- havent picked---undecided---either 1-250Gb or 2 harddrives (1) system files and all drivers (2) all games
Lightscribe 18x DVD-RW-R dual side

Could I work in a carpet room on a section thats hard wood floor? thats where my office desk is.
August 19, 2006 12:00:57 AM

Quote:
Parts:

E6300-Retail
Gigabyte-DS3
Corsair xms2 ddr2-533 latency:3 3-3-3-8 (awaiting shipment)
Soundblaster X-fi XM
graphics- havent picked one yet but leaning toward x1900xtx
hard drive- havent picked---undecided---either 1-250Gb or 2 harddrives (1) system files and all drivers (2) all games
Lightscribe 18x DVD-RW-R dual side

Could I work in a carpet room on a section thats hard wood floor? thats where my office desk is.


building a PC is very simple really. so first off, relax.

Here is the order i usually do things in:

0. Put PSU in case
1. Put memory into motherboard
2. Put CPU into Motherboard
3. Apply thermal compound and attach HSF (don't forget power)
4. Attach Motherboard to Case
5. Insert DVD ROM drives, floppy drives, and hard drives
6. Attach 24-pin ATX power cable to motherboard
7. Attach 4-pin power cable to motherboard
8. Attach Sound and Video Cards (if you are using PCIe, make sure to run a PCIe Power cable to the video card)
9. Attach any other PCI cards or motherboard peripherals that take up PCI slots
10. Run SATA/IDE/FLOPPY cables from motherboard to DVD ROM drives, Hard Drives, and Floppy Drives
11. Attach Power cables to DVD ROM drives, floppy, and hard drives
12. Attach auxillery case fans and power cables

i think that's it, i wrote that in a hurry, so someone feel free to chime in if i missed something.

Where you work really doesn't matter. I work on my living room floor, which is carpeted. Just make sure that you place anything with a circuit board backing on a non-static bag, like the one your motherboard will come in.
August 19, 2006 12:23:56 AM

Your post was great until I read this:

Quote:
Where you work really doesn't matter. I work on my living room floor, which is carpeted. Just make sure that you place anything with a circuit board backing on a non-static bag, like the one your motherboard will come in.


Please do not work with components on a carpeted floor. Make sure you have a ground nearby to touch before handling any parts. I think a grounding mat works well, but use something!
A wood floor creates little static. Carpet creates lots.
August 19, 2006 1:04:22 AM

8. Attach Sound and Video Cards (if you are using PCIe, make sure to run a PCIe Power cable to the video card)

What you mean run a PCIe Power cable to the video card, I didnt see anything to plug into my new vid card?

Thanks
August 19, 2006 1:23:15 AM

Many (but not all) better video cards need more power than the PCI-E bus can provide. These cards will have a power socket for a power-supply lead to plug into. Check your manual for the video card. It will say if there is one as well as the type of plug in to use. It is also possible that there is not one as well.
August 19, 2006 1:31:56 AM

There are a couple of other things as well...
Your DVD will have a sound cable that runs from the back of the unit to the motherboard (for integrated sound) or your sound card.
When you get the motherboard in the case, there are the front panel leads that need to be plugged in to the board. These are for:
Power switch (gotta have it).
LEDs for power and hard drive activity (nice to have).
Front panel USB, Firewire etc. (optional)
The combination of your case manual and motherboard manual will tell how these wires should be hooked up.
When in doubt, black wires in a computer are grounds (opposite of house wiring!).
I know this sounds like a lot, but take things one at a time and all will be well.
August 19, 2006 1:48:48 AM

Quote:
...Can anyone please help me with my nerves/gitters and please give me advice on putting the processor, thermal compound, mounting the processor on the mobo and mounting the mobo onto my case. My case also has USB ports, mic, power, and reset buttons. If I have a sound card, do I still plug in the mic thats on the front of my case? Any other advice not mentioned is also welcome.
OK, maybe a few more hints:

The mobo mounts on stand-offs. Use exactly the same number of these brass stand-offs as there are mounting holes in the board, and in the same place. Check this twice. Before you tighten the mounting screws down, put a PCI card in its slot to make sure the mobo aligns well in the case. Then snug the screws down (don't tighten them like lug nuts!)

Use very little thermal paste on the cpu top. 3 grains of rice size. Get a sandwich bag and put your hand in it. Using a finger, spread the paste very thinly over the entire cpu top. The purpose here is to fill in any surface irregularities between the heat sink and the cpu with paste as opposed to air. You should not need much. Less is better than more.

Power and reset button wires go to the mobo, and have no polarity issues.
Mic will go to the sound card if you use one, the mobo if you don't.
USB connects to the motherboard on its own socket. The mobo manual will give you all these locations.

Before each step: Read the appropriate directions!
I still do this today even though I shouldn't have to. By doing this I rarely have a system fail to post the first time! It's a great feeling to build a system and have it start right up. :D 
August 19, 2006 2:27:52 AM

Is there any static with plastic sandwich bag, when spreading thermal compounds on the CPU? It's a nice idea, if* there isnt.

Thanks Storm
August 19, 2006 3:23:47 AM

Quote:
Your post was great until I read this:

Where you work really doesn't matter. I work on my living room floor, which is carpeted. Just make sure that you place anything with a circuit board backing on a non-static bag, like the one your motherboard will come in.


Please do not work with components on a carpeted floor. Make sure you have a ground nearby to touch before handling any parts. I think a grounding mat works well, but use something!
A wood floor creates little static. Carpet creates lots.

Static... not really as big a problem as you make it seem ;) 

Guess u'll cr@p your pants when i tell you to flash my bios i had the mobo sitting on a cardboard box with the CPU, memory, PSU, and a floppy hooked to it huh? Oh, and to turn it on i jumped the power pins with a screwdriver. :) 

NOTE: please children, don't try that at home, i have years of experience that keeps me safe. And i know what i'm doing ;) .
August 19, 2006 4:43:32 PM

Quote:

Static... not really as big a problem as you make it seem ;) 

Guess u'll cr@p your pants when i tell you to flash my bios i had the mobo sitting on a cardboard box with the CPU, memory, PSU, and a floppy hooked to it huh? Oh, and to turn it on i jumped the power pins with a screwdriver. :) 

NOTE: please children, don't try that at home, i have years of experience that keeps me safe. And i know what i'm doing ;).


No skidmarks here...
Your NOTE makes my whole point. We are trying to help someone properly assemble an expensive computer who has never done this before.
Jumping the power pins hurts nothing.
Cardboard works fine.
Carrying around thousands of volts of static charge looking for a good ground is not too bright.
August 19, 2006 4:51:28 PM

Quote:
Is there any static with plastic sandwich bag, when spreading thermal compounds on the CPU? It's a nice idea, if* there isnt.

Thanks Storm
Nope, not a problem. Besides, you are touching a grounded system while you do this, right? It just keeps the cpu and your fingers clean. You could just wash your hands well enough to get the body oil off and use a bare finger. You can also use a small stiff straight edge to spread the paste. Some people just put a "BB" sized blob on the top center of the CPU and let the heat sink spread it when they clip it down. Your choice. I use a bag 'cause I like to be neat, and I can also make sure to get even coverage using as little paste as possible. When done I turn the bag inside out and throw it away. No muss, no fuss, no paste all over.
August 19, 2006 6:18:11 PM

Quote:

- Doublecheck
- Triplecheck
- Smoke test.
Is that when you fire it up, and pray that smoke doesn't start billowing out? :wink: :D 
August 19, 2006 6:34:21 PM

Can i use the credit card method when spreading the thermal paste? I'll probably be very conservative with it being its my first time. basically, keep the paste on the processor and away from the edges, right?

If I work on a carpet, I have the case by me, can I touch the case and repeat touching it to make sure im gorunded, or just move all components and go to a non-carpet floor?

Can I install the PSU before anything goes in? For the PSU, I line it up with the holes on the case at the top and screw it in? It doesnt go on any tracks or it basically sits on the cases crossbars? The ones that go across that the cases sides snap into to close the case?
August 19, 2006 6:41:55 PM

Quote:
Can i use the credit card method when spreading the thermal paste? I'll probably be very conservative with it being its my first time. basically, keep the paste on the processor and away from the edges, right?

If I work on a carpet, I have the case by me, can I touch the case and repeat touching it to make sure im gorunded, or just move all components and go to a non-carpet floor?

Can I install the PSU before anything goes in? For the PSU, I line it up with the holes on the case at the top and screw it in? It doesnt go on any tracks or it basically sits on the cases crossbars? The ones that go across that the cases sides snap into to close the case?
Yes, the credit card method works good. I myself, wouldn't recommend working on a carpet(though i've done it countless times)..kitchen table(put newspaper or something down)works better as everything is at eye level,and suck up to your wife/GF. Yes i install PSU first, as sometimes they're hard to get in around the HS/F and/or mobo.
August 19, 2006 6:52:35 PM

See, relax, all you have to do is ask these guys. They are good!

By the way, I prefer the razor blade method to the credit card method for spreading thermal compound. Put a rice size drop on the middle of the proc, then use a blade to carefully cover all the surface. No finger oils, no plastic bag static (ask any former dime bagger, Hey I said former, there's a lot of static in a ziplock).
August 19, 2006 7:10:38 PM

in all honestness, YOU probably should try the kitchen table for your first build, just to be on the safe side.

About thermal paste, you don't *HAVE* to spread it at all. If you put a "grain o' rice" sized dollup on the center of the CPU, when you clamp down the HSF, the pressure is so great that it really instantly spreads the compound all around. But if it's your first time and u want to be sure, bu all means spread it yourself... just don't let it leak over the edges of the CPU
August 19, 2006 7:19:50 PM

The problem with just touching the case is that it's not grounded either, unless you have the PSU installed and it plugged in with the PSU switched off.

When you get your new kit you're going to have a lot of anti-static bags. You can use those to work on top of as well, but I would still recommed not working off of a carpeted floor.
August 19, 2006 7:47:32 PM

You fly me out, I'll teach you how to put it together for free.
August 19, 2006 7:57:39 PM

Quote:
Can i use the credit card method when spreading the thermal paste? I'll probably be very conservative with it being its my first time. basically, keep the paste on the processor and away from the edges, right??

You can try, but the Socket775 cover will make it hard to do. If you don't like the bag/finger method, just put a BB sized amount in the middle and clamp the HSF down. Jack's pictures show more paste than I would use.

Quote:
If I work on a carpet, I have the case by me, can I touch the case and repeat touching it to make sure im gorunded, or just move all components and go to a non-carpet floor??

I use an antistatic mat that I ground. Case on mat = grounded case. Touching a radiator, switch or outlet cover screw or a known grounded computer case does the same thing. Let's not freak out about carpet, just don't do it. Kitchen tables are popular building sites, less so with wives.

Quote:
Can I install the PSU before anything goes in? For the PSU, I line it up with the holes on the case at the top and screw it in? It doesnt go on any tracks or it basically sits on the cases crossbars? The ones that go across that the cases sides snap into to close the case?
PSU is held by 4 screws on back of case. Hold the unit to the inside back and screw it in. The intake fan (if it has one) points down toward the motherboard, and an exhaust fan blows out the back of the case.
August 20, 2006 12:22:07 AM

Ok, I got it with the PSU....sounds easy :) 

So when the processor is in the socket, just put a BB size on, then the plate which as its put on will spread the paste? Then put the heatsink on...I was reading the instruction manual that describes the processor going onto the socket. Isnt that plate over the processor going to inhibit the heatsinks ability or the heat basically transfers from the processor--->paste-->plate---->heatsink.

Can I use the antistatic bag that the mobo comes in....have the mobo sit on the bag and put the processor/paste/heatsink/ram on mobo.

I forgot to ask: Do you take off the side panel of the case and line up the mobo and put the gold pins in the case.....then line up the pins with the mobo and screw it in the panel, then put panel back in case?
August 20, 2006 5:42:48 AM

Quote:
Ok, I got it with the PSU....sounds easy :) 

So when the processor is in the socket, just put a BB size on, then the plate which as its put on will spread the paste? Then put the heatsink on...I was reading the instruction manual that describes the processor going onto the socket. Isnt that plate over the processor going to inhibit the heatsinks ability or the heat basically transfers from the processor--->paste-->plate---->heatsink.

Can I use the antistatic bag that the mobo comes in....have the mobo sit on the bag and put the processor/paste/heatsink/ram on mobo.

I forgot to ask: Do you take off the side panel of the case and line up the mobo and put the gold pins in the case.....then line up the pins with the mobo and screw it in the panel, then put panel back in case?


1. The plate (aka integrated heatspreader or IHS) is of great debate as far as inhibiting heat transfer. The idea is that the larger surface area of the HS vs a bare core, gives far more contact area with a heatsink, thus absorbing more heat. The other reason for the heatspreader is to protect the core during heatsink installation. Many cores have been damaged by careless heatsink installation, as the bare core is somewhat fragile. Also, some overclockers take their IHS off, hoping for lower temps(removal can ruin a CPU if not done very carefully, and shouldn't be attempted by most people), but losing the depth of the IHS can cause the heatsink to not clamp down as tightly, thereby causing heat transfer problems.

2. Yes, you can use the anti-static bag...that'll work just fine.

3. Yes, most cases already have the stand-offs(gold pins) in place(for a standard ATX mobo), but if you're mobo is a different form-factor, you may have to reposition them. Also, be very sure that none of the stand-offs come into direct contact with the motherboard anywhere else but where a screw-hole is(they can cause shorts on the mobo). GL :) 
August 20, 2006 7:08:57 AM

Quote:
Ok, I got it with the PSU....sounds easy :) 

So when the processor is in the socket, just put a BB size on, then the plate which as its put on will spread the paste? Then put the heatsink on...I was reading the instruction manual that describes the processor going onto the socket. Isnt that plate over the processor going to inhibit the heatsinks ability or the heat basically transfers from the processor--->paste-->plate---->heatsink.

Can I use the antistatic bag that the mobo comes in....have the mobo sit on the bag and put the processor/paste/heatsink/ram on mobo.

I forgot to ask: Do you take off the side panel of the case and line up the mobo and put the gold pins in the case.....then line up the pins with the mobo and screw it in the panel, then put panel back in case?


The socket will come with a plastic protector on it, which you will have to remove:

One will come on the back of the CPU too, so like, remove that BEFORE you put the CPU in.... ;) 

the plate isn't a solid peice, it has a large opening in the center that the CPU sits through:

See the opening in the center? you can see the pins through it, the processer is going to stick up thru there.

Here is a pic of the socket with the plate open


And this is how it will look with the CPU installed:


Then you will apply a "grain of rice" sized application of thermal paste


Then it's time to install the heatsink, you may or may not have to install a backplate on your motherboard for your particular heatsink. The nice flat copper bottom:

should be placed directly on top of the CPU, squashing down the thermal paste.

Then you will clamp down the heatsink, and the pressure from the heatsink being clamped down will spread the thermal paste:



Here's a nice diagram of how to install an Uber Heatsink like the scythe Ninja (like the one i have ;)  ):

Many of the principles are the same for other stock and aftermarket heatsinks.


With a quick google search, i found THIS page that shows how to install a LGA775 CPU. It's in an asian language, but just scroll down for the pictures, they're worth a thousand words ;) .
August 20, 2006 8:25:59 AM

Quote:
Parts:

E6300-Retail
Gigabyte-DS3
Corsair xms2 ddr2-533 latency:3 3-3-3-8 (awaiting shipment)
Soundblaster X-fi XM
graphics- havent picked one yet but leaning toward x1900xtx
hard drive- havent picked---undecided---either 1-250Gb or 2 harddrives (1) system files and all drivers (2) all games
Lightscribe 18x DVD-RW-R dual side

Could I work in a carpet room on a section thats hard wood floor? thats where my office desk is.


building a PC is very simple really. so first off, relax.

Here is the order i usually do things in:

0. Put PSU in case
1. Put memory into motherboard
2. Put CPU into Motherboard
3. Apply thermal compound and attach HSF (don't forget power)
4. Attach Motherboard to Case
5. Insert DVD ROM drives, floppy drives, and hard drives
6. Attach 24-pin ATX power cable to motherboard
7. Attach 4-pin power cable to motherboard
8. Attach Sound and Video Cards (if you are using PCIe, make sure to run a PCIe Power cable to the video card)
9. Attach any other PCI cards or motherboard peripherals that take up PCI slots
10. Run SATA/IDE/FLOPPY cables from motherboard to DVD ROM drives, Hard Drives, and Floppy Drives
11. Attach Power cables to DVD ROM drives, floppy, and hard drives
12. Attach auxillery case fans and power cables

i think that's it, i wrote that in a hurry, so someone feel free to chime in if i missed something.

Where you work really doesn't matter. I work on my living room floor, which is carpeted. Just make sure that you place anything with a circuit board backing on a non-static bag, like the one your motherboard will come in.

Fascinating, I PM'ed him almost the exact same order of events:
It is easier than you think --- I will pull together some net resources to help along the way. In short here is what I find easiest to do:

- Inspect MB out of the package for any issues -- cracked board, broken pins etc.
- Install CPU first.
- Install Memory.
- Install CPU heat sink and fan.
- Install power supply into case.
- Install drives into case
- Install MB into case.
- Wire up power switch, HD LED, reset switch to risers.
- Plug in 24 pin power and 4 pin 12-v power.
- Plug in power cables to drives
- Plug in communication cables to drives/MB.
- Install video (and audio if purchased) cards.
- Doublecheck
- Triplecheck
- Smoke test.

you need to change the order of when stuff gets installed. the proc fan should always be installed after the mo board is in the case already. if you install the proc and fan then put it in the case later the stand offs and ground pads can break or get messed up. the fan causes some flex on the board and when you try to put the board in the case after the fact the holes dont line up right so if you tighten them down you can get dents in the mo board and can cause bad ground

its not a problem for casual users but if you take apart and rebuild allot it will force you to buy a different Mo boardI guess that's possible if you're using a big*ss HS/F, but i always put the HS/F on first, and have never had any problems. Now, my heaviest HS/F to-date is only an XP-120 w/120x38mm fan(~600g's total). :?
August 20, 2006 2:10:59 PM

Quote:
Ok, I got it with the PSU....sounds easy :) 

So when the processor is in the socket, just put a BB size on, then the plate which as its put on will spread the paste? Then put the heatsink on...I was reading the instruction manual that describes the processor going onto the socket. Isnt that plate over the processor going to inhibit the heatsinks ability or the heat basically transfers from the processor--->paste-->plate---->heatsink.
The plate that comes with the mobo is designed to protect the mobo pins during shipping and handling. It is removed and not used when you install the cpu. Save this plate in case you have to return/ship the mobo. The cover I refer to is the hinged, open center cover that holds the cpu in place once it is gently placed on top of the pins. This cover has an open center to allow the paste and heatsink to contact the cpu.

Quote:
Can I use the antistatic bag that the mobo comes in....have the mobo sit on the bag and put the processor/paste/heatsink/ram on mobo.
You can, but for what purpose, it's not grounded. Use a mat thats grounded or just build it on a bare tabletop and make sure that YOU grounded yourself to eliminate static.

Quote:
I forgot to ask: Do you take off the side panel of the case and line up the mobo and put the gold pins in the case.....then line up the pins with the mobo and screw it in the panel, then put panel back in case?
The side panel comes off. Then looking at the tray the mobo will sit on, you will see threaded screw holes. Often they are marked (but not always) ATX, mATX, etc. Each mounting hole in the mobo will correspond with a threaded hole in the tray. Screw in a brass stand-off in each tray-hole that the mobo will use. Check it twice to make sure the count and location are the same. Put the mobo on the standoffs and gently screw it in without tightening it. Mount 1 or 2 expansion cards on the mobo to make sure it is correctly positioned on the tray. Then snug up the mobo screws.
August 22, 2006 5:16:37 PM

Does anyone have pictures of mobos getting mounted onto case? The mobo sits on those golden screws?
August 22, 2006 6:39:34 PM

LoL, too funny. Im already in the doghouse with my fiance being as though all of the computer parts are on the kitchen table. Ok who told me to do that??? Show yourself???

Then again, Im the head chef at home lol.
August 23, 2006 11:08:13 PM

Quote:
Does anyone have pictures of mobos getting mounted onto case? The mobo sits on those golden screws?


ok mike... can i call you mike? ok, you seem like a smart guy, you need to relax about this, it's all very easy, and you're not going to set off a nuclear explosion by placing a screw in the wrong hole, ok? :) 

Anyways, to install the motherboard into the case you are going to use your fingers to screw in the gold standoff screws (that look like this:) 

into the case.

You'll screw them in to the appropriate holes in the case:


You can see the holes in the back of this case (image from newegg):


So they will end up looking like this:

You'll do this for the 9 placements that line up with the holes on your motehrboard:


These are standard ATX placements, you can see 3 mounting holes on a motherboard in the bottom of this image:


Then you will align the holes in the motherboard with the gold standoffs, as such:


Then you will use a screw, not unlike this one:


And place it through the hole in the motherboard and into the top grooved portion of the gold standoff. Then you screw the sucker in like this:
August 23, 2006 11:50:00 PM

Perfect! Thats what I needed. I like the pictures, definatly what I was looking for. Thank you!

So the mobo that has the holes with little dots around them is where the mobo sits on the brass pins and u use a washer and the fat screw. My case gave me 5 brass pins. The raised part of the case..no brass pin....u just use a screw?

I noticed on the mobo the corners have holes, do screws go there also? Or is the saying.... if the mobo holes lay above a screw hole....screw it!
August 24, 2006 12:04:01 AM

Quote:
Perfect! Thats what I needed. I like the pictures, definatly what I was looking for. Thank you!

So the mobo that has the holes with little dots around them is where the mobo sits on the brass pins and u use a washer and the fat screw. The raised part of the case..no brass pin....u just use a screw?

I noticed on the mobo the corners have holes, do screws go there also? Or is the saying.... if the mobo holes lay above a screw hole....screw it!



see the picture with the red arrows that indicate where the gold standoff screws are placed? that's where you'll be attaching the motherboard too. there are only 9 screws, they'll correspond to the holes on the motherboard... so yes, in the 9 places that the holes line up with the gold standoffs, screw it in... :) 

as for why your case gave u five pins, i don't know. i'd have to know what case you are using and see pictures of it, esp if it has a raised section under the motherboard. Look, just make sure the motherboard is raised at an even level. if that means that you need to leave off a gold standoff screw where your case has a raised section, just do it. as long as everything is level and lines up properly. It's not rocket science ;) .
August 24, 2006 2:56:48 AM

Thanx Logic. My case is the Aercool ExtremEngine 3T. It has 4 raised holes (like mosquito bites).

If you find the case on newegg or see its specs. Im guessing the mobo sits on the raised spots and were there aren't the brass pins go in.
August 24, 2006 3:18:55 AM

Quote:
Thanx Logic. My case is the Aercool ExtremEngine 3T. It has 4 raised holes (like mosquito bites).

If you find the case on newegg or see its specs. Im guessing the mobo sits on the raised spots and were there aren't the brass pins go in.


looking at your case online, that appears to be correct, they raised 6 spots for you so u don't have to use standoff pins.
August 24, 2006 3:29:18 AM

Guys, those pictures are awesome, thanks! I'm doing my first build this Sunday and those pictures are extremely helpful.

A couple of questions concerning this thread:

1) It seems that you guys are suggesting that one attach some components to the motherboard BEFORE placing it in the case? Is it wrong to put the motherboard into the case first, secured, and then attaching components to it so that it doesn't slide around and is more "safe"?

2) I just received my Conroe E6600 today (you guys saved me $400 bucks+ on that advice as I was going to buy AMD) and was examining the heat sink. On the part that contacts the processor, there already seems to be some squares of thermal paste on it. I purchased some Arctic Silver. Should I put MORE on it (i.e. use the Arctic Silver in addition to what is on the heatsink already)?

Thanks guys!
August 24, 2006 8:27:31 AM

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Guys, those pictures are awesome, thanks! I'm doing my first build this Sunday and those pictures are extremely helpful.

A couple of questions concerning this thread:

1) It seems that you guys are suggesting that one attach some components to the motherboard BEFORE placing it in the case? Is it wrong to put the motherboard into the case first, secured, and then attaching components to it so that it doesn't slide around and is more "safe"?


It depends on what you feel your skill level is. If you want to do it in the case you can, but there is much more room to work if you do it outside, but it really comes down to what you feel comfortable with and if you think you have enough room to work in the case...

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2) I just received my Conroe E6600 today (you guys saved me $400 bucks+ on that advice as I was going to buy AMD) and was examining the heat sink. On the part that contacts the processor, there already seems to be some squares of thermal paste on it. I purchased some Arctic Silver. Should I put MORE on it (i.e. use the Arctic Silver in addition to what is on the heatsink already)?


ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!

If you are going to use the stock HSF and want to use your AS5 (WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) take a razor blade (or credit card) and some isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and scrape the stock stuff off.

Using the stock thermal pad on the HSF and AS5 *COULD* result in serious damage to your processor if there is not sufficient heat transference. So just don't do that!!!

OR you could always buy a better aftermarket cooler, it's your choice.
August 24, 2006 2:14:00 PM

My skill level is newbie. My first build ever will be Sunday when I have all the parts so I want to keep things as basic as possible.

And for that reason, taking a razor blade and alcohol to the bottom of the heatsink concerns me.........Another added step that I might screw up. So........if I just use what is already on the bottom of my E6600 stock heat sink and don't add anything else, I'm OK, right? I'm not going to be doing any fancy overclocking or anything. Just stock. And reading the instructions that the E6600 processor came with, it doesn't say I have to add any thermal paste.
August 24, 2006 2:28:13 PM

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My skill level is newbie. My first build ever will be Sunday when I have all the parts so I want to keep things as basic as possible.

And for that reason, taking a razor blade and alcohol to the bottom of the heatsink concerns me.........Another added step that I might screw up. So........if I just use what is already on the bottom of my E6600 stock heat sink and don't add anything else, I'm OK, right? I'm not going to be doing any fancy overclocking or anything. Just stock. And reading the instructions that the E6600 processor came with, it doesn't say I have to add any thermal paste.


your processor is going to runner better and cooler if you use AS5 over the crappy stock $hit. but it's up to you. It's not like you can terribly mess up scraping crap off the bottom of a heatsink... it's not like the heatsink will implode if you caress it the wrong way :roll:. All the heatsink is, is a chunk of metal used to conduct heat... it's not as if it's some electronics filled nanomolecular device ;) .
August 24, 2006 5:20:42 PM

I've noticed a lot of references to using an "antistatic bag" to work and lay parts on even when the bag is grounded. It seems to me that the current use of the term "antistatic bag" may no be understood based upon what I have been reading. Most electronic boards (mobo's, controller & GFX cards) are received by the end users (you guys and me) in shiny silvery bags that may say ESD or ANTI STATIC on them. The purpose of these shiny bags is to protect whats in the bag from static discharge, they do this by channeling any electrical discharges along the outer shiny silvery surface (hopefully) to ground.

This means that if you take your wonderful and most likely expensive electronic board out of the bag then place in on the bag and start working on it, any charges or surges you may build up or acquire in your body or tools have a wonderful opportunity to travel through your electronic board to the "antistatic bag" on their way to ground.

You are acutally better off working on uncoated cardboard, plain paper or a rubber mat, unless you already have ESD (Electro Static Discharge) straps properly attached to a ground through a properly rated resistor (the resistor is so you don't have lethal current run through your body to ground and kill yourself).

Now, a lot of people will say they have been doing it this way for years with no problems, all I'm saying is that they could have been a little safer in their board handling if they had known. The same people may have given their boards a shock that didn't kill the board but probably shortened the life of some components.
August 24, 2006 5:23:02 PM

I put the processor, heatsink, and ram into the mobo. The heatsink was a pain in the butt. I put the backplate in and gently got the mobo into that plate and slowly got it to sit on the raised parts of my case (correction: there were 6 raised parts and I only needed one brass pin). I put wahsers on the screws and its secure.

Hey Logic, you mentioned no no when putting thermal paste onto processor when heatsink that came with processor has some paste on it??? It was two tiny strips thaat were on the heatsink. I put a tiny amount of Cool Master nanofusion on the processor. It was not much but I spread it a little and I made a very small square within the center of the processor. Was this bad? Do I need to take the heatsink off and remove it all and start over?

BtW, fellow newbie and first time builder, its so much easier with ram/processor/heatsink in mobo before putting it in case. If you have a mid-tower, its a little cramped. Lesson learned: get full tower
With regards of putting mobo in case another lesson learned; get case with removable mobo tray.

One quick question: I have the Saphirre x1900xtx. After I insert the card in the mobo (the large blue rectangle labeled pciex16) I attach the card to the PSU's PCIE connector, and thats it?

Today Im going to install the video card, floppy, 2 HD's, and DVD burner. Do i have to set jumpers on HD's..one master and the other slave? Any jumpers on mobo? Any advice on jumpers for anything? The power cord for the HD's, can I use the same cord because one cord has 2 connectors.

Thanx for the excellent advice, pictures, and expertise (Jack your included). I've taken all manuals and driver disks and put them in a binder and labeled each manual with the corresponding driver cd.
August 24, 2006 7:43:47 PM

Geez, thats good advice. So if I cut a piece of cardboard from a box that will be good enough. When I was putting the processor/heatsink/memory in the mobo I was working on my desk with the mobo sitting on the bag it came in and the cushion that the back was laying in. I figure while putting pressure on the board it can have something to cushion on. I also was wearing a antistatic wristband. It had an aligator clip that I clipped to the case.

Btw, the bottom of the processor, is it very very brittle or will it take a good amount of pressure to break the contacts underneath. I was lying the processor on the socket with the yellow triangle and lowered it gently. I think I missed its exact spot by a hair so I gently nudged it a little leftward (looking at the socket) and it slid in. Im just a nervous nelly. I didnt use any pressure or didnt push it down, I slid it gently and it went in snug.
August 24, 2006 8:58:57 PM

If you want to make sure there is no damage to the contacts the best thing to do is remove the chip from the socket and check, better safe than fried.

One of the things I like to do before putting the MOBO into the case is to make sure that my video cards and any other cards that will be used in the build have been inserted to the sockets I will be using when all parts are put into the case, after I have verified they fit correctly in the sockets, I remove them from the MOBO and proceed with putting the MOBO in the case. After the test fit of the GFX card outside of the case it usually goes in easier when it's time to put in in the mobo while it's in the case.
August 24, 2006 9:27:37 PM

If you have any questions as to how you should install something, you can (only if you feel comfortable) take an old pc and pull it apart (i.e. heatsink, cpu,etc...) and put it back together without completely disassembling your pc. I haven't built my first pc yet, but to learn what to do, I opened my dell 4550 case and studied it and took the heatsink off and cpu and then replaced it. I then knew how to install a cpu and heatsink. I then took all of my cards, harddrive, cd drives, memory, cpu, and powersupply out of the board and then put them back in their place. No problems whatsoever.
Remember: practice makes perfect.

If you have any questions on how to install a psu or graphics card, hit cnet.com and check out their 'how to' section. You can watch their videos on how to do some things in your pc.

Hope this helps.
August 24, 2006 10:30:24 PM

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Where you work really doesn't matter.


The best setup is a standing-height work bench with an anti-static mat and a tall chair with lockable wheels. By "standing height" bench, I mean that it is at the height that you can work with your arms extended and not have to lean over. If you do this stuff 40 hours a week, your back will thank you since you can alternate beween standing and sitting while keeping good posture. Working on the floor leads to sore back and hips, even for kids that don't have all of my scar tissue.

At home, I take over the kitchen and use the table and island. I put parts on the island and the case on the table. It's a wood table so I cover it with this big piece of tight weave linnen, then cover that with a large anti-static mat. If you don't have that stuff, use a large towel to protect the table. You want the work area to be clean and as dust-free as possible.

I've installed a bunch of HSFs and do it like this:

0) Add the mobo standoffs to the case and test-fit the mobo. Be gentle, don't scrape the bottom of the mobo around - be precise.

1) DFI mobos come with a piece of foam in the box. I use this to set the mobo on while mounting the RAM, CPU and HSF.

2) I clean the HSF and CPU IHS with the Arctic Silver solvent. I do this immediately before installing the CPU. I have a bunch of lint-free linnen cloths but coffee filters work well too. I do it twice with clean parts of the cloth/filter and just a few drops of solvent. Don't give it a shower.

3) NEVER force a CPU into place! It should slip in easily if you have it aligned right and should bottom out evenly. No tippy fits.

4) If you need to mount any brackets in place to get the HSF to mount to the mobo, get all that ready now.

5) I take some of the HS grease and put it onto the cloth/filter and rub it onto the CPU surface and HS surface, then rub it out super thin, basically wiping everything away that I can without getting arrgo.

6) I put a tiny glob of HS grease on the CPU, like a small grain of rice sized glob, then set the HSF in place. Rotate it back and forth a few times to squeeze the grease out.

7) If your HSF ataches with screws, watch what you are doing. You want to pull it down flat. So take your time and feel the HS come down by rotating gently inbetween tightenings. Get oblique to see the joint as you tighten. You should not deform the living sh!t out of the mobo by overtightning, but you also want a good snug fit. Patience, grasshopper.

8) Carefully mount the mobo into the case. Get all of the screws started, then bring them down snug progressively, not one at a time but go around and slowly snug them up like lug nuts on a car.

9) Cable connectors, PCI boards, etc., should all slide in smoothly. You should not have to push real hard so if they won't go smoothly, look to see if you're out of alignment or hanging up on something.

10) I understand your apprehension so as others have said just relax. If you avoid static and keep from being too aggressive, you'll be fine. Try to enjoy yourself - the payoff is not far away!
August 25, 2006 11:40:41 AM

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I put the processor, heatsink, and ram into the mobo. The heatsink was a pain in the butt. I put the backplate in and gently got the mobo into that plate and slowly got it to sit on the raised parts of my case (correction: there were 6 raised parts and I only needed one brass pin). I put wahsers on the screws and its secure.

Hey Logic, you mentioned no no when putting thermal paste onto processor when heatsink that came with processor has some paste on it??? It was two tiny strips thaat were on the heatsink. I put a tiny amount of Cool Master nanofusion on the processor. It was not much but I spread it a little and I made a very small square within the center of the processor. Was this bad? Do I need to take the heatsink off and remove it all and start over?


Well i really don't know to be honest. It could cause some problems with heat. *IF I WERE YOU* i would just take off the HSF use a fine cloth with some rubbing alcohal and remove everything from the heatsink and processor, and then put a small application onto the processor and then reattach the HSF. But it's up to you, you can always wait and see what kind of temps you are getting.

Quote:
One quick question: I have the Saphirre x1900xtx. After I insert the card in the mobo (the large blue rectangle labeled pciex16) I attach the card to the PSU's PCIE connector, and thats it?


Stick card in first PCIe x16 Slot, use screw to secure the back plate (or plastic clampy thing if your case uses those), and attach 6-pin power connecter from PSU. Of course you will have to install video drivers from www.ati.com after you get windows up and running.




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Today Im going to install the video card, floppy, 2 HD's, and DVD burner. Do i have to set jumpers on HD's..one master and the other slave? Any jumpers on mobo? Any advice on jumpers for anything? The power cord for the HD's, can I use the same cord because one cord has 2 connectors.


that depends, are the hard drives IDE or SATA? SATA drives don't require master/slave jumpers. IDE drives do of course. whichever one you plan to use as your system drive, set the jumper to master, the other to slave, or both to cable select. Just make sure u put them on the same IDE cable.

There are no jumpers on the motherboard you need to fool with. And yes you can use the same power cord, that's why it has 2 connectors... duh! :p . Advice on jumpers???? Dude, take a Prozac, relax... They're jumpers :) , u pull them out, and put them on the right pins. Seriously, there's *NOT MUCH* you can do that's going to make your computer explode, implode, and/or turn into a butterfly upon turning it on. So just relax :) .
August 25, 2006 11:44:08 AM

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Btw, the bottom of the processor, is it very very brittle or will it take a good amount of pressure to break the contacts underneath. I was lying the processor on the socket with the yellow triangle and lowered it gently. I think I missed its exact spot by a hair so I gently nudged it a little leftward (looking at the socket) and it slid in. Im just a nervous nelly. I didnt use any pressure or didnt push it down, I slid it gently and it went in snug.


The bottom of your processor is not made of 5000 year old clay pottery :) . It's not going to crumble if you touch it. And you want a good amount of pressure on the processor when putting the HSF on.

The only reason you shouldn't touch the bottom is b/c you don't want a buildup of skin oil on the connection plates. If you missed the mark by a heair you can just nudge it in to place, you're not going to break it.
!