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Building tonight, need a bit of guidance.

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January 24, 2007 5:31:34 PM

So I've finally received my last shipment from NewEgg, and I think tonight is the night for assembly. After digging through the forums, I found some links to Wikipedia books on building a PC, but that’s it.

I think I can handle the assembly myself. I’ve purchased anti-static wrist bands, latex gloves and thermal grease, as well as a small Belkin PC assembly toolkit that I figured could not hurt. My main questions are about post assembly. Should I break in the computer in any way (make sure I leave it on over night for X amount of hours, things like that)? Any other tips on dos and don’ts would be greatly appreciated.

FYI, here are my main components:
------------------------------------
CASE - Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower
CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz
MB - EVGA LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX
VGA - eVGA GeForce 8800GTS 640MB GDDR3
CPU FAN - ZALMAN LED 92mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan with Heatsink
HD - Seagate Barracuda 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
MEM - CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
PSU - OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W

Misc
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Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
January 24, 2007 5:50:40 PM

All I gotta say is plug in the 12v molex connector into the Motherboard. I forgot to and it didnt post. >.<

Good luck, building pc's are fun and you learn alot. :) 
January 24, 2007 6:14:02 PM

I would let the AS5 break in (follow the steps they are around somewhere) before you overclock (assuming you will be). Another thing i recommend is because you only have one harddrive i would partition that one in to say a 30 ish gb one for windows and leave the rest for storage, that way if something happens with windows you can reintall windows and not lose your songs, pics and other stuff. Have fun and good luck.
Related resources
January 24, 2007 7:55:48 PM

Does anyone know where I can find steps on applying the AS5 and breaking it in? This is the process I am so nervous about (CPU/MB Install), so any information I can get is a big, big help for me.

Also, turns out my memory will not arrive until tomorrow! UPS has my current package status as 'DELAYED DUE TO TRAIN DERAILMENT [X]', which after a frantic call to UPS, turned out to be a general status message (train repair) and did not mean my package was a smoldering pile of CORSAIR's finest. My question is this; can I build my PC tonight, less the memory component and get up and running in my BIOS?

If I cannot get to a build point of being able to say ‘Ok, it works, its not catching on fire’ without the memory, then I will just wait.

Thanks in advance.
January 24, 2007 8:49:34 PM

Here is the steps to apply AS5


http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions_...

I would follow that.

I think the first thing you should do is put in your cpu. Then dry fit the cpu cooler and make sure it fits on and everything. AS5 is messy. Do it once and neatly.

After the cpu fan is all set apply the AS5 and attatch your cooler. Make sure its seating well and everything. Attatch the power to the fan of the header on the motherboard. you can now install your ram if you would like or you can do it latter. no biggy.

The next thing to do is to install the motherboard on the motherboard tray. This is pretty easy. Look at the manual for your motherboard and it will show you where to screw it down. Most Cases come with some sort of raiser to use will washers or something.

Now you can install the PSU in the case and make the connections to your mobo. the 24 pin and the 8 pin (maybe 4) not sure, by the cpu.

you can now install your hds and video card and other stuff. This is pretty stright foward though.
January 24, 2007 9:28:16 PM

So I will in fact be able to load into the BIOS without installing memory?
January 24, 2007 9:31:20 PM

Just loosely follow the instructions that came with the parts
January 24, 2007 10:09:15 PM

Quote:
So I will in fact be able to load into the BIOS without installing memory?

Definitely not. You need the CPU, memory, and video support to enter the BIOS. You don't need anything but bare basics for any/all of these three things, but you do need them all. What you don't need is anything else ... hard drives, optical drive, et cetera are not needed to boot to the BIOS.

(I think he (nh484000) was just pointing out that if you wanted to mount your CPU, heat sink, motherboard tonight you could and then add memory when it arrives tomorrow).

FWIW, while you're waiting why not visit http://www.arcticsilver.com/ and poke around for install info. There are more install guides than just the one link you were pointed towards earlier.

-john, the ostensibly clueless redundant legacy dinosaur
January 25, 2007 1:07:47 AM

that is true. Without the memory, cpu, and video card installed on the motherboard, you cannont get into bios
January 25, 2007 1:53:46 AM

When applying the Arctic silver according to the directions on the website take note of the direction it is applied to dual core chips this is important as you want the line to cross both chips inside not between.
January 25, 2007 5:14:54 AM

What can I expect if I start my new system without memory installed (should I even do this? is it bad?), meaning, will I see any text errors? Or will I just get a handful of beeps and no image?
January 25, 2007 5:46:00 AM

if your mb and cpu work and everything is properly connected,
you will get the beeps from the mb to tell you that there is a problem with your ram. which is normal since you haven't installed it.
January 25, 2007 6:54:29 AM

What can I expect if I start my new system without memory installed (should I even do this? is it bad?), meaning, will I see any text errors? Or will I just get a handful of beeps and no image?
January 25, 2007 7:13:44 AM

you will just hear beeps, you will have no image just beeps.

this does your pc no harm but it dont see the point to do this since your pc wont start anyway
January 25, 2007 7:41:55 AM

Don't cross the streams =D (aka Ghostbusters)
January 25, 2007 8:11:45 AM

Quote:
All I gotta say is plug in the 12v molex connector into the Motherboard. I forgot to and it didnt post.


The same goes with the extra gpu power, although I did remember that. :) 

In case you run into problems with the mobo, check the eVGA forums. The 680i boards have had some issues, and you might not be the only one. GL!
January 25, 2007 4:20:16 PM

New Question:

While placing the Fan onto the CPU Heatsink, it did not exactly go on straight the first time and throughout the mounting process it rotated clockwise and counterclockwise way more then the recommended 10 degrees. Should I be worried about this, is it worth me removing it all, cleaning the heatsinks with rubbing alcohol and doing it again?

Also, My Power LED Header plug is a three prong (center prong blank) instead of the two prong my MB requires. The MB manual says to hack it apart and make my own, can I buy new ones of these at frys (metal sleeves and all)?

Finally, When I do actually get up and running, how long should I leave the PC on for its first time running? How long do I want to keep it turned off between uses until it has passed that 200 hour break-in period?

Thanks again.
January 25, 2007 4:27:25 PM

So, I don't exactly want to admit this, but hey, its a first time build.

After browsing those eVGA forums for some info, I noticed that I installed my CPU fan backwards. The fan is pointing towards the back of the case, instead of the expansion slots. Oops...

So I will need to remove the thermal paste and remount this. All I need to clean the thermal compound off is the same rubbing alcohol I used to clean the heatsinks, correct?
January 25, 2007 4:31:20 PM

Don't worry abouth the recomended 10 degrees.

as for your mb plug you can easely make your own or just break apart the old one and reuse it.

i personnaly think this break in period is exagerated. ok you don't leave your pc on from the first start till it dies, but if you just shut down your pc every night for say 2 weeks or so you will have your break in period.

and sinds they say the temp is only max 5 c lower, i wouldn't worry about it. the type of cooler you have will determe youre temps for say 98%.

also make sure to not put to much paste on there.

since i see it is your first build, don't think your pc is made from glass,

ok you have to be a bit carefull with what you are doing but i noticed people tend to think that if they touch a component it will break. just make yourself aware that when you are building you make sure you can't accidentely knock over a component or drop something.

now don't go and play football with it :lol: 

hope this helps a bit and enjoy building 8)
January 25, 2007 4:46:49 PM

the alcohol is just fine.

the zalman is not what i would reccomend since i have a cnps9700 and i am definately not happy with it. with the zalman you have 2 choises :
a quit but not so good cooler, or a loud noisy average cooler.

but if you are not oc'ing to high or don't care about noise it will do just fine.

i resently had a discussion of my own with some guys here on the forum about what cooler would be the best. i was mislead by some charts that the 9700 whas the best. but they simply din't include the best cooler in the chart. so my thanks go's to the guy's who helped me and choose the Tuniq Tower 120.
January 25, 2007 4:57:28 PM

Yeah, I am trying to be as careful as possible. Probably a bit too careful. In addition to an anti-static wrist band, I am building it with latex gloves on.
January 25, 2007 5:06:59 PM

i understand your worry :wink: been there but after you have installed your cpu there is realy no need for the gloves, and if you just don't touch the heat spreader of the cpu you dont need the gloves at all.

as for the wrist band since you have it, use it.

but touching your case with one hand would also be fine.

on my firs build i use the gloves to but i transpirated like hell in it, so i never used it again. i build a total of ... don't know actually... pc's for numerouse people and i never had something blow up on me during a build. and all builds work. be carefull with inserting your ram as this tend to be the part that wants to let the sparks go (ESD) .
January 25, 2007 5:09:55 PM

Thanks again everyone. Hopefully I will be posting a thanks tonight from my new rig.
January 25, 2007 5:10:39 PM

gl
January 25, 2007 5:18:15 PM

One more thing,

Is it best to wait until after the break-in period to attempt any over clocking?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 25, 2007 5:25:03 PM

Once you get your PC working properly, you are all set. I leave mine on for 24 hours in order to burn it in. It fixes small errors of the machine.
You could also use this software:

http://www.passmark.com/products/bit.htm
January 25, 2007 5:25:10 PM

some people say you have to wait others say it's not needed.

this is a choise you have to make.

i did not wait and oc'd my 6600 to 3.2( thanks to the zalman i can't go higher)

as for stability testing use orthos beta and for temp measuring use coretemp. they are free
January 25, 2007 7:55:57 PM

Also, a question about SATA from a person only experienced with IDE.

If I only have one HD, can I connect it through SATA? Or is it only for security/performance paired drives?
January 25, 2007 8:14:09 PM

Uh sure. Plenty of people just run with one SATA drive. Not too sure about what you mean by your question though.
January 25, 2007 8:16:07 PM

I meant having them setup in RAID. I am still new to SATA/RAID, so I may be getting mixed up.
January 25, 2007 8:27:02 PM

yeah and if you leave it on past 10 sec in this state it will self destruct. :p 


just follow the manual that comes with the Mobo. Make sure you have all basic parts installed before doing any real trouble shooting. Usually if you buy good parts troubleshooting never comes into play.

If you skimp out on things like PSU, memory, Mobo etc you're almost guaranteed to have trouble.

good luck.
January 25, 2007 8:32:48 PM

Before I said I think I have the CPU fan on backwards. Can someone confirm this. I came to this conclusion because of the below image I found on the mobo's manufacturer's forums.


In my setup, the fan (which is pointing towards the DIMM slots above) is pointing towards the back of the case, directly into the back large case fan.
January 25, 2007 9:05:03 PM

Quote:
Yeah, I am trying to be as careful as possible. Probably a bit too careful. In addition to an anti-static wrist band, I am building it with latex gloves on.

You can almost never be to careful. You don't have to use a wrist strap, but what you can do is touch the psu and the metal in the case to ground yourself. Also one thing to remember is to take your time and read everything a couple of times. Don't rush anything!!! The book that comes with the mother board is the best way to go off of to build your pc. Good luck.
January 25, 2007 9:07:33 PM

you should install the cooler as seen in the picture

so the fan is on the right side of your heatsink expelling the air towards the back of your case
January 25, 2007 9:09:38 PM

Figured as much. Well, lets call that first fan mounting a practice!
January 25, 2007 9:23:04 PM

Quote:
If you skimp out on things like PSU, memory, Mobo etc you're almost guaranteed to have trouble.


yes you must be sure that your power supply is good enough, because when they break they usually take some things with them into oblivion.

you dont want to see fire when you start it up the first time :twisted:
January 25, 2007 9:25:32 PM

yeah, I made sure I did not go cheap on the PSU, ended purchasing this:

OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W
January 25, 2007 9:27:13 PM

that will do nicely
January 25, 2007 10:58:18 PM

Quote:
yeah, I made sure I did not go cheap on the PSU, ended purchasing this:

OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W


Yes this looks like a nice PSU. I purchased PSU OCZOCZ 850 GXSSLI which is about the same. Mine will be at my house on firday.
January 25, 2007 11:37:17 PM

Quote:
One more thing,

Is it best to wait until after the break-in period to attempt any over clocking?


the breakin period is over as soon as you start your computer.
if it works and after you have went through all of the driver installs
and reboots you should be good to go.
January 26, 2007 12:17:27 AM

Wow, I thought I was the only nut-job handling stuff with gloves. Although I use surgical-grade powder-free nitrile. That way, no skin oils or anything else contaminating the heat sink surfaces.

Check out the Arctic Silver web site for instructions on application. Once the heat sink is on and the grease spreads out, don't lift it up!!! You'll end up with air bubbles if you do. Some temperature cycling will help bed the stuff in when it's all done.

I actually did a test application, then removed the heat sink to see how the grease spread and whether or not the layer seemed too thick. Then I cleaned it all up and did the final assembly. Following their instructions really did work fine. The grease spread pretty much to the edges of the heat spreader with just a tiny spec of excess in two spots, and patterns of metal showing through the grease. Exactly like it should be. I wouldn't take their word for it blindly but you may now if you wish.

-Brad
January 26, 2007 12:28:28 AM

By the time you load the OS, update all you drivers, load all the windows updates, and load some applications you should be ok for some mild OC before you start pushing it I would recommend you run it for a week or so.
January 26, 2007 4:06:51 PM

I'm happy to report the build was a success. Phew!

Thanks again to everyone who helped out.

Also, is there any trick to putting 2 HDs in a raid array? I went ahead and picked up another Seagate 320gb for a raid setup.

Is the performance you gain from having the drives in a raid setup geared towards speed (RAID 0?) worth not having the data security you get from the setup geared towards security (RAID #?)?
January 26, 2007 6:47:03 PM

on a raid 0 you combine 2 identical drives into one big drive,

so the 2 x 320 become 640.

in raid 1 you have 2 identical drives but one drive is lost for mirror.

so your 2 x 320 becomes 320 gb of total storage space.

to set up a raid, you need a raid driver. this is usually on the driver cd of the mb.

once you loaded the raid drivers onto a floppy. put in the windows cd and press F6 for other install. then choose youre raid driver and install xp onto the raid array. this is gonna be the 640 GB.

you can also make a raid and not install windows on it. then you just need to instaal the raid driver for xp, normaly also on the cd of your mb.

the advantige of raid 0 is that you have double the read speed.

on my 74 gb raptor the average read speed is 79 MB/s
but if i would put 2 raptors of 74 GB in a raid 0 the average read speed would be close to 150 MB/s

this is a great advantage in loading apps and games.

keep in mind that if one disk crashes you lose the full 640 GB of data.
!