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Emergency First Build

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April 22, 2007 9:20:35 PM

I have been thinking to upgrade to a new system for a couple months, but wanted to wait, mainly for DX10 cards to come down in price. Unfortunately, my 3+ year old system is now having some sort of hardware failure or serious problem. I might be able to fix it but would be happier to get some great advice from you all, priority ship the parts, and get it all setup before next weekend. I am in a big rush because my design projects are trapped on the hard drive, and final projects are coming due quickly... :?

I almost always run in 1600x1200, but occasionally used to go higher for certain projects. Common applications are:

3DS, Maya, Macromedia stuff, Protoshop and Adobe apps, Corel Painter, some interest in using video/music editing in the future

Games: EVE Online, Guild Wars, occasionally FPS and low end stuff

So, I wish that I had more time to research before coming here begging for advice.. but the crash is unexpected. These are my initial thoughts on what to buy, and I will appreciate any guidance.

I don't plan on overclocking anything, at least initially, because of my inexperience and the time issue. If it is simple enough to do, I wouldn't mind making my system run faster though.

*I would like to keep the budget under $1500 if possible

Memory: I don't want less than 2GB, and I read that this is the limit for 32-bit OS's anyhow. I honestly don't understand CAS Latency or timing well. I noticed that NewEgg has a sale on G.Skill 2GB DDR2 800 RAM. Maybe this is a good idea. link

CPU/Motherboard: I hear Core2Duos are good, but have no clue what to choose here. I don't think that I have any special needs here like extra USB ports or anything fancy. I just want something fairly cutting edge that is a good price/performance value.

Graphics Card: I am leaning towards an 8800GTS 640MB although I might be persuaded to choose a DX9 card depending how the budget ends up looking. I would prefer to be prepared for DX10 and EVGA seems to have gotten good reviews, so maybe this one for $400.. link

Monitor: I am fine with my 19" CRT for now. It only has an analog port, but I think there would be no problem using an analog-DVI converter, right? I think that I still have one laying around somewhere, or can find one locally if needed.

Sound Card: I think onboard will be suitable for me. I could salvage an old Sound Blaster card from my broken computer maybe, but I doubt it is worth it.

CD/DVD: I will probably salvage my CD-RW drive from the old computer if possible. I assume it would be as simple as moving it from one rig to another and plugging it in. In the future I may think to buy a DVD-RW.

Case: I only looked through these for a little while, so I don't know if this will even fit the equipment but the.. COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail <link> looks good.

The case is kind of a big issue for me. I don't care at all how it looks really. What concerns me is that my wife smokes and we have pets, so my old computer ended up with black dust and gunk throughout the case. The case I linked sounds solid, with a full air filter on the front. My old aluminum LianLi case let gunk in through a bunch of openings. I should probably take better care this time and buy a HEPA air cleaner and clean my computer frequently.

Hard Drive: The first thing is that I will need to implant my old 80GB drive with XP Home into my new system to retrieve my files. I am looking to buy a new drive, and 300-500 gigs should be more than enough. A month ago I had started to look at possibly getting a new raptor drive (or 2) to run in RAID for my new system, but I really don't have experience with this. If the budget will allow and it makes sense to do.. A raptor and my old 80GB drive is actually quite enough for my storage needs. Besides my hardware failing, my computer was crying for a reformat, so I will be doing a fresh install of Windows on whatever new drive.

Power Supply: I am not sure what this type of system will require. Beyond what I have listed, I don't really intend to add more equipment in the next few years besides at most a new audio card, DVD drive, and maybe another HDD/GFX card. Price wise, I hope that a 500W PSU will be sufficient but I know that the 8800 cards are big and power hungry.

OS: I think/hope that I could get by with finding my old XP Home disc and using the serial on the back of my old computer. I think that I would prefer to not spend the money on Vista unless there is a good reason. This is really stupid to not know offhand.. but I don't know if these Core2Duos are 64-bit or what. If my budget isn't too crazy, or it is necessary I guess I might go for Vista. I think that some of the graphics programs I use support multithreaded apps and 64-bit, or will soon. Here is another category I am not sure what to do at all.

ETC: I will be okay with my old keyboard and would like to have a bit of budget left for a sub-$50 mouse.

-----

I hope that I haven't forgotten anything. I would like to order the parts overnight ASAP, maybe by tomorrow afternoon. Please help me avert disaster. Thank you.

More about : emergency build

April 22, 2007 11:35:31 PM

You have done a lot of planning which eases the choices.
That Ram is a good Deal
The choice around here is a Gigabyte DS3. solid and easy to work with.
Use more money on the CPU. I thinking a e6600 would be a good fit for you, hard worker on renders and blend and all.
Graphic card Might wait on a 8800, unless need extra resolution, a x19xx series for ~$150.
monitor, sound card sure np, you will want a DVD sooner than later, programs are starting to come out on DVD's like Vista.
Solid case, some people prefer the CM 534.
The Seagate 7200.10 320gb 5 year warrenty
PSU at least 500, and if you want it to last a fews years get a high quality one starting about $125...600W, lots of good choices.
If the computer was a Dell or Compac, probably will not work. A mom and pop shop, np.
April 23, 2007 12:24:33 AM

You may want to get a low end card for the time being, ATI's DX10 cards are about to come out and hopefully will cause a major drop in GPU prices.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2007 12:29:32 AM

Here is a basic run down list:

CPU:E6600 (good performance)

Motherboard:D S3(solid OC'ing board)

Harddrive: Seagate 320GB SATA2

RAM: OCZ 2GB (2x 1GB) Dual Channel Kit

DVD:LITE-ON 20X DVD Burner with LightScribe

Graphics: 8800GTS or X1950PRO. (or R600 when it comes put)

PSU: OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI 700W(enough power for a 8800GTX SLI and the future power hungry graphics)

Case:CM 534

OS: XP for now, upgrade to Vista x64 later.(not good support for Vista at this time)*You need to buy an OS for your new PC as the Dell XP CD will not work*

When you have the $ upgrade to a better LCD monitor.

Hope this helps. :D 
April 23, 2007 12:48:37 AM

This is what I am thinking now :oops: 

Proc: Intel® Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe Processor 2.4GHz, 1066FSB, LGA775, 4MB Cache Retail $234 at zipzoomfly

Mem: G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail$130 at newegg

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $116 at newegg

PSU: COOLMAX CUG-700B ATX 12V( V.2.2) 700W Power Supply 115/230 V - Retail $100 at newegg counting combo with mobo

Case: Antec Performance One P180 Silver cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $130/$100 after MIR

HDD: Recertified: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000KS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $100 at newegg

Video: EVGA 640-P2-N825-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SUPERCLOCKED HDCP Video Card - Retail $410 at newegg

OS: I still don't understand WTH C2D are besides good processors. 64-bit? So I have to buy Vista Ultimate I guess. $200~

Total $1420 +$100 or so for shipping. I was going to shop around some more for prices, since the processor is sold out at newegg anyhow. I don't know what retailers to trust besides newegg and maybe zipzoomfly. I think I will just go ahead and order this stuff tonight... I hope that I don't have any bad combinations.. basing these decisions on other peoples responses and other threads.

I have no clue if that case is going to fit this vid card. 700W PSU should be more than enough I guess. I have no clue if that HDD is that good or what "recertified" means ATM.

Tom's guide seems to suggest that the 320MB vid card is a better value, but people on these forums say, "may as well just go for 640"... very confusing, but I guess I can squeeze it in my budget. I wish that I didn't have to spend $200 on Vista for 64-bit, maybe instead XP 64-bit or something. I really don't know what to do, but if you all don't have any suggestions I am just going to order whatever tonight to get the "weekend deals".

******
******

edit: was typing all this before I had any responses, will read through now. Thanks for the help.

edit again: IIRC there is some sort of special XP 64-bit edition, so I will just look into that, ty. I will check a bit on the HDDs you all mentioned. I think they might be similar to what I put with a trusted name and 5 yr warranty.

I will think a bit more about the vid card. Anything newer will probably seem blazing fast compared to my old 3dLabs Wildcat OpenGL card (puke). I guess the one mentioned is the new low end DX10s.

Can I use regular old XP Home with a C2Duo?? I got it from a ma n pa store not Dell or something.. just I thought that was 64-bit maybe and wouldn't work. An extra $200 would be great to fit in a combo DVD-RW/CD-RW drive, and mouse, although I have no interest in LightScribe.

Last thing, Al, what you said is funny! I am not prepared at all.. Pretty freaked out and hurrying to research and order. I was planning to spend a lot more time before making a decision, but I really need to get this fixed.

I have never done that much work with hardware before... Do you recommend any extras like fans or static shock things or something?... haha
April 23, 2007 5:15:24 AM

everything sounds good, i would like to recomend this case, it is one of the best ive had the fans are not loud and you will never have to worry about anything overheating.( case) make sure your psu is no more than 17cm long or it won't clear the 8cm top exhaust fan.
April 23, 2007 6:09:31 AM

Do you know if the programs you want to use will work under Linux? You could possibly save some money there.
April 23, 2007 1:02:06 PM

ALL new processors are 64 bit, however they are also backwards compatible with 32 bit (with no performance loss). You don't need a 64 bit OS unless you have a 64 bit program you want to run. I have an AMD FX-60 (dual core, 64 bit) running Windows XP Pro 32 bit. Core 2 Duos are the most efficient and best OCing processors out today, which is why everyone loves them. I would have gotten one except I had an existing 939 system and this FX-60, which is almost as good, was only $200 new.
(Edit 1)
As to your questions about static, if you touch the case before working, you will be sufficiently discharged. You probably will need fans, but since you are in a rush, don't worry, it will work w/o a full set of case fans (you did get a CPU fan though, right?).
(Edit 2)
You could probably could get a good DVD-RW/CD-RW for $30-50, and again, you DO NOT need a 64 bit OS to use a 64 bit processor like a Core 2 Duo.
April 23, 2007 2:23:37 PM

You mentioned air cleaning and since I'm familiar with HEPA filtration systems, thought I'd throw in my 2 cents worth on that topic. First, most portable home type systems rarely have actual HEPA filters, and even if they do, the seals and sealing mechanisms are so poor that most small particles bypass the filters anyway. So don't worry about spending a ton of money on a room size HEPA unit, just look for the higher total air flow capacity. The second concept is placement of the unit. Most people would want to place the filtration unit near the point where they want the cleanest air. That's backwards since you want the air to move away from the area you want to be the cleanest. Place the ventilation unit in the opposite corner so that it draws air away from your computer area.
A case with an inlet filter is an excellent idea. Even though those filters are only marginally effective, they do a good job as "rock stoppers" and should cut down on the amount of pet hair getting into the case.

Again, just my 2 cents worth on your side issue.
April 23, 2007 4:32:08 PM

Don't bother spending money on a 64-bit OS. Driver support is still terrible and there aren't too many 64-bit applications, so it's not worth. Just save the money so you can buy Vista later on. And don't bother with Vista Ultimate either; you don't need the extra features, Vista Premium is fine.
Personally, I've never really liked the Western Digital Caviar hard drives (had a couple die on me), I've always preferred Seagate and Maxtor.
Also, I doubt you need 700W with an 8800GTS. Get something by a reputable manufacturer that's about 600W and has at least 30A on the +12V rails (check the manufacturers website for that). Some decent brands are: Hiper, Thermaltake, PC&P, Zalman, Enermax, Silverstone, Fortran, Seasonic.
Finally, if you're not overclocking, don't bother with DDR2 800 RAM, it's pointless otherwise. Just buy some DDR2 533 RAM and save some money (make sure you get CL4 stuff though, as it's slightly faster than CL5).
April 23, 2007 5:19:59 PM

regarding the files on your old hard drive, I suggest getting an external USB enclosure to put your old hard drive in, the access your files that way....then you will have some external storage to save old projects off to and you can keep your new system clear of old junk files.
April 23, 2007 6:45:10 PM

I ended up not ordering last night because some of the things I was planning to get sold out but I am planning to order something in about an hour. I figured out that a 32-bit OS is okay after looking but thanks for the help. I wish that I had more time to look through stuff, but I am starting to feel okay with this purchase now.

@pirate - Thanks for the advice. The positioning thing makes sense. If the case I am getting doesn't keep the inside clean so well, I will just spend the time to clean it every few weeks.

@r0x0r - I know that quite a few of my programs won't work in Linux, but now that I will have 2 HDDs maybe I could try using it some day. For now, I am just hoping that I can get this thing up and running in time to work on my projects.

I know that it may not be necessary to get 700W, but I am getting an extra $40 off. So for the same price I could get something 500-580W but it can't hurt to have some extra power if I ever need it.

I originally planned to learn more about overclocking, so I am going with some good memory still. It ends up costing not that much more than slower models/ones with CAS 5.

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $150

I changed my mind on the HDD too:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3400620AS 400GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $120

Getting an OEM drive started to worry me because of stories of them not coming with screws or cables. The WD drive was sold out last night. I noticed my mobo comes with SATA cables. Hopefully it won't be too hard to find some screws locally if I need them. Most are OEM anyhow.

I decided finally on this vid card. I probably could have gotten by with something cheaper but 640MB seems nice in the long run.

EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail $390

Since my budget is looking good, I am going to get this CPU fan

ZALMAN 9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail $60

I never had anything like this so hopefully it will work out.

I am getting a DVD drive too: LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - Retail

$40


Even with next day shipping, I can keep my budget under $1500 and have room to pick up a cheap mouse locally. Unless anyone has some last minute advice I am going to order soon.
April 23, 2007 8:00:59 PM

Looks good.

That fan is a good one, a little pricey, but it is one of the best.

I was going to suggest getting a retail version of the DVD burner so you get the software, but you already did that.

Don't worry about buying a OEM HD, your case will probably come with the screws or may even be tooless (are you getting a new case? I can't remember.)

I can assure you that you wouldn't be dissapointed with that card, since you can't wait for ATI's release, a GTS is the best choice.
April 24, 2007 3:15:30 AM

Thanks for the update (which totally goes against some of what Proof was complaining about in the "N00bs" thread).

Best of luck with your projects, and welcome to the forums.
April 24, 2007 11:43:05 AM

Seems like a good build overall. Let us know how it all goes and check the overclocking section for info on oc'ing the C2D. Word of warning: if you overclocking to 400 core clock on the processor, it'll probably get quite loud (you'd need to run the Zalman at its max during games to get sufficient cooling, which I think is 35dB or so).
April 27, 2007 9:01:48 AM

I received the last of my parts today and have spent the last 10 hours straight connecting everything... but I can't even boot to the BIOS yet :roll:

I was sure that I had connected at least 95% of things correctly, maybe I will go through that in more detail later. When I boot, fans run, LEDs in front light up, but it seems that there is no video output. My monitor light just blinks like it is in sleep mode. My DVD drive blinks once at startup, and has power to open and close.

I have my card in the 16x PCIE slot and the 6 pin power connector that came with my power supply hooked up to the PSU. My graphics card came with some other (way too short) power cord that has a side with 6 connectors and a side split into a pair of 3 cords. Each set of 3 wires ends in a 4 slot male connector that has one slot blank. This might be related to it not working, but I have no idea how I would connect this cord even if it was long enough to reach from my graphics card to my PSU.

There were 2 other main things that I wasn't sure about my wiring job, besides them being a tangled mess and one fan cord being really close to the CPU heatsink:

* There was a set of cords bundled with my case labeled <LED1, LED2, SYS RESET, AC97/HD SOUND, and SPEAKER> something like that. My mobo has a field of 10 pins.. but the instructions were unclear how to hook these up correctly. Most of the 2-pin connectors will have a white cord along with a yellow/purple/etc connector...... but the field of pins and instructions don't describe how to hook them up correctly, just part of the mobo is printed with a + or is blank. My power button on the front of the case works and 3 LEDs are solid blue, but the reset button doesn't work.

Another issue with this is that there seems to be no primitive PC speaker on my case, so I can't seem to get any system beeps to hint at why I can't boot.

*I hooked a 3-pin power cable (after splitting it to the CPU fan control) into the part of the mobo labeled <NB_FAN> (Chip Fan Power Connector)...I don't have anything connected to the 4 pin slots on the mobo labelled CPU_FAN or SYS FAN, or the 3 pin PWR_FAN.. labelled in the instructions as (Cooler Fan Power Connector)

Really I don't understand the difference between a "cooler fan" and a "chip fan"......

I guess I will try booting with the side open to see if anything isn't running.. then fiddle with some cords and search the web for troubleshooting tips.

Thanks if anyone can help.
April 27, 2007 9:12:30 AM

LIst the PSU, Graphic card, Motherboard and Case. First problem is probably in the Video card. The other problem is simple once we know the MOBO make and model.
April 27, 2007 9:23:32 AM

PSU: COOLMAX CUG-700B ATX 12V( V.2.2) 700W Power Supply 115/230 V

EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

Antec Performance One P180 Silver cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case


==================

I took off the side and watched it boot. The GFX card's fan spins, so it is at least getting power.

I noticed the DVI-analog adapter was a bit loose, but I still got the same symptoms after tightening. My monitor gave me a plug icon with a "?" begging for a signal when the cable was unplugged, so my monitor should be fine.
April 27, 2007 9:40:32 AM

ATI's DX10 video card is a major dissapointment.It can only compete realistically with the 8800gts,and is not ablt to even touch the 8800GTX.Get a 8800gts 640 video card for now,and purchase a second one later for SLI.That would seem to be your best bet at this time.Goodluck.

Dahak

AMD X2-4400+@2.6 TOLEDO
EVGA NF4 SLI MB
2X EVGA 7950GT KO IN SLI
4X 512MB CRUCIAL BALLISTIX DDR500
WD300GIG HD/SAMSUNG 250GIG HD
ACER 22IN WIDESCREEN LCD 1600X1200
THERMALTAKE TOUGHPOWER 850WATT PSU
COOLERMASTER MINI R120
3DMARK05 13,471
April 27, 2007 9:55:24 AM

what happens when the cable is plugged in?
April 27, 2007 9:59:50 AM

The video cable? Well, it is running through a dvi to analog converter since my monitor is analog only. I have it plugged in securely now and the same thing happens...

I power on, black screen, green light on the monitor which should go solid blinks as if I am getting no output or it is in sleep mode.

I know the GFX card fan has power and I am pretty sure I seated it in the PCIE slot correctly.. at least it gave me the reassuring click.
April 27, 2007 10:17:38 AM

Quote:
ATI's DX10 video card is a major dissapointment.It can only compete realistically with the 8800gts,and is not ablt to even touch the 8800GTX.Get a 8800gts 640 video card for now,and purchase a second one later for SLI.That would seem to be your best bet at this time.Goodluck.


Yea, I already got an 8800 GTS 640MB :o 

I think I will like my new setup if I don't do something stupid and fry it first. I just really need to get my computer working soon or I am dead for this semester :/ 

Like I said, it took me 10 hours+ so far to just get things hooked up. So, I am dreading the thought of disconnecting all the damn cords to have to try reseating the vid card or something. Just waiting for some guidance right now, trying to relax some.

I was searching some random threads and came across this one.

I guess something mentioned was that standoffs that weren't aligned to the mobo might be shorting the mobo out to the case.

When I installed... been trying to remember now.. I didn't mess with what standoffs were already there... 3 were placed outside of the "range" of my mobo's area.. and 6 lined up with 9 of the holes in my mobo. I put screws in 5 of those but left one blank since it would have required either a magnetic screwdriver or some crazy tweezer skills like one of those arcade crane things where you get a stuffed bear or other mass produced goods.

I am pretty sure there were no randomly placed standoffs below my board though. There was the one screw blocked fairly well by the giant CPU cooler fan that I didn't put in, then 3 holes that were just left blank, but not even a place to put standoffs there unless I drilled a hole maybe.

So, that probably isn't the real problem and I have no clue what I am doing anyhow.

I hope that I didn't do anything funky to my processor... I definitely got resistance when trying to place the cover back on and lower the arm again. If that is the way it is supposed to go..... the stupid instructions should say, "hey don't worry about busting your $200 chip. It will take some pressure", instead of just having fingers and arrows. These chips dont have pin seats.. just direct contact.. and I could handle the whole lining up the golden triangle thing.. but I worried over this for a good hour.

This Zalman fan's "s-type clip" fitting was horrible too. I actually had to bend it to get it straight enough to be able to screw it in.. just poorly made I guess.

I followed all of the (sometimes poorly written) instructions best that I could the whole way through.. just totally at a loss right now for what to try besides taking everything apart and putting it back together.
April 27, 2007 10:30:11 AM

Got any way to swap parts? I really think it is the 8800, and you might have to RMA. More things to try with different set-ups if possible.
April 27, 2007 10:43:00 AM

That's all? Just a bad video card? I am probably not up to it right now, but I can try my old 3dlabs wildcat VP870. It may be broken or my old mobo, I didn't really bother to try and figure it out, just left it for dead.

I guess I will try that, as well as reseating the 8800, although I think that I did it right. There really isn't much else to try huh?

IIRC I do RMA through the vid card manufacturer not newegg, so I hope that goes well. I was surprisingly underwhelmed with newegg's service after hearing so many good things for years. Anyhow, off to bed.

cheers
April 27, 2007 10:45:20 AM

Right try those two things then try calling/emailing eVGA. I think you have to RMA thru Newegg to start with but hard to say. Good luck
April 27, 2007 11:59:00 AM

Yeah, you normally RMA through the people you brought the product from. If you can put extra motherboard risers in, then do so - I think some of the riser contact points are needed to ground the motherboard. Also, if you have a camera, that would be really really useful for us to see.
April 27, 2007 12:13:13 PM

Quote:
Yeah, you normally RMA through the people you brought the product from. If you can put extra motherboard risers in, then do so - I think some of the riser contact points are needed to ground the motherboard. Also, if you have a camera, that would be really really useful for us to see.



Right on about the standoffs I PM him on this must have posted that when i was PMing him. (did he even get bio's post?)thinking not but may have missed it.
April 27, 2007 3:36:11 PM

Before you RMA did you plug in the CPU power plug?? I had the same problems you are having last night and i just didnt noticed the 2 x 4 pin CPU power plugs that needed to be plugged in lol. The last build i did didnt require a CPU Plug lol

Ryan
April 27, 2007 7:50:04 PM

The only suggestion I can give is to check all of you connections again. Also, it would be helpful if you had a speaker (find one in an old comp), because, I know for my MB, the comp will tell you what is failing ("failed VGA Test", "failed ram test", etc.) Ten hours!?! Thats rough. I guess a have torn apart and rebuilt my comp so many times I am used to it.

However, I do feel your pain. My MB/Case also came with atrocious instructions for lights and buttons. I somehow fiqured it out the first time, and ever since I have kept a notebook telling me how to put it back together.

Try reseating the ram and the card. I really don't know how those new Intels are supposed to insert, my FX-60 was the old design where it just dropped in without pressure.
April 27, 2007 9:55:03 PM

I could probably put another screw in my mobo to make it 6/9 filled. I don't even own a drill, so making it 9/9 just because it might not be grounded isn't realistic.

My old GFX card is AGP and my mobo doesn't have AGP, so that is out of the question too.

Using the PC speaker from my old case will involve cutting a bunch of wires and ruining the case. It might tell me that it is the mobo or the vid card.. but I am about ready to give up at this point and take it to get serviced...

@stickboy: I am not sure what you mean by CPU power plug. Best I can tell the only plug near my CPU at all is the one coming from the zalman fan. The mobo instructions don't really define the difference between NB_FAN/CPU_FAN/SYS_FAN/PWR_FAN....

2 of these plugs have 3 pins (like the Zalman has 3 pins) and 2 have 4 pins.. Maybe it isn't posting because the mobo wants something plugged into a 4 pin slot... got me. I tried the "PWR_FAN" slot and the CPU fan still ran but my problem didn't go away.

I definitely don't recommend this setup for a first time build because the instructions leave you guessing at every step. Hopefully I can get the RMA process started today and maybe get a new card next week.. I am going to see if any shops can take a look at it on a Saturday. If anyone knows a trustworthy shop anywhere near East Baltimore, that would be great. I wish that I just wasted more money on a complete system that would have worked straight from the box. :/ 
April 27, 2007 10:17:22 PM

Once you've built one computer and got through the pains of things not working, you'll be fine to always build it yourself. It's just something you need to learn. If you can put pictures up of all the connections inside the case, that will really help. Last time someone did that, the problem could be seen really easily.
April 27, 2007 11:14:40 PM

If you dont know which plug im talking about, its probally your problem, because thats exactly what mine did.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?Image=13-128-012-02.jpg%2c13-128-012-03.jpg%2c13-128-012-04.jpg%2c13-128-012-05.jpg%2c13-128-012-06.jpg&CurImage=13-128-012-04.jpg&Depa=0&Description=GIGABYTE+GA-965P-DS3+LGA+775+Intel+P965+Express+ATX+Intel+Motherboard+-+Retail

That is a picture of your mobo. The plug is on the right hand side, its only 4 pins(its labeled 4-pin cpu power connector). You should have 2 x 4 pin plugs on your PSU that are labeled CPU1 and 2 if you have the OCZ gamexstream 700w like i have (i think i saw that you have that). Make sure that one of those are plugged into that plug or it wont do anything. Thanks

Ryan
April 27, 2007 11:59:29 PM

I would suggest that you get a new hard drive and not do anything with your old hard drive until you get the system up and running. There is a danger - slight though it is - that you will end up wiping out all of your data if you install the OS incorrectly on the old drive.

Just be safe - get a new 200-500 gig drive, and do a fresh install. Once done, hook up the old one as your D: drive.

Get your files copied off to the new drive (any discrete folder will do) then you have 2 copies of the important files which you said you need to finish a project.

I would not endanger something as important as project files if I could avoid it - and this is something you can avoid.

If you want advice on parts - see my signature - otherwise the previous folks have done a good job.

Cheers.
April 28, 2007 1:14:48 PM

Good find there stickboy. After looking over that picture it looks like you are probably right, assuming he seated the ram, GPU, and CPU correctly. As long as that four pin is hooked up, the 24 pin is hooked up, and you have RAM, GPU (and GPU power), and CPU; the computer should post. You do not need any fans, drives, etc. If it still doesn't post, start RMAing.
April 29, 2007 12:10:06 AM

Something I noticed from the OP's description on the first page: it sounds like he maybe connected a power connector from the PS to the north bridge fan header on the MB. That could definitely fry things or make things not work.

OP: It sounds like there are at least 3 issues:

1) MB not mounted correctly. You will need to take out the MB and make sure there are standoffs matching each screw hole in the MB. Also, remove any standoffs under the MB area that do not match screw holes in the MB.

2) Power cables not connected properly. The MB manual and graphics card manual will have instructions (and almost always photos) showing what power connectors to attach where.

You need to make sure that ONLY the following wires from the PS are connected to the MB:
a) 24 pin main power cable. Some PSs provide this as 20pin & 4pin connectors that should snap together to make the 24pin connector. In that case, make sure you have the correct 4pin connector, as there is at least one other 4 pin connector.
b)4pin "ATX12V" power cable. This plugs in at the edge of your MB next to the CPU. Some PSs have two of these connectors (for MBs with side-by-side 4 pin connectors); for your MB, just use one and tie the other out of the way.

Your graphics card will need the following wire connected from the PS:
a) 6pin "PCIe" power connector. Your PS should have at least one of these. The video card package includes a Y cable with one of these - DO NOT use it. That is only for use if your PS does not have a PCIe connector.

Finally, your CPU cooler's power connector needs to be plugged into the 4-pin CPUFAN power connector on the MB. NOTE: the CPU cooler DOES NOT get connected to the power supply, just to that MB connector!

3) CPU cooler issue: many MBs, as a safety feature, will not turn on if they detect the CPU cooler's fan spinning too slowly or not at all. Therefore, it is important to plug the CPU cooler's fan into the CPUFAN connector, not the NBFAN or other connector.
Also, many aftermarket CPU coolers have fans that spin so slowly, the MB BIOS thinks the CPU cooler fan is not working properly. Therefore, it's always best for novices to first install the OEM CPU cooler, and worry about changing to a different cooler later.


Here's some info on assembling a computer: http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...
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