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Am I the world's biggest idiot?

Last response: in Motherboards
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July 23, 2007 5:19:32 PM

So after many problems with putting together my first computer, I was finally ready to plug it all in and turn it on and see what happened. Then I found a problem I never anticipated: the monitor is incompatible with the new motherboard. I've never even heard of that happening, and it never occured to me to check before buying. The monitor wants to plug into a serial port, and the mobo has one... but they're both male plugs. Is this a problem other people have had, or am I insanely stupid?
More importantly, what do I do? I have done some quick searching online, and I found not a single mention of this problem. I assume (hope) there is some adapter that can be used? Wikipedia says that serial ports are going out of style altogether and some mobos don't even have them anymore, in which case, what do new monitors plug into? USBs? Can I get a USB adaptor for my monitor, and if so, is that the best solution?
Thanks

PS. While I'm here, the "Fan Only" plugs coming out of my PSU would not fit into my case fan plug. Any suggestions? There were various other things I couldn't get plugged in right, so I'm sure I'll have more questions soon...

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July 23, 2007 6:04:09 PM

Hi, First off you should list the hardware you are using so we can assess what you're playing with, secondly I'm pretty sure that you're trying to plug the VGA (blue casing) video connector from the monitor to the COM port on your motherboard. As Wiki pointed it out, the COM port is being phased for several years, ans apart from rare models, you don't have any on modern hardware. The connector on the motherboard the monitor cable must plug in should be female, and blue also (Standard VGA output socket).

So now since i don't know what motherboard you're using, I would make sure that you in fact have a VGA connector on your motherboard(since not all Mobos come with one).

Secondly, The fan only plug is a 4 pin molex connector that is provided for 4 pinned fans that usually come with computer cases. Some times you will find that the provided case fans come with 3 pins motherboard header style connectors, and thus should be plugged in extra fans connectors found on the motherboard(which are usually labeled "chassis fan","system fan",etc.).

Also note that if you plan on using the "fan only" connector with a compatible fan, be aware that the speed of these fans will dynamically adjusted by the temperature sensor in the PSU itself in most cases, and thus should not be used for critical fans in your system since the temps in your PSU might not rflect the temperatures elsewhere in the case.

Hope this helps.
July 23, 2007 6:06:10 PM

First of all,the monitor DOES NOT plug into the serial port. the monitor plugs into the graphics card and nothing else. It sounds like your motherboard doesn't have onboard video so you need to buy a graphics card. also, the 4 pin fan only connectors from your power supply are for extra fans you may put in your case. they do not connect to your motherboard. It sounds like you are very new to building computers. Why don't you make a detailed list of all the components you have so far, make, model, revision, manufacturer etc. and post it here. You may be missing components. I will read over them and make sure you have everything you need and it is all compatible. Do not force any connections that do not smoothly plug in to each other. You may damage something.
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July 23, 2007 6:19:49 PM

The good news is that as long as you didn't force anything, no harm done... and even if you bent some of the pins (there should be 15) on your VGA cable, it's entirely possible to bend them back. I agree with a previous poster that it sounds like you were expecting your new motherboard to have onboard video support. Based on what you've described your board does not have onboard video. Your options are to return the board for one with onboard video or add a video card. If your board lacks PCI-E slots, you might want to consider a different motherboard as AGP will limit your choices and cost you more than PCI-E cards operating at a similar performance level.

And to answer your question... no, I'm sure everyone here has heard a dumber question.
July 23, 2007 6:37:27 PM

If you're not gaming you'll just need a cheap video card will likely cost you £20 - £30 depending which brand you buy from.


Im guessing he doenst have AGP because its a NEW motherbaord, therefor likely has PCI-E.
July 23, 2007 6:49:43 PM

count the number of pins on the serial port then compare it to the number of pins on the monitor cable ;) 

Assuming you haven't broken anything yet you are definitely not the stupidest. At least you had the sense to come and ask. I would suggest you look up some descriptions of the various plugs you're working with and computer build walk-throughs that include pictures. Also sounds like you didn't read the manual that came with the mobo. Sometimes they suck and aren't much help to noobies but read it all anyway. Hopefully it'll make sense later after you've done more research.
July 23, 2007 6:55:12 PM

I can't believe I forgot to mention my mobo make. It's an MSI K9N Neo F.
I never new a mobo could be so without graphics support that it can't even support a monitor. Most computer's I've used/owned have never had an external GPU, and they all had VGA slots (obviously). I thought motherboards all had at least SOME kind of graphics card built in. Oh well, this is actually good news. I already have an ASUSX1950Pro on the way, and hopefully it'll be here tomorrow. So I guess that will solve the problem. So thanks alot.
As for the Fan Only plugs, the manual for the PSU (Antec Truepower Trio) said to plug them into the case fan, and that it would then regulate it's useage to reduce noise and save on power. I wasn't going to use them for the CPU fan or anything. And the plugs did look compatible, both 4X1 pin white, one male and one female, but the PSU plug had these roughly-placed looking metal sleeves inside that wouldn't fit. So I took off the extra plugs that came attached to the case fan and attached the little 3-pin plug to a spare fan plug on the motherboard, but I didn't know if that would cause any problems (since I couldn't find anywhere where it spefically said what that plug was for, and as this is my first time I want to be ultra-careful). The other concern was of course that it won't be regulated from this plug. But it does seem to be working, so I guess that's good enough.
Thanks again for all the help, and there's a good chance I'll be back tomorrow to ask about other plugs I couldn't figure out, like those tiny audio ones...
Plus I'm sure the GPU will present new challenges ;) 
July 23, 2007 7:27:11 PM

Jurosem said:
As for the Fan Only plugs, the manual for the PSU (Antec Truepower Trio) said to plug them into the case fan, and that it would then regulate it's useage to reduce noise and save on power. I wasn't going to use them for the CPU fan or anything. And the plugs did look compatible, both 4X1 pin white, one male and one female, but the PSU plug had these roughly-placed looking metal sleeves inside that wouldn't fit. So I took off the extra plugs that came attached to the case fan and attached the little 3-pin plug to a spare fan plug on the motherboard, but I didn't know if that would cause any problems (since I couldn't find anywhere where it spefically said what that plug was for, and as this is my first time I want to be ultra-careful). The other concern was of course that it won't be regulated from this plug. But it does seem to be working, so I guess that's good enough.


Your board has 3 fan headers (as far as I saw), the one nearest the CPU socket is for the CPU cooler and the other two are for extra fans. You should have some control over the fans through your BIOS once you get up and running and depending on your BIOS you could set the fan speed to increase or decrease as your temps go up or down.

Make sure that before you try to force anything or if your unsure about anything come on here and ask, everyone on here was new to this at one time.
July 23, 2007 7:54:47 PM

When you get you're video card, it is probably going to have 2 DVI connectors and no VGA connection. You will have to use the DVI to VGA adapter that should come with the card. You would probably figure that one out pretty easily, but I thought I would at least mention it. :D 
July 23, 2007 10:23:19 PM

Cool, thanks guys. Even the little things are good to get straight when you don't know what you're doing ;)  And so far I haven't had to apply any force to anything.
You know what, I just realised I may as well ask about the audio cables. These are a bunch of tiny black-cased wires coming out of the front of the case. The mobo manual tells me where they're supposed to go, but only in very rough terms. Is there any online guide or anything, preferably with pictures? Also, is facing important with these, or can you put them in any way you want? The other similar wires, for the power switch, reset switch and LEDs were a little easier cause it showed me exactly where to put each, but again, it didn't say which way around they should go. And in their case, some of them were double plugs, covering two pins, so I assume it may be necessary to have the right pin in the right hole? They're plugged in now but I don't know if they're all working properly.
a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
July 23, 2007 11:46:05 PM

For the power switch and the reset switch it doesn't matter which way around they are, and the leds wont light up if they are the wrong way around, but it wont damage them or anything, just turn them around if they dont light up when supposed to..

I'm not sure about the audio cables but i'd guess it doesnt really matter, since its analog ac-signal for the headphones and what not
!