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Step by step instructions on how to build a new computer

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August 20, 2007 5:43:47 PM

I'm looking to build my first computer and have been researching Tom's boards for the right components, but I also realized that it would be very helpful to have a step-by-step guide that would walk me through the order in which I need to put together the various components. If someone could provide a link to such a resource it would be greatly appreciated.
Also, if the above guide doesn't provide "How-To" information for each step I would appreciate a link to a resource that provides this level of help also.
Thank you in advance for your help :D 
August 20, 2007 6:19:21 PM

sakrueger2 said:
I'm looking to build my first computer and have been researching Tom's boards for the right components, but I also realized that it would be very helpful to have a step-by-step guide that would walk me through the order in which I need to put together the various components. If someone could provide a link to such a resource it would be greatly appreciated.
Also, if the above guide doesn't provide "How-To" information for each step I would appreciate a link to a resource that provides this level of help also.
Thank you in advance for your help :D 


You can try googling and come up with a list of how-to's like this one:

http://www.mysuperpc.com/

I learned by taking my computer apart and then to put it back together, I did the same thing only backwards.
August 21, 2007 12:00:58 AM

The best source is the manual that comes with the mobo given this will be what you'll be using during the build. Best thing to do is once you narrow down the mobo you want to 2 or 3, check out their manuals. There are good sources out there but none will apply specifically to your build
Related resources
August 21, 2007 2:01:18 AM

Which Motherboard mfg would you recommend? I've seen a lot of people say they liked Gigabyte or ASUS.
What model number assuimg the following:
1. Don't plan on using dual video cards
2. May try overclocking CPU and/or RAM
3. Will be purchasing either a INTEL Dual-Core E6850 or Quad-Core Q6600.
4. Looking to purchase a 8800GTS 320MB vid card

I would appreciate anyone's opnions on the above choices.
Thanks.
August 21, 2007 4:03:43 AM

Gigabyte and ASUS are two of the top mfg.'s of high performance enthusiasts Mbs. You would do well with either. The chipset you choose will be offered by both mfgs. The major difference is ASUS uses American Megatrends BIOS while Gigabyte used Award I believe. I have seen Gigabyte release hard build revisons for their line of boards, witness their 965 chipset hard revisions, where ASUS tends to release BIOS updates as opposed to complete board revisions so often. Just my experience. I prefer the ASUS boards personally.
August 22, 2007 7:19:55 PM

For the most part, a lot of computer parts are just plug and play. The plugs are designed so they only work the right way. So if you read the motherboard manual you can often get most the information you need. The big thing is if you are getting an expensive video card you want to make sure it is compatible with the motherboard and the Operating System.

WWW.PCMECH.COM does sell a CDROM with a guide about how to build computers. I have not used it myself. However, there seem to be some people there that build computers on a regular basis.

Vista may have some problems with drivers for some video cards, so maybe what you should do is get together a parts list and run it past some people. Build your dream computer and ask for comment.

Asus is one of the major vendors of motherboards and I have purchased from them a lot. Sometimes the motherboards from Asus are selective about what kind of RAM they can use. So I always go to the RAM manufacturer's website and look for what they reccommend for compatability. Mostly I have used RAM from www.crucial.com. You enter in the motherboard model and they tell you what will work. Other vendors have similar upgrade databases that can match the RAM to the Motherboard. A lot of people like RAM from a variety of vendors so they have their favorites. Main thing is not to purchase any no-name memory with no guaranty that is unstable. Windows XP and Vista are very picky if you use unstable hardware.
August 22, 2007 7:56:56 PM

If you give us your budget, how you will use the machine, whether you plan on overclocking, and what parts you need, i.e., are you going to use any parts from you're current machine? do you need a monitor?, we can make some suggesitons.
August 23, 2007 1:50:09 AM

Here's a guide from Corsair:

http://tools.corsairmemory.com/systembuild/report.aspx?report_id=78237

Hmmm... They seem to be recommending their own power supply and RAM. :sarcastic: 

If you want a video guide, then try nVidia's site. Of course they will be encouraging you to build an SLI setup instead of a Crossfire setup:

http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_diy_videoguide01.html#parts

Only three of four sections are there so far, but it will by the end of section 3 the PC will have been built. The last section will probably talk about optimizing your system.
August 28, 2007 8:19:06 PM

g-paw said:
If you give us your budget, how you will use the machine, whether you plan on overclocking, and what parts you need, i.e., are you going to use any parts from you're current machine? do you need a monitor?, we can make some suggesitons.


I have a budget of around $1500-1800 and will use the machine for some gaming and video/music use. I may overclock, but I haven't decided for sure on this. I don't plan on using any parts from my current machine.
Here is my parts list so far:
Antec 182 Or 900 case, Gigabyte P35-DS3P, Crucial Ballistix 2GB DDR-800, EVGA GTS8800 320MB, Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB internal drive, Western eSATA 500GB external drive, DVD/CD writer, Win XP Pro, mild to little overclocking of CPU...etc
What I need help with is the last few pieces of the puzzle - PSU and CPU fan/cooler.
I've narrowed my choices in these areas to the following. Please make alternate suggestions if appropriate and explain why:
PSU - Corsair 620HX 620W Or OCZ GameXstream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply 100 - 240 V - Retail. Newegg has the Corsair for $169.99 after rebate and the OCZ for $115 after rebate. Is the Corsair that much better than the OCZ for the extra money???
CPU fan/cooler - I'm alittle more foggy in this area...Thermaltake ultra 120 extreme Or Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler Or Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler. Pls let me know if which one is best or if there is a better choice all together.
Thanks for your help!
!