Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

A few questions from a beginner

Last response: in Systems
Share
November 11, 2007 7:28:00 PM

Okay, so I'm planning on building my next PC myself, but I have really little experience in that department, so I have a few questions.

First off, I was wondering if there's any risk building on a carpeted floor. I have a very small desk, and there won't be any room for me to use my desk. Moreover, it's not the ideal shape for doing something like this.

And should I use anti-static gloves and an anti-static mat? I've heard people say this isn't necessary, and if it's not, I'd rather not get them to save money (I'm spending enough on my build), but I just want to be sure.

Also, I was wondering if anyone knows of any good guides I could consult while building. As I said, I'm very inexperienced and whether or not I have a good guide to walk me through all this could make or break me. Preferably something geared towards beginners. Something with pictures would be great.

If it's of any relevance, here's the build I'll be using:

Case - Cooler Master Centurion 534
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Power Supply - Antec Earthwatts 430
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Motherboard - Biostar TForce 7025M2
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Processor - AMD AM2 X2 4800+
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Memory - A-Data 2GB (2x1024) DDR2-800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Hard Drive - WD 250GB SATA 3.0Gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Graphics card - EVGA 7600GT PCI-Ex16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

DVD Burner - LG Electronics
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

More about : questions beginner

November 11, 2007 7:33:47 PM

klauskinski said:
Okay, so I'm planning on building my next PC myself, but I have really little experience in that department, so I have a few questions.

First off, I was wondering if there's any risk building on a carpeted floor. I have a very small desk, and there won't be any room for me to use my desk. Moreover, it's not the ideal shape for doing something like this.

And should I use anti-static gloves and an anti-static mat? I've heard people say this isn't necessary, and if it's not, I'd rather not get them to save money (I'm spending enough on my build), but I just want to be sure.

Also, I was wondering if anyone knows of any good guides I could consult while building. As I said, I'm very inexperienced and whether or not I have a good guide to walk me through all this could make or break me. Preferably something geared towards beginners. Something with pictures would be great.

If it's of any relevance, here's the build I'll be using:

Case - Cooler Master Centurion 534
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Power Supply - Antec Earthwatts 430
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Motherboard - Biostar TForce 7025M2
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Processor - AMD AM2 X2 4800+
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Memory - A-Data 2GB (2x1024) DDR2-800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Hard Drive - WD 250GB SATA 3.0Gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Graphics card - EVGA 7600GT PCI-Ex16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

DVD Burner - LG Electronics
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...


http://tools.corsairmemory.com/systembuild/report.aspx?...
November 11, 2007 10:23:31 PM

What is your budget? How will you use the machine? If you've already bought the parts, it doesn't matter. I've never used an anti-static strap but always tough a piece a metal, the case is fine, before handling parts and don't shuffle your feet. From the sounds of it, best to use the kitchen/dinning room table for the build. Follow the directions in the mobo manual and take your time. Only open a part when you're ready to install it. Good idea to keep the manual up on another computer as well, usually easier to see the pictures because they're bigger. Don't use a hammer :) 
Related resources
November 11, 2007 10:33:20 PM

I was wondering if you could hook up a webcam to the youtube so we can grab some popcorn & cokes while the disaster unfolds. :D 

Jokes aside, you don't need to put everything on the desk/table. I lay most everything out on my bed. Only the things I am working on are on the desk/table. You can use the mobo box & build your barebone on it: mobo, cpu, hsf & ram. & a container (recycled food one) for screws, accessories, etc.

As for anti-static, you can touch the metal parts of a running psu to discharge static. An anti-static strap is like 5 bucks.
November 12, 2007 6:22:34 AM

akhilles said:
I was wondering if you could hook up a webcam to the youtube so we can grab some popcorn & cokes while the disaster unfolds. :D 

Jokes aside, you don't need to put everything on the desk/table. I lay most everything out on my bed. Only the things I am working on are on the desk/table. You can use the mobo box & build your barebone on it: mobo, cpu, hsf & ram. & a container (recycled food one) for screws, accessories, etc.

As for anti-static, you can touch the metal parts of a running psu to discharge static. An anti-static strap is like 5 bucks.


I know you're only kidding, but you've seriously got me a little nervous now. Seriously, do you think it's risky for someone with my experience (or lack there of) to be attempting something like this? I mean, that's a lot of money to spend only to have it wasted if I were to botch things up. I haven't bought anything yet, so I have time to change my mind. What do you think?
November 12, 2007 10:00:55 AM

klauskinski said:
I know you're only kidding, but you've seriously got me a little nervous now. Seriously, do you think it's risky for someone with my experience (or lack there of) to be attempting something like this? I mean, that's a lot of money to spend only to have it wasted if I were to botch things up. I haven't bought anything yet, so I have time to change my mind. What do you think?


It's not risky if you follow the directions that come with the motherboard and take your time. My 16 g-daughter just belt her first machine. I was there if she needed help, which she didn't. She's a blond cheerleader not a geek :)  although she lived with me for a while and is comfortable with computers
November 12, 2007 10:06:33 AM

I would get the better version of your choice of ram (better timings, noticeable difference, plus cheaper after rebate), http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .

And yes, what is your budget? (It's hard to give you recommendations without knowing your budget)

I built my new computer on carpet floor (though most people don't recommend this), but as long as you are careful and don't touch the metal parts (shiny gold metallic part) of your PC components it should be fine (it's fine if you're touching the green plastic like parts).

Tom's hardware has a recent SBM on low, mid, high budget, http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/09/17/sbm_low_cost_sys... which lays out everything you need to build a computer with (plus a good pair of scissors and screw driver would really help).
November 12, 2007 11:23:21 AM

I suggest you get someone who has built a pc to watch you while you're building the pc. Let them stop you if you make a mistake & tell you why. Handle the parts by the edges. Absolutely no pets. Print a guide out. This is not bad:

http://tools.corsairmemory.com/systembuild/report.aspx?...
November 14, 2007 8:17:10 AM

I've given this a little thought, and I think I've decided against building. Initially, I was a little more taken with the idea when I was just planning everything out, but now that I'm ready to purchase everything, I'm starting to really think about the damage I could do, and more importantly, the money that I could be wasting.

I think I'm better off just buying a pre-built PC. Yeah, I know, I'm sure the words "pre-built PC" elicit nothing but feels of contempt around these parts, but given that I can't afford to screw up here, I'm thinking it's the best option. I don't know anyone who could help me with this (I'm usually labeled the "computer guy" by my family and my knowledge is novice level at best), so I only have myself to rely on.

By the way, I was wondering if anyone here could link me to a good choice as far as pre-builts go. I apologize, I know this isn't the place to ask (I'll understand if one of the mods wants to move or delete this thread), but I figured there wasn't much sense in starting a new thread. Anyway, I want something with a dvd burner, reasonable amount of hard drive space (doesn't need to be excessive considering I'd have a dvd burner afterall), XP (no Vista), and room for improvement (I'd like something I could build on). My budget is $500 on the nose. I'd really appreciate the help. Thanks.
November 14, 2007 10:22:23 AM

Quite honestly, I think it would be difficult to recommend an off the shelf computer for $500. Would suggest you go to the Dell website and see what they have. If you build, you could put together a nice upgradeable machine for $500 but you might have to start with onboard video. If you haven't done so, check the manual on the Biostar mobo and see if you think you can follow the instructions. Regardless of the mobo, the instructions are pretty much the same If you do rethink building, I think you could get a much better mobo and different case to off set the cost
November 14, 2007 11:12:22 AM

Another option is to pay a local reputable computer store to build it for you. Takes 1 day or 2, depending on how busy they are.

This custom pc store is quite good. Just match as many parts to your list as possible.

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/CyberPower
November 14, 2007 6:28:03 PM

Well, if I were to get a computer store to put it together for me, I'd imagine I'd end up go well over my budget.

What about something like this?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has 2 GB of RAM, a DVD burner, supports PCI-E cards so there's room for improvement if I want to get a better video card, XP. a reasonable amount of hard drive space, and is only a little over $400. Unless there's something I'm missing, that sounds pretty decent. As far as gaming, I'd think if I just upgraded the video card, it would be able to handle most games, but again, I could be missing something.

If you guys know something better, let me know. I was looking on Newegg and I noticed a lot of PCs that I would think would be good for what I want have Vista, and I've heard people talk about it's steep requirements and how whatever you have would run twice as fast under XP, so I'd rather not get anything with Vista.

As far as building, I'd really like to go that route, but the more I think about it, the worse of an idea I think it is. Looking at the guide posted, I can see that there are a lot of opportunities for me to screw things up (particularly when installing the motherboard), and even if I did take my time and was especially careful (which I would be), the warranty on these parts doesn't cover my own personal screw ups, so even if I only damaged one part, that's still a lot of money to just be throwing down the drain, and it's not even my money to begin with.
November 14, 2007 8:22:26 PM

That machine you posted is open box meaning someone returned it and don't know how that affects the warranty. Didn't read the build article you referenced and not suggesting what was said is wrong but one of the things I've found with a lot of these articles is that they tend to make it sound harder than it is as well as emphasize the bad things that can happen and if you don't take your time and follow the instructions that come with the mobo bad things can definitely happen. That's why I suggests that people new to building look at the online manual of a the mobo they're thinking of getting because this will be what you'll use during the actual build. The below proposed build falls within your budget and is very upgradeable and I think better than any off the shelf. Check out the manual for the mobo. My g-daughter is a H S sophomore and I would expect this machine to last her through at least her first year of college. She doesn't game but if she decides to, can add a video card and can always upgrade the CPU if she decides to do something CPU intensive like video editing.

My g-daughter and I just put this together.
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1683...
Total $406 and figure $75 to have it built more or less
November 15, 2007 7:25:29 PM

Okay, I've changed my mind. I think I'm going to give it a try afterall. Am I indecisive or what?

I looked over the guide once more and after giving it some thought, I think I can do this if I'm careful, I take my time, and can remain calm. Worst case scenario, I see that I'm in over my head, I can stop and take everything to a computer store and have it completed, right?

So here's the thing, I was initially given $500 from my parents to work with and told that I could go a little over, but before I purchased anything, I was asked if they could borrow the money back. Anyway, I'm going to be paid back a little at a time. I now have $80 and soon I'll get a little more. I bring this up because I wanted to ask if you think it would be better to get some of the parts and start working on them now or wait until I can get everything and do it all at once. Which do you think would be better for a beginner?

Oh, and also, g-paw, I'm thinking of going with the build you said that you used, which seems good for what I want to do and is right in my price range. Anyway, I currently have a wireless keyboard and mouse which I plan on replacing with a wired keyboard and mouse because I'm very unhappy with my current wireless set. So I wanted to ask, do I need a PS/2 or USB Keyboard and mouse to go with this build? I would think PS/2. The specs on the page of the motherboard said it had two PS/2 slots, so I'm assuming PS/2, but again, I'm very inexperienced here, so I could be wrong.
November 15, 2007 8:08:53 PM

I'd suggest you wait until you have the money to buy all the parts, prices are always going down and there are often rebates and things go on sale. This is especially true of CPUs, which will definitely go down in the next couple of weeks. Your wireless keyboard and mouse should work.. I like PS2 because they don't take up USB ports. If the mouse you get is USB, you can always get a converter plug to PS2 if that's what you want to use. I think everyone is nervous about their first build, especially when you do it on your own, I certainly was. In fact, if your not, you're in trouble because that is when you'll likely screw up. Again, encourage you to check out the mobo manual. Really just check out the build instructions. Once you get it together you can read the stuff on the BIOS. You really shouldn't have to change any of the BIOS settings with the above proposed build, at least we didn't.
November 15, 2007 8:31:16 PM

You can build it yourself, use the kitchen table and avoid the carpet controversy altogether. Read the build guides through a few times before you start.

Two alternative methods in increasing likelyhood of success
1) have gpaws cheerleader do it, she has build experience.
2) have gpaws cheerleader talk somebody from akhilles cpu store put it together for you. They have loads of expertise, and she probably needs a new boyfriend anyway.
November 15, 2007 9:10:18 PM

mford66215 said:
You can build it yourself, use the kitchen table and avoid the carpet controversy altogether. Read the build guides through a few times before you start.

Two alternative methods in increasing likelyhood of success
1) have gpaws cheerleader do it, she has build experience.
2) have gpaws cheerleader talk somebody from akhilles cpu store put it together for you. They have loads of expertise, and she probably needs a new boyfriend anyway.



LOL. Here's some really great builders OP could use! LOL. I have taken a lot of x-rays on the first builder in line, Pennee, she is our patient.

http://www.nba.com/lakers/lakergirls/index.html
November 15, 2007 9:38:19 PM

I cannot give my g-daughter's hand in building without an appropriate dowry. It starts with a Quad core with DDR3 RAM mobo must have firewire, other parts upon the initiation of serious negotiations. badge, I would not choose one of your cheerleaders with out several hours of interviews including "x-ray" At your recommendation I'll start with Pennee
November 15, 2007 10:29:06 PM

Wait until after the first of the year to buy your parts. In the meantime, search this site for budget builds. Do some research at AnandTech and read the guides at Newegg. Everything will be on sale after the holidays and you will save a bundle of cash, or be able to put that savings into better components.

Build a couple of wish list systems at Newegg and watch the prices tumble! I'd recommend a basic P35 mobo and C2D as the foundation for your system.
!