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First build, need some tips/advice/precautions

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December 2, 2007 2:41:58 PM
December 2, 2007 8:53:03 PM

Come on guys...
December 2, 2007 9:00:22 PM

well buddy what can we say you are building a boring cheap computer.

Why get a micro atx mobo and a mid tower case?

Why bother buying a graphics card that barley outperforms the on board video that comes with the mobo?

What are you going to do with your computer? In other words if you are just going to surf the net than get a dell... why bother with the headache of building a custom PC.

Custom building PCs is for enthusiasts. You will and I mean you will go through a lot of problems with building your own PC... it is inevitable. Building a PC is something that I could only recommend or even want to do if you are wanting to tweak and grind that sucker to it's fullest.

I have never met anyone that just wanted to build a pc to build a pc... in other words to save money and that is what it sounds like you want to do.

If you ever raise your budget and decide to get some enthusiasts parts than let us know.
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December 2, 2007 9:20:30 PM

W/o knowing the purposes of the pc, I can't comment other than it's not well balanced. $100 psu for 7300GT? Have you seen the 7300GT psu requirements?
December 2, 2007 9:36:06 PM

psu is overkill.
i agree with hughyhunter that: "...if you are just going to surf the net than get a dell... why bother with the headache of building a custom PC. "
December 2, 2007 10:27:09 PM

drop the 7300, wait a month or 3 and pick up an 8800gt or a 3870 HD at the same price. Since you dont game, you wont miss it until then.
Maybe change out the memory for http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have the second ram, and they are great (tom reviewed them too)
PSU is good, dont have a clue on the case.
You can get cheaper larger hard drives (stick w/ WD or Seagate IMHO) every other week from office depot, best buy, circuit city or compusa if you look at the adds. Just stick w/ 16mb cache and SATA II.

December 2, 2007 11:55:28 PM

hughyhunter said:
well buddy what can we say you are building a boring cheap computer.

Why get a micro atx mobo and a mid tower case?

Why bother buying a graphics card that barley outperforms the on board video that comes with the mobo?

What are you going to do with your computer? In other words if you are just going to surf the net than get a dell... why bother with the headache of building a custom PC.

Custom building PCs is for enthusiasts. You will and I mean you will go through a lot of problems with building your own PC... it is inevitable. Building a PC is something that I could only recommend or even want to do if you are wanting to tweak and grind that sucker to it's fullest.

I have never met anyone that just wanted to build a pc to build a pc... in other words to save money and that is what it sounds like you want to do.


A uATX and mid-tower because if I screw up, I'll only screw up $610 worth of parts.

I'd rather have discrete gfx, if only for learning purposes...

Well, having Dw and PS open simultaneously lags my **** computer, so I might as well upgrade before I get my MacBook. And plus I'm getting a MacBook a few months later, so I'm basically dividing my spare cash between the two. Thus, I'd rather be saving money building a computer than navigating Dell's cryptic website to order something overpriced that will break once the warranty is up.

As I stated, this would be the first computer I'm building. What, you poured 20 grand into your first computer? And I seriously doubt you have never met someone who has built a computer to save money.

hughyhunter said:
If you ever raise your budget and decide to get some enthusiasts parts than let us know.


Gee, does being an enthusiast require a secret handshake, too? There is absolutely no reason to act like such a stuck up prick. There's a difference between helping someone learn the ropes and acting condescending simply because I'm not willing to pour money into something that is more than likely going to end up getting fried.

akhilles said:
W/o knowing the purposes of the pc, I can't comment other than it's not well balanced. $100 psu for 7300GT? Have you seen the 7300GT psu requirements?


Well I'm pretty sure if I ever wanted to upgrade my GFX card, I wouldn't need to replace my PSU. It's efficient and quite. Could you suggest a more reasonable 400W PSU then?

nirvana4all said:
drop the 7300, wait a month or 3 and pick up an 8800gt or a 3870 HD at the same price. Since you dont game, you wont miss it until then.
Maybe change out the memory for http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have the second ram, and they are great (tom reviewed them too)
PSU is good, dont have a clue on the case.
You can get cheaper larger hard drives (stick w/ WD or Seagate IMHO) every other week from office depot, best buy, circuit city or compusa if you look at the adds. Just stick w/ 16mb cache and SATA II.


Would the price really drop that much by then? I guess I'll just wait it out.

Didn't even see that deal, nice find.

Looking through their selection right now, I can't see their 250gb HDD's dropping enough to be equal in price to newegg... how could it be cheaper? Are you positive about this?
December 3, 2007 1:27:44 AM

We really need to know what you want to do with your build to make any recommendations. I have brick & mortor PC's that have lasted 5 yrs and are still going. Depending on your needs, and if you don't want top performing components, that might be your best move.

Yes, prices do drop quickly with the new cards coming out. Plus, the GT is a lilttle overpriced right now due to supply & demand.

No one said anything about 20 grand. What is your budget? Based on your initial post, you could really benefit from listening to some of these folks advice. They can work with any budget and goal you might have, they just need to know what those are.
December 3, 2007 1:56:55 AM

billyc said:
We really need to know what you want to do with your build to make any recommendations. I have brick & mortor PC's that have lasted 5 yrs and are still going. Depending on your needs, and if you don't want top performing components, that might be your best move.

Yes, prices do drop quickly with the new cards coming out. Plus, the GT is a lilttle overpriced right now due to supply & demand.

No one said anything about 20 grand. What is your budget? Based on your initial post, you could really benefit from listening to some of these folks advice. They can work with any budget and goal you might have, they just need to know what those are.


I basically need it for Dreamweaver and Photoshop CS3. They currently max my current processor and hog more ram than I currently have, and XP allocates way too much to the pagefile, slowing down my system quite a bit. I haven't picked up PC games simply because my computer can't handle anything more graphics intensive than flash games, and my 360 keeps me entertained.

Ok, so I'll wait for a better gfx card and go from there.

I'm basically working with a $500 budget, though it's flexible within reason. And I definitely value advice given from people here, though it could do without patronization. There's really no reason to give me **** about not getting 'enthusiast' parts when this is my first homebrew.
December 3, 2007 2:58:51 AM

some info: pagefile is virtual memory, it's space taken from the harddrive and is used as ram
December 3, 2007 3:56:35 AM

sneamia said:
I basically need it for Dreamweaver and Photoshop CS3. They currently max my current processor and hog more ram than I currently have, and XP allocates way too much to the pagefile, slowing down my system quite a bit. I haven't picked up PC games simply because my computer can't handle anything more graphics intensive than flash games, and my 360 keeps me entertained.

Ok, so I'll wait for a better gfx card and go from there.

I'm basically working with a $500 budget, though it's flexible within reason. And I definitely value advice given from people here, though it could do without patronization. There's really no reason to give me **** about not getting 'enthusiast' parts when this is my first homebrew.

First, not really sure why you need the power supply adapter?

At any rate, I would offer the following alterations.
GIGABYTE GA-M61SME-S2 AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - N82E16813128045 - $46.99

SAPPHIRE 100208L Radeon HD 2600XT 256MB Video Card - N82E16814102700 - $99.99

Antec Earthwatts ATX12V v2.0 380W Power Supply - N82E16817371005 - $49.99 - $30 MIR = $19.99

GeIL 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 Memory - N82E16820144047 - $54.99 - $15 MIR = $39.99

Subtotal: $206.96 after rebates + $292.96(your other components) = $499.92

This gives you a video card which is actually capable of light gaming, as well as better color reproduction for CS3. The power supply may seem anemic, but it has 27amps on the 12v rail which is more than enough for all but the highest end video cards. The components are better balanced and are compatible.
December 3, 2007 10:11:47 AM

sneamia,

You DO need to learn the Secret Handshake, but not the youngster handshake. You need to learn the Oldtimer Secret Handshake, the one that predates Apple I's, Commodore Pets, and TRS-80 Model I's; the one that dates back to when you gathered bags of parts, took soldering iron in hand, and actually BUILT something.

OK, seriously ...

I agree with tmlck. You probably do not need a 24 - 20 pin adapter. On all the newer PSU's that I have seen, the main connector is a 20 pin plug with the extra four pins as a small plug that you can clip onto it if you need 24 pins or remove if you need 20 pins.

The only thing that I will say about parts selection concerns the motherboard. I suggest that you find an inexpensive ATX board. It will be easier to work with and should give you more expansion options if you later choose to expand.

Building: I was going to suggest installing CPU, HSF, and memory before you put the board in the case, but I think with AMD CPU's you don't have any choice. For that matter, I recommend breadboarding the whole system. That way, you can test the parts before you install them in the case.

Also, take a look at:
http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Troubleshooting+a+New+Buil...

before you start. That may help you avoid problems that others have run into.

Good luck. Take care. Eat your vegetables, take your vitamins, read the motherboard manual before you start, and let us know how it goes.
December 3, 2007 11:08:24 AM

Well, I use PS CS3 & DW too. To be honest, they're just 2D. They are more dependent on CPU & RAM than GPU. If you want fast results like after applying a filter, a fast cpu & ram will give you that. You don't need a 3D card. Save some money. If it's not overclocked:

AM2 2ghz
AM2 mobo with onboard graphics nForce/Radeon/SiS
350W psu (Antec, any good brand)
2X1GB DDR2 RAM
SATAII harddisk

The rest don't matter as much.
December 3, 2007 11:47:25 AM

Perhaps if you edited your post so the 1st line was not so offensive, people may be more willing to help.

December 3, 2007 3:06:20 PM

imrul said:
some info: pagefile is virtual memory, it's space taken from the harddrive and is used as ram


Yes, thank you. But the point was that the HDD is mad slower than RAM.

Ihasabucket said:
I've seen an $80 8600gt on newegg with $30 MIR but I'm not sure if your PSU could handle it since I know squat about PSU's. I wouldn't mind spending an extra $20-$30 bucks for it, compared to that 7300gt...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I think I'll wait to get a GFX card. I'll see how much I have left over after I buy a MacBook.

tlmck said:
First, not really sure why you need the power supply adapter?

At any rate, I would offer the following alterations.
GIGABYTE GA-M61SME-S2 AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - N82E16813128045 - $46.99

SAPPHIRE 100208L Radeon HD 2600XT 256MB Video Card - N82E16814102700 - $99.99

Antec Earthwatts ATX12V v2.0 380W Power Supply - N82E16817371005 - $49.99 - $30 MIR = $19.99

GeIL 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 Memory - N82E16820144047 - $54.99 - $15 MIR = $39.99

Subtotal: $206.96 after rebates + $292.96(your other components) = $499.92

This gives you a video card which is actually capable of light gaming, as well as better color reproduction for CS3. The power supply may seem anemic, but it has 27amps on the 12v rail which is more than enough for all but the highest end video cards. The components are better balanced and are compatible.


The power supply adapter is because judging by the picture, it doesn't look like anything is snapping off.



The Gigabyte mobo only has 4 USB ports, and 2 memory slots. I don't know if that will allow for as much expansion compared to the ASRock one, though it does have the name behind it, as well as a 24-pin power

I'll hold off on the gfx card for now.

I might actually swap to that PSU, but I mean... would 380W be sufficient?

The RAM is roughly equivalent of the Patriot memory I had. Though the Patriot is $2 cheaper with 4-4-4-12 timing.

jsc said:
sneamia,

You DO need to learn the Secret Handshake, but not the youngster handshake. You need to learn the Oldtimer Secret Handshake, the one that predates Apple I's, Commodore Pets, and TRS-80 Model I's; the one that dates back to when you gathered bags of parts, took soldering iron in hand, and actually BUILT something.

OK, seriously ...

I agree with tmlck. You probably do not need a 24 - 20 pin adapter. On all the newer PSU's that I have seen, the main connector is a 20 pin plug with the extra four pins as a small plug that you can clip onto it if you need 24 pins or remove if you need 20 pins.

The only thing that I will say about parts selection concerns the motherboard. I suggest that you find an inexpensive ATX board. It will be easier to work with and should give you more expansion options if you later choose to expand.

Building: I was going to suggest installing CPU, HSF, and memory before you put the board in the case, but I think with AMD CPU's you don't have any choice. For that matter, I recommend breadboarding the whole system. That way, you can test the parts before you install them in the case.

Also, take a look at:
http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Troubleshooting+a+New+Buil...

before you start. That may help you avoid problems that others have run into.

Good luck. Take care. Eat your vegetables, take your vitamins, read the motherboard manual before you start, and let us know how it goes.


Yea, I won't buy an adapter then.

I'll look into a cheaper ATX mobo; do you have any ones in mind?

Ok, I'll try having everything out while I test, thanks for the pointer.

akhilles said:
Well, I use PS CS3 & DW too. To be honest, they're just 2D. They are more dependent on CPU & RAM than GPU. If you want fast results like after applying a filter, a fast cpu & ram will give you that. You don't need a 3D card. Save some money. If it's not overclocked:

AM2 2ghz
AM2 mobo with onboard graphics nForce/Radeon/SiS
350W psu (Antec, any good brand)
2X1GB DDR2 RAM
SATAII harddisk

The rest don't matter as much.


K, but the point was that the reason I didn't play any games is because my current system can handle it.

zenmaster said:
Perhaps if you edited your post so the 1st line was not so offensive, people may be more willing to help.


Yea, I can't imagine that line being offensive in any way.
December 3, 2007 5:38:39 PM

I went to newegg and looked at the PSU you chose. If you plan on using that PSU, you will need an adapter. It does have a solid 24 pin connector block.
December 3, 2007 6:32:32 PM

I wasnt trying to be offensive or condensending... I'm just trying to be logical. Why build a budget PC that will litterally only save you maybe 50 bucks versus buying a prebuilt. You dont have to navigate "cryptic dell's" website to buy a pre-built computer.... You can get one from newegg.

I didnt spend thousands of dollars on my first build... the difference between someone like you buiding a computer and an enthusiast is that we know what we want to build our computer for... It sounds to me like you just want to save a few dollars and then go spend your money on an apple in a few months. Why wouldnt you just save your money and get a better apple?

It's your perogative but if you ask me I wouldnt want to deal with the headache. Oh and I just helped someone build a new pc (first one for him) and he spend around 1800.

If you are a newfag that's fine... but dont say that you are going to get an apple eventually on a pc building forum!
December 3, 2007 6:35:49 PM

That Asus DVD-R drive is one of the fastest, quietest SATA drive I have even owned!
December 3, 2007 7:16:29 PM

jsc said:
I went to newegg and looked at the PSU you chose. If you plan on using that PSU, you will need an adapter. It does have a solid 24 pin connector block.


Looking at the other pictures... it seems like it includes an adapter. One reviewer said it included an adapter, another said it didn't.



hughyhunter said:
I wasnt trying to be offensive or condensending... I'm just trying to be logical. Why build a budget PC that will litterally only save you maybe 50 bucks versus buying a prebuilt. You dont have to navigate "cryptic dell's" website to buy a pre-built computer.... You can get one from newegg.

I didnt spend thousands of dollars on my first build... the difference between someone like you buiding a computer and an enthusiast is that we know what we want to build our computer for... It sounds to me like you just want to save a few dollars and then go spend your money on an apple in a few months. Why wouldnt you just save your money and get a better apple?

It's your perogative but if you ask me I wouldnt want to deal with the headache. Oh and I just helped someone build a new pc (first one for him) and he spend around 1800.

If you are a newfag that's fine... but dont say that you are going to get an apple eventually on a pc building forum!


Well the point was that this one would be building a computer just to build a computer, as you said. If I actually enjoy it, and everything turns out well, I wouldn't mind throwing in a couple thousand more.

EDIT: What do you guys think of this mobo?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 3, 2007 9:44:08 PM

That's not a bad mobo. Does what you need.
December 3, 2007 10:16:38 PM

Semi-final list (equivalent to my wishlist):

ASUS 18X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe and 14X DVD-RAM Write Black SATA Model DRW-1814BLT - OEM

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

GIGABYTE GA-M61P-S3 AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

SILVERSTONE ST50EF-Plus ATX 12V 2.2 500W Power Supply - Retail

Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PDC22G6400LLK - Retail

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Windsor 2.8GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADA5600CZBOX - Retail

The GFX card will wait until I can decide how much I want to game.
December 3, 2007 11:42:23 PM

Everything looks decent. You can get a 20x sata drive for a few bucks more.

Keep in mind these things:

The motherboard is great... the only downside is that it really isnt upgradeable. Say you do decide that computer moding/building is right for you and you want to upgrade to the newer phenoms in a few months or later next year. You can still upgrade to the phenom but it would be a waist because that mobo wont use all four cores.

You can still build a bugdet computer by getting a mobo from the 790 series AMD mobo. If you want to get a cheaper one get the 790x series of mobo.

The 6100 really wont let you play any games without getting a graphics card. If you have any inclination to play any games you have to get a card. The 6100 wont let you play any titles like crysis, COD4, or quake wars.

I like the PSU... great choice, cooler master makes awesome cases you cant go wrong.

You would be better off with a cheaper 5000+ black edition cpu. It is 65nm manufactured and more overclockable. All you have to do is raise the fsb in your bios just a tiny bit to get it to the 2.8 range the 5600 is. You wouldnt even have to touch the voltage.
December 4, 2007 12:34:02 AM

hughyhunter said:
Everything looks decent. You can get a 20x sata drive for a few bucks more.

Keep in mind these things:

The motherboard is great... the only downside is that it really isnt upgradeable. Say you do decide that computer moding/building is right for you and you want to upgrade to the newer phenoms in a few months or later next year. You can still upgrade to the phenom but it would be a waist because that mobo wont use all four cores.

You can still build a bugdet computer by getting a mobo from the 790 series AMD mobo. If you want to get a cheaper one get the 790x series of mobo.

The 6100 really wont let you play any games without getting a graphics card. If you have any inclination to play any games you have to get a card. The 6100 wont let you play any titles like crysis, COD4, or quake wars.

I like the PSU... great choice, cooler master makes awesome cases you cant go wrong.

You would be better off with a cheaper 5000+ black edition cpu. It is 65nm manufactured and more overclockable. All you have to do is raise the fsb in your bios just a tiny bit to get it to the 2.8 range the 5600 is. You wouldnt even have to touch the voltage.


Ugh, wish you told me this earlier. :p  My order is already at step 3.

I was deciding between this mobo and one that had SLI. What really turned me off from the SLI one was the additional $50 for basically just SLI + no integrated gfx. So I would have to order a gfx card now.

I'm on Intel Extreme Gfx 2 atm, so I'm guessing the 6100 would be a step up. And I don't think I'll be playing any games for a few months, so I have time to get myself a decent gfx card.

Yea the PSU was pricey, but I can probably keep this part if I upgrade the rest of my pc. The case should last a while also.

Yea, the 5000+ does look pretty appealing. From what I read on Newegg, both that and the 5600+ seem to OC to 3.2 GHz. Btw, do you think I should get my own thermal paste and/or HSF?

Anyway, I ordered all the parts, so I'll do more research and revive this topic when I'm putting it all together. Thanks guys.
December 4, 2007 1:29:11 AM

Dont worry to much... It's a good mobo. I recommended it to a friend a few months ago because he doesnt play games and he really likes the 6100... will play movies at low res too.

Right now since this is your first build stick with the stock HSF and thermalpaste. Just remember that when you are putting thermalpaste on that you are just putting a small line down the middle of the cpu or just a small dot in the middle. Dont use to much thermalpaste. In the future when you get more into it (in other words want to start overclocking) get an aftermarket HSF and arctic silver five thermalpaste and then lapp the cpu and heat sink and you'll be 10 degrees cooler and ready to OC.

Have fun putting together.... If you need any help refer to this post and we'll hook you up!
December 4, 2007 1:44:31 AM

Search this forum for budget builds - there are some excelent $500 builds here.
December 5, 2007 5:49:05 PM

So, it arrived, 1.5 business days after I ordered it.

The case is huge compared to my Dell B110, but that's really no comparison.

It's been outside in the snow for half a day, so I'll let it sit for at least an hour before I do some inspection.

Any tips, precautions, advice for putting it together?

Here is the finalized list of parts:
https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/WishList/PublicWis...
December 6, 2007 4:30:00 AM

Pay meticulous attention to detail... especially with the cpu.

Make sure you are grounded when you build... just put one hand on the inside of the case and use other to work... this is only necessary when handling mobo and cpu.

Dont put to much thermalpaste on cpu... Mount cpu on mobo and then put thermalpaste on... not vice versa.

Mount cpu on mobo, then hsf and then put mobo in case.

Dont use magnetic screwdriver.

Dont accidentally spill thermal paste on bottom of cpu where pins are (speaking from experience... had a minor stroke because of this)

SAve yourself lot's of headaches (unless you are experienced in this area) and install a "clean" version of windows!

Install all latest drivers from manufacturers websites.

GAme until the sun goes down then up again! Have fun with your hard earned money and work.
December 6, 2007 7:11:06 PM

Uhh... crap, no magnetic screwdriver? Is this a big deal, because I used one.

I'll check all the connections later and make sure it's all good, then I'll power it all up and see how it is. One question... I only have one area on the mobo for the sys_fan, but I have a rear exhast fan and a front intake fan... they came with molex adapters attached to the 3-pin, so should these two fans be connected directly to the PSU? Or is there a way to split the signal from the sys_fan?
December 6, 2007 7:17:01 PM

EDIT: My bad, double post.
December 6, 2007 8:16:30 PM

No the magnetic screwdriver is not a big deal as long as you keep it away from electrostatic sensative components like the cpu and northbridge. Basically as long as you only use it to put screws in and not touch anything else with it.

I use a magnetic screwdriver simply because I hate dropping little screws in there and then searching for them for minutes on end. It's worth the risk to me.... then again I doubt that the magnetism in any magnetic screwdriver is powerful enough to realy cause any harm. That would be something interesting to find out... You try!

Connect both from and rear fans to PSU... the only fan that really connects to mobo is CPU fan and sys fan.... There are also some for northbridge. Sys fan can be any fan you want it to be or you can just hook them all straight into the PSU.
December 6, 2007 8:25:32 PM

hughyhunter said:
No the magnetic screwdriver is not a big deal as long as you keep it away from electrostatic sensative components like the cpu and northbridge. Basically as long as you only use it to put screws in and not touch anything else with it.

I use a magnetic screwdriver simply because I hate dropping little screws in there and then searching for them for minutes on end. It's worth the risk to me.... then again I doubt that the magnetism in any magnetic screwdriver is powerful enough to realy cause any harm. That would be something interesting to find out... You try!

Connect both from and rear fans to PSU... the only fan that really connects to mobo is CPU fan and sys fan.... There are also some for northbridge. Sys fan can be any fan you want it to be or you can just hook them all straight into the PSU.


Ok, I don't think I used the screwdriver near any chips, so I guess it should be fine. Scared me a bit. :p 

Hmm, would it be better for the mobo to detect when to turn on fans or for the PSU to detect when the fans should go on? I guess I'll keep the exhaust fan as the sys fan and attach the intake fan to the PSU.

Oh, another thing is that I don't seem to have a 3-pin power led for my front panel. I have a message/HDD light though...

I also don't have an audio-cd cable... what does this do, anyway?

EDIT: I booted up my computer and successfully installed Win XP 32-bit. I just have to figure out how to activate it...

I'll see if I can get Leopard on it (sorry guys), as well as 64-bit, though I can't find my serial.
December 7, 2007 4:32:54 AM

That's weird that you dont have led for front panel... are you looking hard enough?

Dont worry about audio-cd cable... that's obsolete so far as I know.

I would connect all fans except cpu fan to PSU... other fans dont really need to be controlled.... so keep them on full blast through the PSU.
!