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Putting my first build together - some Questions for You guys

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February 25, 2008 4:15:40 PM

Hello everyone, I finally have all the parts for my new build, and want to start building. However, I have some initial problems I've generated by looking through the various manuals. First, I'll post the component list:

Core 2 Duo e2180
Vistionek Radeon 3870 graphics
4 gb corsair ram
Gigabyte ds3l Motherboard
Antec earthwatts EA430 ATX12V v2.0 430W
Lite-on sate dvd burner
seagate baraccuda 250gb hd
antec 900 case

Question #1: In my Radeon 3870 manual, it talks about a Y-cable adapter I will need to connect to the 6-pin connector on the radeon 3870 card. Is this true, and where do I get it? I checked my power supply, and low and behold, there is no 6 pin connector that looks like the one on the 3870. I did several newegg searches, and could not find anything like what I think I will need. Any advice here?

Question #2: I have an Antec 900 Case. It has audio ports, usb ports, and firewire ports on top of it. I would really like to connect these, but I really don't know how. I was looking at the motherboard manual, and the antec 900 manual, and they were saying something about how I might have to connect them pin by pin (as in separate cables for each pin). Is this true? and do I need to buy cables to do this? I didn't see any in my motherboard box.

Question #3: In what order do I install the components? This is my first build, but I've been researching how to do this, and what each part does for about 3 months, so I feel like I know pretty much how to put everything together, but I don't know what order I should do it in. When is the OS installed? the drivers?


Thanks in advance for anyone who takes the time to help me out, I really appreciate it

February 25, 2008 4:42:45 PM

1: What power supply do you have?

2: I would assume the cables for connecting the built in USB, Audio, etc. ports would come with the case; they have been included with the case in my builds.

3: First attach the standoffs to the motherboard tray before you do anything else. A lot of first time builders don't use them and short out the board.

The order to install the power supply, hard drives, cd-rom, and RAM doesn't really matter. I suppose it depends on the case, whether there's plenty of space or if things get tight as you're adding parts. Whatever helps you most with your cable management if the best.

Install the CPU then the heatsink cooler on the motherboard before mounting it to the motherboard tray.

I usually connect the sata connectors as well as the power, usb, etc cables before installing the video card because some cards take up a lot of space and make connecting the cables afterwards a pain.
February 25, 2008 4:47:46 PM

1. I have Antec earthwatts EA430 ATX12V v2.0 430W <-- power supply. sorry, I should have put this in the first post, I'll update it.

2. Shoot, you're probably right, I bet they do come with the case, I'll check. I might have to post again once I find them to find out how to install them properly

3. What are standoffs? This is probably such a noob question, I'm sorry I really don't know

Lol thanks for the advice on the video card. that Visiontek Radeon 3870 is huge! way bigger than I thought it would be, with it's dual slot cooler
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February 25, 2008 5:10:20 PM

1: According to the Antec web site, the Earthwatts EA430 does have one 6-pin PCI-E connector, and the 3870 should only require one 6-pin PCI-E connector so you should be set there.

3: Standoffs are used to separate the motherboard from the case. They should be included with the case. Here's what they generally look like, though some cases have them already attached to the tray.
http://www.mountainmods.com/brass-motherboard-standoff-...
February 25, 2008 5:47:46 PM

OOh that's a standoff, I knew what they looked like and what they are used for, I just didn't know that was what they were called, I thought they were called spacers :D 

And about the 6 pin connector, I'll look into that, I was pretty sure I didn't see one though.

February 25, 2008 8:22:11 PM

Install RAM first. Sometimes the RAM modules need a lot of pressure. It's safer to install them with the motherboard lying on a flat surface outside the case.

Install CPU and HSF next. HSF's using the push pin mounting can be a little tricky. It's easier to doublecheck proper mounting while the motherboard is outside the case.

The case should have all the cables you need to connect the motherboard to the various case jacks. Double check all the wiring. I once fried a USB flash drive because I connected the case USB connector to the 9 pin motherboard SERIAL connector because I was in a hurry.

If you have room to work, install the PSU in the case first. That will prevent an expensive "OOPS" if you drop a relatively heavy PSU onto the various PCB's in the case.

Make sure that the PSU connectors are fully inserted in their sockets.

Software: Here's the order I do it:
OS
Motherboard drivers
Video drivers
Printer drivers
Everything else.
February 25, 2008 10:29:41 PM

the cable ought to be with the card... mine has a cable, but i don't need it...

the cables for the antec 900's USB leads will come attached to the case...

ok, basically, processor, HSF, ram, MOBO into case, and screw it in, PSU, LEDS and power to the mobo, GFX, HDD, (connecting each part to the mobo as you go along), and finally DVD drive, then hook everything up to the PSU... ere's a vid that i found invaluable once memorised...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1NxsHpaL_s
!