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About to build what should I know?

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February 27, 2008 1:44:09 PM

I am a first time builder and have just ordered all my parts. Does anyone have any tips they could give me about the process? Any problems i might run into? I am concerned the most about after I have everything hooked up. I just turn it on and toss the OS in the drive for install? Sounds dumb I guess but there is not a ton of info on what to do once you have your comp together. Here are my specs. I built for gaming.

Cooler Master Stacker 830 SE

Evga 780I MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Evga 8800Gt
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel E8400

Corsair XMS2 Ram
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

WD 500gig HD
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Samsung DvDR lightscribe drive
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Zalman 9700 Heatsink
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1683...

Vista 64bit

More about : build

February 27, 2008 2:00:45 PM

Take your time and make sure you install all the hardware correctly. After your all assembled and power on for the first time, go into the BIOS and set the boot device priority to your CD drive as the first device and then reboot and put your OS install disk in the drive and follow the prompts. It's fairly intuitive.
February 27, 2008 2:15:41 PM

Thx for the info. Anything else in Bios I need to worry about?
Related resources
February 27, 2008 2:19:44 PM

Take your time and read your motherboard manual. Having another computer to use the forums while building and to use this http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/ helped me.
February 27, 2008 2:24:41 PM

Awesome link. Thx man
February 27, 2008 3:19:33 PM

Just relax, take a deep breath. When you start building your rig, make sure you are properly grounded. What I always do is install the PSU in my case first, hook up the PSU to an outlet while it is TURNED OFF, and wear a anti-static bracelet that is now connected to an unpainted steel surface of your case with the PSU inside the case. This will guarantee no static discharge damage when you handle the components. If you dont have an antistatic bracelet, often touch the unpainted steel to discharge any static build up. Work on hard floor if possible over carpet.

Once everything is ready to power on, double check all your power connections are secured in. Make sure the ATX power cable, 4 pin CPU power, and PCI Express power cable to your graphics card are all installed. Now take a deep breath and hit power. Go into your BIOS first thing. Check over the temperatures so you know its all good. Next, set your first boot device as your CD/DVD drive. Insert your Windows OS disc and save your settings in the bios. When you restart, the system should boot from your cd/dvd drive and start windows installation automatically. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
February 27, 2008 3:30:34 PM

definitely wear anti-stat bracelet. a few bucks at radioshack. MAKE SURE YOU USE THE STANDOFFS!!! lol i built my first pc a few weeks ago and forgot that leading to a motherboard rma and lots more waiting :(  but its all good now lol
February 27, 2008 3:47:24 PM

FYI,

When you boot it up for the first time, keep an eye on the temperatures (mainly the MCP temperature). Apparently, EVGA (Foxconn) has a quality control issue during the assembly process for the North and South Bridge heatsink. Many EVGA 780i owners (not all) have noticed that their MCP temperature gets really hot because the heatsink is not making good contact with the chips. There is a rubber/foam square-shaped ring pad around 3 of the chips and sometimes the pads are not installed correctly. Some times the pad can get sandwiched between the chip and the heatsink, which means it can't dissipate the heat properly.

You can fix it yourself if it is a problem. But I would suggest that you power up the computer first and watch the temperatures in the BIOS. You don't want to take it apart if you don't need to.

Check out EVGA forums for more info: http://www.evga.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=38
February 27, 2008 4:40:14 PM

ImajorI, same speakers over here and they are the best audio purchase I have ever made!
February 27, 2008 7:53:33 PM

http://www.mechbgon.com/build/SATA.html

This is one of several guides that are out there. I suggest doing a prebuild outside the case and make sure you get post. Just use the minimum; 1 stick of ram,ect.
Good luck with the build.
February 27, 2008 8:38:25 PM

The trickiest part is mounting the cpu cooler. It is best done with the mobo outside of the case. The retail cooler will come with thermal material pre-applied. Examine the push pins until you understand how they work. Push down on a diagonal pair at the same time. You need to be able to examine the back of the mobo to be certain that all 4 pins are all the way througn and that the heat sink is on solid.
I like to run memtest first. Prepare a bootable cd ahead of time.
February 28, 2008 12:48:25 AM

Thx for all the info guys. One question on temps. What are the temps I should be looking? Is there a temp range or something? I also wanted to ask if just using rubber gloves or something to avoid static? Will that work instead of a wrist strap?
February 28, 2008 3:03:06 AM

Don't worry about static too much unless your work area is very dry. Just touch the metal of the case before you handle parts.
February 28, 2008 2:10:29 PM

How I do it:

I usually get a good comfy seat, arrange the parts in a circular configuration around where im sitting (usually floor) park the case directly in front of me, find a decent show on TV and ground myself, then get crackin'. the layout usually saves me a bunch of moving around and prevents static buildup. the strap thing is just ghey unless you're in a clean-room or dry environment like geofelt just said.

One thing i would worry about is the chipset drivers. I've heard here and there the nVidia ones are a little finicky. not bad mind you! They've practically replaced VIA as the alternative chipset pick. Just make sure you install the chipset/mobo drivers FIRST after the OS is done installing. Then get the videocard drivers in, run updates, etc.

The very last thing i do to my system before i start loading it up with apps, and games, etc., is to run all the HDD/chipset diagnostics. If you didnt have problems through the installation process, thats a great sign, but not a definitive indicator. things like temps, HDD errors, may not be encountered until 2-3months after so i'd rather do it now than find out after i spend all that time tweaking personalization settings. if all checks out good, then i start bench/torture/burn-in testing. Prime95 for mem and cpu, 3dMark06/Lost Coast for gfx testing. If you can get Prime95 running for 12h straight no errors, and there's no graphical anomalies in 3dMark, your system should be set, and will only need some minor maintenance for the next several years.

I used to know people who would habitually format/reload their system monthly/bimonthly, and seriously... That's a pain in the ass! just get your protection programs (antivirus, spybot, firewall) running on an acceptable schedule and your desktop experience will age quite gracefully.
!