System build tips, tricks, and gotchas

I've build 5-6 systems over the years, but I'm building a new one for the first time in a couple year. What are some of of your favorite tips, tricks, and things you've learned from hard experience that you won't find in the product literature and manuals?

For my part, I'm going to try to take more notes as I go, and pay more attention to the layout of cables, to keep things neater for improved airflow.
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More about system build tips tricks gotchas
  1. Tip'o'the day:

    Before screwing the MB down into the standoffs inside the case, attach the power swith, reset sw, ide led, and power led leads from the front of the case to the MB headers. Do this with the board outside the case, it makes things much easier. Don't forget.
  2. I built mine a few months ago. The biggest thing that came up for me was information overload. Like you, I wanted to build a PC that will last a little while and has some upgradability. In my research, I read forums, product reviews, and tried to get a sense on what the future will bring. A lot of information, and I got bogged down in a lot of specifics.

    A note on manuals. What ever you decide on, the manuals on some items are fairly complete, but again its easy to overlook a step or two, and you find your self backtracking. As Norm Abrams would say, "Know your power tools, read and understand..." This apples to PC components as well.

    I made 2 mistakes in my build. The first was getting a dual core instead of a quad. FSX really shines with multiple cores, and I didn't do enough research on that aspect before purchasing. I rectified that by getting the qx9650, but that brings me the second mistake. Don't overlook proper cooling. I just purchased a decent CPU cooler from Noctua, as the stock cooler just doesn't cut it. Especially if you overclock.

    Cable management can be difficult depending on you case and components. Good luck.

    My best advice - Be Patient.
  3. badge said:
    Tip'o'the day:

    Before screwing the MB down into the standoffs inside the case, attach the power swith, reset sw, ide led, and power led leads from the front of the case to the MB headers. Do this with the board outside the case, it makes things much easier. Don't forget.


    Ah yes. It's coming back to me. I remember trying to plug those cables in after the mb was in place with tweezers. Very frustrating. To make matters worse, I was getting to the stage where I needed a separate prescription for reading glasses.
  4. mainer-in-exile said:

    I made 2 mistakes in my build. The first was getting a dual core instead of a quad. FSX really shines with multiple cores, and I didn't do enough research on that aspect before purchasing. I rectified that by getting the qx9650, but that brings me the second mistake. Don't overlook proper cooling. I just purchased a decent CPU cooler from Noctua, as the stock cooler just doesn't cut it. Especially if you overclock.


    Yes I decided on a q9450 since I will be doing video stuff. Should help transcoding. I've got the Xigmatek HDT-1283 that frostytech recommends. Hope to OC a bit, but not too aggressively. Thanks.
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