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My first time building a PC, a little nervous, any tips?

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September 10, 2008 5:36:57 AM

Hello everyone,

tomorrow I should be getting the rest of my shipments from Newegg to allow me to build my very own PC! However I'm pretty nervous since this is my very first build. I've watched many how-to videos and have taken apart computers for college PC hardware classes, but I'm still nervous since this is all my money going into this new system.

First, let me show you all the components for my new build! I have to say it's probably nothing too impressive, I'm not trying to show off, just allowing you to see the full picture of my build.

Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS P5N-D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: GeForce 9600 GT 512MB PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Drive: ASUS [insert a lot of media types here]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Well, first of all I'd like to make sure that this all looks good? I'm pretty sure it does but it doesn't hurt to ask even though I've payed for it all already. Please feel free to point out if I've made some major mistake.

What I'm more concerned about however is the actual assembly of the PC... I'm assuming what I should do first is get the CPU (also the fan) and RAM onto the motherboard first. After that I'll mount the power supply into the case, just the screws into the power supply I assume? Then I need to like up the board to make sure I put in all the needed standoffs for the board to rest on. After I install those I put the motherboard into the case! The next part is what has me the most worried... Connecting all the internal case wiring to the motherboard and power supply. After reading the instructions included with my case I feel its a little lacking on specific directions for how to hook the fans up or the LEDs/Power & reset button. I'm assuming I'll be referring to my motherboard manual for the proper connections, but since I haven't gotten it yet I don't know yet.

The major thing that confuses me is the fans. I noticed the large fan in the back of my case has a molex (correct?) connection... Or well, two of them? One male and one female? Forgive my major ignorance but I'm a little confused. Do I directly connect my back fan to my power supply using both cables? Only one? I have a second fan which is on the front of the case which is a much smaller connection, I'm assuming that directly connects to the motherboard? Sadly the case instruction manual doesn't really explain much at all, and being the newbie I am I feel scared and alone!

Hopefully the manual for the motherboard will clear up any confusion with the LED/Power&Reset wiring... Please forgive my ignorance on fans, but being this is my first time, could any push me into the correct direction? Am I missing anything vital?

Thanks for any support!

September 10, 2008 6:22:01 AM

Your parts selection is fine. I wouldn't have gone with an Nvidia chipset but that is your choice, and required if you want SLI in the future.

Your mobo will give you the pinouts for the front case header. If the LEDs don't work just flip them around, because they are polarity sensitive.

The rear fan Molex is probably male on one side and female on the other. That is nice if you are short on connectors, because an additional fan etc. can be plugged into it.

The front 3 pin fan will be plugged into the case fan header on the mobo.

I didn't notice an aftermarket HS. The stock one is ok but the push pin mounting system is not. I would mount the CPU and HS outside the case and check the bottom of the mobo to be sure the pins are properly through the board and securely locked.

I would install the RAM after the mobo is installed, but that's just personal preference.

Read the manual carefully it should give you all the details you need.

Here's a little video for you.

September 10, 2008 8:09:05 AM

Zorg,i think u missed the Video,because there arent any links in your post,plz edit it :) 
Related resources
September 10, 2008 8:31:58 AM

Maziar said:
Zorg,i think u missed the Video,because there arent any links in your post,plz edit it :) 
That's odd, it appears in Firefox for me. It wasn't linked it was embedded. Do you have flash blocked, or maybe it's blocked in a pop-up blocker? Here is the link.

Boxed Intel Processor in the 775-Land Package
September 10, 2008 10:08:24 AM

No i have flash installed, i tried with IE, and i saw a white box with nothing in it :D  i think the vide site that u have used to upload is filtered in IRAN :( 
September 10, 2008 4:39:13 PM

It's YouTube.
September 10, 2008 5:24:25 PM

I'm glad I didn't watch that video when I installed my first 775 Lands CPU. I would be terrorized to even think of installing it.
I watched ASROCK's video which only last about 2 minutes. and I installed the CPU and heatsink/fan in less then 60 seconds.
But enough of the video comments.
The first system that I ever built was a Super Socket 7 with a AMD 586 100MHz along with a SIIG SCSI2 controller and SCSI HD and CD-ROM.
And I built this system with no help from anyone or anything except for an old antique book I had laying around called "How to build your own PC XT/AT for a fraction of the cost".
September 10, 2008 5:51:10 PM

I would recommend the most basic safety procautions... Don't install it while you are on carpet. Ground yourself by touching the case a lot while installing just to make sure you don't get a static charge. You can also where a static bracelet, but I don't think they are necessary. Have a good screwdriver handy (preferably long and narrow).

Figure the amount of time you are going to need and double it.

I get the feeling you are well versed on putting computers together, just be confident... nervousness breeds mistakes. I installed my power supply first and then mobo and installed everything into it after. You can do it in any order you want. And hey... if you break something, just tell newegg that it was damaged in shipping.



September 10, 2008 6:13:39 PM

Couple tips.

When you install the motherboard, make sure there are not any extra screws or offset screws under the board. Extra metal components under the board can ground it between the case and board, and short it out. Very simple/easy to prevent though.

Be prepared for the computer to NOT start up properly the first time you hit the power button. Never fails, you're likely to forget something really simple when you finally get it all installed. Simple stuff like connecting the CPU Fan to the motherboard, plugging in the PCI-E power cable to your video card, connecting the cord from the power button to the motherboard in the first place usually helps. ;) 

I usually just forget to turn the power supply on. :)  There's a switch on them typically, with an "I" and an "O" that switches power on and off. I usually leave it off while I'm playing with parts.
September 11, 2008 3:37:43 AM

Now the embedded video doesn't work here or in another thread that I just tried to put it in. What's up THG?


It's back up.
September 11, 2008 5:48:36 AM

Zorg said:
It's YouTube.

so thats why,its blocked here :( 
September 11, 2008 9:33:32 PM

So I put my new stuff all together and... I'm not getting any signal to my monitor... everything seems to boot up fine but then no signal...

Any ideas? I think it'd have to be something between the RAM, video card, and processor right? Is there a way I can test these components? anything I could notice in particular?


September 13, 2008 11:38:18 PM

I've been away, but if it's not too late do you have a speaker attached?
!