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First Time Builder - What to expect?

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February 20, 2009 8:17:55 PM

Hello people =)

I'm currently still in the 'researching' stage at the moment. Still trying to understand the whole process of building your own pc. I had zero knowledge about pc components before researching. I say 'had' because I kinda understand about the motherboard and chipset components now. But I still need to figure out the deal bout graphics cards and power supplys.

So I guess learning about the components is the easier part?
I have no idea what to expect after I wire everything up. What actually happens? Do like stick in an OS into the optical drive or is there some tweaking involved before everything can run properly? Ive seen the word BIOS or something before. Not sure what that means.

Like I mentioned before, I am VERY new to all this. You may wonder why someone like me would consider building a pc. Well the thing is my laptop died less than a week ago. Because my video card burned from overheating or something. The video card is integrated into the motherboard, so to repair the laptop I had to replace the mother board,,, which would cost me NZ$800. Almost the cost of the actual laptop new. So yea screw fixing laptop, how about I just try to build my own computer =D

So please. I'm sure you're all very much more experienced than me.

Please be sure to add in the steps I need to take before its actually finished. And if you've EVER had any problems when building. What were they?

Oh yes. My specs would be something like:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
Corsair 2x2GB
Western Digital 320GB Serial ATA HDD
Asustek P5Q Pro (Im still unsure about the this, any recommendations? ^^)
NO idea about powersupply, case, optical drive, or extra cooling.


Thanks very much for your helps... ^^

More about : time builder expect

February 20, 2009 9:18:06 PM

read read read... it took me about 2 months of reading to understand just the current hardware and configurations and what was decent for my first build.

skim through forums. look at other peoples builds.
good luck
February 20, 2009 11:14:16 PM

@OP: If you are concerned about setting every thing up, start by reading and watching videos on the web. The manuals (from Gigabyte/ASUS,and other good makers) detail how every thing should fit.

Start here:
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1444

As for BIOS you will need to mess with it to:
1. Set RAM voltage if needed.
2. Change boot order
3. If OCing (which I doubt the OP will be doing soon)
====
@OP: What is your budget for the rig? Is it for gaming? Video/Photo editing/CAD?
Related resources
February 21, 2009 12:39:35 AM

I think the scariest part of building your own PC for the first time is just stepping out and going into the unknown. Most people fear the idea of not having a warranty/tech support for the entire system. (yes, i know, parts have warranties and tech support numbers if needed, but we are talking about sheeple here)

There is plenty of help and knowledge on the internet. This site, for example, is a good reference.

Once I got into building my own PC back in the day, 486 era, I never wanted to buy a brand name PC again. You get a better performing/higher quality PC for your money if you do it yourself.

I say go for it if you are willing to put in the time to learn what you need and are patient enough to deal with the problems that may arise.
February 22, 2009 5:56:02 AM

Shadow703793 said:
@OP: If you are concerned about setting every thing up, start by reading and watching videos on the web. The manuals (from Gigabyte/ASUS,and other good makers) detail how every thing should fit.

Start here:
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1444

As for BIOS you will need to mess with it to:
1. Set RAM voltage if needed.
2. Change boot order
3. If OCing (which I doubt the OP will be doing soon)
====
@OP: What is your budget for the rig? Is it for gaming? Video/Photo editing/CAD?


Hi, thanks for the reply.

Well I'm not too concerned about connecting things up. But yes, the BIOS thing is really what's getting at me right now.

You mentioned RAM voltage........ gosh.......... I havent read anything yet on how we're supposed to know what voltage to set it to...
and boot order? what is that....

The budget is roughly NZ$1500 for the box. and ill be playing very few games. mostly video and photo editing. some light cad and programming.
February 22, 2009 6:27:43 AM

Dealing with the BIOS is not that difficult. If you are not overclocking then you don't have to do much with the BIOS.

Basically you assemble the components, turn it on, go into the BIOS and tell it to boot from the DVD drive, put your OS disk in the DVD drive, the DVD will load and start the OS installation. After the OS is installed then you go back into the BIOS and tell it to boot from the hard drive first.
February 22, 2009 3:55:04 PM

Don't worry about setting the RAM voltages, BIOS will do this automatically. You only need to adjust them manually if you are trying to make them run "faster" (4-4-4-12 instead of 5-5-5-15, for example) or if you are overclocking the memory itself (going from DDR2-800 to DDR2-1066).

Just keep it simple, print out a step by step guide for doing a fresh install of your Operating System of choice (ideally doing so using the motherboard you have, include that in your search for a guide).

Once things are up and running, you can look around for overclocking guides and such and that will get more into the details of BIOS. Otherwise, you don't really need to worry about it (and shouldn't - information overload sucks!).

Good luck!
Anonymous
February 22, 2009 4:07:03 PM

i have the p5q pro motherboard and i'm happy with it.
February 23, 2009 12:08:14 AM

Quote:
Don't worry about setting the RAM voltages, BIOS will do this automatically. You only need to adjust them manually if you are trying to make them run "faster" (4-4-4-12 instead of 5-5-5-15, for example) or if you are overclocking the memory itself (going from DDR2-800 to DDR2-1066).

Not necessarily. There are some Corsair,OCZ,etc DDR2 800 (5-5-5-15) RAM that need 1.9-2.0v to be stable (Memtest86+). For example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(XMS%20Series)-_-N82E16820145184
requires 1.9v. By default the motherboard (any/most) only gives 1.8v (JDEC standard)
!