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Building Gaming PC - First Time - Guide to Assembly???

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June 11, 2009 5:02:33 PM

Okay, I've worked on my current computer, replaced DVD drives, installed RAM, etc., but I've never built one from scratch. I took someone's advice (the owner of the site below) and spent the money on buying parts to build my own instead of going with a company that really won't be that helpful anyway. I built the "Rank 2" computer from the following site:
http://www.rabb1t.com/systems.html
The site already has links and part names. The computer is nicknamed "Dagger" on the website. I didn't buy any of the accessories stuff like speakers/mouse/etc, just the main parts from CPU down to CASE. I'm also going to be using Win7 free trial for now until I hear some firm information on Win7's cost/etc.

I won't lie, I'm a little concerned about putting it together b/c I haven't found a guide that I really like yet and I've read many stories about how difficult the first build is and about DOA parts and goodness knows what else. I guess I'm really a newb when it comes to PC's now-a-days. Since the parts are all in transit and should be here by the weekend, I have a few questions...

1.) Can anyone recommend a good guide that would be close to my PC (with pictures so I know what I'm looking for)?

2.) Will the parts themselves come with decent guidebooks to aid in installation?

3.) How will I know what part doesn't work if one of the 8 parts are broken/DOA?

4.) Is there anything that I'll need to buy that won't be included with the parts or should the necessary cables and screws be in the packages?
June 11, 2009 5:19:36 PM

protostar8 said:
I didn't buy any of the accessories stuff like speakers/mouse/etc, just the main parts from CPU down to CASE.


You got some less-than-stellar advice there...but what's done is done.

1) It's like playing with legos. Snap the CPU on, snap the memory in, screw everything into your case, plug it all in and turn it on.

2) You plug them in. You're motherboard will come with a manual which you should read. Should answer all your questions about where things go.

3) Read the sticky http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...

4) everything is included
June 11, 2009 5:38:34 PM

Thanks for the info!

Just curious, why did I get less than stellar advice? Was it the parts I bought or was it the fact that I didn't buy the accessory type parts (I own nice accessory parts already, so I didn't see a need to replace what's already pretty good).
Related resources
June 11, 2009 5:51:18 PM

Take a look at these videos, I think theres 5 in total. I used these for my very first build. These prolly are the best video guides ive ran across and they helped me out a lot on my first build. Take a look and see if that is what you are looking for.

Heres the first one to start ya off, Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8KVF0EPSQQ
June 12, 2009 1:32:19 AM

Those posts on youtube are nice!
June 12, 2009 2:19:00 AM

Thank you very much for the videos! They will definitely be a lot of help. I like the guy and the camera angles.

Still curious why drunknmunkys thinks I got bad advice though...
June 12, 2009 2:01:49 PM

protostar8 said:
Thank you very much for the videos! They will definitely be a lot of help. I like the guy and the camera angles.

Still curious why drunknmunkys thinks I got bad advice though...


Just that I would not have chosen those parts at that price point, nothing horrible :) 
June 12, 2009 2:54:36 PM

drunknmunkys said:
Just that I would not have chosen those parts at that price point, nothing horrible :) 


Okay, thanks for the info. Did I really get hosed on it b/c those parts were actually a little more expensive than what I was gonna spend (I'm not looking to make a rocking gaming PC, just one that will let me play some of the RPG's and maybe a FPS or two).
June 12, 2009 6:43:08 PM

no, them parts aint bad. there might of been a couple things to make it a bit cheaper and better, but overall it will be a nice rig, with plenty of power for most current games depending on the resolution your running anyways.
June 12, 2009 6:49:30 PM

It's pretty easy I reckon, just make sure you have a static wrist strap and take your time but I warn you...it's addictive!
AC
June 12, 2009 11:12:47 PM

ac3144 said:
It's pretty easy I reckon, just make sure you have a static wrist strap and take your time but I warn you...it's addictive!
AC


Actually hit RadioShack today and bought a anti-static wrist strap. I was gonna try to avoid having so set parts down anywhere, but I have some rubber stuff you stick under mats (like doormats) to make sure they don't slide, so I'll likely use that if I absolutely have to set something down. I think I'll use some latex gloves too, unless that'd be a bad idea. Hoping my last part arrives tomorrow...
June 15, 2009 2:02:25 PM

protostar8 said:
Actually hit RadioShack today and bought a anti-static wrist strap. I was gonna try to avoid having so set parts down anywhere, but I have some rubber stuff you stick under mats (like doormats) to make sure they don't slide, so I'll likely use that if I absolutely have to set something down. I think I'll use some latex gloves too, unless that'd be a bad idea. Hoping my last part arrives tomorrow...


As much as you read about static, it's actually pretty hard to fry something due to static buildup. I've built my 2 pcs on the carpet and have yet to kill anything. It's something to be aware of - do it on a table and save your anti-static bags to put things down on (see: motherboard) when you're messing around, but its not something to obsess over. Just don't be stupid.

You'll do fine, and most importantly, take your time and HAVE FUN!
June 15, 2009 3:08:05 PM

drunknmunkys said:
As much as you read about static, it's actually pretty hard to fry something due to static buildup. I've built my 2 pcs on the carpet and have yet to kill anything. It's something to be aware of - do it on a table and save your anti-static bags to put things down on (see: motherboard) when you're messing around, but its not something to obsess over. Just don't be stupid.

You'll do fine, and most importantly, take your time and HAVE FUN!



Thanks! I will have fun doing it, that's for sure. And I'll definitely take my time.
June 15, 2009 3:54:49 PM

Yes, make sure you have fun, and just a bit of advise that kinda worried me on my first build. Depending on your CPU cooler mount you might have to apply more than normal pressure to get it securely mounted to the Mobo. Also, go easy on the CPU grease.... I put WAY to much on there my first build and had a fun time cleaning it all off the next day. :( 
June 16, 2009 12:09:32 AM

typeo said:
Yes, make sure you have fun, and just a bit of advise that kinda worried me on my first build. Depending on your CPU cooler mount you might have to apply more than normal pressure to get it securely mounted to the Mobo. Also, go easy on the CPU grease.... I put WAY to much on there my first build and had a fun time cleaning it all off the next day. :( 


Yeah, I'm worried about snapping the Mobo b/c the fan connector things (little plungers) won't really "click" in once that first corner clicks in. Any suggestions on how to get them in better without applying enough force to crack the Mobo?


Second problem solved....so only the fan connector issue. Got them in pretty tight, but I know not 100% on all of them, maybe like 80% on the last 1, 90% on another, and 100% on the other two.
June 16, 2009 1:53:14 PM

As long as you can not wiggle the fan / heat sync around when its attacked to the board, and you should be fine.. If you are able to move it around a bit or wiggle it some, you might not have one attached all the way.
June 16, 2009 4:38:14 PM

Hooray! It turned on! I'm looking at the bios screen like a monkey in front of Picasso. In other words, got no clue what I'm doing and the manual does a good job of explaining what things are, but not what they recommend setting them to. Is there a good general bios setup or something? I want to install Win7 on my PC (I already made the ISO disk like the directions on the Microsoft site indicate). So what do I need to do to get the bios set up and Win7 installed???

Thanks to all that have helped me!!!

Quick Edit: I have a SATA 640GB HD from Western Digital. I'm not sure if that's going to cause a problem b/c I've read that many people have trouble installing windows 7 on SATA drives.


Quick Edit 2: Is it normal for the CPU temp to be 41-42C? The manual to the CPU says it requires an ambient internal temperature of 38C (my "case" temp according to the bios screen is around 29-31C depending on the fan setting)?
June 16, 2009 6:36:35 PM

Depends on what CPU you have. Could be high, or could be normal.

All you really need to do in the BIOS is make sure your memory timings are set to the recommended numbers, and if not, set them manually. To install the OS, simply change the boot order to CDROM before HDD, insert the CD, and restart. You should get a screen which says "PRESS ANY KEY TO BOOT FROM CD:_".

3 weeks ago I installed Windows 7 on that drive, no problems :) 
June 16, 2009 7:01:12 PM

Okay. Thanks!

About the temperature....I'm using a Core 2 Quad 8200 from Intel.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm guessing that I'm okay temp wise b/c I've read a few people say anything under 60C is fine.

Also, is it normal that my 640GB HD shows up as having 596.2GB of free space before windows installs or is something wrong with it since I'm 50GB short?
June 16, 2009 7:40:15 PM

ya the missing space on your HD is normal. You'll never get the full amount of space advertised. My 1TB external hard drive was only like 995GB, or something like that... Can not completely remember.
June 16, 2009 7:44:58 PM

No, it's normal. Dunno why. Maybe trick from companies. Bits and Bytes are DIFFERENT. But its same short word. (MB and Mb).
June 16, 2009 8:25:32 PM

yay for googleIt turns out that the answer has to do with your electronic devices and their operating systems using a different definition of "gigabyte" ("GB") than that of the manufacturer's of storage devices such as memory cards and hard drives. When manufacturers of such devices say "GB", they mean what is called a "decimal gigabyte", which equals exactly 1,000,000,000 (one billion) bytes (a byte is a fairly basic unit of storage in computers). When your device's operating system describes the capacity of the storage medium, they typically use what is called a "binary gigabyte", which equals exactly 1,073,741,824 bytes. Because of this discrepancy, a device has less binary gigabytes than decimal gigabytes.

It turns out that a decimal gigabyte is approximately 93% the size of a binary gigabyte, so if your hard drive is 40 decimal gigabytes, your operating system will report that it is approximately:

40 decimal gigabytes * 93% = 40 * 0.93 = 37.2 binary gigabytes

Which is exactly the hard disk capacity that is reported by operating systems such as Windows XP. Likewise, a 1 decimal terabyte hard drive is 1000 decimal gigabytes. Windows will report that hard disk's capacity as approximately:

1000 decimal gigabytes * 93% = 1000 * 0.93 = 930 binary gigabytes (this is very close to what Windows reports; however, the multiplication factor isn't exactly 0.93, as we'll see below)

So simply put, when you purchase a digital storage medium, you can expect your operating system to identify it as being about 93% the size that you expect it to be. You're not being ripped off; it's just that the word "gigabyte" is used to mean two different things.
June 17, 2009 1:35:15 AM

Ah, well....that's just a retarded mathematical scam I guess. But thanks for the explanation. I have now got Win7 RC up and running. The only thing not showing up is my graphics card. I need to go download the graphics driver for it though b/c the driver disk is heat warped pretty severely.

Thanks again everybody!

One last question. What is the recommended program to monitor system temperature? I downloaded one, it said like every piece was 25-35C, except the "system", which was 90C! I'm hoping the program is just glitched or something b/c that's scorching!
June 17, 2009 1:54:31 PM

protostar8 said:
Ah, well....that's just a retarded mathematical scam I guess. But thanks for the explanation. I have now got Win7 RC up and running. The only thing not showing up is my graphics card. I need to go download the graphics driver for it though b/c the driver disk is heat warped pretty severely.

Thanks again everybody!

One last question. What is the recommended program to monitor system temperature? I downloaded one, it said like every piece was 25-35C, except the "system", which was 90C! I'm hoping the program is just glitched or something b/c that's scorching!


Some things get pretty hot in there. Main thing to worry about is your CPU temp, and if you're running extreme temps monitor your GPU temp (those can get pretty high).
!