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Help building new system.

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August 25, 2009 12:21:58 AM

Ok, so today I began installing all my hardware and connecting all the cables to my motherboard, psu, etc. This is my first time putting a system together, so the biggest thing that's giving me an issue are the cables that came with the PSU and motherboard.

As far as the installation went, I was able to get all the hardware secured to the case/motherboard without any problems. I connected all the case cables to the motherboard (Gigabyte GA-MA70X UD4P), which wasn't that bad. Connected the CPU fan successfully.

I think I connected my optical drive (SATA DVD drive), but could use some help varifying. For this, I used the power cable that came with my PSU (OCZ 500W). This cable has a total of 3 SATA power connectors, is this correct? I can use this on my SATA hard drive for the power also? For the data cable I used the L shape SATA cable that came with my motherboard and connected it into the SATA0 slot, is this correct?

My next problem are the case fans. I'm using an Antec 300 case with 2 120mm Scythe fans. I installed one fan to the front of the case and the other to the side panel which was removed. Is this the optimal setup for the fans, or should I put 2 fans in the front instead? The connectors that came with my fan confused me. One wire came out of the fan with 3 pin female connector, and an attachment with 3 pin female and a male/female molex (I think that's what they are called, they have 4 metal prongs). The first fan I put together I think I did correctly. I plugged the 3 pin wire connected to the fan into the 3-pin female attachment that came with the fan. Then I plugged the 3-pin male from the attachment into the sys_fan2 on my motherboard. I used the molex cables that came with my PSU and connect the 6pin connector into an open slot on my PSU. I then installed the second case fan on the side panel which was removed. The fan again came with the 3-pin female and the attachment with the molex male/female and the 3-pin male/female. I connected the 3-pin male from the fan into the attachment. I connected the molex from the second fan attachment into the attachment from the first fan. The 3-pin that I connected to the motherboard went into the sys_fan1 slot, which was for some reason a 4-pin, but looked as if was compatible with a 3-pin also. Is this ok that I used this slot on my motherboard? There are no other sys_fan slots with 3-pins.

My next problem I ran into was when I realized I hadn't connected the molex cables from the two fans already installed in the case. These fans also come with a switch L M H, i'm guessing thats low, medium, high. What should I set them to? Do they stay inside my case just laying around? There were no other cables that came with my PSU that I could connect the molex cables from the pre-installed case fans. How do I give them power?

Another thing confused me. It has to do with the cables that come out of the PSU. One connects to the motherboard and is longer with maybe 20+4 pins, this was connect successfully. There is also a 4-pin cable that comes out of the PSU, and I don't know where it goes. It comes out of the same bunch as the cables I connected to the motherboard, but it is an awkward 4-pin female piece.

My last question has to do with one of the cables that came with my motherboard. I think it's the IDE cable (long and flat). This is used for older hard drives, and I can disregard this IDE spot on my motherboard since I'm using SATA cables, correct?

Since I'm fairly new to this I might have used improper terminology. If anything needs clearing up or more detail please let me know.

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a b V Motherboard
August 25, 2009 12:29:18 AM

The optical drive is fine, you just need to have the sata power connected and the sata cable connected to a sata cable on the motherboard.

For the fans either use the molex connector or use the fan header connector, do not use both or you risk blowing the fan controller out. Connect the molex connector to the two preinstalled case fans, mine are running at low and doing a pretty good job, if it starts running hot just open up the case and bump the speed up.

The 4 pin connector will go to another power connector near your CPU, it should have an option of receiving a 4 or an 8 pin connector.

If you arent using an IDE device then you dont need to connect the IDE cable to anything.

I got a bit lost in your fan section so if i didnt answer your question let me know.
August 25, 2009 12:52:21 AM

Ok, I disassembled the case fans I installed so I can get the first 2 pre-installed case fans connected first. The molex connectors that came with my fan are male/female on each connector.

I used a cable that came with my PSU which has 2 molex connectors (male/female) and a female 4-pin connecto Do I plug this 4-pin connect into the 4 pin sys_fan1 slow on the motherboard? I think it will fit?

Now I can use the other molex cables to install the other 2 fans? What do I do with the 4-pin connector (the same type as above)? Just let it sit unconnected since the 2 added fans are connected to the sys_fan 2 slot? Where do I put the 3-pin female connectors on the motherboard? sys_fan2 and pwr_fan? These are both 3-pin males.

That was the other thing that made my confused. What is the difference from the labels sys_fan2 (3 pin male) and pwr_fan (3 pin male) on the motherboard? will both these run my 3-pin scythe fans?

Where do I put the 3-pin female connectors from my two fans? the only two slots corresponding to fans are sys_fan2 and pwr_fan. These are both 3-pin males.
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a b V Motherboard
August 25, 2009 12:56:57 AM

Yup, thats what i did, it saves space on the molex lines which is nice, fans dont pull much power.

What does this 4 pin connector from the PSU look like? About a half inch wide, 1/8th inch tall and white? If so its a floppy drive connector, if you plug it into the motherboard you will destroy it.

If you are connecting them to the motherboard then dont connect them to the power supply, they will get their power from the motherboard instead, if you arent going to connect them to the motherboard because you are going to have them running at full speed anyway just connect them to the 4 pin from the power supply. The labels on the motherboard just tell you what they will show up as if you use a program like speed fan to control them.
August 25, 2009 1:08:44 AM

When you say "yup thats what i did" were you talking about running the fan off each other? I had it plugged in that way, but then edited my post because I re-configured the connection to make then both plug into their own slots on the double molex PSU cord. Shoulld I go back to the way I had it?

The 4-pin female connector on the PSU molex cable that my fans are connected to is about 1/2 in wide, 1x4. It has a little plastic stopper after the 3rd pin, as if it was used to connect the 4-pin securely to a 3-pin. Though after reading what you said about how the fans get their power, I won't even need to connect the 4-pin because the fans will run full time connected to the molex cables, right? I feel like it doesn't need to be used...

So for the case fans, I should just get them connected using the other molex cable and forget about the 3-pin connector that goes into the motherboard? I'm not sure I know how to set up the manual fans, does that come with the software that came with my motherboard? What do you think I should do? Connecting the fans to the other 2 3-pin connections (sys_fan2 and pwr_fan) would be the most simple. Is it easy to configure manual fans? They will draw their power through the motherboard if I connect them this way?
a b V Motherboard
August 25, 2009 1:18:45 AM

You can use a program like speedfan to control the fans connected to your motherboard. If you use the 3 pin connectors they get their power from the motherboard.

You can connect just about as many fans as you need to a single molex connector without problem, or you can connect each fan to its own molex connector, either way will work fine, just pick which ever makes wiring more convenient.
August 25, 2009 1:42:55 AM

The last thing I need to do is install the internal hard drive. It's coming in the mail tomorrow...

Once I screw this in I can connect the SATA power using one of the other two remaining connectors and it gets its SATA data capable, which I connect to the SATA1 slot?

After that I think I'm ready to boot it up. I have done a little research on the steps I need to take in setting up the BIOS and booting from the dvd drive to install windows 7, but if I can't figure something out I'll post back on here. Can you give me a quick preview on what steps I'll need to take to partition the hard drive, please?
a b V Motherboard
August 25, 2009 1:52:02 AM

Just connect it to one of the sata slots, it doesnt really matter which one. You use one of the SATA power connectors from the PSU, they are shorter and fatter than a molex connector, they tend to be black.

When you are installing windows it will help you partition the hard drive, because you are installing 7 i would suggest making a small partition for the OS and turning the rest of the drive into a single partition so you dont lose your data when you do a clean install to move up to the retail version of 7.
August 25, 2009 1:54:22 AM

Brilliant, thanks for the tip. So C will be my OS and I make it the size of whatever Windows 7 will be? Then D will be the remainder of my drive? Is that what partitioning does?
a b V Motherboard
August 25, 2009 2:00:47 AM

yup, partitioning just splits the drive into sections and defines what file system to use on it. I suggest making C 10-15GB, windows tends to grow in size as time goes on and updates are added and its easier to get it sized right the first time than have it run out of space, the initial installation of windows 7 will only be 5-7 but with hard drive sizes the way they are its better to give it a bit more space that it needs than to find out you didnt down the line.
August 25, 2009 2:04:59 AM

Ok. Thank you for the help, again. If I run into any other problems along the road I'll make another thread.
!