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A Few Question Before my First Custom Upgrade

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April 18, 2010 2:47:43 PM

I am about to upgrade my computer on my own for the first time and I wanted to confirm some details.
I am only upgrading the monitor*, PSU, GPU, and case** on my computer, so

1. Is it best to install the new PSU and GPU in my current case, confirm they work, and then trade everything over, or trade everything over and then test?
2. Changing the case will not affect anything as long as I make sure I plug everything back into the same plug, correct?
3. Will I need my Windows boot disc?
4. What is the best way to ground myself & the parts? Can I just touch the case that is not in use?
I think that I know the answer to most of these questions, but since this is my first build of any sort and it is consuming a good chunk of my budget, I wanted confirmation.

Thank you for your help

Also, if you can think of anything else good to know, please tell me.
* Is this http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Acer+-+23%22+Widescreen+Fla... a good monitor, and
**Is the Antec 900 II a good case that I can keep for a while, and will it fit an HD 5850?
a b B Homebuilt system
April 19, 2010 2:09:35 AM

There is no reason to test everything first. But you should list your current MB, unless your 100% certain that the new cpu will work, or work with a bios flash.
The 902 is a good case. I believe the lower HDD cage is removable so the 5850 should fit fine. I just bought a HAF 922 and love it. Previously I was an all Antec guy. The parts will go in just as they came out. The only real difference will be the new case leads. Just follow the map from your MB manual, or look closely on the MB. The pins are very small and hard to read so the diagram is the best way to go if you can. I never ground myself, I just touch the case I'm working with before I pick u the parts. I SHOULD ground myself and it is foolish of me not too. A grounding strap costs about 3.00, so just buy one and put it on your wrist, then clip it to bare metal on your case.
The monitor you listed is fine. I have never had an Acer. I use newegg for research a lot. The reviews there can be helpful once you dig through the crud.
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April 19, 2010 4:26:04 AM

The motherboard is the standard form an inspiron 546 - it is my next upgrade.
Your first piece of advice regards cpu's. I am only upgrading my gpu, so all I need on the motherboard is a PCI-e slot, correct?
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April 19, 2010 5:05:17 AM

raffiy said:
The motherboard is the standard form an inspiron 546 - it is my next upgrade.
Your first piece of advice regards cpu's. I am only upgrading my gpu, so all I need on the motherboard is a PCI-e slot, correct?


1. No need to test if things will work in the new case first. Any power supply you get is gonna be a standard ATX PSU and therefore it WILL fit in the new case. A 5850 should fit in the case you suggested too. Just disconnect everything inside in your old computer (except leave the processor and fan on obviously) and install that whole motherboard assembly in the new case. Then install the PSU and finally the GPU.

2. The only thing that will be affected is going to be your video driver. Installing a new PSU will have no effect on the computer from a software standpoint, however you will need to either uninstall your video driver before installing and booting with the new GPU, or start the computer in safe mode when you boot with the new GPU and then remove the old video driver. If you try to start the computer with a video driver that does not match the installed video card there's a good chance you'll get a blue screen. In case you don't know, you can uninstall your video driver by finding your current video adapter in device manager, right clicking it, and choosing uninstall.

3.You will not.

4. You can touch metal on the case, or any other metal structure. Or buy a wrist wrap. Or do nothing. To be honest, at the computer repair shop I work at, I haven't once payed attention to grounding myself and I have yet to damage anything that way. Still, it's not a bad idea if you want to be extra special careful.
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