First time builder here. So much new build info is focused on hardware, but I'm having more trouble figuring out the expected configurations that I'll need to make. I'm just about done with my build, but I want to make sure I know what the key BIOS and Windows 7 configurations have to be to get everything to work and to make the most of my system. I'm not talking about optional tweaks, but the critical things that must be done.
System is an i7 980x on Asus P6X58D Premium with 6x2 GB RAM, GTX 470 video card, and Intel 160GB SSD boot/app drive. OS is Win7 64 bit. No overclocking, no RAID. I will obviously have to do a new clean install of Windows 7.
BIOS on first boot - I'll enable AHCI and I'll make sure that the default settings are consistent with the installed hardware. Anything else? I'm not overclocking or doing RAID, as mentioned.
Windows 7 installation - anything special to do? If I enable AHCI in BIOS before installing Win7, then presumably the AHCI driver will be automatically enabled?
Drivers - I will install/update all drivers - graphics card, motherboard/chipset, etc.
SSD - I will install the Intel SSD Toolbox and check for SSD firmware updates.
I feel like my list is too thin... is there anything critical I'm missing?
Not really. Just the basic BIOS stuff will get you going, time and date, everything on auto, you can always tweak, turn off un-needed options later.
Win 7 should find your AHCI enabled drive just fine and work like a charm.
Install Windows, install all your secondary hardware drivers, starting with the motherboard stuff first. Chipset, Lan, Onboard Sound, etc. Most boards I ever set up come with a DVD that basically has a "install it all" option when you insert the DVD. (of course, after the OS has been installed) OS, Motherboard, video card, in that order.
After that, you start the long process of loading your programs and getting everything setup the way you want it.
But yeah, in a nutshell, you got it. Barring any problems, good luck, and have fun!