Building my first pc


I'm building my first pc and have a few questions that I hope you guys could answer.
1.) When connecting the front panel connectors to the motherboard, which is the negative wire? On my case, a Lian Li PC Q-08, there is a green and white, blue and white, orange and white etc. Am I right in thinking that the white is the negative wire and the colored wire is the positive when connecting these to the front panel header on the motherboard?
2.) The instructions in the H55n-USB3 booklet says there is a 3 pin system fan header to connect to. The connections coming from both the fans on my case have a white connector with 4 pins on one side and 4 holes on the other side. Either way they don't look like they would connect to the 3 pin header on the motherboard. Not sure how to connect them, and if possible, which one gets connected, the front fan or the top fan?
3.) Lastly, does anyone have any suggestions on A PSU for the Lian Li PC Q-08 case which is a quite small HTPC case with not a lot of room inside. I've heard some people struggle to fit a Modular PSU in it.

Hope all these questions make sense and forgive me if they are a bit basic sounding.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

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  1. 1) You are right... Color equals "Positive" and White equals "Negative".

    2) I would just connect your fans to your PSU over the motherboard. You can use the 4-pin molex connectors on the PSU and fan to connect them.

    3) What else are you putting into your system... (I.e. Graphics Card), so we know what size power supply to recommend you.

    You can review my "Step-by-Step Guide" in my signature for more build help.
  2. Thanks a lot for your response!

    So I don't have to connect either fan directly to the motherboard even thought there is a spot called "system fan header" ? Ok, so that 4 hole connector is called a "Molex" connector. I've already learned something!

    At the moment it's just G.Skill 4gb of ddr3 ram, one Samsung spinpoint 1TB hard drive, and a Sony AD7240 DVD Drive.

    Down the track I may look to install a ATI 5770 graphics card, but not for now. So yeah, I don't want to have to purchase an additional PSU when I get around to getting the Graphics card.

    Due to the small size of the Lian Li case (PC Q-08) I've read that you have to be careful not to get too big a PSU, as it can be a tight squeeze getting it to all fit with the cables etc.

    I will check out your "Step by Step Guide".

    Thanks for your help.
  3. As for a PSU... I would look at the CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX. which gives you plenty of power for the ATI 5770 down the road.
  4. Apparently, there is no standard for color coding the front panel leads. Most of the time, the common color like white or black is the negative or ground. If you look closely at the lead, you may see a small delta imprinted near the positive lead.

    It is not that important.

    The power and reset switches do not depend on polarity, you can connect them either way.

    The led leads do depend on polarity. But, if you connect them the wrong way, no harm is done, they just will not light up. Reverse them and all will be fine.

    Motherboard three pin fan headers allow motherboard control of the fan speeds. You need to connect your cpu cooler fan to the cpu fan header. If you don't, the motherboard may not start up. Some fans will come with a three pin fan lead, others will have a bigger 4 pin molex fan lead, and some fans will have both. You can connect them how you wish, or even daisy chain multiple fans. Personally, I prefer a steady drone of a non speed controlled fan as compared to one that ramps up and down according to program control.

    The 5770 wants a 450w psu with a 6 pin pci-e connector.

    The Corsair 550VX suggested by techmo34 would fit the bill.

    You could use any 450 to 650 unit from a quality vendor.
    My short list of quality vendors would include XFX, Seasonic, PC P&C, Corsair and Antec.
    A modular unit would eliminate a few of the cables usually found on a psu of that power. A lower cost modular unit is the Antec BP550 for $59.99:
  5. Thanks guys for your suggestions and answers.

    I have connected the CPU fan to the CPU fan header on the motherboard. (4 pin connector).

    So the consensus is that I don't have to directly connect either fan to the motherboard? Both fans have a 4 pin molex connector on the end, so I don't know how to connect either of those two fans to the motherboard, which has a 3 pin connector. So if it doesn't matter about a motherboard speed controlled fan, I just connect both of the fans 4 pin molex up to a connector on the PSU when I buy one.

    Guys, out of the PSU's that you suggested, do you know if any are smaller in size compared to each other?

    Thanks again
  6. Standard ATX size is about 3 1/2" tall x 6" wide when you look at the switch end. How deep it goes varies a bit.

    The Antec unit I suggested is about 6" deep. Some will be 7" or longer. Check the product specs on the psu web site for any unit you are interested.

    The depth is not usually so much of a problem as what to do with the unused cables, hence the suggestion to go modular.
  7. Thank you guys for all of your help. I think I will go for a modular PSU.

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