The power supply finally gave out on the HP a1410n I had been using as an HTPC and I decided to take the plunge and build my own for the first time. I've done lots of hardware swapouts and software troubleshooting, but this is the first time I have done a motherboard install and I now realize I have bitten off more than I can chew.
I got everything installed and squared away last night, but pushing the power button did absolutely nothing. I'm concerned I am plugged in to the wrong place on the motherboard, the instructions were...murky...at best about where the front panel connectors were to go. That is my first concern. A close second is that I severely underestimated the power supply necessary to run this.
PSU: ANTEC| EA-380D GREEN RT
CPU: AMD|ATH II X2 260 3.2G AM3 RT
MOBO: ASUS M4A88T-V EVO/USB3
MEM: 2Gx2|MUSHKIN 996586 R
CASE: HTPC CASE NMEDIAPCHTPC 8000 RT
HDD: Details are fuzzy, I know one's a 7200 200GB WD, the other is a 5400 1.5TB WD Caviar Green (it's not in front of me at the moment)
DVD: Um, the Litescribe I snagged from the a1410n, it's a placeholder while I rebuild finances to go for a Blu-Ray.
Thanks for humoring the new guy. I'm trying to do this after the kids go down and before I pass out in order to function at work, so I'm taking it slow and trying to do it right. But boy, I miss having TV to distract the kids so I can do some other things, so I'm upping it to a "rushed slow".
i would check your motherboard instructions for the front panel connectors first since you seem unclear about and it definitely won't turn if the power button isn't plugged in. If that doesn't work try checking to see if the motherboard board power cable is plugged in snugly . maybe even check the switch on your power supply (if it has one).
Those little front panel connectors can be tricky to someone who hasn't done it before, but I'm telling you it's very easy. Use a flashlight and connect them exactly as they show in the picture in the manual.
You did not seriously underestimate the power needed. Actually the power supply you have is overkill you could still add a decent graphics card..
Before you buy any PSU read accurate, objective PSU reviews at reputable sites such as www.jonnyguru.com or www.hardwaresecrets.com on the EXACT model PSU that you are interested in as some brands have good and poor quality PSUs.
You can also get an accurate rating of how much PSU power is required for your current or future system at the PSU calculator link below. Once you know the total PSU watts required then you need to confirm that the 12v rail has enough amps. to support your Vid card(s) and the rest of the PC system.
There are several websites that show the Vid card power consumption in watts. Divide the watts by 12 to determine the amps. required on the 12v rail(s). Add 15 amps for the rest of the PC on the 12v rail and you now know the Minimum total 12v rail amps required under full load. It's best to have at least 5-10 amps. reserve on the 12v rail available under full load so the PSU is not loaded to 100%.
Geek: I verified the CPU power was correctly plugged in. I hadn't seen anything referring to the 20+4 ATX power you mentioned. From a quick GIS, it looks like this is the big brick of stuff and there will be only one place for it to go. So, to confirm, I will need to connect the PSU to power the CPU, a separate connection for the motherboard itself, and then individual connection to each component that requires it. What's killing me is that neither the case nor the motherboard manuals say one word about how to hook up the panel connections. I've got POWER SW, RESET SW, HDDLED plugs coming from the panel, and the motherboard points me to a 20-8 pin labelled PANEL. There are labels for POWER and RESET, but I think at this point the problem was not having the 20+4 plugged in.
Beenthere: Thanks for the link to the guide. I had glossed through it very quickly and found many of the items I either had covered or didn't apply (no standalone video card). The other links were exactly what I was looking for, but I had a lot of trouble finding objective analysis and descriptions of my hardware. Thank you very much, and that's a very reassuring screen name, btw.
While I have a few of you paying attention, I'd like to ask about a separate video card. I didn't plan on having one, this is just a machine to look nice in the living room and hold an insane amount of storage (currently it has 2TB, but the next round of upgrades will bring a pair of 3TB drives to the empty slots). I can't afford to trick out a complete home system with networking and extenders and stuff, so I'm setting this thing up to be a 6 year machine that I can build and not worry about until major pieces start dying. Since it is dedicated to the TV, it won't be handling much more than WMC and Media Browser, Chrome (and uTorrent , so I'm thinking I can skate by on low memory and using the built in video processing. I'm not a gamer (kids + 3 jobs - minus spouse = no time), so I'm not sold on the benefits of a separate card. If I'm wrong, I don't mind being told so here.
Gentlemen (I'm assuming, this is a computer forum on teh Interwebs):
Thanks for the help, I am up and running! There is no satisfaction like the "It's alive!" moment of the first build.
When I ran the Windows Experience Index, I got a 1. Everything was above 6.5 except for the graphics ratings, so I guess I'm looking at a standalone card now. I'm also getting warnings from WMC that video may not behave properly due to insufficient video RAM (32MB instead of 64MB). Given the specs I posted and the goal of a stable HTPC that can last 6-8 years with minimal upgrades, what should I be looking at?
I cannot emphasize how much I appreciate your input.