Build finalized w/ Pics - Need Feedback

Hello once again. I believe this is the right section for these type of questions.

First I will post my skeleton (case lol) and components. I would like to also mention this build is based on salvaged parts and this rig will do nothing too intense or serious. I don't plan on upgrading or buying anything extra for this build. This will be my second time putting a computer together from barebones.

Case - COOLER MASTER Elite 310
Mobo - ASUS P5GC-MX/S I'm not sure what the /S is all about but here it is officially on ASUS website P5GC-MX
CPU - Pentium D 820
HSF - Rosewill RCX-Z90-AL 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
PSU - CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 Picked it up on sale with rebate. $20 total. It was a steal.
RAM - 2x512 DDR2 533MHz (all I know the RAM)
GPU - ATI Radeon X300 SE (HyperMemory) PCI-E

• The motherboard came by itself which I knew that upon purchasing. I have necessary cables and accessories needed in spare parts laying around.
• Pre-applied paste on the HSF which I plan on using.
• I will add more notes later if I can think of anymore.
• I will also be installing a 56k modem because that is the only internet available to me (rural area). 2011 and still have 56k. :pfff:

And now finally I've got some questions that are scratching at my noggin so here goes...

1. On my first computer build whenever I installed the motherboard stand-offs I got the motherboard screwed in then I realized I had left the I/O shield off so I unscrewed and most stand-offs ended up screwing up and that led to me unscrewing too much and cause the stand-off to strip. Is there anyway to prevent this in the future if this problem ever pops up again?

2. I have tried researching this myself and haven't had much luck. Will the integrated on-board video (GMA 950) outperform the dedicated GPU (Radeon X300 SE)?

3. Left over from my old build that I'm salvaging from my hard drive contains all of my data. If it happens to not boot the hard drive and I would have to format to get the OS up and running what would be the best way to retrieve my data? I have heard a repair installation would fix this and keep all of my data but I am unsure as I've no experience in doing a repair install from disc.

4. Will acetone be suitable enough at removing the current thermal paste on my CPU and if so should I use q-tip, coffee filter, or 100% cotton ball and cotton rounds?

That is all I can think of as of right now. These questions are just pounding at my skull and I don't want to have these complications on my second build around.

EDIT: Renamed thread for a more suitable name.

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  1. Best answer
    1. I guess in theory you could add some kind of adhesive or something for the stand-offs but being careful and properly screwing in the standoffs to begin with should prevent that from happening. Plus of course as long as you don't forget to attach the io shield that shouldn't be an issue :)

    2. According to the hierarchy chart ( here ) the X300SE is about 4 levels higher in the hierarchy than the GMA950. So you should see a tangible difference in performance favoring the X300SE . And of course if you for some reason need extra horsepower for the video department with 40 bucks you can get a 4650 DDR3 which kicks you up 17 levels in the hierarchy chart vs the GMA950 :)

    Others can hopefully answer the other 2 questions.
  2. Thanks for the reply rvilkman.

    About the standoffs I probably most likely didn't tighten them enough and the screw unscrewed with the standoff. I was unscrewing then I heard a click and that was the screw stripping the standoff luckily cooler master had a lot of standoffs in their packaging. Hopefully my cooler master with have plenty spares. lol :p

    That chart I remember seeing about a month ago. I totally forgot all about it. Thanks for that link. If I do decide to up the GPU a little bit it will be sometime in the future when I pass this build to a young grasshopper because I'll have my main PC built.

    Them other 2 questions I'm still unsure of.
  3. 1. Standoffs should be screwed into the case a little bit tight, but there isn't much metal there so you can't tighten them very much. The screws that hold the motherboard down don't have to be tight at all, so tighten them significantly less than you tighten the standoffs.
    3. Before you attempt anything with that hard drive you should copy its contents to another drive, even an external drive of some sort.
    4. The old cooler compound will come off pretty easily. Acetone, rubbing alcohol, paint thinner, should all take if off pretty easily. Most of it you can rub off with a paper towel or old rag, then use a paper towel or rag with a little bit of the solvent on it to take off the remaining residue.
  4. Thanks cadder.

    I don't have access to another hard drive, well I do but its from an old computer and its no where near big enough to hold all of my data. Could I hook my hard drive up to another computer and be able to copy over my data from inside the OS hooked up to that other computer?
  5. The build is now final.

    Things went pretty smoothly. I had a wrench small enough to tighten the stands off this time and that made me feel more secure about the installation.

    My hard drive booted right into the OS first go around without having to do a repair install. However I still had to re-activate WinXP Pro. Which was kind of painful having to call their activation line and speak to a machine lol, it took me 3 attempts to give them the correct activation ID or whatever has like 7 or 7 columns of 6 digits I think? Other then that things went smoothly getting my OS back up and running. I'm thankful it booted right up though.

    Acetone worked very well with bringing off the old paste and cleaning it right up. Thanks cadder :)

    Here is pics.
    Hope you can see all 7 photos. I set the album to public.

    After I removed the plastic covering from the side & front panels it was so shiny! Pictures had tons of glare. It's not the prettiest wiring but I think it will do good with air flow as most of the wiring is out of the way.

    I added a HWMonitor screenshot in there so you guys could check it out, the temps, volts, etc. The first cold boot my CPU temp was at 38C then at idle it would be 40-42 mostly. I gave it a little bit of a test run. I opened two 1080p HD and one 720p videos at once and play them for a good 3 mins also while listening to music with Firefox up and HWMonitor up and max CPU temp hit 60C seems a little high but I suspect this is normal for an old Pentium D (90nm, 95W TDP) plus the thermal compound still needs to setup.

    EDIT: Also my cooling system is the rear 120mm exhaust, the PSU fan, HSF and a little PCI slot exhaust under the PCI-E card. I plan to add a 120mm front intake fan later on.

    Thanks to those who helped answering my questions.
  6. Best answer selected by Evan20x.
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