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1st Build - Challenges to Expect?

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January 20, 2012 5:08:18 PM

Hi again everyone.

I am slowly moving forward with my first time build and am preparing to order parts over the weekend.

In anticipation for their arrival and the building to begin I am beginning to wonder what type of challenges are common to the process so I can begin to prepare myself?

I was in a local computer shop talking with the owner about my project and he mentioned difficulties with getting the BIOS installed correctly. My impression is that he was partially trying to scare me into letting him build a computer for me, but I could be wrong.

This just got me thinking, what should I be expecting in terms of challenges and what can I do to prepare?

Anything you can offer me would be well appreciated!

Thanks! :) 
January 20, 2012 5:22:46 PM

If you can follow directions you can build a computer. Don't let that guy scare you.

Building a computer is fun. Just take your time and use the install guide from your motherboard manufacturer. If you have any specific questions there is more than enough help on these forums to assist you with any problem.

Installing windows on a new machine is a breeze these days. Just follow the prompts that the screen gives you and you should be fine. The only issue you may have is fighting off the bordem while windows is installing.

From a hardware standpoint I would say do not try to over-tighten anything. Everything should be snug but do not force anything into place.
January 20, 2012 5:25:13 PM

The best thing you can do to prepare is to post your build specs (each component before you order it) according to the template here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

People can then give you more specific advice on what to expect.

The store owner was referring to using new CPUs with older motherboards. Older motherboards can sometimes support new CPUs but need a BIOS update first. To do the BIOS update though, you need to have an older CPU installed in the motherboard. This can be problematic for home builders. If you post your selected components, we can tell you about such potential issues and nip them in the proverbial bud.
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January 20, 2012 5:26:18 PM

Unless you are overclocking or trying to install the absolute latest CPU on an older motherboard - there is often nothing you need to even do in the BIOS.

Configuration wise - if you are using an SSD - there are a couple of options to change there for optimum performance.

Other than that - the greatest challenge for me is usually:
1. Take your time assembling everything, carefully making sure you have all the right power cables / connectors / etc... properly seated and connected.

-- Do not rush (I tend to sometimes as I want to play with my new toys) but it usually costs me time (forgot to do something, and then need to figure out what).
January 20, 2012 5:34:12 PM

the bios is rarely a problem for people now a days. unless your trying to configure very fast ram that doesnt want to work at its rated speed. but if your sticking with what the processor recommends. 1333 for core 2, i3, i5, i7, athlon II, phenom II and some earlier processors. the AMD FX and Llano processors support up to 1866. im not too sure about the socket 2011 intel but i dont feel like looking it up.
you can run faster ram easily if your motherboard supports it. but your technically overclocking your memory controller and intel frowns on this. it might effect your RMA if it dies on you. though not likely it will die.

the most common gripe i hear is for the intel cpus not seeming like they fit in the socket right. i dont know how this is a problem for anyone but i hear it a lot. just follow the manual and you cant go wrong.

some aftermarket cpu coolers have very shitty manuals and require a bit of trial and error to get it right. but the best thing is to check youtube for an installation video for it. there will most likely be one.

make sure your power supply has all the connectors your motherboard and GPU need. it will have the others but make sure there are enough of them too. if you haven't used an online power supply calculator or gotten advise from a Guru you should. it would suck if you turned it on and nothing happened because you dont have enough wattage.

when plugging in a card to a pci-e/pci/etc slot, it might seem as if the metal plate on the card wont get in where it belongs, its common, just look at how strait the metal plate is and look closely at the small slot in the corner it plugs into and bend the metal plate a few degrees and try again until it fits.

oh and beware static. touch your case or some other large metal object to release your charge. if you want to be paranoid you can use an anti-static wrist strap but i feel those are only necessary in vary dry places.
January 20, 2012 5:42:42 PM

Thanks everyone for your replies!

This is exactly the type of information and encouragement I was looking for and needed.

I will make my final decisions on parts today and post them in the HB forum for review.

I must say I am more excited about building my own computer than I ever have been for buying a new computer.

Very cool indeed!

Cheers.

Best solution

a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2012 5:52:02 PM
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Quote:
I was in a local computer shop talking with the owner about my project and he mentioned difficulties with getting the BIOS installed correctly. My impression is that he was partially trying to scare me into letting him build a computer for me, but I could be wrong.


I don't know where he got that information from but unless he's building his own motherboards he doesn't install a BIOS. All motherboards have them already. And most now have automated drivers in Windows that will update the BIOS automatically. I don't know what he's talking about.

Quote:
I must say I am more excited about building my own computer than I ever have been for buying a new computer.


It is cool, isn't it? My two computers that I've built I like far better than any pre-built computer I've ever bought or used.

Quote:
the bios is rarely a problem for people now a days. unless your trying to configure very fast ram that doesnt want to work at its rated speed. but if your sticking with what the processor recommends. 1333 for core 2, i3, i5, i7, athlon II, phenom II and some earlier processors. the AMD FX and Llano processors support up to 1866. im not too sure about the socket 2011 intel but i dont feel like looking it up.


Most motherboards haven't been natively tested with anything past 1600, and most achieve anything past 1600 without overclocking. For SB (I don't know about AMD) I have learned on here that Intel really frowns on using any RAM above 1600, and even above 1333 and 1066. If you have to RMA a processor it's not as easy as say a video card would.

Quote:
-- Do not rush (I tend to sometimes as I want to play with my new toys) but it usually costs me time (forgot to do something, and then need to figure out what).


I totally agree with this. If you read the reviews on Newegg (and elsewhere) carefully the biggest complaint it seems is that people's biggest gripes with motherboards come from installation errors. I upgraded two boards (one to a Gigabyte Z68 and the other to the Gigabyte 990FX) and both I really took my time installing and they both work without hassle. My Z68XP board has been running problem free for almost 6 months now and I've never seen the loop issue that seems to get a lot of complaints. Take your time. That's the most important.

Quote:
Configuration wise - if you are using an SSD - there are a couple of options to change there for optimum performance.


The biggest thing with an SSD is you never want to do something that will allow for the read / write times to go off track (intense benchmarks, multiple OS installs, that sort of thing). When you format an SSD - quick formats only! Never do a full format of an SSD.

Quote:

The store owner was referring to using new CPUs with older motherboards. Older motherboards can sometimes support new CPUs but need a BIOS update first. To do the BIOS update though, you need to have an older CPU installed in the motherboard.


The only time that's really come up is with the AMD FX series. Otherwise there's not a lot of issues with that - if you go on the manufacturer's website and check the QVL it will tell you what CPUs are tested with what BIOS version and then you go from there.
January 21, 2012 5:58:06 PM

Best answer selected by ANlMAL.
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