1st Build Complete

Two More (Video Card) Questions:
I'm not a gamer, but I might end up getting a video card eventually. My first question, what would be a good HT video card that surpasses the onboard Intel HD Graphics 3000? My 2nd question is can you use the mobo video connections (HDMI, DVI) once you install a graphics card? I have the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3, and I thought I read somewhere that they are integratable.

>Thanks for all the help. I'm a total newbie, but I was able to get through it with relatively no pain. I used a lot of online resources including this site and Newegg's Youtube video. I didn't agree with everything he did, but it was very easy to follow, and he used the same mobo and similar case/cooler. I also loved the SSD Optimize Guide, that Doug Crowthers posted on this site. It compltely saved me from using at least half the space on my small 64GB SSD. I know this b/c I started off not using it, then had to start over a day later, but this time used his guide right off the bat. I'm just a bit worried about turning off System Restore. Maybe there is way to save it elsewhere?

Some Assembly Issues
The most nerve racking part was handling the mobo and CPU. I think I tinned that thing for about an hour. I went OCD on it, smoothing out the Thermal Compound, then I went and mucked it all up by whipping the excess with alcohol. What a dunce. The other big headache was the aftermarket CPU fan that came disassembled and with the wrong instructions. When my external build was completely, I was finally able to breath.

Anyways, the rest was okay, but had some trouble figuring out all the connections coming from my new Corsair 400R case. I was never able to figure out how to connect the molex plug coming from the case, which I think is for the fan lights. I didn't want them, so no problem. However, I think this connection also connects the power to the two fans at the front. Disconnecting them from this, I was able to connect them individually on the mobo, but one turned out too short, so I'm waiting on extensions to connect it.

Just on a side note, I downloaded my OS through my SSD w/o any other HDD connected the first time, but when I reinstalled my OS the 2nd time I did so without issue with everything connected and just choose my SSD.

Stupid is Stupid Does
My 2nd hiccup was total stupidity. I did something I had no business changing. I downloaded a partition utility and renamed two of my hard drives, then rebooted. I was never able to recover from that, and I proceeded to reload my OS multiple times with no avail and wasting a whole day. I finally fixed the issue with changing some setting in BIOS.

All in all I'm very happy, and can't believe the speed of my computer, especially going from a pre-made 9yr Dell computer.

The Only thing I would buy differently (possibly)
The only thing I bought, that I'm not totally in love with is my case (Corsair 400R). It is really light in comparison to my micro-tower dell case, with great cable management, and air flow, but it has way too many big holes for dust to fall into. These holes are for future fan upgrades, but would have hurt them to at least send some filters or a way to close it up. Plus their instructions sucked.

New System (from 9yr old Dell)
Intel Core i5-2500K $210 Overclocked to 4.5Ghz (w/ Temps hovering around 28 Celsius w/ regular use)
CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 PSU $117.50
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1866 $104 (mobo defaulted to 1600/changed to 1866)
XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 120mm After Market CPU Cooler $30
SAMSUNG 830 64GB SATA III $99 (Boot-Up/OS)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit $79
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 $194
Corsair Carbide 400R Case $84
Arctic Silver 5 Compound $6
Internal Mobo Speaker $6
LG WH12LS39 Blu-Ray Writer $69
Total: $998.50

Just Purchased, b/c it can never be completely done:
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1250 Tuner Card
2-Extra Case Fans & Filters

Already Had:
Western Digital 500 GB Caviar Blue (Planning to buy 1 or 2 TB more, when prices go down)
Western Digital 300 GB (9+yrs and still works)
Mouse/Keyboard (USB connected)
Aux USB Card

Yet to Purchase:
ASUS VS238H-P 23" LED Monitor (Using older 17" Dell LCD in the meantime).
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More about build complete
  1. If your 2500K is hovering around 28C even on idle, you must have found some 'Magick' formula for applying heat sink compound!
  2. Really, I thought it was just decent b/c I get around 19 C when I'm truly idle. 28C is when I'm working on my computer, but I don't game, so this might be the difference. I wasn't sure where the actual danger zone was, but I have 40C in my head for some reason.

    I was planning to work up to 4.5, but I was too curious what this computer I just built can do. I was thinking that 28-30 was running just tad hot, b/c I sometimes get 19. I was thinking I may have too much thermal compound on, but I guess not.

    My heatsink is relatively smooth, but there are grooves. I followed the instructions I found on the ArticSilver site, for applying Artic 5. I was a bit nervous about tinning the CPU, but I got over it after awhile. I tinned both the heatsink (filled in the grooves and smoothed it out with a credit card) and the CPU. And as the instructions state for my particular CPU, I drew a line of compound in the middle of the the CPU, across both cores. Placed my heatskink on and that's it.

    The difference may be the compound and filling in the valleys of my heatsink. I know the compound I saw the Newegg guy use in that build video seemed too thin, and his plastic gloove-finger method for application looked sort of suspect. The compound that came with my fan looks fairly thick, but I've read it's not very good.
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