Hey guys. I went ahead and ordered my new build a week ago:
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper
PSU: Seasonic M12D 850W
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty Professional Gen3
CPU: i5 2500K
GPU: Nvidia GTX 680
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1600mhz DDR3
SSD: Crucial M4 128gb (OS and applications)
HDD: Seagate SATA3 7200rpm 1tb (storage)
Heatsink: Noctua NH-D14
ODD2: LG H24NS70/90
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64
Monitor: Dell U2312hm
Wireless: TP-Link TL-WN722N Wireless-N
Keyboard : Logitech G110
Mouse: Logitech G400
Fans: 2 x Cooler Master 120mm Sickleflow's (bottom mounted as intake)
Will be putting it together in the next few days, but had a question on installation. Can someone outline the order I should be installing the software for this build? Do I need to update any firmware first, such as the motherboard or SSD? What order should I be installing drivers once Windows is installed? Any programs that need to be installed ahead of others? Thanks guys!
Not much you can do until you start loading the OS. You could update the BIOS, but most users and manufacturers recommend you don't unless newer BIOS correct a problem you are experiencing.
1. Assemble everything.
2. Up to you if you how you want to set storage configuration in BIOS IDE/AHCI/RAID-suggest AHCI
3. Load WIN 7
4. Load chipset driver (inf) BEFORE anything else
5. Load video driver
6. Do windows updates
7. Complete backup and make an image of C using WIN7 built in backup utility.
8. Rock on with everything else
IDE/AHCI/RAID - Usually the BIOS and Windows manage this pretty well on their own so people don't have to worry about it.
After Windows is installed the first thing to do is to get on Microsoft.com and download Microsoft Security Essentials. The first thing after any install for any computer connected to the internet should always be a good Anti-virus program.
Computers that were put on the internet unprotected have been shown to get hacked and have malware loaded onto them within 5 minutes. Windows comes with a built in firewall now to slow down all the people out there doing scans of newly assigned IPs long enough for the person to get an Anti-virus, so its good to take advantage of that time Microsoft bought you.
After that, the BIOS isn't a bad idea to update next. You can wait a while on that if you want, but it certainly doesn't hurt to do it at this point.
I don't suggest loading any firmware or drivers at this point other than the BIOS, though.
Then do all the Windows updates. It will take multiple "rounds" of install + restart. Once all of that is done to the point where there are no more recommended or critical updates even if you search for them manually, then move to the next step.
Here you can install things like Chrome or Firefox, Acrobat Reader, Flash, 7zip and stuff like that.
Once you install these basic productivity apps, do Windows updates again. Basically, after everything you do check for Windows Updates.
Then I would do the backup of Windows.
Then I would install steam or whatever you need to do in order to play games. You want to test the stability of your system (play the games, see if they work) before you think about doing driver updates for anything manually.
If your games are stable, I suggest straight up not updating drivers for anything manually. The newer stuff can cause more problems that it solves and my view is that if its not broke don't fix it.
I strongly suggest you do step 4 chipset inf driver before proceeding. It is true that Windows loads just about everything it needs by itself. However the chipset driver/inf file informs windows of all the features of the chipset so that windows can search for updates that pertain to your particular chipset. And if you load the video driver your card will no longer be in VGA mode and windows can download the latest version video driver for you.
Just my thoughts, proceed based on everything you learn. You won't break it.
Having the latest video driver isn't something that it is even proven that the OP really needs.
It is also not the best idea to download new drivers without testing the stability of old drivers because its not always easy to undo a driver update. You would think it would be, but its not always super easy.
Sure, most people get along just fine with updated drivers, but some don't and those people can be kinda screwed if they didn't test for stability and get a backup before they went off and dived right into the driver update game.
There is zero negative effects from testing for stability before updating drivers. There are many potential drawbacks for not doing so.