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Basic Building Tips? (I've Got My Build Selected)

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May 7, 2012 11:40:25 PM

I know this is long... but it's really not THAT long. Please read it anyway!

Hello,

So I'm well on my way to finally building the computer I've been envisioning for the past two months! In the process, I somehow became really good at hardware, got up to being a Veteran on tomshardware, and ranked 3rd in system building for April. As you can tell, when I do something, I make sure I become an "expert" on it (I'm no expert ;)  ).

Anyway, here's the build if you want to look it over:
CPU: i5-2500k
Mobo: Extreme3 Gen3
CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 Evo
RAM: 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 1.5v 240 pin
GPU: ASUS 7850
HDD: An external and a 256 GB SSD already bought (I had the best birthday gift ever a couple years ago)
Case: Fractal R3
PSU: PC Power and Cooling 600W
DVD Drive: ASUS DVD-RW

First issue: PSU. No, I'm never going to SLI/Crossfire. Issue resolved.

Anyway, I'm going to be OCing the CPU and GPU. I can't have a side fans 'cause of sound issues. I'm probably going to have a second intake. What would you suggest? I'll put it on the front, so a high-pressure quiet fan would be best. I would go Noctua, but it's expensive. Take a look at the Fractal to find out why I want high-pressure... that thing sucks through a few little holes on the side AND a dust filter.


Anyway, I'm a complete newbie to actually assembling computers. I really don't know much about it. I've looked at a few guides, but I want to ask a few questions. I'll probably update these with more later on. I'll cross out answered ones and put in the answers when they're answered (for other peoples' reference).


1) Do I really need an anti-static wrist strap? I'm on carpet in Indiana. It's not very dry. I'll work on a wooden table. I'll slap the case every once in a while. Do I really need one?

2) How should I put in the RAM? Which slots? 2 and 4, or 1 and 3?

3) I'm not going to need anything to extend my cables, am I?

4) Should I put my PSU fan facing the ground or into the case? It'll be sitting on a carpet floor (I guess I could raise it up onto the wooden table, but that's not ideal), so I think there would be airflow/dust problems for intake there, but inside the case there isn't too much airflow (again, take a look at the Fractal R3).

5) What fan setup would be ideal? I've heard that a side fan increases the noise. I want a positive pressure system, so two intake (I'll add one fan to the front) and the stock exhaust should be fine, right? The top fans would probably add noise as well.

6) I have an SSD in my laptop with Windows 7 and a bunch of files. Can I just take it out and pop it in my new desktop, and be okay? Or would I need to reinstall everything?

7) Once I build my computer, I have to stress test it. Any changes to the existing sticky you guys would make?

8) How do I check for parts that don't work? For example, a bad RAM stick.

9) Do I need a motherboard speaker? Or can I connect my regular speakers to hear the BIOS beeps?

I'll probably be adding questions as they come up. Thanks for your help!
May 8, 2012 8:47:19 AM

1) Generally no. In case static is an issue doing as you suggested will discharge it in a controlled manner and all should be well. I've never used one and things have turned out fine.

2) Read the manual it probably states it, however on most cases i use the pair that is the furthest away so:
CPU | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | -> i would use 2 and 4.

Usually causes least issues with heatsink clearance as well.

3) Most likely not, however sometimes extension cables for the 8 pin CPU connector and the audio connector and possibly some of the front panel connectors let you do a cleaner build. Personally i would recommend the 8 pin extension, seem to be somewhat of an issue with most cases. You can get everything hooked up without it, but you might end up with the 8 pin cable going over the graphics card for example.

4) I believe there is a dust filter at the bottom or if there is not you can install something. So you should face the intake for the PSU down as then it won't pull in hot air from the case.

5) I think that is a good plan, however if you do end up having heat issues, the top fan doesn't make a lot of noise. All in all with good fans these new cases are whisper quiet. ( 120mm fans tend to be quite silent, especially if you have adjustable ones )

6) I would say that you have to reinstall, just because all the drivers and HW will be different. You will save yourself a lot of headache if you do.

7) Someone else can probably help with this, but for my 2 cents i usually go with very light stress testing mainly focusing on Prime95 to make sure the CPU cooler is hooked up right. I managed to once install my Scythe Mugen 3 with the plastic film still on the bottom (*facepalm*) and was wondering why my temps were in the 90C range when stressed...

8) Run memtest with a single stick attached, that's pretty much the way to go.

9) if you need the beeps then i believe yes you do need a motherboard speaker. However you can get them for like 2-5 bucks, you don't need anything fancy :) 
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May 8, 2012 10:46:07 AM

ddan49 said:
I know this is long... but it's really not THAT long. Please read it anyway!

Hello,

So I'm well on my way to finally building the computer I've been envisioning for the past two months! In the process, I somehow became really good at hardware, got up to being a Veteran on tomshardware, and ranked 3rd in system building for April. As you can tell, when I do something, I make sure I become an "expert" on it (I'm no expert ;)  ).

Anyway, here's the build if you want to look it over:
CPU: i5-2500k
Mobo: Extreme3 Gen3
CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 Evo
RAM: 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 1.5v 240 pin
GPU: ASUS 7850
HDD: An external and a 256 GB SSD already bought (I had the best birthday gift ever a couple years ago)
Case: Fractal R3
PSU: PC Power and Cooling 600W
DVD Drive: ASUS DVD-RW

Looks decent. Why aren't you using Ivy though? Love the case ;) 
ddan49 said:

First issue: PSU. No, I'm never going to SLI/Crossfire. Issue resolved.

Anyway, I'm going to be OCing the CPU and GPU. I can't have a side fans 'cause of sound issues. I'm probably going to have a second intake. What would you suggest? I'll put it on the front, so a high-pressure quiet fan would be best. I would go Noctua, but it's expensive. Take a look at the Fractal to find out why I want high-pressure... that thing sucks through a few little holes on the side AND a dust filter.


If you're never going to crossfire, why not go with a more suitable ca. 400W PSU? Your system isn't going to use more than 300W in the worst case scenario.

ddan49 said:

Anyway, I'm a complete newbie to actually assembling computers. I really don't know much about it. I've looked at a few guides, but I want to ask a few questions. I'll probably update these with more later on. I'll cross out answered ones and put in the answers when they're answered (for other peoples' reference).


1) Do I really need an anti-static wrist strap? I'm on carpet in Indiana. It's not very dry. I'll work on a wooden table. I'll slap the case every once in a while. Do I really need one?

2) How should I put in the RAM? Which slots? 2 and 4, or 1 and 3?

3) I'm not going to need anything to extend my cables, am I?

4) Should I put my PSU fan facing the ground or into the case? It'll be sitting on a carpet floor (I guess I could raise it up onto the wooden table, but that's not ideal), so I think there would be airflow/dust problems for intake there, but inside the case there isn't too much airflow (again, take a look at the Fractal R3).

5) What fan setup would be ideal? I've heard that a side fan increases the noise. I want a positive pressure system, so two intake (I'll add one fan to the front) and the stock exhaust should be fine, right? The top fans would probably add noise as well.

6) I have an SSD in my laptop with Windows 7 and a bunch of files. Can I just take it out and pop it in my new desktop, and be okay? Or would I need to reinstall everything?

7) Once I build my computer, I have to stress test it. Any changes to the existing sticky you guys would make?

8) How do I check for parts that don't work? For example, a bad RAM stick.

9) Do I need a motherboard speaker? Or can I connect my regular speakers to hear the BIOS beeps?

I'll probably be adding questions as they come up. Thanks for your help!


1) No, it's just a precaution. I've never used one.

2) You will read that in the manual.

3) You might want to, to clean up the wiring best you can.

4) Normally you'd face it towards the ground.

5) For the R3 front intake, rear / top exhaust is the plan. An optional side intake makes a small difference in GPU temps from my testing with a Define XL, but ultimately I removed it. It was 2-3 centigrade.

6) It may or may not work properly. Back in the day it wouldn't have ever worked but Win7 is actually pretty resistant to hardware changes :lol: 

7) You don't have to... Prime95, LinX, 3DMark11.

8) Memtest, above programs.

9) You don't get it through your regular speakers. You don't need one either, but it's nice.
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Related resources
May 8, 2012 11:40:21 AM

Why Sandy Bridge and not Ivy Bridge?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $354.98 save: $15.00
ASRock Z77 Pro4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Pro4 <----- another look at that board

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Mid-Tower-... $75.84 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case - CC-9011014-WW

http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-300r-compact-pc-g... <----- another look at that case

Low profile RAM.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... <----- Something like the G.Skill Ares...comes in blue or orange if that's a deal breaker. Or the Crucial on there or the Corsair low profile vengeance.
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May 8, 2012 12:10:08 PM

Why not Ivy Bridge? Because PCI means nothing to me (I upgrade components simultaneously) and it has much worse overclocking (check out the stickied thread over in the CPU section... created by yours truly).

I want the Fractal case 'cause of sound deadening.

Do I really need low-profile? It's not like it doesn't have a lot of room... my CPU fan isn't that large.

Thanks!
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