I'm currently building a computer, my mother board is a EPoX 8KHA+ (KT266A) and the CPU that I'm using is a Athlon XP 1800+. Since this is my first computer, I have a few questions that I would like to ask. I suspect most of you work in the computer industry, so you should know alot more about this then I. 1) What kind of advantages do I get if I use thermal grease instead of the thermal tape that comes default on my Fan (cooler master | Athlon XP certified). If there is no major advantage (IE, faster benchmarks), then why do it? 2) How much care should I use attaching the mother board to the case (Enlight 7237), is the motherboard really that sensitive? 3) If there is any other key points that you could be so kind to alert me to before I begin building my computer, I would be very gratefull. Thank you. -Dave Wilson-
1) What kind of advantages do I get if I use thermal grease instead of the thermal tape that comes default on my Fan (cooler master | Athlon XP certified). If there is no major advantage (IE, faster benchmarks), then why do it?
The advantage is completely thermal. There is no reason to do it for most people as in and of itself, it offers no change in performance.
<i>However</i>, if you plan on <i>overclocking</i> it can make a noticable difference, as overclocking is often limited by the thermics of your CPU cooling.
If this is your first computer, I would suggest to leave your CPU at stock speed and avoid overclocking. Just go with what you have.
2) How much care should I use attaching the mother board to the case (Enlight 7237), is the motherboard really that sensitive?
Well, you'll want that motherboard attached firmly enough that if you picked up your case and moved the computer to a different room it won't fall off. Seriously though, you'll want it attached firmly to make maintanance easier. There's no need to epoxy it into place though.
3) If there is any other key points that you could be so kind to alert me to before I begin building my computer, I would be very gratefull. Thank you.
Make sure that you have good anti-static protection. (Like one of those wrist-band thingies.) If for some odd reason you don't want to use one, then remember to <i>always</i> touch an unpainted part of your case before you touch <i>any</i> electronics. Keeping yourself grounded keeps your parts from getting fried before you even have the chance to use them.
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The biggest Key Point to remember is: when in doubt, ask. I'll get to PC building tips in a sec...as for thermal grease. I wasn't sure if I wanted to OC my first PC, so I used the standard tape. Works fine, np. However, I soon realized how easily I could up my FSB for the simplest OCs. My recommendation to you is that if you think the possibility exists that you might OC in the future, spend the extra couple bucks on AC3 and save yourself the headache of cleanin that tape off with acetone later. AC3 conducts heat away from your CPU into your heatsink better than the tape, which reduces temps especially when overclocking.
For building your PC, be gentle with the components. Touch the metal of your case like sp said each time you grab something new, and don't move around too much (which builds static electricity). Use at least 6 standoffs to mount your motherboard, and make sure you use each one. Your case might have a detachable motherboard mount which makes it really easy.
Careful mounting the heatsink. Use the correct flathead screwdriver to grab the heatsink clip while you're pushing into the board (if you slip you could damage your board).
Try to wrap your wires (rubber bands, zip ties) and take your time, the extra care is worth it. Good Luck.
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<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - Windows XP stuff and more</font color=green></b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by btvillarin on 08/17/02 08:53 AM.</EM></FONT></P>