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Building a new computer

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by MySiK26, Oct 15, 2011.

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  1. MySiK26

    MySiK26 ******

    I'm going to start ordering parts I will need for a build. Will be mostly a home ent/gaming/school work rig. Any tips/tricks I should keep in mind once I start building this thing? This will be my first build.


    I scrapped some parts today from my old computer. Parts are a few years old but still work. From the old computer I pulled out a cd-rom drive, dvdrw drive, floppy drive, a 160 gb sata hdd, and one strip of five blue LED's with on/off button. That hard drive will probably stay for a while since I also have another cheap one one the way. I eventually want to get maybe (3) 250 GB and config them in raid. I'll probably keep the cd/dvd drives in addition to the new one I have coming in the mail, just have to have a backup if one dies.

    They all fit in the case great. I wasn't so sure when I was reading about the tool-free drive bays, but went with the reviews. I have to say, I've taken it apart and looked around a few times and I'm really liking the case.

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  2. Do you need help with choosing the components or assembling them?

  3. MySiK26

    MySiK26 ******

    I've got almost all my components written down so far. I'm undecided on the video card(s) still. Only thing I've bought so far is the case. My experience is limited, but I have taken computers apart to replace hdd's, memory, fresh installs of windows, and I ran ubuntu for a while on a laptop and old pc. Was just wondering if there was anything i should keep in mind during assembly, that might save me some headaches and time.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  4. Modern CPU heatsink mounts are a bit fragile and finicky. Other than that, it's all pretty straightforward, can't think of any special caveats. Just observe your regular electrical and electrostatic safety precautions.

    After you assemble the computer, it's a good idea to check your RAM (memtest86+ bootable CD). I usually run continuous memory tests for a day or so, just to be sure.

    When the OS is installed, put the CPU under 100% load and watch the heatsink/core temperatures. Modern CPUs run pretty hot, up to 90C core temperature under full load.
  5. MySiK26

    MySiK26 ******

    Thank you, I will def. Come back to this later!:wavey:
  6. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    Go to Newegg and sign up for their e-mail alerts, E-BLAST, Guerilla deals, etc ... you can catch some great deals on parts.

    Another site to watch ...

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  7. Detectorist


    Jul 16, 2008
    Go to your local computer store, the one the system builders hang out at, and get your parts from them, if possible. I personally hate to deal with mail order companies, and don't have the time to do so.

    Make sure you have figured out what you want and see if any local store has some special you can take advantage of. You may be able to get what you want in an off the shelf unit.

    The economy being what it is, many computer manufacturers have cut their profit to the bone.

    You would be in hog's heaven if you lived close to a Tiger Direct store.
  8. pal2511


    Sep 15, 2002
    I hear the Intel I5 2500k is a pretty good cpu for the money. If you have a Microcenter nearby they are there for a good price.

    I second the notion for

    Also make sure whatever video card you chooses fits in your case. I am in the market for a new video card also for under $200

    Check out for some reviews and they have a big forum there. I used to read the site often when it first came out years ago but just got back into the pc game lately.

    Watch for electrostatic and do the memtest as the other person posted. Make sure your power supply has all the proper sata or molex power plugs for everything. Make sure you order the right interface on your dvd writer because most of the new mobos don't have IDE I don't think.

    If your case has front usb 3.0 with internal headers make sure your mobo has that if you want front usb ports that are 3.0
  9. pal2511


    Sep 15, 2002
    I've been building computers off and on for years and I hate installing cpus onto motherboards. Everytime I just worry about smashing it lol
  10. LukeDuke

    LukeDuke Of Parkside

    Aug 6, 2009
    Peach State
    I just finished my first build and had a lot of fun in the process. I would recommend selecting a case that has a good cable management compartment so that you can neatly organize the zillions of cables you will be running. Beyond that, take your time and enjoy it!
  11. tous

    tous GET A ROPE!

    Jan 7, 2001
    Plano, Texas, Republic of
    After the first bazillion or so you relax a bit. :supergrin:

    If you have a case where the power supply mounts on the bottom, the mainboard power cables (a 24-pin and an 8-pin or 4-pin) may not reach. You can buy extenders, but all in all, it's annoying when a cable is juuuuuuuuuuuuust that much too short. :crying:
  12. pal2511


    Sep 15, 2002
    Make sure you have the proper size screwdriver on hand, anti static wrist band strap (never used one though always keep one hand in the case). Ive heard keeping the power supply plugged in helps with grounding and other people say leave it unplugged. Don't know which is better.
  13. I would say, keep the power supply plugged in (which grounds the case) with the AC switch off (which turns off the standby +5V supply). My house has 2-pin receptacles without ground, so it's does not matter either way. :wavey:
  14. MySiK26

    MySiK26 ******

    Thanks, never heard of I will have to check them out.

    I ordered this case from Newegg yesterday afternoon:

    This MOBO/CPU combo is next on my list:

    Modular Rosewill 800w PSU:

    (I think the Internal lights look cheesy, but I'm going more for functionality here. I might even try to cover the internal lights so they don't shine.)

    Corsair RAM 2X4 8GB DDR3 at 1600 :

    I am undecided on the video card still so any recommendations would be appreciated.

    Also, thanks for the heads up on the electrostatic wristband thing. I will definately look into it. :wavey:
  15. pal2511


    Sep 15, 2002
    Cod that's what I dtry to do. Sometimes it won't reach though so I try to keep one hand on case at all times. Never owned a strap before

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  16. pal2511


    Sep 15, 2002
    I have a fractal designs arc MIDI. Love it and its close in prise to the rosewill. Look at the PC power and cooling power supplies or seasonic

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  17. pal2511


    Sep 15, 2002
    I like Intel more for raw processing. Have not used amd for quite some time...

    Is that the new bulldozer chip?

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  18. Linux3


    Dec 31, 2008
    I buy a case, motherboard, power supply, cpu and RAM from a local White Box store and then add the extras either from Newegg or stuff I have around.
    If the motherboard or RAM or cpu is bad it can be a nightmare trying to find which is which. You almost have to do a parts swap. I have had this experience so now I am willing to pay a very small premium to make life easier.

    Most White Box stores, in my experience, offer 'bare bones' systems at great deals for just this kind of build.
  19. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    I'm getting ready to build another AMD system for myself, either 6 or 8 core, and have been doing a bit of research so I'll offer up my suggestions and thoughts for what it's worth.

    That motherboard/CPU is a good combo, but do note that the CPU is currently out of stock, so it might be a while before you get it, since the 8 core is new and shipments may be spread out for a while yet as AMD tries to meet demand. It looks like both the 8150 and 8120 are out of stock, so Newegg doesn't have any 8 core CPU's available at the moment.

    Nice case and it has a removable drive section in the center so long video cards will fit. It also has a bottom mounted PSU. But for that reason I would go with this power supply instead, since it will have longer cables for the motherboard power connections. The Rosewill supply would work well as a top mounted PSU, but for your case you will likely need a 6pin and possibly a 24pin power cable extension to reach all the way from the bottom to the top if you expect to do any cable management and tuck things out of sight. The Corsair is a little cheaper too, but it's not modular and doesn't have any lights, so I don't know if that's a deal breaker.

    For the motherboard I've narrowed my short list down to:
    ASUS - (the one in your combo)
    ASRock -
    Gigabyte -

    All are the same price, have AMD3+ sockets and AMD 990FX chipsets. So they can use either the 6 core or 8 core AMD CPU's.

    After looking at all the reviews and benchmarks for the new 8 core I'm really not that impressed so far. The 6 core 1100T can pretty much hold it's own against the 8 core, depending on what you'll use it for, and it's quite a bit cheaper. If you have a motherboard with AMD3+ socket and 990FX chipset you can always upgrade to 8 core later.

    Generally for gaming you want to go with fewer cores and faster clock speeds, as games don't utilize 8 or even 6 cores at this point, or a least I'm not aware of any that do. If you are doing a lot of video encoding, demuxing, remuxing, or photo rendering of Sketchup drawings and other CPU intensive tasks then more cores will give you better performance even if they run at a slightly slower clock rate. For the ultimate gaming system with frame rates you can really brag about you'll want to go with Intel, but you'll pay a premium, ~$600 for the CPU + ~$200 for the motherboard. But then Ferrari engines cost more than Ford engines, quite a bit more. If you don't need the highest frame rates possible while gaming, and the system is also used for other CPU intensive tasks then you'll get a lot more bang for the buck with a 6 core AMD. And it will still post respectable frame rates when gaming.

    Right now this is my choice for CPU. 1100t

    Since I'll be overclocking this quite a bit I'll also have to decide on a CPU cooler that can handle at least 150watts, 350W capability would be better to keep the temps down, like one of the Zalman extreme coolers. But large aftermarket coolers take a lot of space and tend to infringe on the RAM slots. ASUS seems to be the most crowded, Gigabyte is a little better, and ASRock boards usually provide the best clearance as they seem to have the widest spacing between the CPU socket and the RAM slots.

    Of course all this is just my opinion...
  20. MrSmoofy


    Jul 16, 2008
    Tallahassee, FL
    The few things I can think of are:

    1. Make sure the powersupply you pick is big enough and don't get one that is just big enough always over do it here you don't want your power supply running at 100% all the time.

    2. If your using Sata drives (probably are) make sure you get the cables that have latches. I did a build and every time I would reach into the case to move/change soemthing I would end up unplugging a drive and not notice until I turned the PC on. Was very frustrating.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
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