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Tips for builders

By StormBringer ยท 90 replies
Jul 11, 2002
  1. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    1. 50/50 chance you'll plug the floppy in backwards. If the light stays on when you power up, unplug and turn it around.

    2. Do NOT skimp on a PSU, quality wise or power wise, it is the beating heart of your build. Underpowered PSU's seem to cause more problems than anything else and a cheap $30 PSU can be disastrous. You can get a very good PSU for $85-$110 that will see you through upgrades, provide smooth power and won't blow up. Buy more power than you need but not too much, remember that all PSU's have a sweetspot where they work the best. Add up all your components needs, then but 30%-50% more than that (convenient calculator http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/ ). You won't be sorry. Also, the newer Mobos are really power hungry and most use 24 pins.

    3. As stated before, research is the key and it is also really nice to have a functioning PC hooked up to the internet for troubleshooting. building disks etc. while you are building your new baby.
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

  3. Bipolar_Gargoyl

    Bipolar_Gargoyl TS Rookie Posts: 71

    :D Once again Tedster you have helped me out!! With my bipolar, i forget things easily, or don't think of the obvious. The link was and is very helpful for me. Now i can start to look for the pieces i need to build my first PC.

  4. peter7

    peter7 TS Rookie

    very helpful! im ordering the parts pretty soon, and thats helped me a lot with connecting the drives! cheers man
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    glad to help.
  6. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

  7. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    this was arguable back in the mid-90's, but is by no means currently a generally valid statement.
  8. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +421

    swker98, those pins on the motherboard are mostly for PC case connections, like the on/off switch, reset switch, power on led, hd activity led, internal speaker, etc. Mostly things on the front of most cases.
  9. noaaK

    noaaK TS Rookie

    Video cards and video chipset

    How is video chipset from motherboard different from video cards ?. My motherbooard has built-in Intel GMA900 onboard graphics subsystem. Is it duplication if I install ATI's Radeon 9600XT 254MB Ram ?
  10. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    Video capabilities built into motherbaords are almost always inferior to video cards.
    They usually do not have high rendering capabilities, nor do their use their own memory (they use computer memory). MB memory is slower than on board card memory. They tend to be slower. It's fine for general purpose use, but not for serious video output like games and high-resolution video programs.

    It's best to go with a video card if you want to play games. Get at least 256MB of memory on the card with AGP 8, or PCI-E depending what your motherboard will accept.

    If you have video on your motherboard, you will have to turn it off in BIOS when installing a card.
  11. hatchmar

    hatchmar TS Rookie

    I guess the thing I am confused about when building a new system is installing the software/drivers for everything. If every component comes with a CD, and there isnt a CD drive yet, and the CD drive has an installation CD, how in the world do i get the software on the machine? I have all the parts and am ready to go but Ima scaaaared. lol
  12. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    You need a CD/DVD rom. That's an essential component of modern computers.
    Without one, the only way to get the correct drivers is to download them off of the manufactuer's website, or download it off the website from a friend's computer onto a large enough flash drive or portable media.

    OR do a windows update and hope the microsoft has the correct drivers.
  13. hatchmar

    hatchmar TS Rookie

    I have one but I dont understand how you can put one in a system that I am building. I plug all of the connectors in and then what? just put the windows CD In?
  14. hatchmar

    hatchmar TS Rookie

    I guess That CD question is the lea t of my worries right now. I just spent several hours extremely carefully putting everything together, re-reading all of the manuals as I went and when it came time to power up.... nothing. not even the power supply's fan came on. the only thing I saw was a little geen LED on the MoBo. nothing else. I just spent a good deal of time checking everything and nothing seems to be connected wrong. the only part I wasnt sure about were the panel connectors because the color of the wires werent what my MB manual said. they were labeled though so that shouldnt be a problem
  15. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    Your CD rom is recognized as an IDE device. The motherboard reads it as a "hard disk" even though it is not. Put your CD rom as the first device on your first IDE/ATA cable. Place your ZIP drive or first hard drive as the second device on the first IDE/ATA cable. Make sure your CD rom DIP switches are set as master and your hard disk as slave (or vice versa).

    On your second IDE cable have your second hard disk as a master or have 2 hard drives on your second (one master and 1 slave)

    I never recommend buiilding a system with only one hard disk.

    IDE 0 (cable 1) -------------CD rom (master) -----------Zip drive (slave)

    IDE 1 (cable 2)-------------HD 1 (master)--------------HD2 (slave)

    alternate config

    IDE0 --------------------CD rom (master)----------HD 1 (slave)

    IDE1---------------------HD 2
  16. HIM_Valo

    HIM_Valo TS Rookie

    I dont know if it matters on the power switch connector from the case to the motherboard, but if you plug in the power led or HDD ones upside down the lights wont come on. I dont know if you plug it in backwards but it might not turn on if its been plugged in backwards.

    Also usally the cabels on the case are labeld on the black part at the end, as to which one is which. On the actual motherboard the pins should be labeld and just match them up. Of course not every motherboard does this, but i had a ASUS mobo before this one and it was labled on the motherboard. The print is small, so you might want a small magnifying lens or if you have good vision you should be good.

    Good luck man.
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