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Thread: Any last minute advice or tips on the best way to build a PC from scratch ?

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    Any last minute advice or tips on the best way to build a PC from scratch ?

    The last few components to arrive for my Core 2 Duo PC build should be arriving tomorrow

    I have never built a PC before from bare components, and have downloaded a few step-by-step guides from the Internet to help me through it.

    I was wondering if anyone here had any last minute words of wisdom, top tips or just general advice on the best way to go about building a PC from scratch ?

    Aside from the build itself, what are the best ways of checking each component (eg. I will be using Orthos, TAT, MemTest86+ to stress test CPU and RAM, and 3DMark for stress testing the graphics card) ?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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    If its your first build, take things slow. You'll find it pretty simple, just remember to apply the mobo on the standoffs correctly to prevent shorting.

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    Senior Member Colossous's Avatar
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    Make sure you have plenty of space and organise yourself and yes, take it slowly and methodically !! If you have big hands like me, a pair of needle nose pliers are good for connecting front panel (power - led's - reset etc) connections and fiddly bits !!!
    Hark the children of the Resolution !!

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    Far Superior To Meths EvilWeevil's Avatar
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    Just think everything through before setting off, and on my first build I repeatedly reminded myself that it's basically putting screws in holes (apart from thermal goo), nothing challenging. You'll do fine

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    Just take your time. If you rush you'll only get frustrated and will probably end up doing something you'll regret. If you do find yourself getting edgy, go and take a break. There's no hurry.

    I know first hand how nervy making a system can be, though the first PCs I made from scratch were using the old AMD clips which were so tough you needed a strongman medal to attach them. Nervy indeed.

    As for overclocking, just go up in increments. You'll hit 2.5GHz no problem with any C2D (probably 3.0GHz, but don't take it for granted), and after that, just take small jumps at a time. Get to a stable milestone (after 2.8, try once every 500MHz) to just do an Orthos test for maybe 20 mins (1 Orthos process on each core). If that passes, then head for another 500Mhz. Once you find any instability in those 20 mins, then knock it back bit by bit until it passes the test, and then knock it back a further 100MHz, and test for as long as it possible. 24Hrs Orthos stable should be fine - if it passes that, then consider it 24hr fine - you've reached your OC.

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    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defenestration View Post
    The last few components to arrive for my Core 2 Duo PC build should be arriving tomorrow

    I have never built a PC before from bare components, and have downloaded a few step-by-step guides from the Internet to help me through it.

    I was wondering if anyone here had any last minute words of wisdom (Dont take drugs), top tips (Dont eat yellow snow) or just general advice on the best way to go about building a PC from scratch ? Take your time, make sure you get the studs right that the motherboard sits on. Get a nice bright torch for when you are messing about inside the case. Keep an eye on the orientation of the little on/off/reset/speaker jumpers. leave out any pci cards while you get it up and running.

    Aside from the build itself, what are the best ways of checking each component (eg. I will be using Orthos, TAT, MemTest86+ to stress test CPU and RAM, and 3DMark for stress testing the graphics card) ? You dont need to run memtest unless you are having problems. Orthos blend test will stress both the cpu and ram., 3dmark06 is ok for a quick test.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
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    Double check EVERY connection and orientation inside the chassis.

  8. #8
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    Have a second PC you can access the net with to ask HeXus when it doesn't go to plan It's a life saver sometimes.

    And measure your case properly. If you fit a huge cooler, say a tuniq tower like me & didnt allow for standoffs & the way the bakplate is mounted you could be dremmeling the side of your case lol. (Thought i'd keep my old trusted coolermaster atc-s didn't i, forgot the motherboard tray is mounted well into the case as it's a removable job. You can still be a n00b even with 20 odd years experience lol).
    Last edited by 0iD; 05-04-2007 at 09:19 AM.
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
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    Senior Member ajones's Avatar
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    RTFM the material that comes with your kit. I've always found the mobo manual really useful when it comes to working out how many power points there are, locating the headers for fan power, and those pesky pins for the speaker and front panel indicators!

    You will decide once everything is running that the cables are all over the place and need tidying. Once done you will find that something won't work. You will need a large cup of coffee to see you through, just make sure you don't knock it over on top of your components

    Download all the latest device drivers before you start, and burn them to a CD. I always switch USB off during the initial install, and install windows with as few extra cards as possible.

    And plan at least a couple of days to get it working.
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    When am I supposed to use washers when installing a motherboard.

    If they come with the case I put them in, if not I don't.

    but whats the general rule?

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    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Tips 1
    Not all cases are square.
    When fitting the motherboard put the screws in as you would expect but don't fully tighten them.
    Then test fit an add-in card, preferrably at the top and bottom of the board to sit the board square to the rear slots.
    Tighten down the screws you can see, take out the cards and tighten any screws under them.

    Tip 2
    Have a plan.
    Approaches can be heavily influenced by case design. I usually go: Motherboard; CPU; RAM; Drives; PSU; Data Cables.

    Tip 3
    As has been mentioned the motherboard connectors are a pain and often the biggest headache as they're so easy to get wrong.
    If I'm uncertain I fit the cables and temporarily plug-in Gfx card and PSU to ensure it boots.

    Tip 4
    I always fit power before data cables because in days gone by problems were more likely in the IDE cables etc. That way they're the easiest to access if things go awry.

    Tip 5
    Have fun!
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    780 nanometres redlight's Avatar
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    Use a PS2 keyboard some MBs cannot see usb on first boot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redlight View Post
    Use a PS2 keyboard some MBs cannot see usb on first boot.
    Good point that!

    Also, if you can avoid the washers, then do so.
    Metal stand-offs are far better.

  14. #14
    Old and VERY grumpy. g8ina's Avatar
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    I would install the CPU on the mobo before putting the mobo in the case, with the cooler if applicable.

    I usually take the mobo battery out before installing, just in case.

    Make sure you observe all static handling precautions.

    Cable tie the loose cables together to create a decent airflow path over the fans.

    It may also be an idea to create a smallish OS partition, so that, if you need to reinstall the OS, you only have to reformat a smaller part of the disc.

    Just a few things that I usually do with a new build... Good Luck !

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    Fried Chip Extremist alsenior's Avatar
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    if it doesn't slide in easy don't force it
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    My first whole build was just after christmas this year, although i was confident with doing it i was still new.

    Go slow, take your time.
    Have a big a space possible.
    Install everything required, do not think it will work if you leave some odd screws etc out.

    Fitting a C2D is very easy so you wont have a problem.

    Overall just take your time and check you are doing it right (common sense)
    And good luck.

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