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Joel Up Front

Building a computer

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The correct way to deal with right angle SATA ports these days is to install the cable(s) needed before you install the GPU. With modern motherboards and the location of connections from a bottom mounted power supply the GPU should be installed last, IMO. That way the connection from the PSU to the top left side of the mb can be routed under the GPU if necessary.

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I was planning on going to my uncle's and asking him for help because he's been building computers for over a decade, but my tower and everything in it weighs about 40-50 lbs. I read that I should take out the CPU/Heatsink and GPU before I get moving...

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You don't really have to take those precautions in transporting a system.  Only really do this if you really think something bad may happen to you/computer while transport.  Worse come to worse, hopefully you didn't throw away your case box and the foam that came with it.  If you see where I'm going with this, transporting it would be simple.

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Fans and hard drive spin, graphics card gets moving... but I'm not getting ANYTHING on the monitor.  There's also this ATX cable that seems to go nowhere but I don't see anywhere to place this 8-pin ATX cable that came with the motherboard.  Everything else is plugged in and getting power...

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I thought about doing this about 2 years ago. I priced out every piece of hardware I needed to do it, filled my shopping car on newegg, and I was about to pull the trigger. Then I remembered that I needed to buy the os, associated software, and warranty on most of the hardware. This blew my budget out of the water before I even made a purchase. I ended up getting a mac for the same amount of money I was going to spend building my steroid injected, possibly water cooled monster. Although I do miss being able to upgrade my pc piece by piece, not having to worry about anything on my mac makes me glad I swtched. I might go back to pc in the future though...

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I thought about doing this about 2 years ago. I priced out every piece of hardware I needed to do it, filled my shopping car on newegg, and I was about to pull the trigger. Then I remembered that I needed to buy the os, associated software, and warranty on most of the hardware. This blew my budget out of the water before I even made a purchase. I ended up getting a mac for the same amount of money I was going to spend building my steroid injected, possibly water cooled monster. Although I do miss being able to upgrade my pc piece by piece, not having to worry about anything on my mac makes me glad I swtched. I might go back to pc in the future though...

Don't buy all the pieces from NewEgg. Generally, they are priced competitively, but tucked away in the deep dark corners of the internet are even cheaper vendors.

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With price-matching I've gravitated to Microcenter in Westbury vs NewEgg's mail order. The MC CPU/MB combos can't be beat for the most part. My #3 is Amazon because I have a Prime account. I still visit J&Rs Park Row store when I feel like exploring Lower Manhattan. If I ever go back to Apple I'd use the Apple Store or website over any other place. When I'm in NC it's always mail order for parts but I may look for software at Staples, Office Depot, or even Best Buy depending on the sales. I've even seen software at Target but that's not a place where people normally go for software.

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The static thing is an overblown risk, but gives peace-of-mind. I've done every single computer without any static protection and I've had no problems.

Not entirely true. ESD actually killed 512MB of DDR after I touched it ( thank goodness the crap is old and unneeded :P )

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Fans and hard drive spin, graphics card gets moving... but I'm not getting ANYTHING on the monitor.  There's also this ATX cable that seems to go nowhere but I don't see anywhere to place this 8-pin ATX cable that came with the motherboard.  Everything else is plugged in and getting power...

Did you connect the 12 pins (2 x 6 pins) of power to that GPU? :P

Edited by rr4567

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With price-matching I've gravitated to Microcenter in Westbury vs NewEgg's mail order. The MC CPU/MB combos can't be beat for the most part. My #3 is Amazon because I have a Prime account. I still visit J&Rs Park Row store when I feel like exploring Lower Manhattan. If I ever go back to Apple I'd use the Apple Store or website over any other place. When I'm in NC it's always mail order for parts but I may look for software at Staples, Office Depot, or even Best Buy depending on the sales. I've even seen software at Target but that's not a place where people normally go for software.

Wherever I get the lowest total price is where I go. Generally, the cheapest places charge no sales tax, but have small shipping/handling fees. Typical consumer behavior is to buy just one or two of each item, which means even items that have "free" shipping are more expensive to cover the extra cost of shipping. I generally find that not only are items with separate shipping/handling charges cheaper after adding all the costs up, but they get even cheaper when bought in bulk because sometimes the shipping/handling charge is paid only once with multiple items. The cheapest sites are also difficult to find using Google Shopping or similar venues (where the store pays to be included in a list of results) since they are cheap because they don't pay for listing services and can pass the savings onto consumers who are able to find them. The caveat with finding cheap items is that it is easier the more popular the item is (Such as Sandisk SecureDigital memory cards). Don't expect to find a professional DSLR on any of those sites.

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Did you connect the 12 pins (2 x 6 pins) of power to that GPU? :P

 

Of course, that was the first thing I hooked up.  That connector was even labeled "PCI-E."

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Don't buy all the pieces from NewEgg. Generally, they are priced competitively, but tucked away in the deep dark corners of the internet are even cheaper vendors.

 

But with the cheaper vendors the catch is that they sometimes they purchase, in bulk, components that are known to have defects as per the manufacturers and wholesalers. So they can mark down the cost as they purchased the parts from the distributors at cheaper prices, and sell them at cheaper prices. So with the cheaper vendors a tech is purchasing parts at a liability.

 

If buying components to build computers or to repair units my suggestion is to invest the money and stick with the reputable companies that provide quality service. That is what I would suggest, the cheaper vendors may have bargains with parts at cheaper prices, yes but are lemons sort of speak.

Edited by realizm
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Did your case come with standoffs built in? And if it didn't, did you install them?
 

(Gosh, troubleshooting over the internet takes too long. Having it in front of my face takes less time)

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Did your case come with standoffs built in? And if it didn't, did you install them?

 

(Gosh, troubleshooting over the internet takes too long. Having it in front of my face takes less time)

 

Yeah, but two of them didn't go in correctly.  Do you think that's shorting the board?

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Yeah, but two of them didn't go in correctly.  Do you think that's shorting the board?

 

Yes! Better redo attaching the standoffs.

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Yeah, but two of them didn't go in correctly.  Do you think that's shorting the board?

We may have found our winner :P

 

Fix it and cross your fingers

Edited by rr4567

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I had to remove the motherboard once already from a case that wouldn't support my card, still nervous... how do I actually remove it once I loosen all the screws?  I'm about as steady with my hands as a crackhead and I almost felt like I bent the board removing it from the other case.

Edited by Joel Up Front

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I had to remove the motherboard once already from a case that wouldn't support my card, still nervous... how do I actually remove it once I loosen all the screws?  I'm about as steady with my hands as a crackhead and I almost felt like I bent the board removing it from the other case.

Usually you pull it to the right (or backwards if the back ports are facing away from you) a bit and then pull up.

Edited by rr4567

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I had to remove the motherboard once already from a case that wouldn't support my card, still nervous... how do I actually remove it once I loosen all the screws?  I'm about as steady with my hands as a crackhead and I almost felt like I bent the board removing it from the other case.

 

LOL.

 

Yes what rr4567 said. That shouldnt be hard. Look at the case closely and understand how the motherboard fits. (Saying this because I had to deal with crazy situations with breaking apart laptops).

 

If you can post a pic then that would be helpful for us to proceed futher in assisting you. Many cases are of slightly different design. Techs do this all the time. Screenshots and pics in field tech support situations if on the corperate end regarding software and hardware if in communication with IT helpdesk on a ticket order.

Edited by realizm

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Looks like I missed a good thread!

 

I recently rebuilt my parents' computer using some parts from their old Gateway slim PC and adding in some new parts to build an even better computer! It took a good while and some work but it was all worth it.

 

First, I stripped down the PC, carefully undoing cables, connections and taking out all the parts one by one. Then I set aside the pieces I needed to use in the new build. I kept the processor, an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300, the hard drive, the CD drive and the RAM modules. I was also going to use the old CPU cooler but found out it didn't want to fit on the new motherboard and had to drive out to MicroCenter to buy a new one, a Cooler Master Hyper 101 for 15 bucks

 

So I prepped the new case by installing the new power supply, hard drive, CD-ROM drive, putting in the standoffs, then aligned the motherboard to make sure my positioning was correct. Set up the processor, installed the heatsink and applied fresh thermal paste (it's crazy how they put so much paste on the prebuilt PC CPUs). After that was done I screwed in the motherboard.

 

Now the hard part of this was plugging everything up. There's the 24-pin connector, the 4-pin ATX connector, the Molex connectors, SATA connectors and worst of all, the front panel connectors. Those are a pain and half to set up because those cables are all separate from one another, and they have to go on the exact pin they were designated for. Some motherboard manufacturers do provide a jumper block to make those connections easier but that wasn't the case for me. Anyway the installation went smoothly regardless, I almost forgot the CPU power connector but caught it before I had to do some troubleshooting.

 

Any updates on your situation? 

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Looks like I missed a good thread!

 

I recently rebuilt my parents' computer using some parts from their old Gateway slim PC and adding in some new parts to build an even better computer! It took a good while and some work but it was all worth it.

 

First, I stripped down the PC, carefully undoing cables, connections and taking out all the parts one by one. Then I set aside the pieces I needed to use in the new build. I kept the processor, an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300, the hard drive, the CD drive and the RAM modules. I was also going to use the old CPU cooler but found out it didn't want to fit on the new motherboard and had to drive out to MicroCenter to buy a new one, a Cooler Master Hyper 101 for 15 bucks

 

So I prepped the new case by installing the new power supply, hard drive, CD-ROM drive, putting in the standoffs, then aligned the motherboard to make sure my positioning was correct. Set up the processor, installed the heatsink and applied fresh thermal paste (it's crazy how they put so much paste on the prebuilt PC CPUs). After that was done I screwed in the motherboard.

 

Now the hard part of this was plugging everything up. There's the 24-pin connector, the 4-pin ATX connector, the Molex connectors, SATA connectors and worst of all, the front panel connectors. Those are a pain and half to set up because those cables are all separate from one another, and they have to go on the exact pin they were designated for. Some motherboard manufacturers do provide a jumper block to make those connections easier but that wasn't the case for me. Anyway the installation went smoothly regardless, I almost forgot the CPU power connector but caught it before I had to do some troubleshooting.

 

Any updates on your situation? 

 

An old external drive of mine died but I was able to recover the data, and that took up a good two weeks, then my iPod somehow froze when I tried to add three songs... fun month this has been tech-wise.  I don't know WHAT is causing this issue.  I don't know if I bent the damn CPU pins trying to get the heatsink on, I don't know if I messed the motherboard up, I don't know what polarity half the case wires are... I'm lost, quite frankly.  If I could get it working before my birthday in three weeks, I'd be happy.

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