• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Any Tips for a First Time Computer Builder?

govtcheez75

Platinum Member
Aug 13, 2002
2,932
0
76
Thanks in advance for your advice(s).
I am in the process of building my first computer (sold my Dell to a friend).
Here are ALL the parts that I have bought, or ordered (coming on Friday from Newegg), or traded:
1) Antec Lanboy Case with 350w Smartblue PSU (bought)
2) Maxtor 120gb, 7200rpm, 8mb cache HDD (bought)
3) Visiontek Xtasy Radeon 9600 (bought)
4) AMD Athlon 2500+ Barton, Retail (ordered)
5) Biostar M7NCD Pro Motherboard (ordered)
6) Liteon Black CDRW/DVD 48X/24X/48X/16X Combo Drive Retail (ordered)
7) 2 Thermaltake 2 ball bearing 80mm case fans (ordered)
8) Arctic Ceramique Thermal Paste (ordered)
9) Kingston 512mb pc2700 Ram (traded for)

...those are all the components that are coming to me. Can someone please tell me if I left anything out? I ordered the retail Athlon, which comes with the HSF...is this thing a piece of crap? Should I order some aftermarket cooling? ...also, can someone tell me the benefits of using a CPU shim? Do I need one? Also, I noticed that the Radeon 9600 vid card came with passive cooling. I guess this will be quieter, but I would like to do some slight overclocking. Should I invest in some VPU heatsink/fan as well? What is a good site to go to, in order to learn about overclocking CPU/RAM? I'm guessing that the Barton, with that motherboard, and ram should get some decent results. This mobo supports "dual channel" DDR. Does this mean that I need two identical sticks of ram (as in brand/chip)?

...any help would be greatly appreciated! :)
 

wicktron

Platinum Member
Aug 15, 2002
2,573
0
76
The stock AMD HSF is fine for stock CPU speed. If you plan on any overclocking, you MUST consider better cooling. You do not need a shim. OC the video card first, if you don't get desired results and/or you get artifiacts, then yes, get better cooling for it. I don't know about the OC'ing ability of the motherboard you got. You are correct about Dual Channel DDR.
 

govtcheez75

Platinum Member
Aug 13, 2002
2,932
0
76
Originally posted by: pspada
Don't put the CPU heatsink/fan on backwards!

hehe...I was kinda worried about that. It's funny that you mention it. I'll make sure to triple check. :)


....thanks for the tips/advices...please keep them coming! :)
 

mechBgon

Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
Oct 31, 1999
30,699
0
0
Yeah, heatsink direction = very important. Here's a guide I put together that has some close-up photos, if you're not positive what to look for: click here

Nice job getting a respectable case/power supply combo, that's a good foundation :cool: If those Thermaltake fans are the Smart Fan II model, make sure they don't draw power from the motherboard, because their power draw is dangerously high (up to 8.4 watts! :Q)

Beyond that, make sure to use the 80-wire cable for your hard drive (the one with the smaller, finer wires) so it can run at full ATA133 protocol. The coarser, 40-wire cable is for your optical drive. Looking at a photo of the board, I also see that the AGP slot puts the video card really close to the clips at the end of the RAM slots, so keep a sharp eye on the end of your video card, so the RAM clips don't peel important bits off the top surface as you insert the video card into the AGP slot.

Good luck! :) If it doesn't work initially, don't panic. ;)
 

techwanabe

Diamond Member
May 24, 2000
3,147
0
0
Remember to keep the power cord unplugged when changing or adding components etc. Ground yourself (touch) to the case to avoid static discharge. Don't force anything if it doen't go in with normal pressure.

I recommend installing the CPU, Heatsink and memory while before installing the motherboard into the case. It is much easier since you will have to apply pressure to install the Heat sink, it is better to do it flat on a table sitting on the thin foam pad it ships with or antistatic bag.

You should be good. I don't know about that motherboard. We have alot of MSI boards at my bank, but most folks don't recommend MSI for gaming machines or O'Cing.

I bought the Antec Lanboy case for my latest build and felt it was a good quality case and easy to work with. It doesn't have alot of extra room, but I didn't want a HUGE case anyway and it has adequate room for expansion and cooling IMHO. Plus, I like the fact that it is light weight alot. It is aluminum so don't abuse it... the aluminum is lighter weight but more suseptible to denting etc.
 

govtcheez75

Platinum Member
Aug 13, 2002
2,932
0
76
wow...these are really good replies. MechBgon...I chedked out your guide, and I'll be sure to look it over tonight or tomorrow when I tackle this project. Thanks everyone...and keep the tips/advice coming! :)

....also. If someone has a matching set of pc2700 RAM that I could use for dual channel, and is interested in trading for one stick of 512mb, please let me know.
 

Wigwam

Senior member
Dec 26, 2002
943
0
0
hey mechbgon, nice guide! for ages i wondered what the heck ppl meant by putting the hsf on the wrong way - now i know!
 

mechBgon

Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
Oct 31, 1999
30,699
0
0
Sure thing :cool: I really love finally having a digital camera!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY