23 Replies Latest reply on Jun 16, 2010 11:17 AM by Druyan

    So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...

    Colin Brougham Level 6

      Well, it's been a few years--actually, more like a decade--since I assembled my last system from the ground up. I've been rocking laptops and prefab desktops/workstations since then, so while I crack open the cases on a fairly regular basis, it's been a loooong time since I started from nothing but pieces. Obviously, the principles of building a computer haven't really changed, but I think the technical requirements have a bit, considering the last thing I built was an overclocked dual Celeron 300A system!

       

      So, can you hardware goo-roos point me in the right direction? I'm looking for a decent overview--I know the basics of building, but I want to be sure to put the parts together in the right order. For example, do the CPU and cooler get mounted before or after the mobo goes into the box? Ya know, n00b things like that...

       

      Thanks everyone

        • 1. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Colin,

           

          Start with the memory sticks, CPU, cooling paste, cooler and fans, then insert the mobo tray into the case, connect the power cables, attach the small connectors for power and reset button, power and HDD LED's (they may be difficult to reach when all the rest of the cabling is in place), then connect the other fans to the mobo and then insert the video card and connect it to the PSU. Last would be to add your disks and connect them.

           

          This way you have the easiest way to attach all the cables to the mobo. Good luck with your build. I'm sure it will be a very fast system.

          • 2. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
            Colin Brougham Level 6

            Perfect; that's exactly what I was looking for. Back in the "old days" it was commonplace to mount the mobo first, and then add the components. Of course, at that point, CPU coolers didn't mount through the mobo as they all seem to nowadays.

             

            Any "gotchas" to be aware of as I proceed? I've been burned before by completely assembling something, only to realize that I forgot an essential step one part until the box is closed up

            • 3. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Colin,

               

              Before starting to install, take your time to carefully look at the cables in your case, what they are for and with the mobo manual in hand, figure out where they should be attached on your mobo. Lay out the cables needed for your fans, possible molex-fan insert connectors or power splitters, so you are prepared. Do not rush!. Better spend an hour longer on assembly, than have to disassemble later to correct a mistake. Look carefully at the cabling route for your power cables. These are thick and not very flexible, so if you have the space to lead them behing the mobo tray, take that into consideration before mounting the tray. Leading them behind the tray can improve air flow and will make the rest of the installation easier, because you have more space on the installation side. Take your time to carefully study what pins should be used with 4 pins on the mobo and 3 pin connectors, if you have these. Remember the CD audio cable on the mobo and the DVD player.

               

              In your eagerness, avoid rushing, take your time to carefully consider the steps required. You should be all right. It is not rocket science.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                Colin Brougham Level 6

                In your eagerness, avoid rushing, take your time to carefully consider the steps required. You should be all right. It is not rocket science.

                Hehe... this is sage advice for life in general!

                 

                Question about the PSU: the case is currently setup to mount the PSU at the bottom, but has the option for mounting it at the top, as well. The top option seems like it might be better for thermal performance (cool air in the bottom, hot out the top), but this necessitates the removal of the large 230mm fan at the top of the case. Is there a better/best option here?

                • 5. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  I would opt for the bottom placement. That leaves the 230 mm top fan in place to pull out the air and the PSU does not get hot at all. It will be warmer than the ambient temperature but not much and the extra drag from the top is very welcome.

                  • 6. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                    Colin Brougham Level 6

                    Brilliant!

                     

                    So far, so good. I didn't realize how freaking big the Noctua is That thing is a beast!

                    • 7. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                      John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      >CPU coolers didn't mount through the mobo as they all seem to nowadays

                       

                      Does the case you selected have an opening so you may get to the back of the MB where the cpu cooler is mounted?

                      • 8. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                        Colin Brougham Level 6

                        Yes, it does. There's a largish hole right behind the CPU mounting position in the motherboard tray, and the "non-business" side of the case comes off, too. Fortunately, I've successfully (near as I can tell) mounted the Noctua on the CPU/mobo with the mobo out of the case--much easier working on the flat than it would have been vertically.

                        • 9. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                          Baz R Level 3

                          good luck with the build.

                           

                          Baz

                          • 10. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                            Colin Brougham Level 6

                            Question about fans:

                             

                            The CoolerMaster HAF932 has three 230mm fans (top, front, left side) and one 140mm fan (on back, about in line with CPU). The Asus P6X58D has three chassis fan headers (two are 3-pin and one is 4-pin, but can function as a 3-pin) and one for the "power fan" which I assume means for use with a suitably-equipped PSU (also 3-pin). All of the fans have 3-pin connectors with (currently) Molex adapters attached to them.

                             

                            My question is, is it best to have all of the fans powered and controlled off of the mobo, or should any of them just be directly powered by the PSU?

                            • 11. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                              If you want to use the Asus Q-Fan speed utility, that I think is setup in the BIOS, you have to use the mobo connectors. It you don't use that Q-Fan speed utility (like I do) it makes no difference, because the fans will run at maximum speed all the time. It will be louder than using the fans with reduced fan speeds, but personally I prefer the sound with lower temps. It helps longevity.

                              • 12. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                                Colin Brougham Level 6

                                That was my thinking as well--one less thing to tweak. I like the idea of minimizing the cabling, but as you said, lower temperatures and greater stability are mo' betta'.

                                 

                                Do you run any of them off the mobo, or all of the PSU?

                                • 13. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                                  I have so many fans that a number of them run off the mobo, 2 x 120 on the CPU cooler, 2 x 120 exhaust on the back and one 120 internally. The two 120 intake fans, two 92 intake fans, 250 side fan and two 120 internal fans all run off the PSU.

                                  • 14. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                                    Colin Brougham Level 6

                                    It's a wonder The Beast doesn't take to the wing! I've got all mine plugged into Molex plugs off the PSU, so I'll just run with that for now. If I add more later, I'll revisit the configuration.

                                     

                                    Final $64,000 question: the GTX 480 (Gigabyte) has two power connectors, a 6-pin PCI-E and an 8-pin something-or-other. My PSU has the 20+4 to the mobo, and two 4+4 for the CPU. So, right now, I have one freely-dangling 4+4--can this be used for the GPU, or do I use one of the 6+2 adapters the PSU came with?

                                     

                                    After that, it's about time to fire this bad boy up... oh, wait, not yet. The open box mobo I got didn't ship with all of the SATA cables (actually, none of them) Let's see if I can find SATA cables out in the sticks!

                                    • 15. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                                      There are two PCI Express cables, one with a green connector which is a 6 pin connector and another PCI Express cable with an 8 pin connector (forgot the color) that fit into the two upper rightmost connectors on the PSU. These are needed for the 480 card.

                                       

                                      If you drop by, I still have a number of unused SATA cables.

                                      • 16. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                                        Colin Brougham Level 6

                                        Woo hoo! Up and running! Took most of the day to do, as I was stay-at-home Daddy today with a sick 16-month old, but it's humming away (quite literally) under my desk. I've got some weird resonance issues to work out; there's this low frequency pulse/vibration that will drive me insane if I don't quell it soon.

                                         

                                        I've got the VelociRaptor running as my system drive, but from some reason, it just doesn't seem all that fast. Boot up is taking longer than I would expect, and I'm only getting a 5.9 for disk performance in the WEI. I would have assumed this would have been higher--maybe not 7.9, but higher nonetheless. Anyway, something to work on.

                                         

                                        I set up my four 1TB Samsungs as a RAID-10 using the onboard RAID controller. I realize this probably isn't ideal, but it'll suffice for now. Later, when cashflow allows, I'll look at rebuilding it using an add-on controller.

                                         

                                        Also, my RAM posts as DDR3-1066 instead of DDR3-1600, as I thought I was getting. I'm not overclocking (yet), and I haven't messed with the BIOS settings at all as they pertain to overclocking--because frankly, I have no idea what I'm doing in that realm. Anyone have a clue as to what is going on here?

                                         

                                        The best news was that after I plugged in the system and turned it on, there were NO nasty "hey, idiot, you screwed something up" beeps--the BIOS loaded and I was able to get things setup for Win7 installation. I'm currently installing CS5, and am going to test out some GTX 480 hackin' goodness!

                                        • 17. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                                          rowby Level 1

                                          Sounds good.  Now I guess it's time to fine tune your system.  We are fortunate that there are so many experienced hardware folks patiently helping us get the most out of our systems.

                                           

                                          I can't imagine what people do when they try to set up their own systems without the real time experience of the Premiere hardware forum Mentors.

                                          • 18. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                                            Baz R Level 3

                                            Hi,

                                             

                                            Colin

                                             

                                            Gald to here the system is up and running,

                                             

                                            The velociraptor score is correct, even with 2x velociraptor you will only get a score of 6.2

                                             

                                            The speed of 1600mhz is the max speed that the memory will possibly run once you OC, or change settings in the bios.

                                             

                                            good luck

                                             

                                            Baz

                                            • 19. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                                              Colin,

                                               

                                              The WEI score for a Velociraptor is indeed 5.9. It requires something like my 12 disk array to get a 7.9 score for the disk.

                                               

                                              WEI.jpg

                                               

                                              To change your memory to run at 1600, enter the BIOS, go to the AI Tweaker tab and set the DRAM Frequency manually. F10 to save.

                                              • 20. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                                                Colin Brougham Level 6

                                                Fast everything and a hard drive brings ya down! Oh well... I'm not hung up on numbers. Just "feels" like it should be a little snappier. Of course, the entire machine is gobs faster than my elderly HP workstation... barring boot up. Meh...

                                                 

                                                Thanks for the head's up on the RAM, guys--told you I was pretty green behind the gills. I'll look into that. Harm, do I remember correctly that you create some sort of overclocking/tweaking guide? For the life of me, I cannot locate it.

                                                 

                                                Today is going to be the first test--I've got three effects-heavy spots to cut. In the words of Doc Brown, "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads."

                                                • 22. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                                                  Colin Brougham Level 6

                                                  Right on; thank you. I think that's going to be a project best saved for another day when I don't have so much work to do

                                                   

                                                  Thanks again for all your help thoughout this process, Harm--I really appreciate your wisdom and candor, and your patience in dealing with my n00bishness!

                                                  • 23. Re: So, yeah... actually BUILDING this thing...
                                                    Druyan Level 1

                                                    Congratulation, Colin!  Keep us posted (punny) on your progress!

                                                     

                                                    Thank you, Harm, for your replies... I will re-visit this post next week-end when I build my new system!!!  (A little nervous--this will be my first ever!).

                                                     

                                                    Druyan