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Old 10-25-2006, 02:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building a new PC. Have a couple questions. :)

I just finished ordering the last of my parts, and they should be here tomorrow. I haven't built a PC is a few years, and either can't remember some things, or just don't know how to handle some of the newer technology.

Here's my system that's coming:

Core 2 Duo 6600
Asus P5N32-SLI Premium (Nforce 590)
Corsair 2GB 800 Ram
Antec P180b Case
Silverstone 600W PS with modular cabling
XFX 7950GX2 Extreme Edition
X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS
Zalman CNPS9500 LED CPU cooler
Maxtor 250gb OEM HD (no software)
--and--
a couple of extra Thermaltake 120mm case fans
Liteon DVD burner
Artic Silver 5 thermal compund
Win XP MCE


Ok, now the questions.

1. Once I have evertying hooked up, and I power on, I'm assuming I go into the HD setup (I've only dealt with IDE drives, and I'm totally unfamiliar with SATA). Will I need any special boot disks or anything for this? Or will I be able to set my HD up through the BIOS?

2. Once past the HD issue, next comes the OS. I've installed operating systems before, but long ago. I believe I need to let it do it's thing, and it'll detect all the crap on my motherboard, and load the drivers accordingly? At which point do I need to load up the motherboard drivers?

3. I've read some issues with the BIOS not detecting the ram properly, and setting the speed at 667mhz instead of the 800 it's rated for. Is this a simple thing to do? How is it done?

4. This motherboard comes with onboard sound (like most anymore), but I don't want to use it. I want to use the X-Fi. The actual sound ports are on a seperate "tiny" card that plugs into a special slot on the mobo. Can I opt to just not install this when I'm setting everything up? If I do that, will I still need to go into BIOS to disable it, so that I may install the X-Fi? At which point in the process will I need to install the X-Fi (before or after OS install)?

5. The DVD burner is also OEM, and I'm assuming will not come with any software. Will I need drivers to make it work? If I do, how will I get them to the new PC without the drive? lol

6. At which point in the process (before or after OS install) will I need to plug in the Ethernet cable?

7. About the Artic Silver. Will I need to remove anything that currently exists on a new CPU before applying? If so, how can I do it safely? I understand a TINY amount of compound is needed. Can anyone please elaborate on how much is needed?

8. USB Keyboards and Mice. That's all I have right now. I don't believe I have anymore PS2 stuff. Is this going to be a problem? Heck, I don't even know if the mobo has PS2 ports, so perhaps not lol.

9. I've looked and looked for an up-to-date building guide, and haven't been able to find one. If anyone knows of a very good one, a link would be appreciated.

10. The mobo has 2 fans that I believe attach to the heatsinks on the heat pipe area surrounding the CPU. Are these necessary with aftermarket cooling? Advantageous? Required?

11. Since I'm only using 1 video slot. Which one do I use? The upper or lower?

12. If anyone can think of anything else I'm missing, please let me know. The parts should be here tomorrow (I hope).



Thanks in advance for any replies and help.

Vhayne
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Old 10-25-2006, 02:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, installing windows it installs all the necessary drivers to get things going, then once windows is booted you need to install the driver disc that comes with your motherboard

since you want to use your soundcard, just don't install the audio drivers from the motherboard driver disc, just install the x-fi drivers.

for the dvd burner... i've went through 2 oem's and never had to install any drivers before.

for ethernet, i've always just kept mine plugged in, but it won't start working until you've installed your motherboards ethernet drivers

your instruction manual should also tell which slot to install your video card to
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info.

I just need questions 1, 3, 7-10 answered now. lol
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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1. Of all 3 HDDs in my computer (all SATA/SATAII), I haven't had to use any driver floppies. It doesn't seem to be that common of a problem, but it does still happen every so often.

2. Windows has default drivers that can make most devices function well enough to get on the internet to download the latest ones or be able to pop in your mobo CD.

3. If you have had some experience with BIOSes in the past, you should have no trouble navigating it to find how to adjust the speed.

4. You should have no trouble installing your XFI afterwards.

5. Regular opticlal drives for the most part are plug-and-play and don't require additional drivers. The only thing you would need extra would be burning/authoring software (if needed).

6. I would plug the ethernet cable in once you have, at very least, turned on the Windows Firewall. Better yet, if you have an internet security suite on CD or can get one, install that before you connect to the internet.

7. Since you are using an aftermarket heatsink, you won't have to remove anything. The Retail heatsink comes with a pad of thermal compound on it, not the CPU. Use AS5 very sparingly. All you need is a blob the size of a grain of rice. Don't spread it with a credit card, either. Just put your blob on the CPU, and slap the heatsink on.

8. Your mobo will have PS2 connectors. Sometimes Windows won't detect USB mice/keyboards without drivers. Luckily, USB mice/keyboards will usually come with a USB-to-PS2 adapters.

9. The guides stickied at the top of the forums here will help you out. As well check out www.pcmech.com/byopc/

10. Your motherboard does not require those fans to be hooked up. They would likely help if you were overclocking, but the passive cooling is more than effective and...well...silent.

11. You manual should say. However, it should be the top.

12. Everything looks good. Just make sure to take your time. If you have a question, pop in and ask us if you are not sure about something.

Have fun
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks a ton. That pretty much covers everything I can think of at this moment, until I actually get started.

However, I do plan to overclock the CPU some. I know the 590 isn't a very good overclocker, but I believe I read that people were getting 3.4ghz on their 6600's with it, which is fine by me lol.

Of course, again, I don't have a clue how to overclock yet. And it's not something I want to mess around with until I make sure the PC is up and running well anyway.

But that does lead to a question. You said I wouldn't have to use the extra fans unless I was going to overclock. Well, since I plan to in the future, would it hurt to go ahead and install them during setup?
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I guess you might as well install them from the get go. This way, you don't have to go through the trouble of installing them later on.
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, last night, I successfully put together my PC. It took nearly an hour to format my HD, so I went to bed while it was installing Windows. I have yet to go through the setup steps on that part. But so far, everything seems to be running ok.

I do have a few questions.

I had a plan to really optimize air flow in the case, and tie back all my cables and such, but with the parts I selected, I find this near impossible lol. The modular powersupply cables are running everywhere, and it's become an insane attempt to try to get the out of the way. I have 4 case fans, each with a speed selector switch on them. They're about 10 inches long, and just "hang" around inside the case. Is this normal? So if I want to adjust the fan speeds I need to pop the case and adjust?

Upon the first powerup, I went into BIOS, and looked around. I noticed some cool overclocking features, but not realy sure what they all do. I was looking for the selector to adjust the memory timings, and speed, to make sure they were set at 4-4-4-4-12, and 800mhz. But I couldn't find anything like that at all. Looking through the manual, I couldn't find/understand it either. Where can I check/adjust this to make sure they are set right?

Also in BIOS, I noticed the SLI selectors were turned off. I'm confused on this as well. Not sure if they should be turned on or not. I have a 7950GX2, which is technically 2 cards on one slot, in SLI mode. Does this need to be activated in BIOS though? Or is that only if I have 2 physical cards (one in each PCI-E 16x slot)?


I'm sure I'll come up with some more questions later, but thanks for your time in helping with these current issues.




PS-- My god do they really have to make the processor clip so tight? I just knew I was going to break they little chip, just closing the lever lol. And the Zalman heatsink, geez. Screwing down the retainer clip, was SO tight. Scared me to death. But apparently it is normal, cause everything is working great so far. BIOS showed CPU temp at 17-20C on first bootup. I assume this is normal. hehe
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