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Old 04-06-2011, 09:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Creating my first computer

Ok so I have tried rewiring the connectors until I couldn't stand it any more. could it be that I just need an 8pin power connector for the motherboard... Would that mean I couldn't boot? I am struggling to find any other reason I can't get it to start.

Please help!
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Creating my first computer

On the motherboard, you have these connections (with both + and -, but we'll ignore those for now):

Power Switch
Power LED
HDD Activity LED
Reset Switch

On your case, you have these connections

Power Switch
Power LED
HDD Activity LED
Reset Switch

Is this correct? These are standard on most cases and motherboards. On some cases there may be additional LED's. To power on the computer you must short out the Power Switch +/- pins on the motherboard. That is the purpose of the power switch. If you want to test if you can turn on your PC, take a small metal object (flathead screwdriver, paper clip, staple, etc) and touch it between Power Switch + and - pins. This should turn on the PC (I've done this numerous times on many different boards, helps when you don't know what pins do what).

I didn't use a grounding strap when I built any of my systems, never had any issues. If your PSU is mounted and plugged in, you can simply touch any bare metal on the case to ground yourself (as the whole case should be grounded when the system is plugged in). None of the voltages outside the PSU are strong enough to shock you.

Edit:
On some cases (my roommate's NZXT and apparently yours as well) has an LED in the Reset button. I'm not sure what line this would be connected to, probably just Reset Switch. You could confirm this by pressing the switch while the LED is lit. If the LED goes out then they are connected together, if connected to Power Switch pins on the motherboard the PC should also turn on. Note however that the Power LED and Power Switch are always separate (else the Power LED would glow even when the PC was off).
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Creating my first computer

Ok so my case has a 'power LED' cable that connects direct with the PSU (4 pin molex i think it's called). I have:

Power sw
Reset sw
Hdd
Un-named (leads are just marked +/-)

I took the plunge and checked the connections with a screwdrive... Nothing. What does this mean? My mobo broken?

Also I have had a lot of people comment on the poor choice of PSU but would a bad PSU mean not enough power for a boot!?

Thanks for your time, I would be lost without you guys for real.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Creating my first computer

Wahoo! Power! Tried testing it with my other comp's PSU and the thing jumped to life! I think it may be that the PSU I bought has max output of 120w and I need a minimum of 150w for this setup. Took me two days to work that out but thanks for everyones suggestions and advice. I have learnt loads!

This is a great watt calculator by the way: eXtreme Power Supply Calculator

Can anyone suggest a decent PSU for me or at least a brand they trust. Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Creating my first computer

Corsair and Antec are good PSU brands, I've had success with Rosewill's higher end units as well. I would say to look for something above 500W from a quality brand. You said in the beginning that it was a 550W PSU not 120W though, was the PSU mislabeled? If so it is a very low quality PSU.

If you want to test your PSU (to see if it even works at all) you can use a short wire or paperclip to connect the green wire on the ATX Motherboard connector (20/24 pin one) to any black wire. This signal turns on the PSU. If the PSU doesn't turn on it is broken.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Creating my first computer

Well it is labelled 550w but next to that it says (120W max output). I am assuming this is the prob? And if so the labelling is VERY misleading. The PSU we used to get it to work was 450W with no mention of max output. I will have a browse and let you know which PSU I go with.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Ok so I think I am going with this one: Corsair PSU 430W 430CX- microdirect.co.uk Corsair and looks perfect for the syst I have put together.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:54 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Creating my first computer

It is always a good idea to build your Computer on a Table top and check that it works before putting it into a Case.
You can see if things are hooked up properly at a glance (if you were familiar with DIY) and check that RAM is seated
properly. If you need to change something or take something back it is easier are less likely to be damaged.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Creating my first computer

430W should be fine for your build and Corsair is a trusted brand. When a good company says it is 430W, you can expect to run every last watt out of it without issue, it will probably even take a bit of overload without issue. On cheaper PSU's the ratings are exaggerated quite a bit, a 400W cheap PSU may only be able to put out 400W for a short time without failure. I would assume your "550W" unit could handle 550W for a fraction of a second or so. Though for your build I'm surprised it didn't work, that isn't a lot of hardware to power, I've run worse off of cheaper units before.

When buying a PSU, don't just think about your current build though. Think ahead, if you ever plan on upgrading or adding a second video card or adding hard drives they will all need power. That's why I recommend 500W minimum, it gives you plenty of upgrade room. However, if you don't plan on adding anything, a 430W Corsair should work fine (and should at least let you add a hard drive or two in the future).

As for building the computer on a table, I don't see anything wrong with it but I don't really see it as necessary. On my first build (now my server) I had issues with the system shutting off immediately after it started and later traced the issue to two standoffs that were shorting out the bottom of the motherboard. It's more an issue of making sure your case is set up properly, but building on a test bench never hurts.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Creating my first computer

OK I'm gona go ahead with this as I don't plan on upgrading. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. Feel a lot more clued up thanks to this forum. Love it.
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