General computer (hardware/building) questions


Baseband Member
hi, I'm kind of a newbie when it comes to computer building, and now that my eternally used eMachines has finally cracked, I'm on an adventure to build my computer.

Recently, I purchased a barebones kit off of Here are some questions, and thanks in advance to those who took the time to help an amateur out...

-I had to buy a CPU fan - do I absolutely need thermal grease?
-My MOBO has a PCIe 8x slot. Can I use a PCIe 16x video card such as the Nvidia 8500GT?
-My mobo has a 4 pin configuration for the CPU fan, can I still use a fan that only has 3 pins?
-stupid question : is it easy to build a computer? how much effort does it take?
-Can anyone recommend a great video card for not too much money that has these specs (at least 256 MB vid RAM, 8x PCI-e)

Here are my computer's components


CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (Socket AM2)
Memory: 1024 MB PC2-5300 DDR2 - unbuff

thanks again


Baseband Member
Don't worry about being new, so am I. Thats why I'm here to learn things from the pros.


Fully Optimized
Yes to all of the questions. Building is easy, get your emachine and take it apart. Have fun, learn what all the parts are for, and get arctic silver 5 thermal grease. If you're too cheap lol, take the grease from the emachines.

Asus video card 8600GT 512mb

The video card is great, it has 512MB memory, and you can do some pretty good gaming on it compared to your emachines

Also, I suggest that you upgrade to an AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ in the near future. Also get another GB of ram if possible.