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NavySnipers

Navy's list of things to think about for new PC builders.

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If you're going to be working on your own computer.  You should get one of these little holders that retired people put all their vitamins/medications in.

 

511_thumbnail_image.jpg

 

It is a great way to organize all the little screws you use when you are working on your PC.

 

Also a little pc toolkit with micro sized screw drivers, hex heads, etc.  It doesn't have to be one of those fancy 107 piece toolkits.  It just needs to have the little micro sized screwdrivers and such.

Barring those, Plano and other companies make tiny plastic compartmentalized boxes intended for dry/wet flies and the tiny tackle used for fly fishing. They work very well, and come in a variety of sizes and configurations.

You can get along for the most part with the Klein electricians 10 in 1 screwdriver.

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When installing fans on your case, be sure to have more intake fans than exhausts. This creates positive air pressure inside the case and forces the air out of every opening. This helps keep dust outside the computer and prevents hot air that is exhausted from being sucked back into the case.

 

Fan filters on the intakes are also nice to have.  My case is set up positive pressure with filters on the intakes and I never have to clean dust out of it, just take the filters out and wipe them off once in awhile.

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Never use an old 18 gauge cord with some of the newer large capacity power supplies (which often now come with 16 AWG cords, or even 14 AWG in some cases).  I had a client do this as he was too lazy to move his heavy desk and install the new cord, so he just plugged in the old one and found it wouldn't even start up.  As soon as I felt in behind the PC I could tell the skinny little cord was not the one that had come with his PSU.  I explained the basics of wire gauge and resistance and fire hazards and such.  Anyway, he had used the new cord on his old PC in another room (which of course had no issue), so I had him swap them and everything worked as it should on both PCs.

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Thread pinned.

 

Since the thread is for first time PC bulders, here's a bit of PC builder superstition:

 

After you finish building your computer and you're ready to power it on for the first time, DO NOT put the sidepanels back on before you turn it on. Putting the sidepanels back on before turning it on for the first time after completed is a signal of aggresion and defiance towards the PC Building Gods, and they WILL make something go wrong on your computer and force you to open it all up and check everything.

 

That slight hesitation as you go to press the power button for the first time...

 

That moment of terror before something or nothing happens.

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Thread pinned.

 

Since the thread is for first time PC bulders, here's a bit of PC builder superstition:

 

After you finish building your computer and you're ready to power it on for the first time, DO NOT put the sidepanels back on before you turn it on. Putting the sidepanels back on before turning it on for the first time after completed is a signal of aggresion and defiance towards the PC Building Gods, and they WILL make something go wrong on your computer and force you to open it all up and check everything.

 

Never mind the PC Building Gods, it's also a good idea to keep the panels off until you're sure everything is working correctly and being detected. Having to unscrew the panels again just to re-seat your RAM is a pain :-)

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That slight hesitation as you go to press the power button for the first time...

 

That moment of terror before something or nothing happens.

 

I had that moment when I tried to turn mine on.

 

"hurr durr flick da PSU switch WHY DID NOTHING HAPPPEN"

 

"Oh, right, press the front panel power button"

 

 

Pro tip: PSU switch doesn't boot up your computer.

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Also, when you first boot your PC don't freak out if you don't hear a POST beep. It can take awhile the first time. I think the longest I've seen was 30 seconds. Mine took about 8-10.

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1. Be very careful with LGA-style (pins on the mobo) sockets. Allign the processor carefully on the socket and then slowly lower it vertically in a gentle fashion. One careless move and you've bent (or broken) multiple tiny pins. Putting them back in place is extremely time-consuming and in some cases, a weakened pin may fail to contact the CPU's pad.

2. If you're gonna put the case on the floor, in a non-enclosed (e.g. computer desk) location, think carefully on the kind of case you're buying. Fan holes on the top of the case make liquid ingress a possible outcome of a spilled drink. That liquid will seep down across the motherboard and short everything in its path. Yours trully has expirienced a system failure like this (that luckily was repaired with meticulous cleaning of the motherboard and GPU using isopropyl alcohol).

3. If for some reason you cannot get fan filters, positive pressure is counterproductive to reducing dust intake. Using two exhaust fans (in appropriate locations near the top of the case) instead will keep dust intake to a minimum.

4. When deciding on the kind of PSU you want, contemplate on wether you'll overclock or go multi-GPU in the future. If both of them are negative you should use a PSU calculator and at most get a 50-100W larger PSU than the resulting wattage you see there. You'll save lots of money or be able to upgrade to a modular or otherwise better (e.g. efficiency rating, brand) PSU.

5. Cable management. While "cableless" cases make for good photos, don't go too far and start straining connectors or bending cables too much. Keep the cables out of the way of the airflow and the result will be both aesthetically pleasing and reliable.

6. (Not really building but w/e) Use Ethernet for networking. If you absolutely can't route cables from your modem/router to the computer, get a PCI/PCIe WiFi adapter (preferably Atheros-based, avoid Ralink at all costs) and not a USB one. Internal adapters are a lot more stable, don't use CPU time when under load, have better reception with stock antennas and can upgrade to better ones if needed. In my experience, with good reception, (-65dBi or better) you can get a stable 1ms latency between the PC and the access point with a PCI adapter. USB adapters can vary depending on a host of variables, many of them the badness of the USB protocol itself.

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I spread thermal paste with my fingers and OCed my CPU on the stock cooler.

 

I'm such a rebel.

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I spread thermal paste with my fingers and OCed my CPU on the stock cooler.

 

I'm such a rebel.

 

That poor poor CPU.

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I spread thermal paste with my fingers and OCed my CPU on the stock cooler.

 

I'm such a rebel.

 

I ran a CPU without paste and another one without a cooler.

 

#yolo

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CPU at 65C is somewhat noisier, works just like CPU at 25C.  Aftermarket coolers are for tryhards.

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CPU at 65C is somewhat noisier, works just like CPU at 25C.  Aftermarket coolers are for tryhards.

no. i just dislike noise that much. especially since i use vented micro atx cases. they get downright loud with the stock intel coolers.

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6. UEFI bios best bios. I didn't really even need to do anything except make sure the boot priority was correct.

'Would u fix muh computer plox?' situations that one encounters as a sysadmin in recent years have taught me one thing about UEFI when implemented anywhere except Macintoshes:

STAY THE HELL AWAY. FAR AWAY. IF YOU CAN IDENTIFY IT WITHOUT BINOCULARS, GO FURTHER.

This is, of course, a massive generalisation. In any case, it's largely because most motherboard manufacturers implementing UEFI seem keen on simultaneously implementing an unavoidable setup GUI designed for the sort of window-licking moron who can't figure out how to keyboard while also being sorted in an asinine way and incredibly unresponsive. They're nightmares. It's entirely possible that my experience with this has just never caused me to stumble upon a better implementation, but as it stands, I avoid UEFI boards like the plague unless I have the chance to try them first to be sure they have the normal AMIBIOS/Phoenix-style keyboard-centric interface that just works without giving a toss about trying to be modern and cool. It's firmware, ffs. It's NEVER going to be cool. /rant

(Rereading this for typos, and noted that I sound a bit like the sort that would shout at some rascals to get off their lawn. Anyone else sensing this?)

On a note more relevant to the topic, if you're intending to build your tower with use on a carpeted floor in mind, do not use the bottom intake/exhaust vents of your case. Best case, they're useless. Worst case, they do very little and also pick up mountains of dust and hair. Fun!

(Note that this does not apply to things like the Silverstone FT02 and the like, for obvious reasons.)

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Honestly, get a good PSU. I have a rather cheap one (that was a gift from my dad, who has no idea about PC parts and at the time was broke, so I don't blame him) anyway, it's a 650w PSU, but I doubt it produces over 550. Probably close to 500. If I wanted to add a second GPS to my build I would probably have to upgrade the PSU... again. To a reliable 650w one. Lol.

P.S I have O'C'd the Pentium E3500 on my secondary PC from 2.6Ghz to 3.25Ghz on the stock cooler :P still at 30 on idle.

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Honestly, get a good PSU. I have a rather cheap one (that was a gift from my dad, who has no idea about PC parts and at the time was broke, so I don't blame him) anyway, it's a 650w PSU, but I doubt it produces over 550. Probably close to 500. If I wanted to add a second GPS to my build I would probably have to upgrade the PSU... again. To a reliable 650w one. Lol.

P.S I have O'C'd the Pentium E3500 on my secondary PC from 2.6Ghz to 3.25Ghz on the stock cooler :P still at 30 on idle.

There is a rating system known as 80+ in the PSU industry. I would never put a PSU in one of my rigs without having at least an 80+ bronze rating(that's the lowest).

If a PSU goes bang in your rig,it can potentially take all the other major components with it so cheaping out on a PSU after you drop 2K on your rig is just a dumbass thing to do.

With regard the thermal paste application for Intel CPU's.

The vertical line method is the best for a novice,and let the heatsink do the spreading. The correct amount is a line the size and thickness of a DRY grain of rice.

Take out 5 grains find the average size grain and that's you sorted.

Water v Air.

It depends on what your after really. I like closed loop AOI coolers as the offer all the performance of air but less noise.

The way to achive less noise is to hook the fans up to a fan controller. You can then get the best noise/heat ratio,without the bios ramping up and down the fan all the time.

I also fitted an antec khuler 620 onto my 7970 ghz so that makes no noise either. To cool the ram I cable tied an antec cool-spot fan over the ram and all is good.Neither the GPU core or the ram ever break 55c while the rig makes next to no noise .

ohh and you don't need any of those brackets they peddle on the web to make the cooler fit the GPU. just some nuts and bolts a few nylon washers and some common sense.

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My PSU is 80+ lol, but the review online all wonder how the fuck it got that.

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Guys, I want to add another tip: before you panic about why your Graphics Card isn't booting up with the rest of the system, make sure you have remembered to actually plug it in to the PSU.

Yeah... I did that....

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Guys, I want to add another tip: before you panic about why your Graphics Card isn't booting up with the rest of the system, make sure you have remembered to actually plug it in to the PSU.

Yeah... I did that....

I do this every time I remove my graphics card for a move/trip.

Every

Time

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One from my recent build:

 

Some of these new, high end parts are surprisingly quiet.  Thought I had done something wrong, as it didn't seem to be booting.  There were no problems.  I just had to give it a second, and let it silently awaken.

 

Do not assume the mobo has sufficient power ports to run all of your fans.  I had to pick up some adapters and run several of my case fans to the PSU.

 

From past builds:

 

Don't assume the mobo mounting points already screwed into your case are sufficient.  Secure mobos are a good thing.  Use every mounting point that lines up.

 

You might need to plug power into multiple points on your mobo.

 

Lesson from some random idiot's I went to college with's build:

 

There are standoffs that go between the case and the mobo.  They exist for a reason.  

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On the topic of not enough fan headers, if your fans are PWM fans it's quite possible they only 2 of your mobo header can actually run in PWM mode(and runing them on a voltage controlled header can damage them) but you can get something like this http://www.swiftech.com/8-WayPWMsplitter-sata.aspxwhich is a 8 way splitter that draws it's power from the psu so you don't need to worry about drawing to much from the mobo headers.

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Guys, I want to add another tip: before you panic about why your Graphics Card isn't booting up with the rest of the system, make sure you have remembered to actually plug it in to the PSU.

Yeah... I did that....

Can confirm, happens. Have also forgotten to plug in the small psu to mobo cable. Have managed to knock the CPU cooling fan lock such that the fan was lose and caused the CPU to overheat (turns out the fan needs contact with the CPU regardless of how much artic silver you slather on...). If your system doesn't seem to recognize your graphics card it might be a bios setting and not a bad card that you then send back, oops. If your case doesn't open on both sides you might have to remove the mobo to install the CPU fan you just realized is not attached. Sooo much pain!

BUT, that moment you turn it on, and it actually works!

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