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I am building my PC and my friend told me I should try to plug a monitor in and see if the BIOS works and to make sure everything is not DOA and compatible. He's not online now, so my question is, what do I need to have plugged in?

What I currently think is:

  • Motherboard
  • RAM
  • Video card
  • Power Supply
  • Monitor

Is there anything else I need to have? And do I need to install the CPU cooler? How long will it take before my i7-2600K (not overclocked, stock settings) overheats?

Also, I don't need a hard drive for a BIOS test yet, do I?

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Yes install the cooler and make sure you don't ground the motherboard if you plan on testing it out of the case! only let metal touch it on the areas marked for screws. – Not Kyle stop stalking me Apr 18 '11 at 15:36
What Kyle said. Without a cooler installed you'll reach overheat in seconds. Other than that you're correct; all the machine really needs to POST is the motherboard+RAM+CPU+power supply. The others are just so you can see what the hell is going on. :) – Shinrai Apr 18 '11 at 15:38
Wow, ok. What does Kyle mean by "don't" ground it? – Keavon Apr 18 '11 at 15:39
Also, when the stuff is in the case and running, how does the CPU cooler stay on when the mobo is mounted on its side? – Keavon Apr 18 '11 at 15:42
@Kyle means don't run the motherboard directly in contact with a metal surface, like the bottom of your PC case. Put it on a block of wood or something similar. – LawrenceC Apr 18 '11 at 15:51
up vote 3 down vote accepted

At the very least to get a successful POST (Power-On Self Test... what the BIOS does before booting) You need the Power supply, motherboard, RAM and CPU. Although it might be useful to have a video-card & monitor attached so you can actually see the results :D

On a side note, there is no guarantee that components are not DoA even after completing a successful POST. A POST only does the most rudimentary checks of hardware. It will not tell you if your memory is properly matched to the board (there is a lot more to memory than simply matching the bus clock) or if your power supply can provide sufficient power to the whole system under load... or many more things. Only after assembling the whole computer, and installing an OS, and doing a "burn-in test" can you be sure all the bits are performing within tolerances.

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Ok. Thanks! Haha, you have 666 karma, time to fix that. B-) – Keavon Apr 18 '11 at 17:31
much appreciated :D – TheCompWiz Apr 18 '11 at 18:53

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