For questions regarding the assembly of computers from individual components and problems you might face.

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Steps when installing a new processor

I have a substantial amount of experience in IT as a software developer. I'm used to getting my hands dirty with the internals of PCs and have replaced almost every component therein. However, I ...
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3answers
2k views

Getting new computer case. How to remove COA label

I am getting a new Case for my custom build but I already put the COA sticker on the side of my old case. Does anyone have any recommendations how to remove it without destroying it? I thought about ...
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2answers
2k views

How do I know which hardware components are compatible when building a computer?

I am trying to setup my own new computer. I haven't done this before and hence needed guidance from all here. I can google out the results for steps to follow for setting up my machine, but I do not ...
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3answers
201 views

Returning a laptop with a SSD, what measures should I take to clean the drive?

I read this lifehacker article with regards to easily recoverable data on SSD post-formatting. What do you guys recommend? Edit: Returning for a sale return. Sorry should of included that ...
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4answers
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Picking a linux compatible motherboard

Last time I bought a new computer (I build them myself) I got a motherboard that had really poor linux support for a long time. Specifically the audio. I had to wait months before the kernel supported ...
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2answers
18k views

Should I connect my case fan to a pwr_fan or chassis_fan header?

My ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 motherboard has the following fans: 2 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (1 x 4-pin, 1 x 3-pin) 2 x Power Fan connector(s) (3-pin) The fan cable connector has three pins (and it ...
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3answers
4k views

What could cause slow SSD performance?

I recently upgraded my Windows XP (!) computer to a single Crucial M4 SSD. The system is running very fast and without problem, but running HD Tune Pro (and CrystalDisk) revealed that sequential read ...
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3answers
119 views

New computer crashing

I've just built a new computer and it crashes occasionally - it just switches off and then restarts and I'm not sure about the best way to diagnose the problem. All the components are seated nicely ...
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1answer
264 views

Preferred bearing type for a CPU fan

I've been doing some research into my first computer build and have come to a cross-roads when choosing my CPU fan. I have been told of various bearing types such as ball, sleeve, rifle, magnetic and ...
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5answers
6k views

New computer build won't POST

I'm in the process of building my first PC and I've run into a situation where the computer won't post. I've spent about a week trying to diagnose the failing hardware component and I'm about to throw ...
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5answers
331 views

What is this cord called and how can I extend it?

I built a server recently, and the only hitch was that one of the cords running from my case to the motherboard was only just long enough. It is under strain, pulling at the connection point and ...
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1answer
571 views

How much power supply does a typical PC build need?

I am building a system for a friend. The potential specs are like this so far: ASUS A8N-VM motherboard AMD Athlon 64 3200+ @ 2.0 GHz Any 7200RPM SATA HDD Palit GeForce 8800GT 512MB GDDR3 PCIe One ...
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1answer
239 views

Does it matter where I plug my power buttons and LED's into my motherboard?

I found the System Panel Header, now I just need to plug em' in.
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1answer
1k views

If I combine a PCIe x16 graphics card and a PCIe x4 hardware RAID, does the graphics card get 16 lanes?

I'm planning to install a graphics card which can utilise 16 PCIe lanes and a RAID controller which supports PCIe x4. The Ivy Bridge CPUs are all specified as supporting either one x16 or two x8 ...
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1answer
114 views

Adding Wake on LAN (WOL) to a custom built computer

I built my computer a few years ago, before I new about WOL. I want to get that feature now, but I don't know which part I need to get that feature. What should I get to add that functionality to my ...
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1answer
511 views

How do I make a custom Firefox build that contains customizations?

Is there any app that can do this? I would like to include in single Firefox install file addons user-styles user-scripts themes custom layout I know I could just use FEBE and restore it, but it ...
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2answers
717 views

How to read and understand CPU specs? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I read Intel CPU specs? So I'm building myself a computer, and I know all the components and where they go, but I have no idea how to read and compare CPU ...
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6answers
393 views

What should I know to select a power supply?

I am planning to build a computer in the next year. What should I know about power supplies before I buy one? I'm putting together a check-list, so nothing is too simple!
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4answers
10k views

Split internal USB pinouts - is it possible?

I've currently got a situation in my PC where I have 3 devices that connect to the motherboard via the onboard USB pinouts. The problem is, I only have two sets of USB pinouts on my motherboard. ...
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3answers
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Will restarting the computer a lot (about 10 times in 2 minutes) damage the motherboard?

I was just curious if there are consequences for doing this and what they would be for the mobo, or any other internal component.
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5answers
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Computer turns on for a split second and then shut down

I searched all over google for the answers for this and most of them read that the PSU is at fault but i did the paper clip test where you connect the green wire to one of the black wires (ref: ...
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3answers
907 views

My graphics card is running very hot; should I do anything?

My Radeon 5870 is running near 90°C while not doing anything. I have dusted it, but it made no difference. What, if anything, should I do?
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2answers
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Graphics card monitoring utility

Is there a software from XFX to monitor the graphics card temps/fan speeds/etc, like MSI's afterburner utility? Can I use another software/utility to monitor a XFX GT 240 card? I'm on Windows 7 ...
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3answers
3k views

How can I test if my hard drive is installed/working before installing an OS?

I'm have a Raptor 10K 300gb drive. I built my system, and I can't seem to hear the drive at all! I'm trying to install Windows 7, but it complains about some CD Rom driver in the beginning of the ...
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2answers
339 views

For a Custom-Build Desktop, Is It Necessary to Purchase Additional Fans?

I'm going to build a custom-desktop from the parts I am going to buy. If I remember correctly, I think that the parts itself include fans that will cool off the system. (CPU has a heatsink + fan?, ...
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5answers
414 views

Why is my computer shutting down when under pressure?

I recently built a computer with the following relevant specs: EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI FTW ATX Intel Motherboard Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA ...
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2answers
1k views

Thermal Paste - does it cool the heatsink more with time?

It is said that it takes 200 hours for thermal paste to actually apply itself and truly do the job... If this is the case, does it mean that my machine will gradually get cooler and cooler, the ...
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5answers
3k views

AMD vs Intel. What is the real difference? [closed]

I am prepared for this question to be closed. If that happens...so be it. I am not looking to start a flame war as I have a real question that I have researched and not found any satisfactory answer ...
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3answers
201 views

Setting up PC for illiterate business person

I have been tasked with constructing a business PC for an individual who is not just computer illiterate, but unable to read and write very well in his native language. What he currently has is a ...
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1answer
17k views

Can I use a 3 Gbit/s SATA hard drive with a 6 Gbit/s SATA port?

As you may have heard, Intel identified an issue with the P67 chipset in a recent press release which caused a loss of data over time with the 3 Gbit/s SATA ports. I recently built a Sandy Bridge ...
3
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1answer
221 views

Is there a significant disadvantage in allowing a computer with a solid-state boot drive to use the pagefile?

I have been working on putting together a build for my next computer, one one of the items I would like to include is an OCZ Vertex Series 30GB SSD. My build will be using DDR2 RAM, but while ...
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3answers
141 views

What is a good surface material for testbenching a computer?

It appears it will be a while before the case for my new PC will be available, but I will have all the other parts. Therefore, I will likely run it without a case for a while (hopefully not long). ...
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1answer
261 views

Do high-end video cards consume more power during regular PC usage?

For things like coding and web browsing, does a high-end GPU (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti) consume more power than a low/mid-range GPU (NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT)? The reason I ask is because the 9800 ...
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1answer
616 views

Do I need liquid cooling?

I'm building a computer mainly for gaming and developing games. It's going to be a three screen system with two GeForce GTX 460's and a quad-core i7. The newegg wattage calculator says I need around ...
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2answers
77 views

Laptop solid state hdd in deskop possible

I've got an extra 2.5 inch 16GB SSD hard-drive. Not very big but I thought it would be perfect for my dad's PC. He's always complaining about it being slow. The processor is already a fast AMD CPU ...
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2answers
82 views

Why Have The System Builder Market Not Migrated to the BTX Form Factor from ATX yet?

I'm starting to build my first computer from the parts that I have purchased and a question that had been nagging me for the past few weeks was why the ATX form factor is still currently used when ...
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3answers
510 views

Building My First Computer And Suprise It Isn't Working

I've had many years of experience working on and around computers, but this was my first foray into building one completely from scratch. So far that foray has been a disaster. My rig is completely ...
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1answer
1k views

downsides to running RAID on unmatched drives?

I've got some generic RAID controller built into my motherboard and I want to build either a RAID 5 or RAID 0+1 array. What are the disadvantages of running unmatched drives? Like 4 different brand ...
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1answer
6k views

How does a USB external graphics card work?

I am interested in extending my multi-monitor setup, but I was wondering if anyone could shed a light on how external USB graphics cards work? I have extensively searched but have not found an ...
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2answers
572 views

What features should I look for when building a Virtual Machine Host? [closed]

I'm planning on building a new PC and as I will be using it mainly for Virtual Machines. I would like information on what components should be focused on the most. I know RAM will need to be higher ...
3
votes
1answer
942 views

Can I daisy chain two chassis fans together?

I have two 120mm fans in the front of my machine and I'd like to connect them as chassis fans, but I'd like them to share the same 4 pin connector on my motherboard so that they both scale up and down ...
3
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1answer
719 views

Is an integrated graphics core needed? [closed]

I am building my first desktop and before I order the parts I need to know if an integrated graphics core is needed in a CPU if I am going to use a high end graphics card attached through an expansion ...
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3answers
843 views

Term used for a motherboard without integrated audio or video

I'm trying to look for motherboards without any bells and whistles (audio and video) in order to build an Audio Production workstation. Is there any special keyword I can use in my research that ...
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3answers
948 views

Is it feasible to build a home Plug PC cluster?

Is it possible to build a performant cluster for the home based on something like a plug pc: http://www.marvell.com/platforms/plug_computer/ I realise the Marvell Plug PC is not very powerful but in ...
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3answers
2k views

Would I see benefit if my RAM is faster than my processor's FSB?

I always thought processor's FSB was the limit of how fast the RAM could be. However, while configuring a Lenovo laptop, I see options for RAM that's faster than the CPU's FSB CPU = Intel® Core™ ...
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4answers
3k views

How to build my own single-board computer?

For fun, I would like to build my own single-board computer which I can later program. I know there are already many development kits out there, sold by companies such as Altera and Xilinx, but I want ...
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3answers
2k views

HD movies stutter

I just put together a new system build in the hopes that all of my daily tasks would run smoothly and without any hiccups. Unfortunately I am still seeing some sound and sometimes video stuttering ...
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2answers
108 views

PCIe Video Card has a connector on top

I have an 8500GT XFX 512MB Video card(like the picture) and I noticed that it had an interesting looking connector at the top of it. At first I didn't really take it into much though, until the other ...
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2answers
83 views

How to consider power supply when building a PC?

I've looked at multiple PSU calculators online and they've all given me a range around 600-800 Watts, most being closer to 800 W. However, I've looked at multiple forums that talk about how ...
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1answer
7k views

How to install Windows with no CD drive boot option in BIOS?

I have a new computer which I built from scratch and I am trying to install a copy of Windows Vista on it. I am able to get to the BIOS and change the boot options which are as follows.. -Built-in ...