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

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1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
10k 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
1k 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
2k 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
votes
1answer
795 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
1k 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 ...
3
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3answers
971 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 ...
3
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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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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 ...
3
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1answer
42 views

Conflicting answers regarding system compability + refurbished laptop + 32/64 bit

I've used SecurAble, system information and Regedit process to determine if I can install a 64-bit OS with my current configuration. SecurAble says it's expandable, but the other two say it's a x86 ...
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4answers
3k views

Is building a computer chassis out of pure LEGO dangerous?

I have been looking and reading about creating a computer chassi out of pure LEGO parts (Ive seen a bunch of cool projects on the web that has done that), but then I stumbled upon this Reddit thread: ...
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2answers
445 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
91 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
13k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

compatibility with modern motherboards? (ATX 12V vs EPS 12V)

I have the Seasonic S12-600 in my current PC, which I'm thinking of upgrading from its ageing s939 Athlon CPU to a Core i5-based system. My question is whether or not my PSU is compatible with modern ...
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2answers
42 views

Customize windows, then restore first time setup

How would you go about customizing windows 7 (installing drivers etc.) then deleting the user account used to customize it, and finally restoring the first time setup as if the OS were just installed? ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How should I construct my own hard drive enclosure?

I recently replaced my laptop HDD with an SSD. It came with a handy transfer cable which lets me easily connect the old "naked" HDD to my laptop via USB. Now that I have switched over to the SSD, I ...
3
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2answers
182 views

Automated graphics card recommender? [closed]

Crucial have a tool that when you run it, it suggests the correct memory for you and gives you options based on price and performance. is there anything similar to this for graphics cards?
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Which computer components become legacy the quickest? [closed]

I'm planning on building a new computer, but money is sort of tight. I follow a few websites and occasionally find incredibly good deals on components. So, I'm considering slowly acquiring the parts ...
3
votes
2answers
912 views

Is there anything essential to check before powering on a self-built PC for the first time?

I've just put together a computer for the first time. I've found plenty of info online that covered the construction, but now I'm ready - I think - to power it up I'm wondering if there are any checks ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Hard drive temps too high?

I have 3 hard drives inside my Antec Sonata III 500 case. I have 1 Seagate 7200.10 250GB hard drive, a Samsung F3 1GB drive, and a 500GB seagate 7200.10 hard drive. All 7200rpm I have an external 2GB ...
2
votes
3answers
219 views

Cases with backward air flow?

I would like find other cases that have backward air flow like the LIAN LI PC-A05. I will be putting this box in a place where the household A/C is blowing from the back of the case to the front. My ...
2
votes
3answers
917 views

How can I cool my computer with oil? [closed]

I have a computer outside its case. All the components are attached and working properly, the problem is that fans don't seem to provide good enough cooling when demanding programs such as high end ...
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3answers
1k views

What to look for when purchasing a computer case? [closed]

I'm only beginning to learn more about my computer's hardware, and would like to know what should I consider when buying a case? It will be 70% work (website development), 25% browsing the web and 5% ...
2
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4answers
208 views

New computer build does not start [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: building a new pc - no display, no beeps I just built a new computer with a new (empty) harddisk. When I turn it on, the monitor is black (no signals), and there is no ...
2
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1answer
117 views

Can I install OS's on a secondary hard drive?

I'm going to build a new PC and thinking about getting a small 64GB SSD and then a 2TB hard drive. I want to run Hackintosh, Windows 7, and maybe Ubuntu on the SSD but I'm also thinking about FreeBSD ...
2
votes
3answers
232 views

Use CDs that came with hardware or download drivers from Manufacterers website?

I am in the process of building a computer and wondered if I should just use the drivers that shipped with the hardware or if it would be worth the effort to go to the manufacturers websites and ...
2
votes
4answers
219 views

computer build for extreme tabbed browsing

I'm interested in building or buying a task-specific computer for my brother. His requirements are ridiculously simple: the machine has to be able to wait in hundreds of web-based virtual waiting ...
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votes
4answers
4k views

Grounding Yourself Before/While You Are Building A Computer

What are the best methods for grounding yourself while you are building a computer? I've heard some methods but I'm not sure how they work/if they work at all. Touching a plugged in, off PSU Metal ...
2
votes
2answers
333 views

Buying MoBo, should I get SATA III and USB3 or plan on using an expansion card if I ever need them?

I am working on building a midgrade computer. (Looking to net around 1K including OS Win7Pro.) My questions is this: Should I invest in a more expensive MoBo that has USB 3 and SATA III support ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Power/HDD/LED wire for motherboard - are they standard these days?

I'm not sure what it's called - the set of wires that connect the power button, LED, HDD activity indicator lights - to the motherboard. My question is, are they standard these days? Meaning, if I ...
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votes
2answers
2k views

Upgrading a computer with a BTX form-factor motherboard

It's about time for me to upgrade my desktop and finally move into the world of true multi-core computing (the Pentium 4 with Hyperthreading I have now just isn't cutting it anymore). The ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I insert a SATA II (3Gb/s) drive into a SATA 6Gb/s slot?

The general form of this question is "Can a SATA II SSD plug into a SATA 6Gb/s port on a motherboard?" I am looking into building a PC, but I would like to get an SSD for my OS and some programs that ...
2
votes
1answer
673 views

Do I need liquid cooling? [duplicate]

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
471 views

will a 600W PSU power the following?

I was wondering if a 600W PSU (power supply unit) is good enough to run the following: Core i3 2 medium quality video cards 2 or 3 hard drives 4GB ram
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votes
2answers
275 views

Can I use old thermal paste?

I have some Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste from about 2 years ago. It looks ok, but I want to know if it's still ok to use. Does thermal paste 'go bad'? It's been in a drawer away from light.
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2answers
1k views

sata cable with a clip

What's the difference between a sata cable that does have a clip and one that does not have that clip? The cable with a clip:
2
votes
1answer
179 views

Is PSU voltage ripple something to worry about?

I'm currently putting together my first computer and I've had my eye on a Fractal Design Newton R3. From all of the reviews I've read this PSU comes out shining with the exception of voltage ripple on ...
2
votes
1answer
250 views

Finding the model of an old computer i used to own?

This might sounds ridiculous, but I need some help finding the model of an old computer i used to own. I know what the computer looks like. It was made by Packard Bell, but i can't find hardly any ...
2
votes
1answer
469 views

Is there such a thing as a PCI-e low profile gigabit NIC?

I can't seem to find one anywhere. 1. Is there a reason for this? I would think most modern computers are both getting smaller and getting more moved over to PCI-e so that seems odd. 2. Does anyone ...
2
votes
2answers
457 views

Fitting Corsair H60 into NZXT m59

I'm building a desktop for the first time with the NZXT m59 case and I'm trying to install a Corsair H60 liquid cooler. It appears to be already set up and everything so all I need to do is attach ...
2
votes
3answers
334 views

Tool to get installed components on a PC

Can anyone suggest some good tools that generate a report of all installed components in a PC? Ideally one that is easy to use. I need to upgrade my father's computer but won't have access to it ...
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votes
5answers
7k views

What parts I need to assemble my own computer?

I want to assemble my own computer. I think I need the following parts, correct me if I am wrong. CPU cabinet Power supply -- 500 watt Motherboard Processor RAM Hard disc And then Monitor ...
2
votes
2answers
462 views

How to clean/what to do about getting liquid form of compressed air cleaner on computer equipment?

I'm a little worried. I was using some compressed air cleaner (to be specific, Office Depot® Brand Cleaning Duster) to try to blow the dust off some dusty parts of my computer. The instructions are ...
2
votes
4answers
23k views

Should I disable CPU fan error message and how?

I have just completed my first "build" consisting of: ASUS P8Z77-V-Deluxe motherboard, Intel i7-3770 processor, Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler. Each time I boot the computer, the ...
2
votes
1answer
236 views

explanation of RAM specs, and what do I need for a Gaming rig [closed]

I am looking into upgrading my custom built PC's RAM. I use the machine mostly for gaming, but I don't really know a ton about RAM, so I wanted to ask a few questions. The research I've done tells ...
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3answers
3k views

Building a PC, advice on SSD/Hybrid Hard Drives

I am looking at building a new PC, it's mainly for office (graphics heavy) use and programming. Looking for good performance with opening and closing programs and files as well as a fast boot. I ...
2
votes
2answers
679 views

Mounting LGA1366 Xeon w3680 on a motherboard

I am putting a home server/workstation together and am having a hard time mounting a Xeon W3680 onto a Supermicro MBD-X8DTH-6F-O board. Its the first time in a good 10 years that I assemble a machine ...
2
votes
2answers
694 views

PSU power cable length, and will my graphics card fit in my case? [closed]

I've decided to build a computer, this will be the first computer that I've built but I've done lots of research and have a list of parts which I will be ordering. I asked for someone to check my ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Motherboard for a Dual Quad Core i7 processor? [closed]

I was wondering if there are motherboards that support two i7 Quad core processors (total 8 core support) with 32GB RAM. I was looking for it on the Dell website but could not find it. Any suggestions ...