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

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59
votes
9answers
39k views

Does vertical position affect the lifespan or integrity of a hard drive?

I've noticed on many small PC cases that the hard drives are installed vertically. In midi cases, towers and others of a larger housing, they are in the horizontal position. What impact on a hard ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Installing Windows 8 pro on a built PC

I'm planning on building my own PC with the help of a friend, and after reading through this article, it seems that I need to purchase a System Builder licence. Does this mean that I should not buy ...
14
votes
4answers
23k views

2.5“ SSD in a 3.5” desktop drive bay normal?

I'm a little out of touch with modern desktop builds, but I recently built a new machine anyway. I want to pick up a SSD for my I/O intensive apps (EverQuest 2 and Flash CS4 mostly), but I'm having ...
17
votes
9answers
18k views

RAID 0 performance gains?

I'm building a new computer over the summer. I'm fairly competent in computer hardware, and am thus building the computer from scratch. I have everything planned out, but I was wondering about RAID. ...
20
votes
6answers
5k views

How do we assemble a computer properly?

As a follow-up question for advice when buying a computer, I would like to get another thing clear: How do we assemble a computer properly? In what order do I need to put the hardware I bought into ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

What should a person know before assembling their first computer?

For people who are setting out to build a computer for the first time, there's a lot of information on this site about how to choose an appropriate set of components. But after searching for a while, ...
6
votes
8answers
316 views

Resources for building computers [closed]

I want to build my own PC. I've never built one before & I find the variations in chipsets and CPU pins, etc a bit confusing at times. What I'm after is a site that is kept up to date with the ...
7
votes
10answers
11k views

Use RAID for desktop computer?

I'm building a new computer over the summer. I'm fairly competent in computer hardware, and am thus building the computer from scratch. I have everything planned out, but I was wondering if I should ...
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views
21
votes
6answers
7k views

Is liquid cooling necessary for high CPU performance over extended periods?

I'm planning on building a system for high CPU and memory performance. Graphics performance is not a major concern, as I do not plan to use it for gaming. I noticed that liquid cooling seems to have ...
8
votes
5answers
11k views

Could I replace a stock PSU fan with a more quiet one?

I have a cheap 450W PSU with an exhaust fan at the rear. This fan, however, is very loud. Is it a good idea to replace the stock PSU fan with a quiet fan with similar airflow? The PSU fan is hard-...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Intel Rapid Storage / Smart Response SSD caching issue

Background Recently built my own PC. It works! Almost. It's been a while since getting into the guts of these things, so I'm familiar but may be missing something simple. FYI, I don't care about ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I tell which components survived after a power supply failure?

A couple days ago I booted up Left 4 Dead, but then heard a pop and my computer turned off. It smelled like dead electronics so I unplugged the computer. I figured it was a power supply failure, so I ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

Do I need a video card?

I plan on building a computer with Intel Xeon E3 1231v3 which has no GPU: Graphics Specifications Processor Graphics: None on a Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H motherboard which has an onboard ...
3
votes
6answers
435 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!
1
vote
7answers
2k views

building a new pc - no display, no beeps

Building a new pc using this motherboard: GA-MA785GMT-UD2H and a 500W power supply (1 x 20 pin & 1 x 4 pin connectors). The CPU fan, hard drive and power supply all spin up but no display on the ...
4
votes
3answers
11k views

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.
2
votes
2answers
851 views

Most efficient use of my SSD and new/old hard drives

To begin with, here are my computer's current specifications: -Windows 8 Pro, 64 bits -Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 -Processor: AMD FX-8150 Zambezi 3.6GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop ...
2
votes
2answers
511 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
9k views

How can I determine whether a given SSD and motherboard are compatible?

How can I determine whether a given SSD and motherboard are compatible? For example, I have an OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTX50G 2.5" 50GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive and a GIGABYTE GA-H67A-...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Computer only boots when CMOS set to Clear

I just put this computer together yesterday, and I finally had to go to bed last night. The computer only boots when it the clear cmos jumper is set to clear. This is really strange. I have tried to ...
26
votes
1answer
93k views

What is a normal/safe temperature for an i7 2600K CPU? [closed]

I just completed my first build, and while I was finagling around in the BIOS I noticed, with some concern, that my CPU was sitting around 60 °C. Even when I set the maximum temperature to 55&...
17
votes
14answers
2k views

How safe is building a computer yourself?

I'm interested in getting a new desktop computer soon, and I'm wondering whether I should build it or buy it. I'm very good with software, but I don't have much experience with hardware (recently, I ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Which factors are most important when considering performance aspects of a motherboard?

I like to build my own desktop PCs, and I happen to know that I've got a rockin' processor and graphics card both, so my system definitely has some punch to it. I also know that I didn't get the best ...
27
votes
5answers
8k views

Very high-pitched noise when computer does something intense?

"Intense" is the best word I can use to describe it because I'm not sure what it is, whether it's RAM, GPU or CPU. If I pan the camera in unity: A high pitched noise issues from the computer. The ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the best way to spray paint the inside of my case?

I was just wanting to spray my case black and someone told me that if the inside is not "grounded" something could quite possibly short out and/or fry. Just wondering if this is true and what type of ...
6
votes
4answers
15k views

Cables for building a computer

I'm looking at building a computer and I have already done a whole bunch of research the topic and I think I know what I'm doing. My question is where do all the cables required for connecting ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

My Computer hangs for a few minutes just after startup, and then is fine

So I just built myself a reasonably beefy computer, and I installed Windows 7 on it. However, I start the machine up each morning and within a few minutes, the computer will semi hang. That is the ...
3
votes
3answers
171 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). ...
3
votes
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™ i5-...
3
votes
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
4answers
20k 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. ...
2
votes
4answers
474 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
1
vote
1answer
4k views

USB Keyboard won't work after Post but before OS loads

On my new build I just installed Windows 7 x64 and realized that I had put it on the wrong partition. I pop my OS CD back to re-install. My keyboard will work to access the BIOS but when the little ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Troubleshooting new computer: shuts down instantly

everybody. I just built my own computer. This is the second time that I have done so, but last time I did so with a friend that was more knowledgeable than I am. The computer is built and everything ...
0
votes
1answer
276 views

What is the different between a CPU with or without the GPU?

This may be a dumb question. But this is definitely a quick n easy question for those who know it :) When I choose to buy a CPU with No GPU, such as some of the Intel Xeon CPUs, what should I bear in ...
6
votes
1answer
401 views

Does a power supply draw its rated watts all the time?

I'm really confused when it comes to power supplies. I'm looking at a 650 Watt, bronze rated power supply. Does this mean that it is constantly drawing 650 Watts? Or is that how many it pulls in an ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Internal/External SATA drive for backup - 5900 RPM OK?

I'm building a new computer over the summer. I'm fairly competent in computer hardware, and am thus building the computer from scratch. I have everything planned out, but I was wondering about a ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
130 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
3
votes
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: ...
3
votes
3answers
611 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
540 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
236 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
1answer
3k 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
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
377 views

Automatically testing all parts of a new computer

What would be the best way to run tests on all parts of a new computer after first putting it together? I'd want to test the RAM, the CPU and the hard disks. (I assume there's nothing else worth ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

New build won't boot: some fans turning, no beep or video

When my new system is powered up, the case fan and power supply fans turn fine. The CPU fan twitches, but never gets going. Although I've heard that with AMDs and Gigabyte motherboards that is not ...