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 ...
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
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 ...
6
votes
8answers
315 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
433 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!
23
votes
11answers
1k views

How to build a quiet computer from scratch?

I like to build my own computers, but because I go for high spec parts they always end up being quite noisy. I am always jealous of computers I use at work as they always seem very very quiet. ...
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 ...
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 ...
25
votes
1answer
92k 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
10answers
10k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
19k 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
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views
2
votes
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% ...
21
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
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
3k 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
7k 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 ...
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
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
2answers
840 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
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

My newly built tower is not recognizing the fact that there is a video card in it

The onboard video works so that i can explore the problem, but so far, i can't find the video card in the device manager, and i don't have any options for the PCI-E or the GPU, in the BIOS unless im ...
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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
459 views

DVD drive not recognized

I'm in the midst of building a computer (first time builder) I got everything plugged in, and hit the power button. After the excitement of the first boot coming up on my screen, I was looking ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Where to find new Micro-BTX (uBTX) motherboards? Or should I just replace the box?

OK, so I'm guessing that it's dead. It's not my machine, and the owner is on a very fixed (IE, none) income. I'm generous, but I'm not that generous, since I already gave him what (at the time) was a ...
0
votes
4answers
657 views

What size power supply would I need for a computer with these specifications?

I'm building a computer with the following specifications, but I'm not sure if my 430-watt power supply is sufficient. AMD Phenom x4 9600 Gigabyte MotherboardGA-MA785GM-US2H 4 gigs of OCZ 1 ...
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 ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

What factors should be taken into consideration by someone building a custom PC?

I've been a laptop-only user for almost a decade now, but I'm thinking of building myself a desktop soon so I can have more power. While doing some preliminary research, I came across the old-ish SU ...
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 ...
12
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
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™ ...
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
3answers
170 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). ...
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
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
269 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
397 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
6answers
7k 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 ...