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

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52
votes
9answers
29k 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 ...
40
votes
13answers
6k views

Is it safe to power on a motherboard outside of its case?

I have a new motherboard which needs a BIOS update to support a new CPU. Thankfully I have an old (compatible) CPU handy. My plan is to install the old CPU, update the BIOS, then install the new ...
25
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
25
votes
1answer
79k 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 ...
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. ...
19
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
14answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Does OS allocate each process to a separate core?

Ok I know the classic argument for avoiding quad cores. At the application level, most applications haven't been written for multiple cores. Most desktop software doesn't even need parallelization. ...
14
votes
9answers
17k 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. ...
14
votes
3answers
3k 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, ...
13
votes
6answers
12k views

Fitting a Motherboard into a Computer Case

I'm interested in building my own computer. I saw a motherboard and CPU that I want to buy from Tiger Direct. My question is has to do with computer cases and motherboards. Are all motherboards ...
13
votes
10answers
2k views

Setting up a PC for the Kids

I recently finished building a new PC from scratch; and then I decided to treat myself to a new widescreen monitor. I'm left with a bit of a conundrum with what to do with my old box. I'm ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Five year old unopened boxed CPU – is the stock thermal compound still good?

I have obtained an unopened, sealed, boxed CPU dating back to 2009. It’s an Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 with heatsink + thermal compound pre-applied. Is the stock thermal compound still OK to use after ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Building a fast Visual Studio machine

I want to build a PC to run Visual Studio very quickly. I have about 30 C# projects that include WCF services, IIS web services. So for me, quickly means fast edit, compile, run and debug cycles. ...
12
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Can I build a laptop from scratch?

I've been looking at this as the same approach as building a desktop computer from scratch but I've never really come across the core things. Can I buy a laptop "case"? Can I buy a motherboard/PSU ...
10
votes
2answers
819 views

Building my own computer [closed]

I'm planning to build my own computer. I do not have enough cash to buy all components I need in one go. I want to ask, if I buy motherboard which is compatible with i7 processor (any) and compatible ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

How to build a cheap and fanless server [closed]

Any advice about how to build a cheap and fanless server? It's main uses would be web and file servering, but it could be a day when I'd like to add some streaming and mailing capabilities as well. ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views
9
votes
9answers
33k views

Why does my computer freeze and make a terrible buzzing noise every once in a while?

Twice now my computer has frozen, accompanied by a terrible, angry, buzzing/beeping noise through the speakers. It is my first build, and as such I'm not really educated enough to even make a guess ...
8
votes
1answer
20k views

Why are so few SSD 3.5 inches? [closed]

I was looking around for a cheaper SSD on Newegg and the time I'm writing this they have almost 300 2.5-inch SSD but only 12 3.5-inch ones, 9 of which are sold out. Why are there so few 3.5-inch SSD? ...
7
votes
10answers
9k 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
176 views

If I buy an SSD now, and then new computer parts later, will I have to reinstall the OS?

I just ordered a new computer (CPU, GPU, RAM, ...), but it won't arrive for another week. I also want to buy an SSD though. If I buy it now, and install Windows 7 on it, will I have to reinstall it ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Build pc with 6 dvi outputs?

I am trying to build a pc with 6 dvi outputs, I have already built a machine that does this using a radeon hd 4850x2 graphics card, but unfortunately it seems that this is unvailable to buy from ...
7
votes
2answers
669 views

How to build a keyboard

I have not found an ideal keyboard. Therefore I would like to attempt to build my own. I have a rough idea of how I would like it to work. It wouldn't be anything like a conventional keyboard. It ...
7
votes
3answers
674 views

Powered Screwdriver for Computer Work

Does anyone know of a small, high-speed power screwdriver with really low torque (hand tight) for use on computer chassis? I screw in and unscrew screws on computer cases all day long and I'm ...
6
votes
8answers
294 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
254 views

Building a computer for the first time from scratch - will this really work?

I'm building my own computer, and I just finished picking out all of my parts. Now I just want to be sure it'll all work before I order it. I'm mean specifically if the RAM & Graphic card will fit ...
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
4answers
11k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
7k 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
4answers
1k views

How do I build a car PC?

Does anyone have a guide to building a car PC with a touchscreen?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Do errors in Memtest86+ definitively mean something is wrong with my RAM?

I recently built a new computer for somebody. Everything seemed fine at first, but when I went to install the OS (tried both Windows XP and Windows 7), both installers would fail. XP failed with a ...
5
votes
1answer
226 views

Is Biostar's CPU Savior preventing my homebuilt PC from booting? [closed]

My 11-year old daughter and I built her first PC today, but now that all the components are in place, the machine will only turn on for a second then it turns off right away. Possibly Relevant Specs: ...
5
votes
1answer
336 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
3answers
2k views

Which Hard Drive Configuration on a new Computer?

I'm planning to buy new computer, but suddenly I found myself confusing regarding hard drives. I want a FAST AND SECURE way to store my data, but at the same time cost effective. This is going to be ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Slot load DVD burner options for standard desktop case

I need a new DVD burner (internal) for my father-in-law's computer. He's apparently broken the current one - he forgot to push the tray back in after doing something and hit it with his chair. Given ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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
435 views

Why are there so few computer cases that put the PSU at the front? [closed]

I am going to buy a new computer but I am having difficulty choosing the right case. It will be put in a place similar to this one: where the back is closed, making the PSU not suitable to be ...
4
votes
4answers
819 views

System beeps continuously if both RAM sticks inserted

I have two sticks of OCZ 2GB PC2 9600 RAM. When I attempt to boot with both sticks inserted, I am met with a continuous string of system beeps (and no bootup). The system boots fine when only one ...
4
votes
3answers
451 views

Is buying 3 cheap graphics cards better than a single high end card?

I am thinking of building my own desktop computer, and I was wondering whether buying 2 or 3 low end graphics cards and running them in SLI would be faster than buying 1 high end graphics card. If ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Case fan connectors

I've built around 5 systems in my entire life. I've attached every chassis fan (case fan) on the 4-pin MOLEX connector ever since. I've noticed that there is a 3-pin connector there, but assumed that ...
4
votes
3answers
516 views

What type are the screw needed to fix PCI boards?

I miss screws to fix a PCI board in my PC, however I can't find out what type of screw it is. Any hints? Charles
4
votes
3answers
795 views

Should I use plastic/insulating washers when attaching a motherboard to the case?

I'm screwing in a motherboard, around the screw holes in the motherboard there is a white painted circle and inside that circle are what look like eight pieces of solder. Do I need to put ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Hooking up my power switch/reset switch/LEDs

I'm working on building a computer (first time for me). There are several plugs that I need to connect to the motherboard (Power LED, reset switch, etc). Of the two wires, they are either: Color ...