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Dad/son bonding - first build - maybe I rushed


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#1
Gravy4672

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I thought it would be educational/fun to try and build a computer with my 13yr old son. He is a PS3 player but plays minecraft on other computer and set up our older computer as a server for minecraft. I have little experience (replaced hard drive & video card before).

I bought a barebones system and think I may be missing some parts. lol. Can someone comment (go easy on me, lol).

I think I need a video card and fan ?? Why does the motherboard have a HDMI port if no integrated video ? We don't do any real gaming so this system is overkill I'm sure but wanted some room for future ( and it was cheap - incase I can't get it to work, lol). I was thinking of getting this video card: Geforce GT 240: http://ncix.com/prod...ac&promoid=1374

System: http://www.tigerdire...706926&CatId=31

MSI 760GM-E51 Motherboard,
AMD Phenom II X6 1035T CPU,
Corsair 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 RAM,
Seagate 1TB HDD,
24x DVD Writer,
DiabloTek Elite Mid Tower,
450-Watt PSU
windows 7 64 bit
keyboard/mouse: Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000 USB BlueTrack
monitor: 20" acer or 42" 720 LG TV

I hope we didn't buy parts that we will never end up getting to work. I don't give up easy though.
I read the post on getting started - very informative. Thanks.
I appreciate your time and interest. Thanks to all that post - even those that just want a laugh.
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#2
Digerati

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Hi Gravy and :welcome:

According to your manual, that board does have integrated graphics with support via standard VGA/D-sub for analog output and DVI and HDMI for digital output. I suggest you try the DVI port and see what happens.
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#3
Gravy4672

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Thanks Digerati. I haven't received the components yet, just trying to get ready, but I did look up the manual like you and found it has an integrated HD3000 (didn't realize the manual would have that info - sorry I'm a newbie). Looks weak so I will likely get the video card.


Thanks.

Edited by Gravy4672, 27 December 2011 - 05:27 PM.

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#4
Digerati

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I haven't received the components yet, just trying to get ready, but I did look up the manual like you and found it has an integrated HD3000 (didn't realize the manual would have that info - sorry I'm a newbie). Looks weak so I will likely get the video card.

Actually, for integrated, it is pretty good and would be more than adequate for all general PC work including email, surfing the net, watching videos or DVDs or BluRays and even some gaming. Remember, game makers know that most players cannot afford monster graphics solutions so they design the games to play well on lessor systems too. They just will not have some of the fine detail in backgrounds and other extra features and effects.

I recommend you visit all your component maker's sites and download the latest manuals now to read through them and become familiar with them while waiting delivery. Pay attention to ESD and mounting instructions, as well as power connections.

And I see from my email notification you first asked about a CPU heatsink fan. Note that both AMD and Intel require you use the supplied OEM fan if you want to keep your 3-year warranty valid. And since these fan are expected to cool the CPUs for that period, they are excellent fans. And note it is the case's responsibility to keep the case supplied with cool air.
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#5
Gravy4672

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Received all my parts today. We made good progress tonite and have most parts installed and connected. However, we are stuck trying to hook up the hard drive and optical drive. I only have a sata cable, a power cable (sata to molex) and a standard cable for IDE devices ( which doesn't look like it fits either device). These cables came with the motherboard. I didn't get any cables with the drives. Do I need another sata cable ? Do I hook up power to the drives ? from the PSU or the mother board ? Thanks for your help.
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#6
Digerati

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The only thing ever powered from the motherboard is some external USB devices, and fans which are connected to specific fan headers.

The motherboard cables will be for data only. Power cables for the drives will come from the PSU. According to the TigerDirect link above, both the DVD and HD are SATA devices. Unlike IDE drives where you can install two drives per IDE data cable, SATA devices always have one device per cable.
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#7
Gravy4672

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Ok, Thanks. I find it strange that in a barebones system they would supply everything except one needed SATA cable (why supply an IDE cable these days). I will pick one up today.
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#8
Digerati

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You can blame MSI for that - drive cables are typically supplied with the motherboard and as seen here, they only put one in the box. There are still many IDE devices in use (especially optical drives) but I think it sad MSI only included one SATA data cable when that board supports 5 SATA devices.
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#9
Gravy4672

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Thanks for the reply. Every industry has it's quirks, so in the big scheme of things this is minor.

On another note, I am wondering whether I should add a cooling fan to the case. It only has the fan that is part of the PSU and of course the CPU cooler and video card cooler. However the case has spots for a few more fans. I have not really seen anything that touches on this topic. Would you recommend adding another fan ? And would it be set to blow out or in ? I hope this isn't a stupid question. I do appreciate the support I am getting from the site. I hope to finish my build tonite.
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#10
Digerati

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I hope this isn't a stupid question.

The stupid question is the one not asked.

As seen by the last line in my signature, I take heat seriously so it is an excellent question IMO.

Note it is the case's responsibility to provide sufficient cool air for good cooling. The CPU fan just helps remove the heat from the heatsink and tosses it into the case cavity. That is a single slot-wide graphics card so its fan just tosses hot air into the case cavity too (some cards are double wide and push the hot air out the back). The fan in the PSU should be considered as the fan for the PSU and only the PSU.

That is sad that case does not come with at least one case fan. At least it does support the larger 120mm fans. Larger fans move more air and generally at a lower RPM than smaller fans - thus more air but quieter. You generally want good front-to-back air flow through the case. So for sure, I recommend adding at least one 120mm fan in back that will exhaust hot air out (all fans are marked with rotation direction and flow direction). I prefer a front fan drawing cool air in over the drive(s) but it seems your case does not support that. It does support a bottom and side fans though. I have found that side fans are not always that helpful because they create turbulence and don't really contribute to the desired "flow" through the case. Since heat naturally rises, I would go with the bottom fan, and have it draw cool air in.

You don't have to spend $25 on a fan, but I would avoid the cheapest too. Look for precision ball or fluid bearings as they will provide longer life and quieter (less vibration) operation than sleeve bearings. Better fans tend to be better aerodynamically too - which helps provide more CFM without "chopping" at the air and making a lot of noise. Note that many fans claim to be quiet or even silent and they may be - but often they achieve that by slowing the rotation speed so much, they don't move enough air to be effective at cooling.

Antec, Thermaltake, Vantec, Panaflo, Skythe are some good brands. Your motherboard may support the fan but if not, use power connections directly from the PSU.
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#11
Gravy4672

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Excellent info, thsnks. Went with the Antec 120mm. Had to go to the local computer store so it wasn't cheap ($20). So only got one. Put it in the top back, blowing out. Will see how it performs and see if need another (will buy online to save $).

Anyhow my build is complete and I am using it right now ! Only took two evenings. No problems getting it to work. Maybe I got lucky (no bad parts). Only missing SATA cable and no fan. I would say that the hardest part was hooking up all the cables (figuring out where they went and actually connecting them in the case). Next time I may connect cables before installing mobo (yes/no ?).

My son was very excited when we pushed the power button and it started. He took pictures during the build to show his friends so if anyone is interested I can post them.

Thank-you for all the advice - I would not have been able to get it working anywhere near as fast. It was a great experience for the two of us.
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#12
Digerati

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My son was very excited when we pushed the power button and it started.

Thank-you for all the advice - I would not have been able to get it working anywhere near as fast. It was a great experience for the two of us.

Well, as a parent and grandparent, I got a warm fuzzy just from reading that so you are quite welcome. I am sure it was a great father-son bonding experience too. Always a good thing in these, often troubling times.

You should monitor your temps. Here's my little canned text on that:

Your motherboard utilities disk should have a monitoring program (or check for a more recent version on your motherboard or PC maker's website). If none, I recommend CoreTemp for newer Intel and AMD64 CPUs, or http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>RealTemp for Intels. SpeedFan is a great and popular alternative, or you can try Motherboard Monitor. Unfortunately, I have found that these programs often have problems properly identifying and labeling the sensor they are reading. The temperatures shown are as accurate as the inexpensive, low-tech sensors will allow, but it may say System Fan instead of CPU Fan. Fortunately, the programs do allow you to edit the labels, so I use Everest to verify the temperatures (as it is able to match sensor with label correctly), then edit the label in the monitoring program. In Everest, look under Computer > Sensor, then wait a couple seconds for the readings to appear. Unfortunately, Everest does not minimize to the system tray to show real-time temperatures, otherwise, you could use Everest instead of the others. Check but do not rely on the temps shown in the BIOS Setup Menu. While they are likely correct, running the BIOS Setup Menu is probably the least demanding task you can ask of your computer so it does not show the temps when the system is being taxed. But if the BIOS Setup Menu temps are high, you have a problem that needs to be corrected. HWMonitor, from the makers of CPUID is also very informative, but does not minimize to the system tray.

I get nervous when CPU temperatures hit 60°C. While most CPUs are capable operating at higher temps, system stability issues arise and long term exposure to very warm temperatures increases component aging (including the CPU socket and surround devices). GPU (graphics processing unit) temperatures typically run considerably warmer with 80°C not uncommon.


Now too, you need to "practice safe computing" - remembering that the user is ALWAYS the weakest link when it comes to security. Make sure you have a good security system established. I use Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), Windows Firewall and Internet Explorer 9 and I keep Windows and all my programs current. Kid's favorite activities are social networking and downloading tunes - and badguys know that very well. Downloading tunes for free via torrents and P2P (peer to peer) filesharing is particularly dangerous and most often illegal as most songs are copyrighted and require some compensation. This method of downloading is a primary source of malware, and is also a primary method for badguys to release their new malicious code. This is particularly dangerous as the anti-malware providers may not have yet updated their malware signature/definition files for these new threats.
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#13
Gravy4672

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Thanks Digerati.

I used Coretemp and Prime95 to stress out the computer. Wow my computer runs cool. At idle it is running 9 deg C and at full load it seems to level off at only 36 deg C after about 15 minutes with all cores running 100%. I have norton security 2012 running and am going to add some anti-malware (malwarebytes.org).

I will upgrade to IE 9.

So far the system has been running great without any glitches. Time to upgrade my other computers I guess. Although one is so old theres no point in upgrading it (mobo only has room for 2Gb RAM and AGP slot).
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#14
Digerati

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9 degrees Celsius = 48.2 degrees Fahrenheit and unless you are running alternative (like liquid nitrogen) or active (refrigeration) cooling, it is impossible for the computer to be cooler than the ambient (room) temperature. Is your room temperature less than 50°C?
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#15
Gravy4672

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I thought it seemed very low. While my wife is always complaining the house it too cold - it isn't 9 degree C. I will have to check into these readings.
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