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Finished Purchasing Build: Need 1st Time Builder Tips/Tricks

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I have finished the research and purchase portion of my journey through my very first PC build, I am currently away on business, but I get back on the 18th, and I will be able to start building my computer then (all components have already been delivered). In the meantime, I have been watching tutorials and reading manuals to make sure I don't make any newbie mistakes. This post will be comprised of three parts: 1-Listing My Build, 2-Showing you what steps I have already gathered from tutorials, and 3-asking specific questions of this forum that I still don't understand. Your responses don't have to be in reply to my questions, but they can also be used to give advice you wish you knew before your first build, or (even more helpful) known tips for installing/updating/increasing performance/cable management/longevity protection, etc... for my specific components. Oh, lastly, you should know that my intentions with this build are to eventually make it into a gaming computer by adding 1-2 Raedon 7850/7870/7950's. And with that, I thank you in advance.

Here's My Build (It should also be listed under my profile as Layla):

CPU: i7 Core 3770k (would like to learn to OC, but not an immediate requirement)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H80i
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz 8GB (2x4GB) 12800 DDR3 Memory
Hard Drive: Samsung 830 256GB SSD (Boot Drive - OS, Programs, Games)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB SATA3 6Gb/s 7200rpm's (Media Drive)
PSU: Corsair TX650M 650Watt Semi-Modular PSU 80PLUS Bronze
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Quiet Case
OS: Windows 8 Pro

Here's a semi-complete list of reminders I have made for when I begin building:

  • Put on antistatic wristband
  • Set motherboard on its box
  • Don’t touch gold contacts on CPU
  • Mount the motherboard backplate (for the CPU aftermarket heatsink) before installing it into the case
  • After test external build/boot, then ready to build.
  • Install power supply first (make sure intake fan is facing either up or down depending on dust traps)
  • Then install hard drives, SSD’s and CD drives
  • Install back panel metal cover (I/O Shield) for mobo inputs
  • Now mount motherboard
  • Standoffs are important (make them snug but not too tight (always remember do opposing corners for everything
  • Before installing windows, unplug either data or power to the mechanical HDD
  • Have motherboards driver installation CD or flash drive with drivers
  • Create new partition in boot drive when installing windows
  • After installation of windows, update all motherboard drivers (then windows drivers)
  • DON’T PLUG IN ETHERNET UNTIL AFTER DRIVER INSTALLATIONS
  • Motherboard drivers (install in this order):
  • 1. Chipset (Z77)
  • 2. Network Interface card (NIC/LAN)
  • 3. USB
  • 4. Audio
  • Plug back in mechanical HDD and go back into BIOS and make sure drive priority is set correctly
  • While in BIOS switch the SATA to AHCI in the BIOS
  • THEN plug in LAN cable (DON’T SURF THE INTERNET UNTIL YOU DO THESE TWO THINGS:
  • Install Windows updates then install anti-virus software
  • Lastly Check “Device Manager” to see if any drivers still need to be installed (look for exclamation points)
  • Possibly need to initialize new drives MBR for less than 2 TB
  • Don’t forget to partition (NTFS)
  • Don’t do quick format
  • Antivirus: Microsoft Security Essentials (Free)
  • Windows Defender
  • LASTLY ***
  • Create Backup Image (type backup in start menu)

And the final portion of this post is a few questions I want to make sure I know before I build:
  • Is it important to set memory clocks in BIOS back to advertised settings (I have heard that, when installed, some RAM automatically switches to a lower frequency like 1333MHz)?
  • What are the best strategies for cable management?
  • What's the difference between Clear CMOS and Reset BIOS?
  • What is the best way to install my CPU cooler fans (push/pull, inside/outside case) and what port on the motherboard should the fan be plugged into (CPU Fan, or Fan1 where i can control it from the gigabyte software)?
  • Can I install old CD ROM drives/HDD's/Media Card readers, etc... that I have cannibalized from old HP computers?
  • Do I need to turn the whole computer off (including the PSU switch) when switching between BIOSes (there's a switch on my motherboard that will be useful when I start OCing)?

Please also contribute anything else you think might be helpful, and the more specific you can be about my particular components (eg. my GA-Z77X-UD3H mobo as opposed to "most" mobo's, etc...) the better!!

Thanks a lot guys, I know many of you will bring some great wisdom to a newbie.
post #2 of 5
hello and congrats for the awesome build.
here are some tips for you
install the ram to the mother board before putting it on the case.
assemble the H80 before placing it on the cpu.
for cable routing/management

your case comes with 8pin extension. USE it.
place the psu downwards so the cables are closer tot he grommets
use the pinched holes on the back and zip ties to hold the cables.
use the L shaped sata cables on the motherboard end coming from the grommets.

good luck.
BEAST
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The Wifey's Rig
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intel i7 3770K Gigabyte Z77 UD3R Sapphire Radeon r9 290x Sapphire Radeon r9 290x 
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BEAST
(26 items)
 
The Wifey's Rig
(14 items)
 
The Black Pearl
(25 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
intel i7 3770K Gigabyte Z77 UD3R Sapphire Radeon r9 290x Sapphire Radeon r9 290x 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Corsair Vengeance 8GB seagate barracuda 7200 RPM 1 TB PNY 120GB SSD PNY 240GB SSD 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
ek supermacy full nickel Mayhem Pastel white  Mayhem blue non stain dye ek FC r9 290x 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
ek fc r9 290x  swiftech mcp655 Koolance COV-RP450  EK-CoolStream RAD XT 240mm 
CoolingCoolingCoolingMonitor
Swiftech MCR320 360MM  Primochil ghost rigid compression fittings Primochill PETG Tubes X-star 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Nixeus moda v2 EVGA SuperNova GS850 NZXT H440 Logitech G400 
Mouse PadAudio
Razer Goliathus Asus Xonar DGX 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
intel i5 4430 Asrock z78 pro 4 Sapphire 7870 XT G.Skill Aries 8GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
A LOT OF THEM Corsair H80 Windows 7 ultimate Samsung 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Cooler Master Quickfire TK Corsair 650XT Thermale take armor revo 4 Cooler master storm xornet 
Mouse PadAudio
Steelseries CKQ Steelseries Flux luxury edition 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 3770k GigaByte GA-Z77x-UD3H sapphire R9 290X Corsair Vengeance 8GB  
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
western digital caviar blue Samsung HF-132B Corsair Sp120 Corsair AF AF120 LED 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Alphacool ST30 AlphaCool XT45 EK supremacy Clean CSQ Full Nickel PrimoChill Advanced LTR tubing 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCP50X Alphacool Cape Corp 100ml Koolance VID-290X Windows 7 Ultimate 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
X-Star Dp2710 @ 92HZ BenQ E2400HD Cooler Master Quickfire Ultimate seasonic M12II 750W 
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NZXT LED strip 
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post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by ARGACE View Post

And the final portion of this post is a few questions I want to make sure I know before I build:
  • Is it important to set memory clocks in BIOS back to advertised settings (I have heard that, when installed, some RAM automatically switches to a lower frequency like 1333MHz)?
  • What are the best strategies for cable management?
  • What's the difference between Clear CMOS and Reset BIOS?
  • What is the best way to install my CPU cooler fans (push/pull, inside/outside case) and what port on the motherboard should the fan be plugged into (CPU Fan, or Fan1 where i can control it from the gigabyte software)?
  • Can I install old CD ROM drives/HDD's/Media Card readers, etc... that I have cannibalized from old HP computers?
  • Do I need to turn the whole computer off (including the PSU switch) when switching between BIOSes (there's a switch on my motherboard that will be useful when I start OCing)?

Please also contribute anything else you think might be helpful, and the more specific you can be about my particular components (eg. my GA-Z77X-UD3H mobo as opposed to "most" mobo's, etc...) the better!!

Thanks a lot guys, I know many of you will bring some great wisdom to a newbie.

Looks like you have a pretty good handle on things already. I would at least give this THREAD a look over, it can help, I don't recommend all the things in that link, but it is worth a read.

Other than everything you have listed above, I would suggest doing what I would cal a delayed install of all extra components. It looks like you have only one "extra" component, the HDD. What I mean by this is that when I do a new build I will leave out any extra optical drives, or HDDs or SSD's, or sound cards, or physx cards or 2nd GPUs etc. Then I do the install of the OS. After I have everything installed I one at a time will begin to put each piece of hardware into the system. Then boot, check if evrything is ok and then keep installing components one at a time. This way you will not have to guess if one of your components happens to be faulty or is causing you problems. In your particular situation it looks like it shouldnt be a problem as you have only one extra HDD. But this is a valuable strategy for all builds and upgtrades in the future.

As for your final questions...

1. Yes you can set them manually in BIOS. Some will have already been set to stock speeds, some will be underclocked. Its up to you what you want.
2. The best strategies for cable management are to (a) increase airflow (b) be aesthetically pleasing. I find a balance between both is good. Vitually you want as little cable as possible to be visible on the front side of the MB tray. I use 2-3 diff sizes of sip ties and other tie downs to secure my stuffs. I have redone my cables probably 2-3 times because you find better ways to do things, or you make changes. Its OK to have to do it again, in fact I would plan on it.
3. To clear CMOS or Reset CMOS are basically the same thing. There are a few ways to go about it. 1. remove MB battery for a period of time. 2. Use the jumper that is built into most motherboards, or some other boards have built in buttons that do the same thing.
4. On your MB i belive there is only one CPU fan header, plug it into that.
5. Yes, you can, but follow the advice I gave above for installing those one at a time. If there is a plug for whatever you want to install it will probably work.
6. No, just a simple restart will do it.

If you are new to overclocking I would spend a little time on the forum looking at OCing guides. These will help you know what software to use, what temps,voltages, etc are acceptable.

Welcome to OCN!
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DEFCON-3
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CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CM STORM:Trooper (DEFCON-3 MOD) Logitech MX Master Corsair MM600 CREATIVE Sound Blaster Z 
AudioOther
Audio Technica ATH-m50xbl Chill Factor III 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon X4 880k ASRock A88M-G/3.1 ASUS GTX 660ti HyperX Fury 8GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Crucial MX300 750GB LG Blu-ray Windows 10 P502ui-b1 
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post #4 of 5
When you first boot up after it's together, make sure the BIOS settings are on there default, there's usually a tab when you go to exit and save that should say something like revert to default settings, do this. After that while you're still in the BIOS go and select AHCI for your SSD, there's a way around it but it's not worth the headache to try after Windows is installed. Then install windows. As for some of your questions, you can definitely reuse old parts from previous PC's, I'm assuming they're semi-recent? So they'll all have SATA connectors, one for power, one for data, and not old school ribbon connectors with master and slave designations.. so as long as they're recent you're perfectly fine there. As for cable management try to as Ramzinho said, use zipties to separate fatter cables and thinner cables so you don't have too much of a bulge in a certain area. (24 pin mobo connector usually needs its own le-way due to its thickness. Smaller thinner cables such as sata or 6 pin pcie cables can be grouped together) The corsair case will have plenty of holes to route all your cables through and will give you a chance to make it look good fairly easily, I'm no pro but its easier when the case makes thing simple. There's tons of guys here who will give you advice, probably far better than mine, so take advantage of that. Post a build log with pictures too, it's a good formal way to get to meet ppl and get advice with certain aspects of your build. Congrats thumb.gif
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MythTFLfan29 View Post

When you first boot up after it's together, make sure the BIOS settings are on there default, there's usually a tab when you go to exit and save that should say something like revert to default settings, do this. After that while you're still in the BIOS go and select AHCI for your SSD, there's a way around it but it's not worth the headache to try after Windows is installed. Then install windows. As for some of your questions, you can definitely reuse old parts from previous PC's, I'm assuming they're semi-recent? So they'll all have SATA connectors, one for power, one for data, and not old school ribbon connectors with master and slave designations.. so as long as they're recent you're perfectly fine there. As for cable management try to as Ramzinho said, use zipties to separate fatter cables and thinner cables so you don't have too much of a bulge in a certain area. (24 pin mobo connector usually needs its own le-way due to its thickness. Smaller thinner cables such as sata or 6 pin pcie cables can be grouped together) The corsair case will have plenty of holes to route all your cables through and will give you a chance to make it look good fairly easily, I'm no pro but its easier when the case makes thing simple. There's tons of guys here who will give you advice, probably far better than mine, so take advantage of that. Post a build log with pictures too, it's a good formal way to get to meet ppl and get advice with certain aspects of your build. Congrats thumb.gif

How recent is "recent"? LOL, this actual build will allow me to retire my 8 year old HP Pavilion Media Center PC (m7750n). Here's a link to how to remove them from my old PC here. Also, what does the master/slave design determine? whether or not I am able to use the cables with other MB's, or the entire HHD or CD-ROM drives? If its the former, would I only have to purchase new SATA 2.0 data and power cables to be able to use them in my new build?
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