Sunday, May 6, 2012

First Computer Build

New Computer. The big blue thing at the bottom is a low-speed intake fan. It's kind cool, though I'm a little worried that if I spill a drink into it it'll spew it inside the case.

You can see that in addition to a side intake fan, it also has a window. Sorry about the glare, but at least you can see some of the wiring and the side of the power supply up top.

As I didn't install a separate video card (yet) there's nothing really awesome to see inside, but I still like having that window. It's just really neat to be able to see inside. Actually, I can see all the way through the back as well, as the back has a fan with a wide grating that allows light through.

Hey, it's better than the beige case of my eight-year old workhorse.

Some thoughts: being my first build, this was a nerve-wracking experience. When I was installing the CPU into the motherboard my hands were shaking so badly I had to stop for a moment. I don't think I breathed until it finally dropped into its socket. (I was so worried about bending those pins.)

Also, I made a few mistakes, such as reversing the SATA cable to the hard drive. Funny, how they'll click into place either way but work only one way. Also, the 2X12 power plug to the motherboard has an extra 2X2 plug at its end. Though the 2X12 fit fine, the 2X2 has two little plastic tabs that wouldn't let it fit into its socket. I would have had to detach the 2X12 to get it in so I left it unplugged. As everything in the computer seems to be working fine I'm guessing that was the right decision.

As for getting online, that took almost an entire extra day. I talked to the guy from the cable company, and when he asked what "device" I was using to get online I told him I had no idea. I kept thinking it's a Gigabyte-brand motherboard and that's it. It wasn't until later that the conversation gave me the idea to look up the hardware on the motherboard. Right at the top of the computer's list it said "Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller: Driver missing". So, after firing up my old computer and switching my monitor and modem over to it I was able to go to the Realtek site, download the driver and install it on the new computer using a thumb-drive.

It was so cool when this thing finally got online. You should have seen me flexing and going "Oh, yeah!"

For any tech geeks out there the case is a Raidmax Typhoon. (It's listed as a "low cost" case. What an insult! ;-) The motherboard is a Gigabyte A75M-D2H. The CPU (APU?) is a quad-core AMD A6-3670k that runs at 2.7Ghz. (Not that I know what much of that really means.)

One thing I do know, is that the thing is SO much faster than my old computer. Of course the old girl is eight years old, and still fires up, so I can't really bash her much. After all, that computer got me through school!


sultan said...
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Anonymous said...

Congrats! I actually didn't know that about SATA cables. I never tried putting them the wrong way, but I assumed that they would work and that the labels were only suggestions.

A suggestion if you get a video card: Get one without a fan. Those fans can be really, really loud.

You did the right thing on the motherboard plug.

Did the motherboard come with drivers? Did you run a complete install? Most of the time, if you do a complete install from the motherboard CD, it'll install the ethernet drivers.

Kirk said...

The motherboard came with a CD, but it didn't seem to have any drivers on it, just some sort of program that had something to do with backups. As for the motherboard plug, I still don't understand what the extra 2X2 plug is for, but you can be damn sure I'm not going to mess with it.

As for video cards, I'm not really interested in gaming, but thanks for the advice anyway.

Side note: I think it's interesting, how in the Newegg videos the guy is always putting together systems that cost at least a thousand. The case alone on one retails for $260. I guess they're just showing off their stuff.

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