Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Building A New PC

I have to be honest - before last week - it had probably been nearly 3 years since I built a brand new gaming PC. But after being approached by a friend to build one for them - I happily accepted the challenge.

I bought the Asus A8N32 motherboard and an Athlon 64X2 4400 Dual Core Socket 939 CPU. Used an old ATX case - and bought a SATA 250GB HDD - I'd never fitted one before - but how hard can it be - after all I do have my A+ qualification.

There are so many RAM options about these days - but I was confident that I had bought the right memory after going through Crucial Technologies and telling their site what my motherboard was.

All the parts arrived within a week. And I never had to leave my flat to buy them - isn't the internet great!

I screwed the motherboard into the case - and placed the chip the right way round in the socket - (you can tell which was as one of the corners has a little mark on it that is different to the other - on both the motherboard and chip) - now be careful when siting the chip - they are delicate - and also fully open the socket before fully closing it - this ensures the chip sits correctly.

I then added the RAM - read through the motherboard guide to see which sockets to put the DIMMS go into - different rules depending on the number - I had 2 1GB chips - and placed them in the two blue sockets.

I powered up - but there was no POST test and no signal to the monitor .... ! Oh no! It was back to the drawing board - after some looking around on the net - i found out that a lot of modern motherboards actually require 2 power supplies - one is the standard wide power socket - and the other is a little square one ... I put this in and also hooked up the graphics card directly to the PSU - thats a new one on me - they always got powered off the motherboard in my day.

This time I powered it up and got the bios screen. Time to install the CD roms. As the HDD was SATA - I figured i could place the two CD drives on different IDE channels - for max speed. I set the jumpers to Cable Select - as opposed to Master or slave and started the machine up. All drives were immediatley reconised - and I was putting Windows XP Home before I knew it.

I knew it couldn't be that hard.

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