Hints for a nervous first builder?

JMMS

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Hello,

I am in the process of gathering parts for my first build, and after reading so many forums and guides I can't help but to feel a little nervous!

The parts of my build are:
E8400 (E0)
Pq5-e
Kingston ValueRAM PC 6400 (2*2GB)
ASUS GTS250
Earthwatts 500W
Win 7 RC (32 or 64 bit, not sure yet)

Anyway, I had a couple of questions for anyone who can help me. The thing that scares me at the moment is the BIOS flashing, I am not entirely sure if I should get a Floppy Drive or if I can do it from a CD or otherwise? I have been reading lots of stories of either the e8400 and RAM needing the BIOS to be flashed. Anyway, I will until the end of this week, what BIOS is on my board (haven't bought that part yet!).

Also, any other generic advice for a first time builder would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!!
 

ausch30

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http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=709&l4=0&model=2267&modelmenu=1

I just checked and the E0 E8400 requires BIOS 1003

Flashing can be a little daunting but companies have made it much easier and safer. Asus has a utility that allows you to flash from right in windows from a file you've downloaded but I wouldn't suggest that version. The one I always use is ezflash in the BIOS. It allows you to flash from a floppy or USB drive and it's very easy.
 

JMMS

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Great, thanks for that... I will check the BIOS that comes with my motherboard when I pick it up this week... I am also assuming that because I am using pretty generic RAM that I won't run into the problems that others appear to have had with their RAM and the p5q-e?

... and just to clarify, I should update the BIOS before installing the OS?
 

ausch30

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You shouldn't have any problems running that RAM.

If the BIOS is an earlier version than the 1003 you should update it before installing the OS. It is possible that you may have issues running the system if the CPU and BIOS aren't compatible but more likely you'd just have some stability issues. Put the system together, update the BIOS if needed, then install the OS.
 

JMMS

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Thanks for your help!... last stupid question... when tying power cables and other things out of the way... is it okay to use the ties that come with the packaging... plastic with a strip of metal inside?.... or will the metal do nasty things to parts of the computer?
 
^
I LOVE ZIPPY TIES! I have 2 canisters. You will need these, it makes life easier when you tie your wires up.

Where are you getting your parts from? Do you have any flexibility in those parts? Also, do you plan to Overclock at all?
 

JMMS

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Ta!!!
 

JMMS

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I am living in Den Haag (Netherlands), unfortunately I am new to the country, so I am not incredibly cluey on where to grab the cheapest parts, but the store that I am getting them (pcl computers) seem to have prices that compare favourably with other stores and online (plus postage). Alot of the sites that I hear of (Newegg and others) don't ship to Europe and UK stores also do not (plus I lose a bit of money in the exchange transaction). But if you know of any good sites/stores?

At the moment, I haven't picked up everything... so pretty much everything is still flexible. I intend to use it mainly for games, but seeing as I have always been three or four generations behind the curve I am not too fussed about cutting edge equipment, just something that will work well for the price!. I don't think I intend to overclock, nothing drastic anyway.

The CPU is pretty much what I want and the PSU has already been picked up (I really should have gotten a better one, but it's too late now!). RAM is generic.

GTS250. I don't plan on anything better than 1680*1050 resolution, I was throwing up the idea of HD4770 CF or GTX260, but it is more expensive (I am near the top of my spending power already!) and I am not 100% certain that the PSU and case (Sonata 3) will handle it.

But all in all, I am still open to suggestions!!!
 

Kill@dor

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Man... if you are using that res you won't need Crossfire or SLI. One card will be more than enough still. Although...since the HD 4770's are cheaper, you can still Cross with those when it comes to price.

You might also need a 550W PSU with a better brand.
 
A GTX260 would be better, but I think you would need a little more than an Earthwatt 500w. Maybe a better 550W with more power.

But the system you listed will be fine. If you plan to keep the CPU stock, the ValueRAM is ok. But it doesn't overclock well at all. I'd get something a little better tha that. Maybe some OCZ, Corsair, or G.Skill RAM.
 

JMMS

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No worries, I am sure I can pick them up from any hardware or electrical store. Although a zip tie gun sounds fascinating, rapid fire zipping...
 

JMMS

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That's what I thought, that a single card is fine for me.
 

JMMS

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?!?! I would see someone if you start naming them!!!... anyway, I did pick up a few... they are pretty cool, I am resisting the urge to tie random things up to neaten them!
 

JMMS

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Thanks to you and everyone for all your preliminary help... I will have a crack at putting it all together today and tomorrow... hopefully this story has a happy ending!
 

ausch30

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I'm sure you'll do fine, just remember if you're trying to force it, you're probably putting it in the wrong way. If you have any questions just ask.
 

JMMS

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YAY!!!!... It did it's first POST successfully!!! I will leave it for tonight, (still have to update BIOS, tidy cables and install OS... and maybe throw up from nervousness!!!)... but I have more questions... will start a new thread though

Thanks again for all your help so far!