• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Basic 1st Time Computer Builder question

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

Stacka

Registered
Joined
Dec 6, 2003
Location
St. Louis, MO
First, to let you know where I'm coming from. This will be the first computer I've ever built by myself. Im gaining a decent understanding in the setup of a computer, and I believe I will be able to build if without much trouble.

The part that I'm really having trouble with is understanding how the Memory, motherboard FSB, and processor numbers work together.

Here is what I'm looking at for a future system as of now:

-Asus P4C800-E DELUXE
-Intel Pentium 4/ 2.8C GHz 800MHz FSB
-OCZ Performance Series Dual Channel Kit 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-4200
-RADEON 9800XT (powercolor) 256mb
-WESTERN DIGITAL SPECIAL EDITION 120GB 7200RPM IDE HARD DRIVE
-Antec 480W Power Supply TRUE480
-Swiftech MCX478-V Heatsink (Intel Socket 478)


I dont believe building it will be a problem, but the bios/setting up all the configurations, could be. Now because I've never been through this before, Im wondering if someone could answer a few questions for me.
1) When I first boot the computer, will it automatically recognize my settings and setup up the correct numbers for the memory, cpu, and Processor.
2) What do I have to set for myself.
3) Of those things I do have to set for myself, can anyone give me numbers I will be looking at for the default settings. Nothing overclocked.

Any help will be gratefully appreciated, thanks.
 

tom10167

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Location
Phoenix. YOUR HAIR IS GOOD TO EAT
It'll set itself. You'll definitely be able to run the computer with touching BIOS, things just might not be set *exactly* how you want them. Get the computer running first. ;)

P.S. Do you know how to format/install an OS from scratch?


How the numbers work together.

-Your motherboard can handle a maximum "bus speed"(AKA, FSB/front side bus) in stock form, I've yet to hear of someone having the motherboard max out the FSB.

-Processor is where the FSB. FSBxMultiplier= processor speed. While your proc says 800fsb it's really "quad-pumped" so it's actually a 200fsb. In your case, the multiplier, obviously is 14.

Now the ram, I'm guessing you meant to put PC3200. Which is DDR400, which guess what? FSB of 200! This is how fast the ram can run, which is what the cpu fsb is. That didn't make sense, but watch.

14x200=2.8(ram is at 200 also)
14x210=2.94(ram is now at 210, the ram has been overclocked)

If you still don't get it, just goof around in BIOS. :D
 
OP
S

Stacka

Registered
Joined
Dec 6, 2003
Location
St. Louis, MO
Ok, thanks for the info.

I dont know too much about installing the OS (XP pro) from scratch. I was betting I could read the manual and it would be pretty much straight forward.

Anything I should know beyond that?
 

FunkyTechnician

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2001
Location
Baltimore
Sounds like you're pretty set. The Windows disc should be a bootable CD rom, so basically just stick it in and follow the prompts.

A suggestion from me would be to partition the HD into at least 2 partitions, one for the OS and the other for apps. This will make things go easier in the future. After that, make sure you direct your "my documents" folder into the partition without the OS.
 

BaldHeadedDork

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
First, welcome to the forums.

Nice parts list for your rig. If you want to save some money the 128MB version of the 9800XT very nearly matches the performance of the 256MB card. At the level of 128MB and 256MB, the speed of the memory and the power of the graphics processor have a much greater impact on performance than the volume of memory.

I'd also choose Mushkin or Corsair XMS memory. While OCZ's quality has improved dramatically this year, they are still a big step behind Mushkin and Corsair. And Mushkin has the best service I've found in the entire computer industry.


*******


Tom is right about the speeds. Your motherboard will automatically detect the speed of your processor and memory and set it. If you're installing one hard drive, one or two optical drives and a floppy like your list indicates, the only thing you should have to set in the BIOS is the clock.

Changing anything in the BIOS is intimidating for most first-time builders, but I encourage you to explore the different pages while you're setting up your system. Don't worry about breaking anything. Nothing you can do in the BIOS will destroy your motherboard. The worst thing that could happen is it won't post and you'll get a black screen. If that happens all you need to do is pop out the watch battery on the motherboard for a couple of minutes, or check the manual for a "Clear CMOS" jumper which will effectively do the same thing. Either will restore the BIOS settings to the default that came out of the factory. There's also a setting in the BIOS to restore the default settings and to exit without changing anything if you feel you're getting in over your head.





BHD
 
OP
S

Stacka

Registered
Joined
Dec 6, 2003
Location
St. Louis, MO
Thanks for the replies.

Im looking into a few of the things said, Is the option to partition the harddrive in the bios?
 

DaWiper

Image Compare Man
Joined
Nov 15, 2003
Location
Norway
To make partitions on your hd without extra software you have to use the doscommand "Fdisk". Personally I use 'Partition Magic' for all my needs including linux. It will give you a nice mouse based GUI to play in instead of just command line options.

Doesn't the winxp installer have a partitionmanager? Can't remember...
 

Hookem

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Location
Houston Texas
As far as loading XP you might want to change the boot sequence in the BIOS...Most defaut BIOS settings have the computer boot off of the hard drive first...If it is a new hard drive without anything on it, it will go ahead and boot off the the CDROM...If there is a OS on the hard drive then it will go ahead and boot off of it...When you format with XP...You have to go into the BIOS and change the boot sequence to CDROM as the first boot device to get it to enter setup...;)...Most people change the boot sequence back to the hard drive as the first boot device to improve boot times...Just some very basic information I thought you should know about if you do not already know...Nice parts list...Most people will recommend the Thermalright SP-94 over the Swiftech...It is the king of air-cooling at the moment...You might also consider getting a SATA hard drive versus the Western Digital JB...Larva has posted a thread about using the Hitachi SATA hard drives that give much better performance versus the JB...Had some issues with noise that has surely been addressed by Hitachi by now...JB's score in the 1000 range versus 1200 with the Hitachi SATA drive using PCmark...Hard drive performance is definatley going to be the bottle neck in a system like yours...So what looks like a 20% increase in performance is nothing to sneeze at...Good Luck with your new system...Looks like a beast to me...:santa2: