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(Cracked)   So you want to build your own PC, eh? Well here are 12 steps to it that are dangerously irresponsible, so good luck   (cracked.com) divider line 179
    More: Obvious, moral responsibility, SSD  
•       •       •

14107 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Oct 2012 at 3:56 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



179 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-10-11 01:28:58 PM
meh,

Hyperbole for comedic value can sometimes be overrated or misused. Uh, I mean, IT'S ALWAYS WRONG AND BAD FOREVER GODDAMIT
 
2012-10-11 01:30:23 PM
Also: Building a computer these days, though not for the faint of heart, isn't exactly a Herculean feat, either. Just RTFMs, have a steady hand, and have some patience. If you can't do any of the previous 3, pack that shiat back up, return it, and dude...you're getting a Dell!
 
2012-10-11 01:41:53 PM
How hard is it to build a computer these days? It's all standardized connectors and plug and play now!
 
2012-10-11 01:45:13 PM
That was dumber than usual.
 
2012-10-11 02:08:47 PM
 
2012-10-11 02:12:48 PM

jon787: Building your dream PC. What the experts don't tell you.


Dude, I should totally get 1 generic 128MB 168-pin PC-100 DIMM and a GeForce 3.
 
2012-10-11 02:28:10 PM

jon787: Building your dream PC. What the experts don't tell you.


Helllooooo 11 years ago!

RexTalionis: jon787: Building your dream PC. What the experts don't tell you.

Dude, I should totally get 1 generic 128MB 168-pin PC-100 DIMM and a GeForce 3.


You laugh, but this was pretty standard with Dells when they shipped out the computers my company bought back about 8-10 years ago, just as Pentium 4 was becoming big. It's amazing how ungodly slow a computer is on 128 MB. I jacked all those old P4s up to 2 GB RAM and they...well, they don't *fly*, but they kind of ...cruise.
 
2012-10-11 02:28:38 PM

RexTalionis: jon787: Building your dream PC. What the experts don't tell you.

Dude, I should totally get 1 generic 128MB 168-pin PC-100 DIMM and a GeForce 3.



Be sure to install Windows Millennium on it like the article states.
 
2012-10-11 02:29:07 PM

jon787: Building your dream PC. What the experts don't tell you.


There's a reason experts didn't tell you to buy Windows ME. And it's not because it's an awesome OS and they don't want you to have fun.
 
2012-10-11 02:40:15 PM

xanadian: Also: Building a computer these days, though not for the faint of heart, isn't exactly a Herculean feat, either. Just RTFMs, have a steady hand, and have some patience. If you can't do any of the previous 3, pack that shiat back up, return it, and dude...you're getting a Dell!



Case for RTFM - I've been building PCs for so long that I generally do the once-over on the MB manual mostly just to verify the pins and clocking features, and crap like that. I spent weeks sighing at random crashes, especially in games, but was too lazy to do anything about it because it wasn't *that* often. Finally I got fed up and after an hour of checking and rechecking everything software-wise, I rip the side off of my case so I could test the memory. Halfway through testing the first module configuration, I noticed a damn LED I hadn't noticed before. Turns out it was the relatively new one-switch overclock feature ASUS added to their boards and it was set to "on". Doh!
 
2012-10-11 02:42:55 PM
I don't really get it. Doesn't even mention the hard parts so that's not really building your own computer.
 
2012-10-11 02:51:40 PM
Somewhere, there's a "journalist" that answers to the name of Broseph laughing his ass off.
 
2012-10-11 02:52:35 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: I don't really get it. Doesn't even mention the hard parts so that's not really building your own computer.


As a veteran computer builder, I got a lot of laughs out of it.
 
2012-10-11 03:23:12 PM
I got a kick out of this article* because I'm reading it on a PC I built day-before-yesterday.

*Not really. That was one of the lamest wastes of electons I've even seen, even for Cracked's standards.
 
2012-10-11 04:05:18 PM
Fry's really? Newegg or Amazon or even Tigerdirect would have cheaper parts with a better selection. Built my first computer with parts from Fry's way back when but never again.
 
2012-10-11 04:08:42 PM
I learned a lot by building my own PCs, lots of trial and error. The very first time I ever tried I asked the help of a friend who said he was tech savvy, I had my doubts when he went at the motherboard hard with a screwdriver, using it as a lever to work in the heatsink onto the CPU. Lesson 1 was don't let other people touch your stuff, lesson 2 is be gentle and never force anything. I didn't learn that one straight away, though, because I tried upgrading some RAM but didn't realise that you had different types of sockets, I just bought RAM and tried putting it in, and when it didn't go I tried harder, and harder, until I cracked the motherboard. Lesson 3 was learn what everything is so I don't buy the wrong stuff again.

Silly me.
 
2012-10-11 04:11:28 PM

ManateeGag: That was dumber than usual.


Even though, on average, I enjoy Cracked (much more than the average Farker), Brockway is their worst writer by a long distance.
 
2012-10-11 04:11:48 PM
Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.
 
2012-10-11 04:16:08 PM
the only thing i've ever had troubles with in the past is getting a new mother board to accommodate everything. Other than that its pretty easy, pick beastly components and a satisfactory power supply. Was anything else supposed to be hard?
 
2012-10-11 04:18:02 PM
OK, so to threadjack about homebuilt PC issues - figure this one out for me:

I'm not sure when it started, but every time I cold boot my homebuilt PC these days, it has to start 3 times. Meaning that it starts, the fans start to spin, but before it posts, it powers down. It does that same set of things again, then it does it again, but instead of powering down, it posts. It doesn't seem to have any problems once it is up, and it can hibernate/come out of hibernate just fine, but why would it do 3 boots (and always 3). I would think a short or something would be more random than 3 every single time.

Is it worth tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch or do I just deal?
 
2012-10-11 04:24:30 PM

xanadian: Also: Building a computer these days, though not for the faint of heart, isn't exactly a Herculean feat, either. Just RTFMs, have a steady hand, and have some patience. If you can't do any of the previous 3, pack that shiat back up, return it, and dude...you're getting a Dell!


This. I've been doing it for over 20 years, and it's ridiculously easy compared to the horrifying maze of compliance & compatibility that it used to be when I started. I regularly build machines - typically, every 18-24 months - for home use, and I've done so at work when needed, as well. Compared to what it was like even a decade ago, it's like playing with friggin' Legos now.
 
2012-10-11 04:27:10 PM
If placing the parts into their color-coded and labeled parts is too difficult, you can find one of the several companies that will allow you to select all the parts for your computer and then assemble it and ship it to you.

And it will still be half the price of a comparable Apple.
 
2012-10-11 04:27:56 PM

soopey: Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS

Also,
img218.imageshack.us
 
2012-10-11 04:29:23 PM
Built my first system recently after years of buying Dell stuff, and it was stupid easy. I even cheated and bought one of Newegg's package deals. Took me far longer to download and install drivers than it did to actually put the components together.
 
2012-10-11 04:29:46 PM
I like a lot of Cracked stuff. Seanbaby remains the funniest person on the internet. But that was bad. Now I know how people who hate Cracked feel.
 
2012-10-11 04:30:14 PM

ProfessorOhki: soopey: Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS

Also,
[img218.imageshack.us image 614x434]


lol.

That reminds me.

Don't blow your wad on the video card/s. Wait a few months then get it/them.

Unless you don't already have one.
 
2012-10-11 04:31:23 PM

Outlawtsar: Is it worth tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch or do I just deal?


Got a spare power supply you can swap in? That would be my first guess. But it could be anything, I had a bad monitor cause all kinds of problems and take forever to troubleshoot.

I can't get to the article, but if you can follow a recipe you can build a computer. Just make sure all the stats match. Don't try and put an intel chip into a AMD motherboard, etc.
 
2012-10-11 04:32:58 PM

StoPPeRmobile: ProfessorOhki: soopey: Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS

Also,
[img218.imageshack.us image 614x434]

lol.

That reminds me.

Don't blow your wad on the video card/s. Wait a few months then get it/them.

Unless you don't already have one.


Or just step a few places down on the video card rankings. The cost savings on even a few slots lower than the top of the line are extreme. Then you can have something that is fine for 99% of the stuff on the market and if you do want to upgrade in 3 or 4 years, the graphics card you were going to buy will be about where the one you bought previously was in terms of price.
 
2012-10-11 04:34:09 PM

miniflea: Built my first system recently after years of buying Dell stuff, and it was stupid easy. I even cheated and bought one of Newegg's package deals. Took me far longer to download and install drivers than it did to actually put the components together.


THIS.
 
2012-10-11 04:36:02 PM

Outlawtsar: OK, so to threadjack about homebuilt PC issues - figure this one out for me:

I'm not sure when it started, but every time I cold boot my homebuilt PC these days, it has to start 3 times. Meaning that it starts, the fans start to spin, but before it posts, it powers down. It does that same set of things again, then it does it again, but instead of powering down, it posts. It doesn't seem to have any problems once it is up, and it can hibernate/come out of hibernate just fine, but why would it do 3 boots (and always 3). I would think a short or something would be more random than 3 every single time.

Is it worth tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch or do I just deal?


Your PC obviously has OCD.
 
2012-10-11 04:37:11 PM

StoPPeRmobile: ProfessorOhki: soopey: Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS

Also,
[img218.imageshack.us image 614x434]

lol.

That reminds me.

Don't blow your wad on the video card/s. Wait a few months then get it/them.

Unless you don't already have one.


Guilty as charged. I built a desktop recently. My main machine went from being a convertible tablet which wasn't a complete slouch (dual-core 2.4Ghz/4GB RAM was passable for 2008), but the ATI HD3200 was... eeeh. So I was in the mind set of, "I want a desktop and one that will last for a while," and went a bit overboard.

/And that's the story of my GTX680
 
2012-10-11 04:38:52 PM

Treygreen13: StoPPeRmobile: ProfessorOhki: soopey: Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS

Also,
[img218.imageshack.us image 614x434]

lol.

That reminds me.

Don't blow your wad on the video card/s. Wait a few months then get it/them.

Unless you don't already have one.

Or just step a few places down on the video card rankings. The cost savings on even a few slots lower than the top of the line are extreme. Then you can have something that is fine for 99% of the stuff on the market and if you do want to upgrade in 3 or 4 years, the graphics card you were going to buy will be about where the one you bought previously was in terms of price.


I know a quite a few people who take cards a few tiers down, but stick two of them in SLI/CrossFire and end up getting more performance/cost out of it than a higher end card.
 
2012-10-11 04:39:00 PM

FormlessOne: xanadian: Also: Building a computer these days, though not for the faint of heart, isn't exactly a Herculean feat, either. Just RTFMs, have a steady hand, and have some patience. If you can't do any of the previous 3, pack that shiat back up, return it, and dude...you're getting a Dell!

This. I've been doing it for over 20 years, and it's ridiculously easy compared to the horrifying maze of compliance & compatibility that it used to be when I started. I regularly build machines - typically, every 18-24 months - for home use, and I've done so at work when needed, as well. Compared to what it was like even a decade ago, it's like playing with friggin' Legos now.


This as well. Ridiculously easy to build nowadays...I think the most difficult part of my last build was getting the add-on RAID controller to work, and that just required 10 min of RTFM.

/CSB
//Remembers the bad old days when you had to solder RAM onto the board
///My lawn, off of it
 
2012-10-11 04:41:36 PM

ProfessorOhki: StoPPeRmobile: ProfessorOhki: soopey: Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS

Also,
[img218.imageshack.us image 614x434]

lol.

That reminds me.

Don't blow your wad on the video card/s. Wait a few months then get it/them.

Unless you don't already have one.

Guilty as charged. I built a desktop recently. My main machine went from being a convertible tablet which wasn't a complete slouch (dual-core 2.4Ghz/4GB RAM was passable for 2008), but the ATI HD3200 was... eeeh. So I was in the mind set of, "I want a desktop and one that will last for a while," and went a bit overboard.

/And that's the story of my GTX680


I'm guessing that your frame rate's aren't that bad however.

/Got a GT 610
//Pretty happy with it
///Dying to get a SSD
 
2012-10-11 04:42:35 PM

Outlawtsar: OK, so to threadjack about homebuilt PC issues - figure this one out for me:

I'm not sure when it started, but every time I cold boot my homebuilt PC these days, it has to start 3 times. Meaning that it starts, the fans start to spin, but before it posts, it powers down. It does that same set of things again, then it does it again, but instead of powering down, it posts. It doesn't seem to have any problems once it is up, and it can hibernate/come out of hibernate just fine, but why would it do 3 boots (and always 3). I would think a short or something would be more random than 3 every single time.

Is it worth tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch or do I just deal?


Second vote for double checking the power supply. Sounds like the capacitors aren't holding a charge properly, had something similar happened to me in the past. Could also need to re-seat the CPU. If it's not a secure connection, you won't get POST-beeps. But I'd start with PSU.
 
2012-10-11 04:42:37 PM

Outlawtsar: It doesn't seem to have any problems once it is up, and it can hibernate/come out of hibernate just fine, but why would it do 3 boots (and always 3).


Rebooting exactly three times is a symptom of an incorrect Intel Management Engine firmware. It cannot load the saved values, and has to initialize (which takes two reboots) every time. Flash the ME to the level that matches your overall BIOS to cure it.

/Difficulty: Figuring out which level of ME is needed and the proper update procedure for your board will be on the level of learning what John Kerry ate for lunch on a given day in 1967.
//The guy who said power supply may be on the right track if it's not the ME firmware
 
2012-10-11 04:45:19 PM

thrasherrr: Outlawtsar: It doesn't seem to have any problems once it is up, and it can hibernate/come out of hibernate just fine, but why would it do 3 boots (and always 3).

Rebooting exactly three times is a symptom of an incorrect Intel Management Engine firmware. It cannot load the saved values, and has to initialize (which takes two reboots) every time. Flash the ME to the level that matches your overall BIOS to cure it.

/Difficulty: Figuring out which level of ME is needed and the proper update procedure for your board will be on the level of learning what John Kerry ate for lunch on a given day in 1967.
//The guy who said power supply may be on the right track if it's not the ME firmware


It's been my experience that power supply issues are rarely as consistent as described, but it's definitely one of the first things you should check. Of course he'll know for sure if its a power supply issue if it starts to shut down unexpectedly, but that might take a while to begin occurring.
 
2012-10-11 04:48:43 PM
Did you have to configure IRQ settings?

If not, your PC was not hard to build.
 
2012-10-11 04:50:11 PM
I actually liked most of Cracked, but this was unreadably boring and stupid. fark you subby.
 
2012-10-11 04:51:24 PM

Treygreen13: thrasherrr: Outlawtsar: It doesn't seem to have any problems once it is up, and it can hibernate/come out of hibernate just fine, but why would it do 3 boots (and always 3).

Rebooting exactly three times is a symptom of an incorrect Intel Management Engine firmware. It cannot load the saved values, and has to initialize (which takes two reboots) every time. Flash the ME to the level that matches your overall BIOS to cure it.

/Difficulty: Figuring out which level of ME is needed and the proper update procedure for your board will be on the level of learning what John Kerry ate for lunch on a given day in 1967.
//The guy who said power supply may be on the right track if it's not the ME firmware

It's been my experience that power supply issues are rarely as consistent as described, but it's definitely one of the first things you should check. Of course he'll know for sure if its a power supply issue if it starts to shut down unexpectedly, but that might take a while to begin occurring.


PSU's can be wonky and not all Mobo's and PSU's get along. One of my older gaming rigs did something similar to Outlawstar's problem, PC ran fine as long as I didn't turn it off, but it was a biatch to get on if I lost power (usually leave my rigs on.) Tried swapping everything but the PSU, it was an 850w on a Core 2 Duo/Nvidia GeForce 285/ 1 HD/ 4GB ram, so I know I had plenty of power capacity. Finally swapped the PSU out as a last resort and haven't had a problem since. Eventually used that same PSU in the same rig, but with a different mainboard/CPU, but same GPU and configuration as above. No problems. Don't know why, but that PSU and Mainboard just didn't get along.
 
2012-10-11 04:52:21 PM
Building PC's are for pussies. Try building a Mac server with off the shelf parts, then get back to me.
 
2012-10-11 04:54:36 PM

swahnhennessy: I like a lot of Cracked stuff. Seanbaby remains the funniest person on the internet. But that was bad. Now I know how people who hate Cracked feel.


I actually agree.
Farkers are always hammering on Cracked, and it's not THAT bad.

Damnit.
 
2012-10-11 04:55:47 PM

ProfessorOhki: Treygreen13: StoPPeRmobile: ProfessorOhki: soopey: Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS

Also,
[img218.imageshack.us image 614x434]

lol.

That reminds me.

Don't blow your wad on the video card/s. Wait a few months then get it/them.

Unless you don't already have one.

Or just step a few places down on the video card rankings. The cost savings on even a few slots lower than the top of the line are extreme. Then you can have something that is fine for 99% of the stuff on the market and if you do want to upgrade in 3 or 4 years, the graphics card you were going to buy will be about where the one you bought previously was in terms of price.

I know a quite a few people who take cards a few tiers down, but stick two of them in SLI/CrossFire and end up getting more performance/cost out of it than a higher end card.


That seems to be a trend, but I would advise against springing for a 3rd card. Not only do very few motherboards actually support 3-way, chances are your performance will not increase much (and in some benchmark tests, I have actually seen performance go down, though I'm not sure what would cause that to happen).

I've been speccing out my own build for a few years now, mostly waiting because my laptop still gets me through, I don't really have room for a new computer at home, and I don't feel comfortable with spending the money. When purchasing parts, I do recommend you do your research about your motherboard, processor, ram, and OS. For my build, I'm only looking at one graphics card for right now, but with a mobo that would support installing a second card later, for when I might need to boost the performance a bit.
 
2012-10-11 04:56:03 PM
I teach computer building as a kind of fun adult ed class. It's not difficult. I spent about four hours explaining terminology and real-world distinctions between products, go through process of sourcing parts using Newegg and Amazon, give my students some time to figure out what they want and want to do, sign off that they're buying parts that work together (they spend their own money). After that, it takes about 90 minutes to assemble their parts for people who haven't done that before, 20 minutes to load Windows, another 30 minutes to handle drivers and basic software (thank you ninite.com) and a variable amount of time to deal with transferring user data, set up backups and configure weirdo software that's unique to any one student's needs.

In 12 years of teaching computer building classes - including a couple rooms full of developmentally disabled 14 year olds - I've had one person damage a computer part.

It's really not hard and it is a lot of fun.

Homebuilt machines are still cheaper than name brand. The more expensive the systems, the greater the differential. I couldn't touch an 8GB i3 system with an Intel 180GB SSD and 250GB HDD for the $530 it costs me to build one.
 
2012-10-11 05:00:10 PM

qsblues: Try building a Mac server with off the shelf parts, then get back to me.


Isn't "Server" OSX just a $50 add-on to regular OSX? Hackintoshes aren't that impressive either.
 
2012-10-11 05:02:04 PM
Building a computer isn't that hard, provided that you do your homework beforehand and RTFM before building. I have what is called by medical professionals "sausage fingers", and it still only took me ~3 hours to physically build my first "homemade" computer.

Of course, I spent ~100 hours with research and preparations beforehand, but better that then ending up like this guy...

anongallery.org
 
2012-10-11 05:03:45 PM
My current home system is about 5 years old. I built it myself and went way over my needs in the specifications so that it would last at least 5 years. Despite its age, it's still way over powered for the things I do, which is typical online crap and video games. Since I bought it I've had to replace two parts. The video card died, so I was forced to upgrade to a newer and faster model (oh, darn). A few months ago the power supply died and required a replacement. Even if it were under powered, I could just replace the two dual-core processors with quad-cores (yes, the motherboard supports that).
 
2012-10-11 05:06:51 PM
That was stupid even by Cracked's standards.
 
2012-10-11 05:07:58 PM

Rwa2play: ProfessorOhki: StoPPeRmobile: ProfessorOhki: soopey: Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS

Also,
[img218.imageshack.us image 614x434]

lol.

That reminds me.

Don't blow your wad on the video card/s. Wait a few months then get it/them.

Unless you don't already have one.

Guilty as charged. I built a desktop recently. My main machine went from being a convertible tablet which wasn't a complete slouch (dual-core 2.4Ghz/4GB RAM was passable for 2008), but the ATI HD3200 was... eeeh. So I was in the mind set of, "I want a desktop and one that will last for a while," and went a bit overboard.

/And that's the story of my GTX680

I'm guessing that your frame rate's aren't that bad however.

/Got a GT 610
//Pretty happy with it
///Dying to get a SSD


I wouldn't worry about an SSD right now. First, they're still really expensive, and if they crash, there's no possibility to get at the data. Its not like a hard drive where if you REALLY wanted to, someone you reconstruct the plates or recover the files forensically. They're GONE. Second, the only real benefit you would see is in initial startup, as they don't offer much in the way of actually making programs run faster or better. I think eventually (read: 2-3 years tops) we'll start seeing the price come down to something that is much more affordable, and it will be common place for people to get use to creating a boot drive on the SSD and having their programs and files somewhere else.
 
2012-10-11 05:09:41 PM

mcmnky: Did you have to configure IRQ settings?

If not, your PC was not hard to build.


Did you optimize your conventional memory manually?

If you used QEMM, congratulations, you're an MCSE. :P
 
2012-10-11 05:12:25 PM

IamSoSmart_S_M_R_T: FormlessOne: xanadian: Also: Building a computer these days, though not for the faint of heart, isn't exactly a Herculean feat, either. Just RTFMs, have a steady hand, and have some patience. If you can't do any of the previous 3, pack that shiat back up, return it, and dude...you're getting a Dell!

This. I've been doing it for over 20 years, and it's ridiculously easy compared to the horrifying maze of compliance & compatibility that it used to be when I started. I regularly build machines - typically, every 18-24 months - for home use, and I've done so at work when needed, as well. Compared to what it was like even a decade ago, it's like playing with friggin' Legos now.

This as well. Ridiculously easy to build nowadays...I think the most difficult part of my last build was getting the add-on RAID controller to work, and that just required 10 min of RTFM.

/CSB
//Remembers the bad old days when you had to solder RAM onto the board
///My lawn, off of it


Wha?

I've upgraded memory in machines ranging from a Radio Shack Color Computer to a Cray J90 and I've never had to solder memory in.
 
2012-10-11 05:15:40 PM

Slaxl: I had my doubts when he went at the motherboard hard with a screwdriver, using it as a lever to work in the heatsink onto the CPU.


That's how it's supposed to be done, dude. Some of the old heatsinks have a flathead slot so you can use your screwdriver to hook the heatsink onto the board.
 
2012-10-11 05:17:37 PM
Heck, the first PCs I built were 100mHz Pentiums. I would dig motherboards and other parts out of the dumpster behind work and cobble one together. I usually took three or four PCs of parts to build one working PC. I only fried one when I put the CPU in wrong. This was before the CPUs were keyed to fit only one way. I thought I was Pimp Daddy when I built a 133mHz Pentium with 32MB or RAM and on board IDE controllers. (Remember the old ISA IDE cards?)

Outlawtsar: I'm not sure when it started, but every time I cold boot my homebuilt PC these days, it has to start 3 times. Meaning that it starts, the fans start to spin, but before it posts, it powers down. It does that same set of things again, then it does it again, but instead of powering down, it posts.


We have Dell PCs that do the very same thing. New, out of the box PCs. You power it on and just when you think it'll POST, it will power back down. You have to press the button a second time for it it come up all the way. A BIOS flash usually corrects it, but not every time.
 
2012-10-11 05:19:01 PM

RexTalionis: How hard is it to build a computer these days? It's all standardized connectors and plug and play now!


The only thing I hate is fitting the CPU. I buy mobo bundles (Mobo + chip + cooler + RAM) and then do the rest myself.

If you've got your own MSDN sub, it works out cheaper than something off-the-shelf
 
2012-10-11 05:21:10 PM

farkeruk: I buy mobo bundles (Mobo + chip + cooler + RAM) and then do the rest myself.


The stock heatsink and fans are loud. I hate them.

I use something similar to this:
benchmarkreviews.com
 
2012-10-11 05:24:04 PM
Building a PC isn't that hard, but there are special obstacles you may not anticipate. A lot of video cards today are freaking huge and may not physically fit in your case (I've also had to remove fans and HD slots to make room for everything). Not everything may come with the right adapters or cords, so expect at least 1 Radio Shack run (unless you have a big Rubbermaid bin full of misc cords and tiny screws like I do). If you buy 7 components, assume at least 1 will be DOA, usually a RAM stick.

My protip: Download your internet and video drivers before you install and keep them on a thumb drive. Trying to operate a PC without a working video driver is painful at best (some MB's come with built in chipsets)

As far as graphics cards go, its way more cost effective to buy a good graphics card (not top of the line) and replace it in 2 years than to buy the absolute best card on the market.

When planning your build, post it on the Asperser's squad over at Newegg.com tech forums and within minutes they will let you know if you have a problem.
 
2012-10-11 05:26:01 PM

Magnanimous_J: As far as graphics cards go, its way more cost effective to buy a good graphics card (not top of the line) and replace it in 2 years than to buy the absolute best card on the market.


My next build will feature an AMD Trinity APU running in Crossfire mode with a relatively cheap Radeon.
 
2012-10-11 05:26:25 PM

Havokmon: mcmnky: Did you have to configure IRQ settings?

If not, your PC was not hard to build.

Did you optimize your conventional memory manually?

If you used QEMM, congratulations, you're an MCSE. :P


Thanks. Years of therapy...gone.
 
2012-10-11 05:28:40 PM

DarthBart:
Wha?

I've upgraded memory in machines ranging from a Radio Shack Color Computer to a Cray J90 and I've never had to solder memory in.


I don't recall the brand offhand (it's been almost 30 years now?), but it held true for the Amiga 2500:

"It included 2Mb of 32bit Fast RAM expandable to 4Mb RAM if you were handy with a soldering iron and felt comfortable handling the uniquely packaged fragile ZIP (Zigzag Inline Package) chips!"
 
2012-10-11 05:29:31 PM

StoPPeRmobile: That reminds me.

Don't blow your wad on the video card/s.



THIS

They never show the picture right afterwards, and it smells like fried eggs and bleach.
 
2012-10-11 05:31:57 PM

biyaaatci: StoPPeRmobile: That reminds me.

Don't blow your wad on the video card/s.


THIS

They never show the picture right afterwards, and it smells like fried eggs and bleach.


Besides, you gotta have something left to put between the CPU and its heatsink.
 
2012-10-11 05:36:24 PM
RexTalionis: How hard is it to build a computer these days? It's all standardized connectors and plug and play now!

The hardest part about building/working on computers today is shiatty cases.

// happy computer assembly starts with a decent case.

// do they still sell steel cases? I still have scars from the lacerations I earned while working in those things.
 
2012-10-11 05:39:22 PM
It's been implied several times, but not specified, so I will:

When building your own PC, do NOT scrimp on the power supply.

/get off my lawn if you haven't had to shoehorn shiat into 640k
//and, yeah, I always order my CPU/MB together. Even if you pay a little more for the chip - I've just had too many problems with wonkiness and at least if you get them both together and they don't work, you won't have your chip vendor blaming the MB or vice versa
 
2012-10-11 05:41:08 PM

xanadian: Also: Building a computer these days, though not for the faint of heart, isn't exactly a Herculean feat, either. Just RTFMs, have a steady hand, and have some patience. If you can't do any of the previous 3, pack that shiat back up, return it, and dude...you're getting a Dell!


It always amazes me how this somehow becomes such an Herculean task that it stumps even the most educated people and causes them to give up on even the easiest of task with the excuse of "I'm not a technician".
 
2012-10-11 05:42:07 PM

ongbok: xanadian: Also: Building a computer these days, though not for the faint of heart, isn't exactly a Herculean feat, either. Just RTFMs, have a steady hand, and have some patience. If you can't do any of the previous 3, pack that shiat back up, return it, and dude...you're getting a Dell!

It always amazes me how this somehow becomes such an Herculean task that it stumps even the most educated people and causes them to give up on even the easiest of task with the excuse of "I'm not a technician".


500 million people will buy and assemble their own furniture from IKEA but when it comes to putting stuff into slots in a computer - it's rocket science.
 
2012-10-11 05:42:56 PM
My cpu and mb are coming up on six years old now and doing fine, although I've upgraded RAM, storage space, and the video card since then.

I remember the one thing that always put the fear of God into me was installing the heatsink. Slipping the end of a screwdriver into the slot and prying the tab into place. I always expected to hear a sickening snap as I put pressure on the components.

And as someone mentioned above, trying the squeeze my sausagelike fingers into that tangle of cards and wires to try to put in a new drive, switch out Ram, or just plug in a fan. Hoping you don't break a pin or a board or knock something out of alignment. I'd almost always come away with at least one scratch.
 
2012-10-11 05:43:19 PM

jon787: Building your dream PC. What the experts don't tell you.


Aug 06, 2001
 
2012-10-11 05:43:55 PM
UberDave :Turns out it was the relatively new one-switch overclock feature ASUS added to their boards and it was set to "on". Doh!

The last board I built had a power, reset, and clear CMOS button built RIGHT into the mobo.

www.techspot.com

shiat, who even needs a case now.?
 
2012-10-11 05:45:57 PM

Celerian: I wouldn't worry about an SSD right now. First, they're still really expensive, and if they crash, there's no possibility to get at the data. Its not like a hard drive where if you REALLY wanted to, someone you reconstruct the plates or recover the files forensically. They're GONE. Second, the only real benefit you would see is in initial startup, as they don't offer much in the way of actually making programs run faster or better. I think eventually (read: 2-3 years tops) we'll start seeing the price come down to something that is much more affordable, and it will be common place for people to get use to creating a boot drive on the SSD and having their programs and files somewhere else.


Wait, what?

Here's the short version: The BEST upgrade you can make to your computer today is to get a small 128 GB - 256 GB drive for the OS (I need 256 GB), and any programs you commonly use, and then use the bigger drives to store your data. It just feels snappier. 

Regular hard drive:
Price: ~$.05-$.10/GB
Capacity: Up to 4TB.
Speed: ~100MBps sequential, ~1MBps random. (So it's great for videos, not so hot for anything that requires pulling stuff off lots of different spots on the drive at once like booting up your computer).
Boot time: ~ 5 minutes.

SSD:
Price: ~$1/GB. (So a 250GB drive is ~$250). Since they WERE $4/GB or more, this is historically low and getting lower.
Capacity: up to 512 GB. (There might be bigger. I haven't seen any, but that doesn't mean they don't exist)
Speed: ~700MBps sequential, ~350 MBps random.
Boot Time: ~ 30 seconds.
 
2012-10-11 05:48:30 PM
mcmnky:Did you have to configure IRQ settings?

My old work machine (about four machines ago), had a problem with the video card/video driver. So this was a daily thing.



// made it hard to work from home because I wasn't sure if the machine would be up, or sitting at a BSOD.

// also, rebooting the machine remotely was also problematic, because I could never be sure that the machine would come up fully. And once it's at a BSOD, the game is over (and I have to drive in).
 
2012-10-11 05:52:18 PM

Lando Lincoln: Because People in power are Stupid: I don't really get it. Doesn't even mention the hard parts so that's not really building your own computer.

As a veteran computer builder, I got a lot of laughs out of it.


I also found it fairly amusing.

\I just wish at some point in step one he told you to start hot-swapping HD's
 
2012-10-11 05:52:51 PM

Treygreen13: ongbok: xanadian: Also: Building a computer these days, though not for the faint of heart, isn't exactly a Herculean feat, either. Just RTFMs, have a steady hand, and have some patience. If you can't do any of the previous 3, pack that shiat back up, return it, and dude...you're getting a Dell!

It always amazes me how this somehow becomes such an Herculean task that it stumps even the most educated people and causes them to give up on even the easiest of task with the excuse of "I'm not a technician".

500 million people will buy and assemble their own furniture from IKEA but when it comes to putting stuff into slots in a computer - it's rocket science.


or try to figure out how to program the channels on their T.V. or turn off the default parental settings on their new DVD player.

I bet you IKEA has a helpdesk for people to call. They have to, because you can't possibly be able to put together IKEA furniture but can't figure out how to look in the instruction manual of your DVD player to figure out how to input 0000 to turn off the parental controls on your dvd player.
 
2012-10-11 05:53:17 PM

Hardy-r-r: jon787: Building your dream PC. What the experts don't tell you.

Aug 06, 2001


Also from the same site as "How to tell if your son is a computer hacker" (#6: Does your son use Quake?)

God, I miss adequacy. Most trolls nowadays just blow their load within 1 or 2 posts. Adequacy went in dry and kept you coming back for more.

Even K5 couldn't match them.
 
2012-10-11 05:54:05 PM

ProfessorOhki: StoPPeRmobile: ProfessorOhki: soopey: Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS

Also,
[img218.imageshack.us image 614x434]

lol.

That reminds me.

Don't blow your wad on the video card/s. Wait a few months then get it/them.

Unless you don't already have one.

Guilty as charged. I built a desktop recently. My main machine went from being a convertible tablet which wasn't a complete slouch (dual-core 2.4Ghz/4GB RAM was passable for 2008), but the ATI HD3200 was... eeeh. So I was in the mind set of, "I want a desktop and one that will last for a while," and went a bit overboard.

/And that's the story of my GTX680


Sounds like a TX2500 or TX2. I always found them brilliant for a portable but would never consider them a primary.
 
2012-10-11 05:59:09 PM

meyerkev: Here's the short version: The BEST upgrade you can make to your computer today is to get a small 128 GB - 256 GB drive for the OS (I need 256 GB), and any programs you commonly use, and then use the bigger drives to store your data. It just feels snappier.


Would you put games on the boot drive or the storage drive?
 
2012-10-11 05:59:13 PM
farkeruk: The only thing I hate is fitting the CPU. I buy mobo bundles (Mobo + chip + cooler + RAM) and then do the rest myself.

Ditto,

I'm all fine and dandy with "insert card A into slot B" and "insert screw X into mounting bracket Y", but when it comes to putting thermal compound on a heat sink/cpu, I get queasy and start to second guess myself.

// because, in the life of a machine, how often do you mount the heat sink compared to the number of times you move drives or cards around.
 
2012-10-11 06:06:12 PM

Magnanimous_J: meyerkev: Here's the short version: The BEST upgrade you can make to your computer today is to get a small 128 GB - 256 GB drive for the OS (I need 256 GB), and any programs you commonly use, and then use the bigger drives to store your data. It just feels snappier.

Would you put games on the boot drive or the storage drive?


If you do what I did and just raid0 a pair of 256GB vertex 4s you don't really care at that point :D

/Previously though with just a single 120GB SSD I'd put the OS on it and try to install all the apps/games(steam) to the storage drive (a raid of 7200s) but then for my favoured games du jour I'd use creative mklink'ing to move the appropriate folder for them over to the SSD and make a link back to where the OS/steam thinks it is...tada SSD speed ala carte.

/Same with creating Ram drives out of the ridiculously cheap 16GB DDR3 kits.
// 9GB/sec transfer out of those even at 1600Mhz Dualchannel, wooosh!
 
2012-10-11 06:08:48 PM

lordargent: farkeruk: The only thing I hate is fitting the CPU. I buy mobo bundles (Mobo + chip + cooler + RAM) and then do the rest myself.

Ditto,

I'm all fine and dandy with "insert card A into slot B" and "insert screw X into mounting bracket Y", but when it comes to putting thermal compound on a heat sink/cpu, I get queasy and start to second guess myself.

// because, in the life of a machine, how often do you mount the heat sink compared to the number of times you move drives or cards around.


Why is that?
Most folks won't need to remount the heat sink ever again, but every now and then when I think about it, (every 4-5 months or so) I'll decide I need to clean out the computer case and heatsinks that have accumulated bunches of dust and shiat. I'll usually end up removing the heatsink from the cpu entirely, cleaning the old gunk off and reapplying. Currently on the 3rd year with this machine, will likely build another one after it's 4th year and hand this one down to my kid after I do a few minor upgrades.
 
2012-10-11 06:11:06 PM

mcmnky: Did you have to configure IRQ settings?

If not, your PC was not hard to build.


Well, you just brought back some memories. Some bad memories.

Anyway, since people keep mentioning video cards, anybody got a recommendation for a good mid-range one?
 
2012-10-11 06:12:29 PM

RexTalionis: farkeruk: I buy mobo bundles (Mobo + chip + cooler + RAM) and then do the rest myself.

The stock heatsink and fans are loud. I hate them.

I use something similar to this:
[benchmarkreviews.com image 517x600]


that looks like a funky pastry of tits from outerspace
 
2012-10-11 06:12:35 PM

mesmer242: Anyway, since people keep mentioning video cards, anybody got a recommendation for a good mid-range one?


GeForce 560.
 
2012-10-11 06:13:35 PM

Magnanimous_J: meyerkev: Here's the short version: The BEST upgrade you can make to your computer today is to get a small 128 GB - 256 GB drive for the OS (I need 256 GB), and any programs you commonly use, and then use the bigger drives to store your data. It just feels snappier.

Would you put games on the boot drive or the storage drive?


It depends.

Putting it on the SSD will reduce load times. (Guild Wars 2 on Desktop HDD: 30 second loading times, Laptop SSD: 10 seconds). In exchange, if you have a 30GB game, you're paying $60 for the game, and $30 for the hard drive space it's on. So it depends on how much you hate loading screens, and how much free space you have on your SSD.
 
2012-10-11 06:15:20 PM

RexTalionis: mesmer242: Anyway, since people keep mentioning video cards, anybody got a recommendation for a good mid-range one?

GeForce 560.


Yup those guys were very standard issue last year for sure. No 660s (released) yet so its the 560 or pick from AMD's lineup.
 
2012-10-11 06:17:41 PM

dyhchong: ProfessorOhki: StoPPeRmobile: ProfessorOhki: soopey: Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS

Also,
[img218.imageshack.us image 614x434]

lol.

That reminds me.

Don't blow your wad on the video card/s. Wait a few months then get it/them.

Unless you don't already have one.

Guilty as charged. I built a desktop recently. My main machine went from being a convertible tablet which wasn't a complete slouch (dual-core 2.4Ghz/4GB RAM was passable for 2008), but the ATI HD3200 was... eeeh. So I was in the mind set of, "I want a desktop and one that will last for a while," and went a bit overboard.

/And that's the story of my GTX680

Sounds like a TX2500 or TX2. I always found them brilliant for a portable but would never consider them a primary.


Yeah, a TX2z. Neat little thing esp with an external monitor. I'd love to just use it as an input device for my desktop now. Unfortunately, it's gotten this weird error where it forgets it has a primary display. It'll work fine with an external display. But here's where it gets weird - if you do a hard power off - like tear the battery out while it's running, sometimes... sometimes... it will come back on with the primary display working again. It's not a fuzzy, it's going out - it's a "the backlight isn't even on" vs. "works like the day I got it."

If anyone's got any ideas, I'd appreciate 'em. It's not drivers or the OS, because even off of a live CD you get no screen. Some people have complained of bad solder joints, but I'd expect that to be more intermittent.
 
2012-10-11 06:20:27 PM

mesmer242: mcmnky: Did you have to configure IRQ settings?

If not, your PC was not hard to build.

Well, you just brought back some memories. Some bad memories.

Anyway, since people keep mentioning video cards, anybody got a recommendation for a good mid-range one?


Define mid-range.

Link Scroll down and you'll see the mid-level GPU's listed at various price brackets. Luckily, the last couple months have seen some pretty major price drops.
 
2012-10-11 06:20:39 PM
rickycal78 : Most folks won't need to remount the heat sink ever again,

Everything else is rigid and confined, applying thermal compound isn't ... the potential for chaos is immense.

Is this enough paste? Or will the CPU melt down in a few weeks? Is this too much paste? Is it going to goosh out the side? etc.

I friggin hate that stuff.
 
2012-10-11 06:24:17 PM

rickycal78: lordargent: farkeruk: The only thing I hate is fitting the CPU. I buy mobo bundles (Mobo + chip + cooler + RAM) and then do the rest myself.

Ditto,

I'm all fine and dandy with "insert card A into slot B" and "insert screw X into mounting bracket Y", but when it comes to putting thermal compound on a heat sink/cpu, I get queasy and start to second guess myself.

// because, in the life of a machine, how often do you mount the heat sink compared to the number of times you move drives or cards around.

Why is that?
Most folks won't need to remount the heat sink ever again, but every now and then when I think about it, (every 4-5 months or so) I'll decide I need to clean out the computer case and heatsinks that have accumulated bunches of dust and shiat. I'll usually end up removing the heatsink from the cpu entirely, cleaning the old gunk off and reapplying. Currently on the 3rd year with this machine, will likely build another one after it's 4th year and hand this one down to my kid after I do a few minor upgrades.


For me, it's because it's the one thing you can't verify. You can see if a card is seated, you can see if a plug is mated. To see if you got even coverage and no bubbles, you'd have to pull off the heatsink, undoing all your work. Outside of temp measurements, you don't know if something's wrong until it's too late. Hotspots are bad. Not to mention CPUs tend to be one of the bigger ticket items in a PC.
 
2012-10-11 06:25:04 PM

lordargent: rickycal78 : Most folks won't need to remount the heat sink ever again,

Everything else is rigid and confined, applying thermal compound isn't ... the potential for chaos is immense.

Is this enough paste? Or will the CPU melt down in a few weeks? Is this too much paste? Is it going to goosh out the side? etc.

I friggin hate that stuff.


You really don't need much paste at all. If you buy a tube or syringe of compound you'll likely never need to buy another one. It really only takes a very thin layer of the stuff to do it's job. Just make sure you take some rubbing alcohol or something of that nature that dries extremely fast and get rid of that stupid heat transfer square that gets stuck on a lot of stock heatsinks before you start.
 
2012-10-11 06:26:33 PM

lordargent: Is this enough paste? Or will the CPU melt down in a few weeks? Is this too much paste? Is it going to goosh out the side? etc.


Grain of rice-sized compound, spread evenly with a credit card. It shouldn't be some sort of nerve-racking experience.
 
2012-10-11 06:28:06 PM
The whole idea with thermal compound is that less is better. What you want is just enough to fill in the microscopic imperfections on the mating surface of the CPU and the heatsink. If you put too much, it interferes with thermal conductance. Always err on the side of less, as long as you get even coverage all around.
 
2012-10-11 06:32:14 PM

Outlawtsar: Is it worth tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch or do I just deal?


Check the fans inside the machine and on the GPU, one might not be firing up or getting up to an 'acceptable' speed in time for the BIOS to be happy with. Dust, grunge and general wear & tear on them can cause this... as can a fan failing because well sometimes they do.

I'd also make sure you've not done something dumb like trying to get 350w PSU to drive a Core i7 and a 680.

But it's probably either dust or age related and beyond the time required to de grunge stuff or swap a duff fan out a very easy thing to fix. I mean you can check for bad caps as well but that isn't that common.
 
2012-10-11 06:37:27 PM

BumpInTheNight: RexTalionis: mesmer242: Anyway, since people keep mentioning video cards, anybody got a recommendation for a good mid-range one?

GeForce 560.

Yup those guys were very standard issue last year for sure. No 660s (released) yet so its the 560 or pick from AMD's lineup.


What.
 
2012-10-11 06:37:45 PM

Outlawtsar: OK, so to threadjack about homebuilt PC issues - figure this one out for me:

I'm not sure when it started, but every time I cold boot my homebuilt PC these days, it has to start 3 times. Meaning that it starts, the fans start to spin, but before it posts, it powers down. It does that same set of things again, then it does it again, but instead of powering down, it posts. It doesn't seem to have any problems once it is up, and it can hibernate/come out of hibernate just fine, but why would it do 3 boots (and always 3). I would think a short or something would be more random than 3 every single time.

Is it worth tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch or do I just deal?


Modern/capable motherboard that's trying to auto-detect and test for ram speed/timing but it somehow isn't remembering that? That confounded the crap out of me with the current build(Asus WS Revolution MB + some corsair ram called vengeance or some such), the ram sticks weren't on its official compatibility list so by default the motherboard would attempt to find an optimal setting for it and it'd reboot several times during that process. Resolved by going in and just telling it what timing it should use manually, it stopped doing that.
 
2012-10-11 06:39:31 PM

RexTalionis: lordargent: Is this enough paste? Or will the CPU melt down in a few weeks? Is this too much paste? Is it going to goosh out the side? etc.

Grain of rice-sized compound, spread evenly with a credit card. It shouldn't be some sort of nerve-racking experience.


I usually use my finger in a sandwich baggie to spread the paste, but yeah, that's about right. Some people have even told me that spreading it is completely unnecessary; you just put it in the center of the CPU and let the pressure from the heatsink spread it out.
 
2012-10-11 06:40:02 PM

meyerkev: Putting it on the SSD will reduce load times. (Guild Wars 2 on Desktop HDD: 30 second loading times, Laptop SSD: 10 seconds). In exchange, if you have a 30GB game, you're paying $60 for the game, and $30 for the hard drive space it's on. So it depends on how much you hate loading screens, and how much free space you have on your SSD.


But if you're moving games around, like maybe you have your current favourite game on the SSD and park other things elsewhere, it's not really $30 for the game.

Personally, I'm getting one when Win 8 comes out. It'll cost me something like £100 for a 256GB SSD + £25 for the Windows upgrade. I'll have to do a convert to Win 8, then Ghost the drive onto an SSD.
 
2012-10-11 06:40:12 PM

HeartBurnKid: What.


Yah, doh, I realized afterwards the link I'd checked was dated for September so they were likely released by this point.
 
2012-10-11 06:42:48 PM

HeartBurnKid: Some people have even told me that spreading it is completely unnecessary; you just put it in the center of the CPU and let the pressure from the heatsink spread it out.


That's great if you don't want to get an even distribution of the compound:

img216.imageshack.us
 
2012-10-11 06:43:32 PM

HeartBurnKid: RexTalionis: lordargent: Is this enough paste? Or will the CPU melt down in a few weeks? Is this too much paste? Is it going to goosh out the side? etc.

Grain of rice-sized compound, spread evenly with a credit card. It shouldn't be some sort of nerve-racking experience.

I usually use my finger in a sandwich baggie to spread the paste, but yeah, that's about right. Some people have even told me that spreading it is completely unnecessary; you just put it in the center of the CPU and let the pressure from the heatsink spread it out.


Eh, that doesn't work all that well unless you're using oversized blobs of compound. I tend to use a bit larger blobs than RexTalionis mentioned, but that's more for ease of spreading it and I always end up wiping off some excess.
 
2012-10-11 06:44:04 PM
i herd the Abit BH6 with a Celeron 266 can be overclocked to like 448 mhz right out of the BOX!!!
 
2012-10-11 06:46:08 PM

HeartBurnKid: RexTalionis: lordargent: Is this enough paste? Or will the CPU melt down in a few weeks? Is this too much paste? Is it going to goosh out the side? etc.

Grain of rice-sized compound, spread evenly with a credit card. It shouldn't be some sort of nerve-racking experience.

I usually use my finger in a sandwich baggie to spread the paste, but yeah, that's about right. Some people have even told me that spreading it is completely unnecessary; you just put it in the center of the CPU and let the pressure from the heatsink spread it out.


Watch this video.
 
2012-10-11 06:47:47 PM

RexTalionis: HeartBurnKid: Some people have even told me that spreading it is completely unnecessary; you just put it in the center of the CPU and let the pressure from the heatsink spread it out.

That's great if you don't want to get an even distribution of the compound:

[img216.imageshack.us image 320x240]


Link - I still don't trust it though. I'm one of those paranoid people who spends 20 minutes with a razor blade trying to get it even at a few mils.
 
2012-10-11 06:48:48 PM

RexTalionis: HeartBurnKid: RexTalionis: lordargent: Is this enough paste? Or will the CPU melt down in a few weeks? Is this too much paste? Is it going to goosh out the side? etc.

Grain of rice-sized compound, spread evenly with a credit card. It shouldn't be some sort of nerve-racking experience.

I usually use my finger in a sandwich baggie to spread the paste, but yeah, that's about right. Some people have even told me that spreading it is completely unnecessary; you just put it in the center of the CPU and let the pressure from the heatsink spread it out.

Watch this video.


Well, that was uncanny. Guess I should have hit refresh.

/Tiny fist
 
2012-10-11 07:00:16 PM
If you think building a PC is difficult nowdays, you're a whiny little biatch. Back in my day we had to memorize our HD's stats and enter them into the BIOS by hand, then set the proper master/slave jumper and plug it in with a big fragile ribbon cable.

You children and your fancy plug and play, get off my lawn.
 
2012-10-11 07:01:45 PM

MrEricSir: If you think building a PC is difficult nowdays, you're a whiny little biatch. Back in my day we had to memorize our HD's stats and enter them into the BIOS by hand, then set the proper master/slave jumper and plug it in with a big fragile ribbon cable.

You children and your fancy plug and play, get off my lawn.


Goddamn, you must be old! Building computers before the invention of writing...
 
2012-10-11 07:02:17 PM
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-10-11 07:10:16 PM
You wouldn't think being able to get from power off to web browsing in 20 seconds on your desktop is big deal. It is. Loading just your OS on a SSD is worth every penny. The responsiveness of Windows is out of this world. Get a 64gb SSD now. Just do it already.
 
2012-10-11 07:12:43 PM

drewsclues: You wouldn't think being able to get from power off to web browsing in 20 seconds on your desktop is big deal. It is. Loading just your OS on a SSD is worth every penny. The responsiveness of Windows is out of this world. Get a 64gb SSD now. Just do it already.


I'll second this. At least for me, it made me willing to turn it on / off or hibernate it where I hadn't before because the startup time was so painful. A decent bit of power savings.
 
2012-10-11 07:40:45 PM
First time I built a computer I researched, bought some tgings at Fry's some from Newegg, took me a week to get all the kinks out (I knew nothing about hardware). Six months later I learned the importance of surge protectors and replaced everything but the processor and 1 stick of RAM and had it going in minutes.
 
2012-10-11 07:48:18 PM
RexTalionis: Grain of rice-sized compound, spread evenly with a credit card. It shouldn't be some sort of nerve-racking experience.

I know how to do it, and I've done it plenty of times and haven't ever blown a CPU as a result of it.

I just don't like to do it because I know the potential is there and I look at it and think "damn, there should be a better material for this by now".

// I felt the same about IDE cables and their propensity to develop bent pins ... but now we have SATA

// had an old IDE cable once where the pin had been bent back in place so much that it just snapped off in the drive, THAT was fun.
 
2012-10-11 07:58:55 PM
But, I want to costumize my mac...
 
2012-10-11 07:58:57 PM

lordargent: // had an old IDE cable once where the pin had been bent back in place so much that it just snapped off in the drive, THAT was fun.


I'm pretty sure that, on IDE, the cable had the female connectors, not the male.
 
2012-10-11 08:07:21 PM

jon787: Building your dream PC. What the experts don't tell you.


That is some of the best stuff I have read in a long time.

Holy God.
 
2012-10-11 08:17:42 PM

qsblues: Building PC's are for pussies. Try building a Mac server with off the shelf parts, then get back to me.


Been there. Done that. Even used a vanilla kernel. Not terribly hard as long as you're careful about driver support for your hardware.
 
2012-10-11 08:18:10 PM

Zarquon's Flat Tire: Six months later I learned the importance of surge protectors and replaced everything but the processor and 1 stick of RAM and had it going in minutes.


As I learned (the hard way) surges can be just as dangerous as brownouts. Always make backups, and always use a good UPS.
 
2012-10-11 08:22:09 PM
don't buy your mobo from newegg they don't care what quality they send you and won't refund.
 
2012-10-11 08:34:45 PM
drewsclues: You wouldn't think being able to get from power off to web browsing in 20 seconds on your desktop is big deal. It is. Loading just your OS on a SSD is worth every penny. The responsiveness of Windows is out of this world. Get a 64gb SSD now. Just do it already.

I have an older small (40GB) Intel SSD in the desktop. I took stats when I first installed it.

The SSD drive
lordargent.com

VS a 500 GB Western Digital Blue
lordargent.com

VS 2x500 GB Western Digital Blue drives (in RAID 1 via MDADM in Linux)
lordargent.com

VS the 60 GB OCX drive I put in my laptop about a year later.
lordargent.com

// I'm sure they have way faster stuff now
 
2012-10-11 08:41:25 PM
HeartBurnKid: I'm pretty sure that, on IDE, the cable had the female connectors, not the male.

The pin was misaligned with the connector (so the head of the pin was touching the flat part of the connector).

The pin got pushed back into the hole that it comes out of in the drive, and snapped off.

// It wasn't me that bent the pin/hamfisted the drive.
 
2012-10-11 08:44:20 PM
I miss the old days of setting dozens of jumpers on my 8086 mobo and graphics cards and sound cards. Glaring at a yellowish monochrome screen for hours typing in BASIC programs,,Switching out memory chips. Configuring the loader files, himemsys, all the fun stuff.

I wasn't even in middle school at the time.
 
2012-10-11 08:47:53 PM

Plant Rights Activist: don't buy your mobo from newegg they don't care what quality they send you and won't refund.


Really? Never had a problem with stuff from Newegg. I've had a couple bad sticks of RAM over the years and have returned them for free replacements.

As far as for what quality they send you, that's YOUR job to do the research for a decent quality mobo, or any piece of hardware. I haven't often heard of Newegg giving anyone a hassle over returns or replacements though.
 
2012-10-11 08:52:14 PM

MrEricSir: Zarquon's Flat Tire: Six months later I learned the importance of surge protectors and replaced everything but the processor and 1 stick of RAM and had it going in minutes.

As I learned (the hard way) surges can be just as dangerous as brownouts. Always make backups, and always use a good UPS.


I liked the apartment managment denying there was any surge when my friend's computer also blew out at the same time, 12 floors up.
 
2012-10-11 08:55:05 PM
First and second comments on that page:

by eWulf on Mon Aug 6th, 2001 at 06:08:52 AM PST
Will building a computer this way work with AOL?

by Tycho on Mon Aug 6th, 2001 at 06:09:53 AM PST
I need to know this as well

I don't know why, but I started laughing so hard I was crying.
 
2012-10-11 09:05:36 PM

mcmnky: Did you have to configure IRQ settings?

If not, your PC was not hard to build.


*shudder*

/so...many...command-line prompts...
 
2012-10-11 09:07:46 PM

lordargent:
// I'm sure they have way faster stuff now


Aye, and its just mind boggling:
imageshack.us
 
2012-10-11 09:11:01 PM
Plenty of people advocating SSDs. I agree with them whole heartedly. Could not be any more happier with an SSD for the OS. They're much cheaper than before. Heck I bought my 128 GB Crucial M4 SSD for $180 and that was a steal at the time. Now if you wait for a sale you can get it for $80.

My brother didn't understand the fuss about SSDs so I installed my old Crucial 64 GB C300 drive on his computer. He had a i7 920 with 8GB RAM and X58 Intel mobo with some old Seagate 1 TB HDD with 5400 RPM. Before installing the SSD bootup time was like 5 mins or so. Transferring large files took ages. Program installations took a good time. All in all I told my brother that his computer should not be that much slower than mine when I have an i5 2500k with 16 GB RAM. My computer is supposed to be 20-30% faster in all tasks but it seemed mine was at least %50 faster.

Once I loaded SSD on his computer everything was flying and boot time was less than a min. Programs installed on the fly. Games loaded so much faster.

I'm telling you guys without an SSD. Get one.
 
2012-10-11 09:18:25 PM
BumpInTheNight : Aye, and its just mind boggling:

I was talking about SSDs though, you've got a zebra RAID there.

// OCZ put out something that does 500 earlier this year.

// striping, yuck :P
 
2012-10-11 09:22:03 PM

meyerkev: mesmer242: mcmnky: Did you have to configure IRQ settings?

If not, your PC was not hard to build.

Well, you just brought back some memories. Some bad memories.

Anyway, since people keep mentioning video cards, anybody got a recommendation for a good mid-range one?

Define mid-range.

Link Scroll down and you'll see the mid-level GPU's listed at various price brackets. Luckily, the last couple months have seen some pretty major price drops.


That is awesomely helpful, thanks! We look at budget before specs so that's exactly the kind of data we needed.
 
2012-10-11 09:33:14 PM

roflmaonow: Plenty of people advocating SSDs. I agree with them whole heartedly. Could not be any more happier with an SSD for the OS. They're much cheaper than before. Heck I bought my 128 GB Crucial M4 SSD for $180 and that was a steal at the time. Now if you wait for a sale you can get it for $80.

My brother didn't understand the fuss about SSDs so I installed my old Crucial 64 GB C300 drive on his computer. He had a i7 920 with 8GB RAM and X58 Intel mobo with some old Seagate 1 TB HDD with 5400 RPM. Before installing the SSD bootup time was like 5 mins or so. Transferring large files took ages. Program installations took a good time. All in all I told my brother that his computer should not be that much slower than mine when I have an i5 2500k with 16 GB RAM. My computer is supposed to be 20-30% faster in all tasks but it seemed mine was at least %50 faster.

Once I loaded SSD on his computer everything was flying and boot time was less than a min. Programs installed on the fly. Games loaded so much faster.

I'm telling you guys without an SSD. Get one.


Can't reiterate that enough - SSDs are the way to go, if you can afford to do so. The gaming machine I built a year or so ago has an Intel X25-M 80GB SSD and a WD 300GB Velociraptor. System files on the SSD, data files on the Velociraptor, and startup is ridiculously fast.

The prices for SSDs are also dropping fast, too. I'm looking forward to building my next machine.
 
2012-10-11 09:34:15 PM

SolomonKing: First and second comments on that page:

by eWulf on Mon Aug 6th, 2001 at 06:08:52 AM PST
Will building a computer this way work with AOL?

by Tycho on Mon Aug 6th, 2001 at 06:09:53 AM PST
I need to know this as well

I don't know why, but I started laughing so hard I was crying.


Holy...crap?
 
2012-10-11 09:40:03 PM

xenomorpheus: I miss the old days of setting dozens of jumpers on my 8086 mobo and graphics cards and sound cards. Glaring at a yellowish monochrome screen for hours typing in BASIC programs,,Switching out memory chips. Configuring the loader files, himemsys, all the fun stuff.

I wasn't even in middle school at the time.


*Internet High Five*

My first computer was a Kaypro 8088 so I went through much of the same stuff and I also was still in gradeschool.

/CSB
 
2012-10-11 10:07:02 PM

mesmer242: mcmnky: Did you have to configure IRQ settings?

If not, your PC was not hard to build.

Well, you just brought back some memories. Some bad memories.

Anyway, since people keep mentioning video cards, anybody got a recommendation for a good mid-range one?


Depends on what your idea of midrange is. If you play games at or below 1080p, Newegg is having a sale on a dandy of a card right now Link for $142. Or one step down from that, the 7770 goes on sale every now and then for sub-$100, great card that uses little power.
 
2012-10-11 10:22:35 PM
The hard part is getting the duck to stand still when attaching th electrodes.
 
2012-10-11 10:40:09 PM

mcmnky: Did you have to configure IRQ settings?

If not, your PC was not hard to build.


This. Or if you didn't have to unplug, let the electrons evaporate, pray to the computer gods, plug back in your ISA drive controller for the umpteenth time then your PC was not hard to build.
 
2012-10-11 11:05:04 PM
About the whole SSD thing.

Don't SSD dies have limited writes? I've heard of drives going tits up in 6 months because they've reached their write limit. Is that still true?
 
2012-10-11 11:20:10 PM

BigLuca: mesmer242: mcmnky: Did you have to configure IRQ settings?

If not, your PC was not hard to build.

Well, you just brought back some memories. Some bad memories.

Anyway, since people keep mentioning video cards, anybody got a recommendation for a good mid-range one?

Depends on what your idea of midrange is. If you play games at or below 1080p, Newegg is having a sale on a dandy of a card right now Link for $142. Or one step down from that, the 7770 goes on sale every now and then for sub-$100, great card that uses little power.


Yeah, I think the 7770 is the other option.... might wait until black friday/cyber monday at this point though to try to snag a really good deal on it. Went to slickdeals and they already have the forum open for it. WTF, the holidays are sneaking up this year.
 
2012-10-11 11:56:21 PM

CygnusDarius: But, I want to costumize my mac...


Put a mask and big nose on it, then.
 
2012-10-12 12:12:11 AM

maq0r: About the whole SSD thing.

Don't SSD dies have limited writes? I've heard of drives going tits up in 6 months because they've reached their write limit. Is that still true?


Yes, but the newer ones have much better lifetimes, measured in years. And remember, it's the writes that degrade the SSD, not the reads.

Since RAM is cheap and SSDs are expensive, the first thing you do is bone up on your total memory for your system and shut off the goddamn page file by turning off virtual memory. "Virtual memory" - your page file - is the biggest culprit for disk I/O on Windows consumer machines. Turn off the Windows hibernation option as well. If your system boots in 15 seconds, you don't need any of that shiat.

The bulk of data transfer for any hard drive will be from reading, not writing. As long as you minimize writes to normal use (without that goddamn page file) your SSD is going to last as long as your computer, if not longer.

Naturally, if you're running a server of some sort with high disk I/O, the SSD is going to fail sooner. Then again, so will a regular hard drive.
 
2012-10-12 12:20:33 AM
i remember when buying a PCI soundcard was absolutely essential. Those were strange times
 
2012-10-12 12:24:22 AM

Lsherm: maq0r: About the whole SSD thing.

Don't SSD dies have limited writes? I've heard of drives going tits up in 6 months because they've reached their write limit. Is that still true?

Yes, but the newer ones have much better lifetimes, measured in years. And remember, it's the writes that degrade the SSD, not the reads.

Since RAM is cheap and SSDs are expensive, the first thing you do is bone up on your total memory for your system and shut off the goddamn page file by turning off virtual memory. "Virtual memory" - your page file - is the biggest culprit for disk I/O on Windows consumer machines. Turn off the Windows hibernation option as well. If your system boots in 15 seconds, you don't need any of that shiat.

The bulk of data transfer for any hard drive will be from reading, not writing. As long as you minimize writes to normal use (without that goddamn page file) your SSD is going to last as long as your computer, if not longer.

Naturally, if you're running a server of some sort with high disk I/O, the SSD is going to fail sooner. Then again, so will a regular hard drive.


And isn't this why they suggest that you load your OS on the SSD drive and have apps and data on a separate non SSD drive?
 
2012-10-12 12:46:05 AM

RexTalionis: farkeruk: I buy mobo bundles (Mobo + chip + cooler + RAM) and then do the rest myself.

The stock heatsink and fans are loud. I hate them.

I use something similar to this:
[benchmarkreviews.com image 517x600]



The Phenom II (X6 1075 in my case) black box heatsink/fans are surprisingly quiet. *However* I first tried to fit a Silent Knight II onto an M5A99X EVO (ASUS) and it would not secure without moving around. That pissed me off. It's an ASUS board with an ASUS Heat Sink/Fan. WTF?! So, I went with what came with the CPU.

I like quiet. And that means Antec P-series cases. I have a P280 right now. I didn't think they could make a more silent case than the P190 but they did. Of course, the only noise I get is from the damn single Diamond Radeon 6890. I don't know why, and I've always loved Ati/Amd radeon cards, but they have *never*, regardless of card manufacturer, installed quiet or sometimes even reliable fans on those damn things (oh yes, it's fun using solvent on the farking thermal cement they use along with a damn screw driver). 


Pretty...with lights n' stuff...

s13.postimage.org
 
2012-10-12 12:59:23 AM
Lsherm: Since RAM is cheap and SSDs are expensive, the first thing you do is bone up on your total memory for your system and shut off the goddamn page file by turning off virtual memory. "Virtual memory" - your page file - is the biggest culprit for disk I/O on Windows consumer machines. Turn off the Windows hibernation option as well. If your system boots in 15 seconds, you don't need any of that shiat.

That

// for linux users with lots of ram.

1) disable swap (note, if you run out of ram, things will start crashing with out of memory errors ... I have 12 gigs and if that gets used up, something is very wrong).
2) move /tmp to ram (you've got plenty of ram, so why should programs be writing their transient files to disk? RAM is faster than even an SSD anyway)
3) enable trim
 
2012-10-12 01:01:31 AM
Should I have not bought that used SATA drive on eBay?
 
2012-10-12 01:07:09 AM
Eh...got over that long time ago, I've built enough.

Now, I prefer to have a local vendor to discuss the specs with...
price out and purchase the components...as I need.

Have them assemble it for a decent fee, burn it in...warantee the HW for a year.

I'll do the OS and otherwise myself.
Keep it clean.

I hate the friggin' name-brand packages...glutted.
Only for a simple laptop if for that, if necessary. Desktop is still my main.
 
2012-10-12 01:33:43 AM

ongbok: Lsherm: maq0r: About the whole SSD thing.

Don't SSD dies have limited writes? I've heard of drives going tits up in 6 months because they've reached their write limit. Is that still true?

Yes, but the newer ones have much better lifetimes, measured in years. And remember, it's the writes that degrade the SSD, not the reads.

Since RAM is cheap and SSDs are expensive, the first thing you do is bone up on your total memory for your system and shut off the goddamn page file by turning off virtual memory. "Virtual memory" - your page file - is the biggest culprit for disk I/O on Windows consumer machines. Turn off the Windows hibernation option as well. If your system boots in 15 seconds, you don't need any of that shiat.

The bulk of data transfer for any hard drive will be from reading, not writing. As long as you minimize writes to normal use (without that goddamn page file) your SSD is going to last as long as your computer, if not longer.

Naturally, if you're running a server of some sort with high disk I/O, the SSD is going to fail sooner. Then again, so will a regular hard drive.

And isn't this why they suggest that you load your OS on the SSD drive and have apps and data on a separate non SSD drive?


No, they suggest that because SSDs are expensive for the total storage you get. Apps and Data should be on a different drive because they can be isolated on far cheaper drives.

Consumer SSDs still go bad because of excessive writes to a page file. The earlier ones would last over a year without any tweaking for a grandma user, but those weren't the people buying them. The new ones will last a few years based on the same grandma metric. Otherwise, kill off the virtual memory and use the SSD as intended: mostly very fast read.
 
2012-10-12 02:10:47 AM

xanadian: Also: Building a computer these days, though not for the faint of heart, isn't exactly a Herculean feat, either.


If you want a challenge, try to get Linux and Windows 7 dual-booting in EFI mode on an Intel DZ77GA-70K motherboard. Holy fark do some BIOS programmers need a good cock-punching.
 
2012-10-12 03:30:46 AM
Microsoft should sell its OS pre-installed on a SSD.
 
2012-10-12 05:07:46 AM
God that was painfully unfunny. I couldn't make it very far.

/and for the record, there are plenty of Cracked articles I do find amusing; I'm not some blanket Cracked hater
//I'm not sure, but I may have complained at some points about how unreliable they can be on historical matters -- but then, to be fair, it's a humor site, not Encyclopedia Britannica 
 
2012-10-12 05:24:25 AM
No one has built their own computer since the late 70s.

Saying you built your own today would be like saying you built your own furniture that required assembly.
 
2012-10-12 05:32:47 AM

RexTalionis: Slaxl: I had my doubts when he went at the motherboard hard with a screwdriver, using it as a lever to work in the heatsink onto the CPU.

That's how it's supposed to be done, dude. Some of the old heatsinks have a flathead slot so you can use your screwdriver to hook the heatsink onto the board.


This one didn't, and as a result the screwdriver kept slipping and smashing into the motherboard, scarring lines across imprinted circuits.
 
2012-10-12 05:34:23 AM

lordargent: 1) disable swap (note, if you run out of ram, things will start crashing with out of memory errors ... I have 12 gigs and if that gets used up, something is very wrong).
2) move /tmp to ram (you've got plenty of ram, so why should programs be writing their transient files to disk? RAM is faster than even an SSD anyway)


1. Don't disable swap. Turn down /proc/sys/vm/swappiness if you'd like, but let swap do what it was supposed to do -- take unused things out of RAM. Obviously you don't want to be swapping in active processes, but you would like idle page to stop using memory that could go to your disk cache/etc. How often do you print? Wouldn't you be willing to wait another 1.4 seconds to swap CUPS back into RAM for the sake of getting to use that RAM for the 99.8% of the day when you're not printing? Also swap is particularly important when you...

2. Move /tmp to a tmpfs, not a ramfs. If you disable swap these are effectively the same, but if you have a swap partition this will allow old, unused files in /tmp to migrate to disk instead of taking up memory space. Most distros are not configured to proactively remove files from /tmp on a short timescale, so it's easy to end up with lots of cruft that hasn't been touched for hours or days and there's no reason that can't be pushed to disk.
 
2012-10-12 05:39:23 AM

Ivo Shandor: Holy fark do some BIOS programmers need a good cock-punching.


They've all been dead since the mid-80s. The folks who need punching are the idiots that keep shipping motherboards with 30-year-old pre-boot-environments. Sure, maybe you want to provide an emulated BIOS to allow old boot-time ROMs to run (say for HBA cards and the like), but that's easy enough in EFI or any similar environment. There's really no excuse to still be shipping BIOS-enabled anything on modern computers, and there hasn't been for years.
 
2012-10-12 06:31:11 AM

Celerian: I wouldn't worry about an SSD right now. First, they're still really expensive, and if they crash, there's no possibility to get at the data. Its not like a hard drive where if you REALLY wanted to, someone you reconstruct the plates or recover the files forensically. They're GONE. Second, the only real benefit you would see is in initial startup, as they don't offer much in the way of actually making programs run faster or better. I think eventually (read: 2-3 years tops) we'll start seeing the price come down to something that is much more affordable, and it will be common place for people to get use to creating a boot drive on the SSD and having their programs and files somewhere else.


At that point, it would seem to me to make more sense to have a flashable (and replaceable) firmware boot chip on the board itself. Why have a whole drive for it, if that's all you're going to use it for?
 
2012-10-12 06:32:45 AM

DarthBart: I've upgraded memory in machines ranging from a Radio Shack Color Computer to a Cray J90 and I've never had to solder memory in.


Same here. But it was probably true before the '80s. I wouldn't be surprised if the first Apple required it.
 
2012-10-12 06:40:23 AM

Magnanimous_J: When planning your build, post it on the Asperser's squad over at Newegg.com tech forums and within minutes they will let you know if you have a problem.


So it's like Fark, then.
 
2012-10-12 06:45:28 AM

Hardy-r-r: jon787: Building your dream PC. What the experts don't tell you.

Aug 06, 2001


Thanks, expert. Where would we be without out? O right, onto the next interesting comment already.
 
2012-10-12 06:56:15 AM

meyerkev: Regular hard drive:
Price: ~$.05-$.10/GB
Capacity: Up to 4TB.
Speed: ~100MBps sequential, ~1MBps random. (So it's great for videos, not so hot for anything that requires pulling stuff off lots of different spots on the drive at once like booting up your computer).
Boot time: ~ 5 minutes.

SSD:
Price: ~$1/GB. (So a 250GB drive is ~$250). Since they WERE $4/GB or more, this is historically low and getting lower.
Capacity: up to 512 GB. (There might be bigger. I haven't seen any, but that doesn't mean they don't exist)
Speed: ~700MBps sequential, ~350 MBps random.
Boot Time: ~ 30 seconds.


If I'm reading this right, SSD costs 10-20 times as much per GB, but tops out at only seven times the speed. I'm trying to figure why I'd want to bleed that much to save -- by your numbers -- maybe four and a half minutes. I can see the DOD, NSA, CIA, FBI, Mossad, Mi6, or the like seeing a real benefit to that, but I can't think of anything I use my computer for that would justify it. In all the decades I've been using computers, I've never once had the kind of computer-related emergency where those four minutes would justify that much extra cost, especially given that I'd have to replace the driver sooner, and irrevocably lose everything on it when it goes. (Yes, use it only for OS and apps, blah blah -- or only for boot?)

If and when the price comes down to only seven times as much, or less, I'll very strongly consider it.
 
2012-10-12 06:56:23 AM

lordargent: BumpInTheNight : Aye, and its just mind boggling:

I was talking about SSDs though, you've got a zebra RAID there.

// OCZ put out something that does 500 earlier this year.

// striping, yuck :P


Hehehe yah that's a pair of its slightly cheaper/GB cousins slapped together, figured what else are those sata3 ports gonna be used for except for plowing head on into the danger zone at full afterburn :P
 
2012-10-12 07:04:45 AM

Magnanimous_J: meyerkev: Here's the short version: The BEST upgrade you can make to your computer today is to get a small 128 GB - 256 GB drive for the OS (I need 256 GB), and any programs you commonly use, and then use the bigger drives to store your data. It just feels snappier.

Would you put games on the boot drive or the storage drive?


The way I had it explained to me (simplifying a bit) is like this:

SSD is much faster, but it's also more volatile. When it goes, it goes, and takes everything with it. There is no chance for data retrieval after it bricks. And right now, they last maybe half as long as a daily-use HDD, if that. (And cost more, but that's not relevant as a technical issue.)

The setup I've seen recommended by a number of sources is to put the OS and apps -- and games are apps, too -- on the SSD (primary drive) and 'data' on a large standard HDD (secondary drive). The first set here refers to things you can easily restore from backups you have on hand, and that's mostly all the programs that you want to run -- OS, apps, and so on. 'Data' here refers to things that are harder to replace if you don't back them regularly, such as all your personal material.

So the setup described (and let me say right here that I'm NOT an expert in this area, just parroting what I've read and heard) would have you put the game itself on the SSD, and game player's data (saves and so on) on the HDD. Though I don't know if all games will let you do that. My own advice would be that if you can't have the game on one drive and save player data on the other, either accept that you could lose it all at some point, find a way to back it up when you want to, or else keep it all on the HDD. (You'll have to forgive me, as I'm also a bit ignorant about 'serious' PC games.)
 
2012-10-12 07:29:40 AM

Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: Should I have not bought that used SATA drive on eBay?


Depends on what kind of porn you enjoy.
 
2012-10-12 07:41:09 AM

Ivo Shandor: xanadian: Also: Building a computer these days, though not for the faint of heart, isn't exactly a Herculean feat, either.

If you want a challenge, try to get Linux and Windows 7 dual-booting in EFI mode on an Intel DZ77GA-70K motherboard. Holy fark do some BIOS programmers need a good cock-punching.


If I'm reading the references correctly, you're talking about forcing an I/O firmware standard that was formally deprecated seven years ago onto a brand-new mobo probably not designed for long-deprecated standards. I'll bet it's got some issues with floppy drives, too.
 
2012-10-12 07:46:20 AM

Isildur: God that was painfully unfunny. I couldn't make it very far.

/and for the record, there are plenty of Cracked articles I do find amusing; I'm not some blanket Cracked hater
//I'm not sure, but I may have complained at some points about how unreliable they can be on historical matters -- but then, to be fair, it's a humor site, not Encyclopedia Britannica


Yeah, it's basically a bluer version of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader for the Internet. I love those books, but I've embarrassed myself plenty of times by parroting stuff I read in them, until I figured out that their factchecking sucks even more than their editing. Still fun to read, as long as you don't assume anything in them in correct. Same for Cracked. It's not the Economist.
 
2012-10-12 08:00:26 AM

lordargent: I know how to do it, and I've done it plenty of times and haven't ever blown a CPU as a result of it.

I just don't like to do it because I know the potential is there and I look at it and think "damn, there should be a better material for this by now".


And the other thing is "what value am I getting from this?"

The difference in performance between having my perfect choice of i7 processor and mobo vs buying a pack is almost insignificant. Memory, hard drive and network speed is where it's at. So, get someone else to do the dirty work on the crap that makes little difference, then I'll stick the hard drive in.
 
2012-10-12 08:31:39 AM
BLIMEY a cracked article that is actually a humor piece rather than a misguided rant with some puns thrown in no wonder people are confused about it.
 
2012-10-12 08:55:25 AM

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: meyerkev: Regular hard drive:
Price: ~$.05-$.10/GB
Capacity: Up to 4TB.
Speed: ~100MBps sequential, ~1MBps random. (So it's great for videos, not so hot for anything that requires pulling stuff off lots of different spots on the drive at once like booting up your computer).
Boot time: ~ 5 minutes.

SSD:
Price: ~$1/GB. (So a 250GB drive is ~$250). Since they WERE $4/GB or more, this is historically low and getting lower.
Capacity: up to 512 GB. (There might be bigger. I haven't seen any, but that doesn't mean they don't exist)
Speed: ~700MBps sequential, ~350 MBps random.
Boot Time: ~ 30 seconds.

If I'm reading this right, SSD costs 10-20 times as much per GB, but tops out at only seven times the speed. I'm trying to figure why I'd want to bleed that much to save -- by your numbers -- maybe four and a half minutes every time I turn on my computer, plus a few seconds any time I do large reads from disk, plus a few milliseconds every time I do any reads from disk, which makes the computer feel way snappier, and old-style computers feel broken. I can see the DOD, NSA, CIA, FBI, Mossad, Mi6, or the like seeing a real benefit to that, but I can't think of anything I use my computer for that would justify it. In all the decades I've been using computers, I've never once had the kind of computer-related emergency where those four minutes would justify that much extra cost, especially given that I'd have to replace the driver sooner, and irrevocably lose everything on it when it goes. (Yes, use it only for OS and apps, blah blah -- or only for boot?)

If and when the price comes down to only seven times as much, or less, I'll very strongly consider it.


Key points added and bolded.

And while the old ones had write issues, the new ones are good for 5 years or more unless you're rewriting the entire disk every day. (And I remember hearing somewhere that even after you "ran out of writes", you could still read, so you'd just mount it like a normal drive, and copy all the data off onto a new drive after 5 or 10 years. Can't find any info either way though in my quick searching). 

/Of course, the way prices have been falling, it'll be 7x within a year or two.
 
2012-10-12 08:57:50 AM
This thread is much better than the article
 
2012-10-12 09:26:33 AM

meyerkev: every time I turn on my computer, plus a few seconds any time I do large reads from disk, plus a few milliseconds every time I do any reads from disk, which makes the computer feel way snappier, and old-style computers feel broken


THIS

I'm getting an SSD soon (after Win 8 upgrade) because I saw the effect of doing a build in Visual Studio and then debugging a website. If you're debugging, doing little fixes and then relaunching, it's really slow. The cost of £100 compared to the annoying frustration of current VS speeds will pay for itself in a month or two.
 
2012-10-12 09:41:21 AM
The first PC I built was a 286. Although that one really doesnt count since I was just using parts found around my friends garage (his dad works at IBM), this was back when SCSI was king. The first PC I built for myself using my own cash was a 486/66, which at the time was godlike. Ran it off dos 5 on a 3.5, swapped disk to run programs for local bbs's and games. Took me months before I could afford a hard drive. Yes i'm too farking old and should just die already.


I have built dozens of computers for myself and others over the years, maybe over a hundred. And today, sadly I am struggling to find another I.T job. Yea shiatty story bro.
 
2012-10-12 09:42:59 AM
I know this isn't the best video out there to portray the difference between traditional HDD vs SSDs but it is a valid example of real life use. Ignore the theatrics in the video, the point still stands.

Link
 
2012-10-12 11:28:10 AM
I've built plenty of PCs and the only problem I have had is where the manual has missed something and the addendum to it is stored in some obscure place on the manufacturer's website, or when the manual covers the hardware portion of the product and neglects to mention some weird feature of the software.

I had a Gigabyte board from a bunch of years ago that the manual neglected to mention which port the CPU fan absolutely needed to be plugged into. Not a hard problem to figure out, but there was no info on it anywhere in the manual. I could see how that could mess up someone who never installed a CPU fan before.

My most recent Asus board has a network "optimizer" in the drivers which for some reason picks the first thing you do on the net as the most important thing ever and to hell with anything else you want to do. So when I downloaded drivers it worked great, but It timed out almost every other task on the network. The off switch for it was buried in driver bloatware. I found it by accident when I was looking for something else. I just about broke that board in half over the frustration I had with it.
 
2012-10-12 11:33:23 AM

Rockstone: This thread is much better than the article


I was about to say the same thing. Great minds think alike.
 
2012-10-12 11:39:05 AM

soopey: Only hard part is trying to contort your fingers to get that fan power plug onto the most improbably placed header ever.


Plug the fan in before you mount it and the problem goes away.

Slaxl: I learned a lot by building my own PCs, lots of trial and error. The very first time I ever tried I asked the help of a friend who said he was tech savvy, I had my doubts when he went at the motherboard hard with a screwdriver, using it as a lever to work in the heatsink onto the CPU. Lesson 1 was don't let other people touch your stuff, lesson 2 is be gentle and never force anything. I didn't learn that one straight away, though, because I tried upgrading some RAM but didn't realise that you had different types of sockets, I just bought RAM and tried putting it in, and when it didn't go I tried harder, and harder, until I cracked the motherboard. Lesson 3 was learn what everything is so I don't buy the wrong stuff again.

Silly me.


All the heatsinks have to be very solidly pressed against the CPU. I can't recall using a screwdriver to mount one but there were definitely some that required levering with a screwdriver to get them off. (You had to compress a spring enough to get a clip off a catch.)

Celerian: I wouldn't worry about an SSD right now. First, they're still really expensive, and if they crash, there's no possibility to get at the data. Its not like a hard drive where if you REALLY wanted to, someone you reconstruct the plates or recover the files forensically. They're GONE. Second, the only real benefit you would see is in initial startup, as they don't offer much in the way of actually making programs run faster or better. I think eventually (read: 2-3 years tops) we'll start seeing the price come down to something that is much more affordable, and it will be common place for people to get use to creating a boot drive on the SSD and having their programs and files somewhere else.


I disagree. It's a lot more than just startup assuming you're actually asking much of your machine. The thing is most people actually need so little power compared to what they have that the benefit of the SSD is minimal.

GRCooper: It's been implied several times, but not specified, so I will:

When building your own PC, do NOT scrimp on the power supply.


And don't buy el-cheapo supplies, either. I've seen too many machines destroyed by bad power supplies.

/get off my lawn if you haven't had to shoehorn shiat into 640k

640k? My first machine had a whopping 128k, half of which was only accessible via swapping.

Old enough to know better: My cpu and mb are coming up on six years old now and doing fine, although I've upgraded RAM, storage space, and the video card since then.


I upgraded the whole thing because 32-bit/4gb simply doesn't cut it anymore. As it stands right now my machine says it's using about 10gb of ram.

meyerkev: SSD:
Price: ~$1/GB. (So a 250GB drive is ~$250). Since they WERE $4/GB or more, this is historically low and getting lower.
Capacity: up to 512 GB. (There might be bigger. I haven't seen any, but that doesn't mean they don't exist)
Speed: ~700MBps sequential, ~350 MBps random.
Boot Time: ~ 30 seconds.


I believe everything above 512gb is enterprise class equipment. I just put one in this box, ~$.75/GB.

maq0r: About the whole SSD thing.

Don't SSD dies have limited writes? I've heard of drives going tits up in 6 months because they've reached their write limit. Is that still true?


They are write-limited but that's not a big deal. I can't check the life left on the drive that was in this box for 18 months as it's currently sitting on my desk awaiting installation in my laptop. The last I checked it it was at 99%, though. The new one is only a few weeks old, of course it still shows 100%.

farkeruk: meyerkev: every time I turn on my computer, plus a few seconds any time I do large reads from disk, plus a few milliseconds every time I do any reads from disk, which makes the computer feel way snappier, and old-style computers feel broken

THIS

I'm getting an SSD soon (after Win 8 upgrade) because I saw the effect of doing a build in Visual Studio and then debugging a website. If you're debugging, doing little fixes and then relaunching, it's really slow. The cost of £100 compared to the annoying frustration of current VS speeds will pay for itself in a month or two.


Yup. The difference between VS on my SSD/24gb machine vs slow HDD/4gb machine is incredible. The CPUs aren't all that different, though.

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: If I'm reading this right, SSD costs 10-20 times as much per GB, but tops out at only seven times the speed. I'm trying to figure why I'd want to bleed that much to save -- by your numbers -- maybe four and a half minutes. I can see the DOD, NSA, CIA, FBI, Mossad, Mi6, or the like seeing a real benefit to that, but I can't think of anything I use my computer for that would justify it. In all the decades I've been using computers, I've never once had the kind of computer-related emergency where those four minutes would justify that much extra cost, especially given that I'd have to replace the driver sooner, and irrevocably lose everything on it when it goes. (Yes, use it only for OS and apps, blah blah -- or only for boot?)

If and when the price comes down to only seven times as much, or less, I'll very strongly consider it.


It depends on what you do with your machine. I wouldn't go SSD for the boot times. The issue is if you spend a lot of time waiting while the drive light blinks at you. That's where the SSD shines. It's especially good if you're doing a lot of small disk accesses--a hard disk must reposition the head assembly (~10ms) and wait for the data to come under the head (another ~5ms, there may be some overlap between these two times.) That's the cost for the first byte--you read 100 one-byte files and you're up over 1s for 100 bytes of data. The SSD incurs no positioning costs as every byte is hooked up all the time. Think of the chatter you often hear from your HDD--every little noise there is another head reposition. Moving the head assembly is normally the only source of noise from a HDD.
 
2012-10-12 11:43:38 AM
It's been nearly 20 years since I first built a computer. My programmer boyfriend at the time had bought the components for one (having shopped around for weeks to find the absolute cheapest possible parts), but never got around to assembling it. After the parts had been sitting there for about 3 months, I got sick of waiting and decided to do it myself. I had never even looked inside a case before, but it only took me about half an hour to build it. Installing Debian 0.9somethingorother took a while, especially figuring out how to get X11 working, but everything was up and running by the time he got home from work. I asked him to set up PPP so I could get online, but after two hours of wrestling with it he gave up, so I figured that out myself too.

I've been building my own PCs ever since. Everyone said I was nuts a couple of years ago when I got a sweet deal on a wussy laptop with an upgradable processor, but even that only took me a little over an hour, though I did end up with one extra screw. It's still working fine, though I've had to replace the screen twice now.

Last year I decided for once in my life to buy a prebuilt system. Bad idea. Since I bought it, I've had to replace the power supply (twice), the motherboard, the video card, and the fan. Since I upgraded the dead parts when I replaced them and have since doubled the RAM, I'm going to upgrade the processor and hard drive before the end of the year.

The case and DVD drive are fine though.

/won't be buying a prebuilt system again
 
2012-10-12 11:47:23 AM

roflmaonow: I know this isn't the best video out there to portray the difference between traditional HDD vs SSDs but it is a valid example of real life use. Ignore the theatrics in the video, the point still stands.


There's 2 other benefits to laptop users: lower power consumption and less liable to damage if dropped.
 
2012-10-12 11:49:49 AM
SSDs are getting close to .50 a GB..... Have at it people. Best bang for the buck you can do.
 
2012-10-12 12:17:33 PM

profplump: They've all been dead since the mid-80s. The folks who need punching are the idiots that keep shipping motherboards with 30-year-old pre-boot-environments.


No, this is one of the shiny-new varieties. Intel Visual BIOS, a layer of eye candy slapped on top of that 30-year-old foundation and then duct-taped together with the tentacled horror that is UEFI (sorry, left out the 'U' on my Boobies).
 
2012-10-12 02:40:40 PM
profplump: Don't disable swap. Turn down /proc/sys/vm/swappiness if you'd like, but let swap do what it was supposed to do -- take unused things out of RAM. Obviously you don't want to be swapping in active processes, but you would like idle page to stop using memory that could go to your disk cache/etc. How often do you print? Wouldn't you be willing to wait another 1.4 seconds to swap CUPS back into RAM for the sake of getting to use that RAM for the 99.8% of the day when you're not printing? Also swap is particularly important when you...

Well, we were originally discussing prolonging the life of SSDs. So.

1) I have plenty of RAM, there's no reason for anything to swap (except in the case of unforseeable circumstances, but in my experience, when unforseeable circumstances happen, it's better to kill the offending process than to rely on swapping to save your butt).

2) Even with swappiness at 0, the system will still use the swap on occassion. So if one of your goals is to keep swapping to a SSD, swappiness 0 is not enough.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq

"Even if you have lots of RAM and even if you have a low swappiness value, it is possible that your computer swaps. This can hurt the multitasking performance of your desktop system."

3) Even with swappiness at 0, you still need to have a swap partition mounted or a swap file. On ubuntu IIRC, the default swap partition size is twice the amount of installed RAM (or was it RAM + 2GB for large ram systems? Err, or was that redhat?)

In my case, that would mean putting a 24GB (or 14GB if the second calculation is the right one) swap partition on a 60 GB SSD.

3) I could put the swap on another drive, but that would consume 24 (14?) GB of slightly less expensive drive space.

In any event, after disabling swapping entirely and removing the swap partition, my system seems to perform noticeably faster (though that could be the result of going from 60 swappiness to no swap, in addition to adding a ton of ram).

I've run the box this way for over a year and have not had any major issues (except for that one time I accidentally opened every link in a large RSS feed (over 3000 links) in new tabs and caused firefox to go down in flames ... but this falls under 'unforseeable circumstances').

// Disabling swapping means that you have less RAM to use as a disk cache (so you have to read from disk more often). BUT, the disk we're reading from is a SSD :D

// IMO, the only way to figure out what's right for your system is to tweak it and tweak it until you're comfortable with the results. In my case, I ended up with no swap.

// If I ever have any memory issues, I'll be on newegg buying new sticks. The next step for me is 24 gigs.

// Ohh yeah, I never print either.

2. Move /tmp to a tmpfs, not a ramfs. If you disable swap these are effectively the same.

I've disabled swap :)
 
2012-10-12 10:45:57 PM

meyerkev: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: meyerkev: Regular hard drive:
Price: ~$.05-$.10/GB
Capacity: Up to 4TB.
Speed: ~100MBps sequential, ~1MBps random. (So it's great for videos, not so hot for anything that requires pulling stuff off lots of different spots on the drive at once like booting up your computer).
Boot time: ~ 5 minutes.

SSD:
Price: ~$1/GB. (So a 250GB drive is ~$250). Since they WERE $4/GB or more, this is historically low and getting lower.
Capacity: up to 512 GB. (There might be bigger. I haven't seen any, but that doesn't mean they don't exist)
Speed: ~700MBps sequential, ~350 MBps random.
Boot Time: ~ 30 seconds.

If I'm reading this right, SSD costs 10-20 times as much per GB, but tops out at only seven times the speed. I'm trying to figure why I'd want to bleed that much to save -- by your numbers -- maybe four and a half minutes every time I turn on my computer, plus a few seconds any time I do large reads from disk, plus a few milliseconds every time I do any reads from disk, which makes the computer feel way snappier, and old-style computers feel broken. I can see the DOD, NSA, CIA, FBI, Mossad, Mi6, or the like seeing a real benefit to that, but I can't think of anything I use my computer for that would justify it. In all the decades I've been using computers, I've never once had the kind of computer-related emergency where those four minutes would justify that much extra cost, especially given that I'd have to replace the driver sooner, and irrevocably lose everything on it when it goes. (Yes, use it only for OS and apps, blah blah -- or only for boot?)

If and when the price comes down to only seven times as much, or less, I'll very strongly consider it.

Key points added and bolded.

And while the old ones had write issues, the new ones are good for 5 years or more unless you're rewriting the entire disk every day. (And I remember hearing somewhere that even after you "ran out of writes", you could still read, so you'd just mount it like a normal drive, ...


Whoops, missed that little detail. That is a pretty significant difference, yes.
 
2012-10-12 10:56:17 PM

Farktastic: I've built plenty of PCs and the only problem I have had is where the manual has missed something and the addendum to it is stored in some obscure place on the manufacturer's website, or when the manual covers the hardware portion of the product and neglects to mention some weird feature of the software.

I had a Gigabyte board from a bunch of years ago that the manual neglected to mention which port the CPU fan absolutely needed to be plugged into. Not a hard problem to figure out, but there was no info on it anywhere in the manual. I could see how that could mess up someone who never installed a CPU fan before.

My most recent Asus board has a network "optimizer" in the drivers which for some reason picks the first thing you do on the net as the most important thing ever and to hell with anything else you want to do. So when I downloaded drivers it worked great, but It timed out almost every other task on the network. The off switch for it was buried in driver bloatware. I found it by accident when I was looking for something else. I just about broke that board in half over the frustration I had with it.


My most recent "WFT, are you kidding?!" story has to do with a manufacturer I'm trying hard to still like a lot, Toshiba. I cleaned up, updated, and upgraded my father's Toshi laptop. No hassle, I figured, I've got three of my own. Then the wifi went. And would. not. come. back. ipconfig? No help. Driver? Good. Device? Good. Device I/O? Hahaha, NO. Baffled, I spent a good two or three hours researching online. Eventually, I realised that it had something to do with my turning off all the damn Toshi bloatware at Startup. ::le sigh:: Fine, turned that shiat back on. Working now? Hahaha, no, but got all my bloatware back. Joke's on me. FINALLY -- and mind you, this was four or five hours into an increasingly maddening circle of frustration -- I figured out that turning the bloatware off defaulted some stuff to "off," even when the bloatware was turned back on. I found a bit of bloatware I'd never had to deal with before, though it was there all along, the 'Black Cards' menu. If you've got a Toshiba, you know exactly what this is, even if you don't know they call it that. It's the Fn menu that controls a bunch of stuff. It's part of Toshiba's *totally proprietary* set of system *master* swiches, overriding even CLI-level commands such as ipconfig (which is why that didn't work for me). I had to find that switch that turned those back on, then open them up to find the true wifi master I/O switch. Pissed. Me. Off. Especially because now, I don't know what bloatware can be safely turned off or not, and Toshiba's keeping their cards close to their chest about it. Nicely played, Toshiba.
 
2012-10-13 12:14:23 PM

gglibertine: My programmer boyfriend at the time


Congrats on having a programmer boyfriend? :P What I actually wanted to mention though is programmer != technician and while you'll often find the combo package among us you'll encounter programmers that haven't a freakin clue about anything inside of the box just as much as a technician that hasn't a clue how to write switch statement or know what that even means. But again, good for you for having a programmer boyfriend who was clueless about hardware and installing linux but you managed to figure it out. Good for you. ;)
 
2012-10-14 02:00:14 AM
Also, glad this is here so I have some guidance and advice. Maybe I will get started now...
 
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