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mucksmear
01-10-2003, 05:18 AM
Hello,

Longish post, sorry:

I'm planning to replace my old dell desktop (PII/600mHz) with a workstation for use with Maya. After reading many posts here over the last 3-4 months, I'd like to build the system myself. At this stage, I'm still gathering info about components, methods, considerations, etc.

Question: In addition to the basic components (cpu, mobo, grafix card, HDD, ram, psu, case, etc.) what else is needed?

I assume I'll need to buy cables for the HDD, Optical drives...)

Other than physically assembling the pieces and installing OS and software, what other tasks lay ahead for me? How much if any configuring will I need to do in the Bios, (or physically on the mobo)? What do I need to know or have to get everything ready to install the OS?

background info:

My experience level here is between low and non-existant although I've had to wipe my current and previous systems on occasion, to re-install Windows after various inevitable problems with W95 and W98 (cough!). And I've had reasonable success installing various other pnp devices, but i guess that's why they're called pnp. But that is about the extent of it.

As young Skywalker once said, "I'm not afraid." (no Yoda responses please).

btw, I have read animationartist.com's article on building a graphics workstation.

Many thanks for any additional help, suggestions or pointers.
-Elliot

wgreenlee1
01-10-2003, 05:24 AM
Build it (http://www.buildpc.net/) or build it... (http://www.mysuperpc.com/)

MaDSheeP
01-10-2003, 05:26 AM
well... i would say... steal a friend who has put together a pc before... it isn't too difficult... but you can potentially fry an expensive piece of hardware..

i could type up step by step on how to do it.. but to be honest... my friend helped me with my first one, and TechTV answered the rest, with one of their week long 'building a pc' segments :)

also, Hard drives come with cables :)

Valkyrien
01-10-2003, 05:43 AM
i'm doing it myself, flying by the seat of my pants:) I already have everything but the mobo, CPU, and RAM, and the plan is to plug everything into the appropriate sockets, hit the power switch, and hope nothing explodes;)

MaDSheeP
01-10-2003, 05:53 AM
just make sure that you lay the motherboard out on a clean table, ontop of its foam mat that it comes with, and attach the ram and processor then... otherwise, you could potentially bend the motherboard since it requires so much pressure to do it :)

at least, thats what i did, i have installed ram while the board was in the case, but... i don't like how the board flexes when i do that... ::shrug::

singularity2006
01-10-2003, 06:53 AM
the toughest part about building the workstation, in my humble opinion, is figuring out a really damn good cooling system for when ur done...cuz all that power and no way of keeping it cool means nothing... especially under heavy load such as Maya. Consider your fan placement, where your case will be, and consider tweaking your OS to keep its background services from overrunning your applications... (this is more of a Win2k/XP issue).

mucksmear
01-10-2003, 07:35 AM
wow, thanks for all the quick replys. Keep em comming, I'm soaking all this up.

wgreenlee1, thanks for pointing me to the "mysuperpc" site. Loads of relatively current info.

Regards,
-elliot

loop29
01-10-2003, 10:15 AM
Yeah, everything pretty resourceful. There are some tasks when building a computer you should take more care of than others. I will start from outside to inside, all based on my personal experience. First of all the case, as I read you´re going for a workstation, I guess you´re not interested in any eyecandy, which is good cause that costs money. I think every average case should fit your needs, you have to make a decision between midi sized case or full tower, all should fit the standard ATX form factor, as long as you´re not going for any exotic configuration like 4 CPU setup with mainboard larger than ATX form factor like Supermicro Mainboards for Server configurations. midi and full tower have their pros and cons, the midi tower is smaller in size and will fit your needs if you´re going with standard configuration like 2 cd-drives 2 Harddrives one floppy, some cases support more slots for Harddrives than others like the Lian Li aluminium cases, they have additional cages for harddrives.
The full tower has ample of room and can be crowded with hardware devices, make sure that you take care of the cables cause the distances between devices will be slightly larger as in the midi tower. Air flow is better in a big tower than in a midi case.
The Power supply one of the devices you should take special care of, because it will feed all your hardware with the needed energy, they are not all the same, they should supply continous and stable voltage on all lines (5V, 12V....), I personally prefer Enermax power supplies cause they are very good and silent devices and on the latest ones you have a knob for adjusting the fan speed. And there comes another urgent part of building up your PC, proper cooling without being bugged with all that noisy crap that some hardware vendors deliver to their poor customers. Especially when you´re looking for your mainboard make sure that there is a passive heatsink on the northbridge of the chipsets. Many MB makers are putting a small fan on the northbridge. In most cases these are from poor quality and will sound up your working environment. The same goes for the video card, if possible look out for a video card that has a passive heatsink as well, this is probably a difficult task these days cause when you´re looking for a high end video card they all will be clocked beyond 250 MHz for the core and needs active cooling. I suggest that you ask for a noise test, many of the shops provide this service now. I was very lucky with my Sparkle Geforce 4 Ti 4400, it was the cheapest solution around and I was impressed with the low noise fans that are attached to the card. In most cases when you´re getting one of the cheaper solutions you will know that it is one when you´re hear the noise they are producing.
For the CPU you won´t get by with any passive cooling, you will need a large fan (80mm x 80 mm). I suggest taking a big fan while the air that can be moved with a bigger fan can be the same like a smaller fan but with fewer RPM. I prefer GlobalWIN coolers while they deliver proper cooling with low noise emission.
Especially for all your cooling solutions you should pay the extra penny for the step up in the low noise league. That pays back tremendously, when you´re spending a lot of time working with your PC. That´s it for now, if you have any additional questions, just ask.....;)

regards

GregHess
01-10-2003, 01:00 PM
Building a computer is simple. Anyone with opposable digits can do it. Its getting it to work thats hard.

The biggest problem with building isn't the actual construction, its what you do when something doesn't work. For example...a seriously common problem is DOA syndrome. You press the power button, and nothing happens. Not even a fan spinup. Or you get a fan spinup for a sec, and then it shuts right off. Always fun to deal with those.

Make sure you don't sell your old system, so you can go online for assistance during the process. And make sure to touch the metal of the case CONSTANTLY if your not wearing a wristband. And NEVER touch the bottom connectors of a ram dimm. Those things are ultra sensitive.

Valkyrien
01-10-2003, 04:27 PM
my RAM hath arrived:)

and Sheep: my old mobo was fine with handling stress from the insertion of RAM, processor, and whatnot...*shrug*

kwshipman
01-10-2003, 05:07 PM
I just built my first computer. It was very easy (save a few minor mistakes on my part). Biggest tip that i can give is too read as many tutorials on building a computer before you start. I even had a couple printed out to refer too for every step of the way. Come here often with any little question, better to get the correct answer from someone who has done it before than to guess and be wrong. Lastly take your time. You are dealling with very sensitive/expensive equipment. You don't want to do something stupid because you are getting impatient. (I know because that is what I did)

GregHess
01-10-2003, 05:41 PM
The hardest parts to building a computer...in my opinion....

1) Mounting the heatsink. This should be done with the motherboard EXTERNAL to the case, before anything is screwed in and/or mounted. Make sure if your using the default thermal tape (which I don't recommend) that you remove the plastic protector. If your not using the thermaltape, or included thermal paste, make sure to completely clean it off before applying the newer paste. Here's some instructions on that process.

http://www.articsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm

I usually use acetone (if avail) or rubbing alcohol to remove the previous tape/paste. If you have a P4 retail heatsink, you'll need to use a small razor blade to get the metal/foil plate off the hsf.

When mounting the heatsink....

a) Make sure the motherboard is on a hard surface, or at least a solid surface. (The mboard box usually works well, or placing the board on the enclosed mboard sleeve protector, on a table or desk).

b) Have a credit card to place beneath the socket lugs. (This is in case the screwdriver slips. If it does, it'll gash the credit card, instead of the motherboard's pcb. [This step not needed on p4's].

c) Use a blade screwdriver that fits the little nubbly thingy on the heatsink bracket. Using one too large, or too small, will increase the change of slippage.

d) Perform a dry mount (no cpu) if you haven't ever mounted a heatsink before. Athlon heatsinks have a lb rating of force required for optimal fit. I believe this is around the 26lb rating, so it can take quite a bit of force. By doing a try run, you can learn how to control the heatsink from rocking, and prevent any slippage from the screwdriver.

e) Have the cpu already covered in thermal paste.

f) Line up the socket lugs to the heatsink brackets before placing the hsf on the cpu.

g) Make sure the niche cut out of the bottom of the hsf is not leaning on the raised socket portion. If it is, it can cause an improper connection between the hsf and the cpu.

h) Attach the rear of the hsf's bracket (section without screw driver niche) to the socket's tabs. Carefully hold the hsf still while using the bladed screwdriver to both tilt and press down upon the front section of the hsf to bring it to the front socket's tabs.

You should hold the motherboard, heatsink, and cpu up to a light, so you can visually check for air gaps between the cpu and the hsf. (This is why you mount with the board external). If there are air gaps, remove the hsf, and try again.

After the hsf is attached, attach any fans or other equipment required. (The mboard should still be external to the case).

2) Installing ram. This part isn't hard at all, but it requires more force then you would think. Open both end tabs on the dimm bank, and match the notched slot of the ram dimm, with that of the ram slot. Slip the ram dimm into the two sloted segments at the end of the dimm slot, and press down on both ends, untill the two white levers "snap" down. Press firmly on the ram dimm until both are snapped down, then on the center to confirm that its solidly into the dimm slot.

3) Installing the AGP/PCI cards. These cards cause an endless amount of trouble for the beginner computer builder. Though many times they appear to be solidly in the slot...they aren't. Make sure to press these cards FULLY into the agp or pci slot, until they will not go in any further. THEN screw them in. I can't tell you the number of "DOA" machines that just didn't have their AGP card in completely.

LeeTN
01-10-2003, 06:54 PM
Listen to Greg and make sure you have plenty of tie-wraps handy. I always make sure that I have wrapped all power cords, HD cables, etc...to keep them from rubbing against the motherboard, fans and everthing else.

Also do a minimum install first. Just the CPU, RAM, video card and HDs and make sure you get a POST before you add in any other cards. If it POSTs fine (that is if you get the power-on self test), go into the BIOS and make any changes that you have to, for example setting your AGP apperture size, HD settings and/or SCSI settings if you have them. Remember to have fully read the motherboard's manual before you do this...and make sure you have all jumper settings set correctly (again it's all in the manual).

If all goes well, then use your other system to go online to see if there's a newer BIOS version than the one that came with your board. If there is, read the revision statements to see if the newer BIOS addresses any problems that you are likely to encounter, for example, resolving hardware conflicts or improved OS support. If there are reasons to update the BIOS, flash it before you install the OS. Again, power the system on to make sure that the flash was successful and that the system still POSTs. If there are no good reasons to flash a newer BIOS don't do it. Trust me, just don't.

If all goes fine, then install your OS, still with a minimum set-up as described above. Once your OS is installed and stable (i.e. no BSODs or random reboots--you should leave it running for at least an hour to make sure), then power down and install your add-on cards one at a time, powering up in between to install the drivers only and to ensure the system remains stable--this way you will know what is causing any conflicts that may come up.

After you have installed all system hardware and are pretty sure that you have a stable system, then you can install your application software. Included in this is any "enhanced software" that comes with your peripheral cards, especially anything from Creative. Sometimes these are the cause of more problems than they are worth, frequently I don't install them at all unless absolutely necessary.

This may be a more cautious approach than some would take, but I have found that it allows me to troubleshoot a new PC much easier than a more gung-ho/throw-it-all-in-at-once-and-pray-for-divine-intervention approach does.

Take your time. Ask questions. Have fun. And good luck.

GregHess
01-10-2003, 07:27 PM
To add to LeeTn's statements....

If all goes fine, then install your OS, still with a minimum set-up as described above. Once your OS is installed and stable (i.e. no BSODs or random reboots--you should leave it running for at least an hour to make sure),

Before installing the OS, I usually run memtest86 v 3.0(www.memtest86.com). Set tests to all, and set ECC to disabled. This program tests the ram for errors through a series of 10 exhaustive steps. Upon completion of a single pass (Just 1 pass) you should have zero errors. If any errors appear during the test, make sure your running your ram at its specified speed setting, voltage, and cas/ras timings. If your not, set them to the specified settings and run the test again. If you are and your still getting errors, you have two options. You can either send the ram back for replacements, or decrease the speed of the ram by changing its multipliers, or increasing the latencies. A single error is cause for alarm during this test, as most of the time a ram error will result in a BSOD or system freeze...the last thing you want to happen when rendernig.

fter you have installed all system hardware and are pretty sure that you have a stable system, then you can install your application software.

Right before this step, I usually run a series of stress tests using a variety of programs. For simple systems I run....

1) Graphics Stress: 3dmark 2001 SE. I run a set of 10 loops of the benchmark. (You can set in options) or however many loops it takes to go an entire hour.

If your system doesn't support direct3d, run specviewperf's for an hour.

2) General system stress: I download sisoft sandra, and setup a continuously looping cpu math, cpu multimedia, memory bandwidth, cache bandwidth, and ide controller stress tests. The new version allows you to graph the cpu temp's during each iteration of the tests which allows you to see your max load temps in a nice graph. Very useful stuff.

http://www.sisoftware.co.uk/index.php?dir=&location=sware_dl&a=demon&lang=en

(Sisoft also tends to reveal any and all problems with your system...be it in settings, inproperly setup hardware, etc. Also helps other people troubleshoot your machine by providing all the information they need)

That of course is the simple stress tests...usually two hours is enough to pin point any obvious faults. (Remember I do this before I even install the apps, in addition to the mem test I ran earlier before the OS install).

Warning...if you own a store bought machine, these tests can and sometimes will cause BSOD's and freezes. (Aka a Dell, HP, Compaq, Etc). Those sisoft tests sometimes throttle the hell outta those budget machines.

If its a personal machine, or client machine, I'll also run a 4-6 hour test based on the application of choice. If its max, I'll usually setup a looping maxscript for the viewports and run that for an hour or two, followed by islands.max at 2048x1536 for a few hundred frames.

Of course this is all rediculously excessive...but you can never be too sure when stability is at question.

And finally, just for s#@t's n giggles, I'll run every application at once, plus around 5 divx's, 5 mpg's, 10 mp3's, the sisoft test's, and I'll hit render in max or maya. (Simultanously)

If the computer survives that, it rocks. :)

201
01-10-2003, 09:26 PM
2) General system stress: I download sisoft sandra, and setup a continuously looping cpu math, cpu multimedia, memory bandwidth, cache bandwidth, and ide controller stress tests. The new version allows you to graph the cpu temp's during each iteration of the tests which allows you to see your max load temps in a nice graph. Very useful stuff.
http://www.sisoftware.co.uk/index.php?dir=&location=sware_dl&a=demon&lang=en

Which of the sisoft sandra do you download? There's like 3D velocity, Benchmark HQ, etc...


And finally, just for s#@t's n giggles, I'll run every application at once, plus around 5 divx's, 5 mpg's, 10 mp3's, the sisoft test's, and I'll hit render in max or maya. (Simultanously)
Hmm... I'm still in the testing phase with the system I just built (trying to find an Ti4600). Anyway, I'm gonna try that... I'm confident my pc will survive. :)

mucksmear
01-10-2003, 10:13 PM
LeeTN,

If it POSTs fine (that is if you get the power-on self test), go into the BIOS and make any changes that you have to, for example setting your AGP apperture size, HD settings and/or SCSI settings if you have them. Remember to have fully read the motherboard's manual before you do this...and make sure you have all jumper settings set correctly (again it's all in the manual).

This is probably the part that I'm most unfamiliar with (next to doing the cpu heatsink and trouble shooting if necessary, after the minimum set of components are in and ready for power.

Jumper settings are certainly in the manual, but are you also saying that the other settings that you mentioned: AGP appetrure, HD settings, etc etc are also referenced in the mobo manual? If so great, that's just what I'll be looking for.

Listen to Greg ...

Absolutely! I'm getting alot of info here from alot of folks and it's all extremely helpful.

The "staged" build/test sequence clearly makes sense and that is the procedure I will be following.

I already have a list of components picked from newegg, but as this purchase will most likely occur in 3 months or so if I'm lucky, I will most certainly be reviewing my list and will post it for some feedback at that time.

Again, many thanks
-Elliot

Valkyrien
01-11-2003, 04:34 AM
well, I installed the MoBo and RAm today. All my new comp needs now is its brain...errr CPU;)

only thing that confused me a little was attaching the leads to the switch, speaker, LED, etc stuff on the front of the case, specifically which color wires go over each pins, the only hting in common is that each set of wires has a black one:)

Gyan
01-11-2003, 04:37 AM
Originally posted by Valkyrien

specifically which color wires go over each pins, the only hting in common is that each set of wires has a black one:)

In that case, assume the black is the ground and the colored wires the 'live' one.

mucksmear
01-11-2003, 04:49 AM
only thing that confused me a little was attaching the leads to the switch, speaker, LED, etc stuff on the front of the case, specifically which color wires go over each pins

Is that the part of the mobo that is refered to as the P1 and P2 headers as mentioned on

http://www.mysuperpc.com/computer_assembly/pc_connect_pn1_pn2.shtml

If so, wouldn't there be reference to what goes where in the mobo manual? Or is this something that the manufacturers just assume "we" all know?

Thanks.
-Elliot

Valkyrien
01-11-2003, 05:07 AM
Originally posted by Gyan
In that case, assume the black is the ground and the colored wires the 'live' one.


now that's add, because some of the wire sets have more than 2 holes for pins, but only two wires, and according to the diagram that came with the mobo, the ones where the blank spaces are are the grounds...:surprised

Valkyrien
01-11-2003, 05:09 AM
bingo, mucksmear...thanks!:) since he determined that was the way to do it, I'll try it with mine and pray for no explosions!;)

LeeTN
01-11-2003, 03:37 PM
Jumper settings are certainly in the manual, but are you also saying that the other settings that you mentioned: AGP appetrure, HD settings, etc etc are also referenced in the mobo manual? If so great, that's just what I'll be looking for.

Yes, all of these should be in the manual. Specifically look in the BIOS settings section.

only thing that confused me a little was attaching the leads to the switch, speaker, LED, etc stuff on the front of the case, specifically which color wires go over each pins, the only hting in common is that each set of wires has a black one.

Both your case and your motherboard should have come with wiring diagrams, in the case of your motherboard they should be in the manual. as for the case, it's usually on a piece of paper stuffed inside the case. These should show clearly where the headers are for all off board attachments such as the front power switch, LEDs, reset switch, etc...

You can always go download the manuals from the manufacturer's website if you didn't receive one with your board. In fact, I strongly recommend that you do this prior to buying anything. I always read through the manuals before I make a purchase. I also read all the user forums to see what problems people are experiencing with the product and how the manufacturer responds to them.

Bottom line, I think Greg stated this earlier, but it's pretty hard to screw up a motherboard these days. Most connections are obvious because they won't connect anywhere but to the correct header on the board. The only times you need to be really careful is when you're installing the CPUs/heatsinks/fans and the RAM DIMMs, which Greg covered earlier.

kwshipman
01-12-2003, 01:42 AM
A lot of this information should be formed into a sticky. This is some good stuff that should always be at hand.:thumbsup:

mucksmear
01-12-2003, 06:47 AM
Uh, what's a sticky?
-E

kwshipman
01-12-2003, 08:22 AM
a sticky is a thread that stays on the top of the forum at all times.

The 2d forum as a thread that people post links to toturials for example.

Valkyrien
01-12-2003, 05:51 PM
my case came with styrofoam packing pieces..no papers, mauals, or anything besides the case itself. The wires are labelled of course, just not in a way that differentiates between the wire colors;) So if the MySuperPC guy says the text should all face down, that's good enough for me!:D

piajartist
01-13-2003, 06:57 AM
once you pop in that heat sink over that cpu and fit the power wires appropiately in place, its a sure breeze.

Valkyrien
01-13-2003, 09:22 PM
a breeze you say? then how come every time it tries to boot from C:/ I get this?

Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
NTLDR Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)


and please dont' tell me i need to reformat....:surprised

elvis
01-13-2003, 11:07 PM
sounds like you need to reset your master boot record.

boot from your windows 2000 or XP cd, and choose repair by console. boot the console, stick in your admin password and choose your partition with the OS on it. once in, type "fixmbr" and press enter. a warning message will pop up which you should answer "yes" to. once done, type "exit" to reboot.

note that if you have linux or another OS dual booting, it will destroy grub or any other bootloader. use this method only if you jave just windows and see the above problem.

Valkyrien
01-13-2003, 11:41 PM
well, I thought of that, but there's always one problem or another when I boot from my XP CD. Hmm, since it was originally an ME system (ugh) maybe it'd respond better to the ME CD, but somehow i doubt it;) If I can get it to boot properly from the CD, i'll give what you suggested a shot though. Thanks:)

elvis
01-14-2003, 12:08 AM
Windows ME uses a FAT/FAT32 file system. XP uses FAT/FAT32/NTFS.

If you've formatted your drives in NTFS, the ME CD won't be able to see them, and will be useless to you. Not only that, but the booting of ME is different to XP, which will also make it usless to you.

sorry to be the bearer of bad news. :(

Valkyrien
01-14-2003, 01:11 AM
yeah, that's about what Iwas thinking;)

and i didn't get any further trying to boot from the XP CD...

elvis
01-14-2003, 01:50 AM
is the cd dud? i've found in the past if i have a CD that won't work in a particular system, copying that CD to a CD-R that i know works with the moody drive and use that to boot.

i'm sure mr gates wouldn't mind you copying the disc for legitimate reasons. :)

Valkyrien
01-14-2003, 03:28 AM
I even tried another copy (legitimate!!), and got the exact same results. I posted my problem at Experts Exchange, and was told this:

The error is produced by DMA channels that NT loves... Once the DMA channels are changed the OS won't load. DMA changes can be resulted from different Motherboards (!!!)... Unfortunately usually when the DMA channel can't be changed (like most PCs) there is no way of getting the system back... I've tried many many times to ghost Win2k/NT over to another system and it has always failed when the motherboarrds weren't the same (not systems, just motherboards) In a data crucical environment, you can either try to slave the drive to another NT machine and get your data off, or you can rebuild your system and do a HAL prep (read resource kit) which rolls the machine back to no good until the new system where it will plug & play all over again... Check to see if you can change you drive DMA channels in the BIOS, if not... Then reformat..
Fun fun fun


So later tonight I'll go through the fun process of copying every useful file onto my storage drive, erasing the contents of the original drive, and formatting it. Then I'll go through reinstalling XP, which will be damn well impossible due to the fact that it's Home. i may be able to get Professional though, so I might be ok...

elvis
01-14-2003, 04:59 AM
I've changed motherboards multiple times in 2000 and XP machines and it hasn't given me that problem.

XP home/pro won't make a difference either.

you're problem is certainly fixable from a software point of view. even if you need to do a repair install you still won't lose your data and settings.

if your cd-rom is giving you grief, swap it for another. don't nuke a whole system setup just because you can't boot off your cd!

Valkyrien
01-14-2003, 05:14 AM
ok, another update: ooh, this is annoying. I hook my drives up to my parents' computer, thinking everything will load up properly (hey, it's done it right before) and it has a problem loading the OS. So I say to myself "fine, i'll just try it in the new machine a few more times." So I hook the drives back into my case, and fire it up, booting from the XP CD. It tells me to insert an Automatic System Recovery disk ito the floppy drive. THis is great, because i have made just SO many of those in my lifetime!:rolleyes: SO now if I want to do that I'll have to kook all my old components back into the old motherboard, create an ASR, and hope i don't lose any files that way;)

so even though I successfully booted from the CD, I still don't seem to have what I need. i'm gonna go try a few more things. Be back shortly with more updating to do;)

Valkyrien
01-14-2003, 07:39 AM
ok, since nothing else has worked, I've reconstructed my old system with no case, and am currently copying program files, images, movies, music, and 3D files to my storage drive. I think the fresh start will be good and fun!:) *groans* :rolleyes:

gabe28
01-14-2003, 08:22 AM
Man, I'm amazed you tried to salvage your old setup and data to begin with. I think whenever you're putting together a new system it's best to backup your data and files to CD or whatever and do a drive format and clean install of your OS. OS's simply don't migrate well, and it's not worth the headache anyway. Clean installs give your new system the extra polish it needs to really shine.

Valkyrien
01-14-2003, 08:29 AM
that's funny, because last year, this one weekend I brought home my HD so I could work on some stuff at home. When I hooked it up to my parents' system, it simply ran a few "adding new hardware" windows, and let me fly. No problems whatsoever!:surprised

Valkyrien
01-14-2003, 08:31 AM
Originally posted by gabe28
Man, I'm amazed you tried to salvage your old setup and data to begin with. I think whenever you're putting together a new system it's best to backup your data and files to CD or whatever and do a drive format and clean install of your OS. OS's simply don't migrate well, and it's not worth the headache anyway. Clean installs give your new system the extra polish it needs to really shine.

I just think it's too much of a hassle to try and track down all the little extra proggies that kept the system running just so, you know? i mean, you gotta do what ya gotta do, but it's annoying is all...

GregHess
01-14-2003, 04:05 PM
Anytime you....

1) Move to an entirely new computer....

2) Change the motherboard of your current computer...

You should wipe the drives and do a clean install of the OS. If you just try and use the same install you already have, you'll not only fubar the performance of the system, you'll bloat it up like a giant whale, and take a crap on stability.

Windows can NOT self maintain itself, and upon swapping to a new chipset and/or system, it will KEEP all the old driver's, all the old hardware devices, all the old registry entries....and just plops thousands of new ones on top of it. Just because you can't see them, doesn't mean their not there. Just do a show hidden devices in the system device manager, and you'll freak out when you see how many there are.

Its akin to moving into a brand new house, and somehow jamming the old house into it, and then wondering where all the space went.

mucksmear
01-15-2003, 03:30 AM
Hello again, been reading the subsequent postings on this thread with interest.

Ok, It's a little early but I wanted to see if I'm going about this the right way. Based on info/advice/explanations on this forum, and elsewhere, I've put together the following "first pass" list for my proposed workstation.

Seeking comments on compatibility/stability/speed/cooling, etc etc as regards this list. As I'm aiming at a few months from now, I have plenty of time to revise/reasses my choices and reasons.

Might be useful to know more or less what I plan to run on this:

Work:
Maya or Max (mostly modeling and rendering)
Photoshop
AfterEffects

Play:
flight sims, ie. FS2002, Warbirds, etc.

Misc:
Probably MS Office, or parts of it.
Web and email

Possible future considerations: Digital Video

*****list (from newegg)*********

Intel Pentium 4 / 2.8 GHz Northwood 512K Socket 478 Processor 533MHz Processor Bus Retail

ASUS P4PE/R/L/SATA motherboard for Intel P4 478 Retail w/ Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, SATA, Onboard LAN, Firewire IEEE1394, Serial ATA SoundMAX Digital Audio System

PNY Quadro4 750 XGL 128M DDR

ENERMAX EG465AX-VE (W)FCA. 431W Power supply

WD Western Digital "Special Edition" 80GB 7200RPM EIDE hard drive model # WD800JB - OEM, drive only

Corsair memory 512MB PC2700 value select. DDR RAM - OEM

Chieftec Server tower DX-01BLD

Pioneer internal ATAPI DVD-recordable model DVR-A05SPK3 (DVRA05)- retail

Lite-On 16x DVD Model LTD-166 Black

Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1

Thanks again
-Elliot

Joel Hooks
01-15-2003, 03:41 AM
I'd get 2 sticks of the RAM, 1gb is so much more pleasant. Don't forget IDE Cables (that drives comes with nothing but bubblewrap) and 80mm Case fans. That case has at least 2 extra places for fans, including the HD mounting contraption.

That looks like a nice box! Those blue chieftec cases are sweet on the eyes too :)

Valkyrien
01-15-2003, 03:41 AM
you'd think, that after wiping the drive clean (which for the record involved putting the old computer back together with no case [pics later;)]), putting the machine back together, and booting from the XP CD (either one) I'd be able to install a goddamn OS on my computer, but No...!! Every time the setup files start loading, there's a problem loading some file called "ntkrnlmp.exe" which sounds pretty important considering it's obviously an NT Kernel of some sort. And installing 98 won't work without this supposed "boot disk," and apparently my ME disc isn't a valid startup disc, so at this point it looks like i'm screwed. wonderful. abso-****ing-lutely WONDERFUL.

Valkyrien
01-15-2003, 03:42 AM
Originally posted by lowdown
I'd get 2 sticks of the RAM, 1gb is so much more pleasant. Don't forget IDE Cables (that drives comes with nothing but bubblewrap) and 80mm Case fans. That case has at least 2 extra places for fans, including the HD mounting contraption.

That looks like a nice box! Those blue chieftec cases are sweet on the eyes too :)

no doubt the Motherboard comes with IDE cables...;)

elvis
01-15-2003, 04:35 AM
Originally posted by Valkyrien
you'd think, that after wiping the drive clean (which for the record involved putting the old computer back together with no case [pics later;)]), putting the machine back together, and booting from the XP CD (either one) I'd be able to install a goddamn OS on my computer, but No...!! Every time the setup files start loading, there's a problem loading some file called "ntkrnlmp.exe" which sounds pretty important considering it's obviously an NT Kernel of some sort. And installing 98 won't work without this supposed "boot disk," and apparently my ME disc isn't a valid startup disc, so at this point it looks like i'm screwed. wonderful. abso-****ing-lutely WONDERFUL.

dude, seriously: get either a new XP cd or a new CD-ROM drive. you have some major issues with this system and they aren't going to fix themselves.

try booting your XP cd in another system. if it works, you know it's your drive and not the disk.

Valkyrien
01-15-2003, 04:49 AM
I get the same results on both of my drives...and I'm reasonably sure that the drives are fine;)

mucksmear
01-15-2003, 06:17 AM
I'd get 2 sticks of the RAM, 1gb is so much more pleasant. Don't forget IDE Cables (that drives comes with nothing but bubblewrap) and 80mm Case fans. That case has at least 2 extra places for fans, including the HD mounting contraption

Thanks Lowdown, right you are. I had intended to indicate 2 sticks of 512. Newegg's description of the case "seems" to indicate that it comes with 3 fans:

Chieftec Server tower DX-01BLD Dragon Blue Entry Level Server Case w/ 80mm side panel fan/ 2 x 80mm sleeve cooling fan. No Power Supply

So unless they are misleading here, I think I should be ok.

IDE cables: thanks for that tip/info Lowdown and Valkyrien. If the mobo turns out to not have the cables, or I decide on round ones, I can always pick them up from a local 'puter store I think.

So, no percieved incompatibilities, or better suggestions than what I've listed?

Thanks again,
-Elliot

Joel Hooks
01-15-2003, 06:21 AM
It comes with 3, but there is 2 spots in the front that are empty, and I like to fill them. The chieftecs have nice snap in holders for fans.

Another good reason to just go ahead and get the round cables is the cables can be too short for the server tower. Not to mention the airflow and asthetic issues! ;)

GregHess
01-15-2003, 12:45 PM
The motherboards usually come with one ATA-100 or 133 cable, one IDE-33 cable, and a floppy cable. Most IDE devices, (That pioneer for example) are now U66 devices and can use an ATA-66 or ATA-100 cable.

So you should still pick up an extra one. If your going for ribbon, I'd pick up one of the teflon coated ones from newegg. Their badass.

Everything else in the system is sweet as hell. I'd concur on another stick of ram, and probably also encourage a PC3000 or PC3200 purchase, running at cas 2. Should only be around 15 USD more per dimm for the XMS goodness, and being able to tweak ram settings is always a plus.

mucksmear
01-15-2003, 07:09 PM
Thanks Greg,

I didn't know I could take advantage of PC3000 or 3200 XMS. It's not listed in memory specs for the ASUS P4PE/R/L/SATA mobo.

3 x 184-pin DIMM Sockets support max. 2GB PC2700/PC2100 (FSB533) or PC2100/PC1600 (FSB400) non-ECC DDR SDRAM memory

I just read thru the Hard drive interfaces and standards" section on Anandtech, and am still a bit unclear on the specifics regarding the designations.

If I understood you and the standards reference on Anandtech correctly, then:

since the Pioneer is listed as a device with an "ATA/ATAPI-5 interface", this means the interface supports 100MBps max, hence the ability to use an ATA-100 cable (the ATA-66 cable would work but would theoretically limit the Pioneer by 34MBps)?

and since the Lite-On is listed as device with an "ATAPI/E/IDE interface" this means 33MBps, and would therefore connect to the IDE-33 cable that the mobo hopefully ships with?

In summary, one ATA-100 or 133 cable for the two HDDs, another ATA-100 for the Pioneer, and the included IDE-33 for the Lite-On.

Thanks
-Elliot

GregHess
01-15-2003, 07:41 PM
PC3000 is usually referred to as PC2700 Cas2...or just look for Cas2 PC2700. Corsair just released a wide array of low latency dimms, including a 2-2-2 PC2700 Dimm...that would be hella fast on that system.

You only need two ide cables. Each IDE cable allows for attachment of 2 devices. So two cables will fill your device allotment for the case.

(You can run a slower speed drive on a higher speed cable)

mucksmear
01-16-2003, 10:45 PM
Righto on the cables, thanks.

I saw the 2-2-2 pc2700 Greg mentioned on Corsair's site, but it doesn't look like it's availible thru newegg just yet. Maybe by the time I'm ready to place an order though.

Greg, I saw reference to pc2700 c2, pc3000 c2 as well as pc3200 c2 at newegg, so I'm still somewhat confused about whether or not my mobo will accomodate the pc3000 and up, all though the 533 / 400 MHz FSB would indicate there is room to grow. Please bear with me here as this is all still quite new to me. In essence, is the goal (or one of the goals) in choosing this higher speed/lower latency ram to get the ram speed to match the FSB speed? I noticed the 512MB PC-3200C2 rated at 400mHz (either 32MX8 or 64Mx4 - seems to be a typo on newegg's page) .

About cpu cooling:
I've indicated in my list, the "retail" 2.8 P4 with thier stock heatsink/fan. Any thoughts as to whether or not this will be adequate? The case will have the 3 stock/included 80mm fans, and possibly 2 additionals in the front as suggested by lowdown.

btw, I'm not planning to overclock this system (well, maybe when it gets "old").

-Elliot

GregHess
01-16-2003, 10:59 PM
I noticed the 512MB PC-3200C2 rated at 400mHz (either 32MX8 or 64Mx4 - seems to be a typo on newegg's page) .


Not a typo. Here's a quick roundup.

PC1600 (200)
PC2100 (266)
PC2400 (266 Cas2, Sometimes 300-333)
PC2700 (333)
PC3000 (333 Cas 2, sometimes 333-400)
PC3200 (400)
PC3500 (444)

You can always use faster DDR in a slower DDR system. Aka if the board specifies PC2700, you can easily use PC3000...faster ram will just allow for more aggressive timings...plus its usually not a big difference in price, which helps give some elbow room. (I like to err on the side of more is better then less).

As for the heatsink. The Retail intel HSF is pretty damn good, it should be sufficent.

mucksmear
01-17-2003, 12:57 AM
Thanks for the clarification on the ram and HSF question Greg.

re. the alleged "typo", I found a reasonable description in one of Corsair's general forum threads on memory organization.

regards,
-Elliot

Mistyk
01-19-2003, 03:10 PM
a) Make sure the motherboard is on a hard surface, or at least a solid surface. (The mboard box usually works well, or placing the board on the enclosed mboard sleeve protector, on a table or desk).
What's a sleeve protector? If the motherboard should be placed on a hard surface, wouldn't that make it easier to damage the underside of the mobo? Is the foam that it ships with too soft?

Thanks

GregHess
01-19-2003, 04:08 PM
The sleeve protector is a nice little bubble wrapped envelope that the motherboard sometimes comes in.

The main key ingredient with placing the motherboard on a "firm" surface (Should have said firm and not hard) is to prevent it from moving when you put 26 lbs of force on the front socket lugs.

If the motherboard moves, you might slip. (Thats where the credit card comes in)

Valkyrien
01-25-2003, 02:35 AM
ok, so now WIn98 actually formatted the drive. Then it ran scandisk. All without freezing up. Then, it gets to loading setup files, and tells me there's a corupt .cab file. it's a conspiracy!!! :mad:

elvis
01-25-2003, 08:07 AM
Originally posted by Valkyrien
ok, so now WIn98 actually formatted the drive. Then it ran scandisk. All without freezing up. Then, it gets to loading setup files, and tells me there's a corupt .cab file. it's a conspiracy!!! :mad:

i'm telling you for the gazillionth time: either your CDROM device is stuffed, or the CD media itself is buggered. if you can install the software on another separate machine, you'll find out which is the culprit easily enough.

i've seen plenty of dud CDROMS and CD media in my life. this is nothing new.

piajartist
01-25-2003, 09:15 AM
have at least a grand or 5

Valkyrien
01-25-2003, 10:26 PM
and I'm telling you once more that the CDs are fine, both have been used before with no problem, and the CD Drives are fine, unless this is just the first time and all three that I've tried have exactly the same problem, which would make no sense at all...;)

I am gonna get another XP disc though, just to be sure, I'll let you know tomorrow how that goes:)

KayosIII
01-31-2003, 06:07 AM
This is the process I go through when building a workstation from scratch....

1) Work out my budget....
2) Decide on the screen.... This is important because it is what you will be staring at and I for one would rather use a slow computer with a good screen than a quick one with a crappy screen. Also this is one of the components that you are least likely to upgrade.
3) Decide on the input devices -- find a nice keyboard and Mouse -- possibly a wacom these items are expensive have a longer life span (less need for upgrades) and can be quite expensive.
4) Soundcard -- if needed as these don't need to be upgraded as much as other components...
5) Graphics -- decide on features and performance are needed...
6) Decide on a processor family -- based on cost, performance, power consumption and noise level. Some processor families are better at some tasks. (I would choose differently for a video workstation to a CAD workstation for instance).
7) Decide how much ram I am going to need and of what type...
8) Go shopping for a Mother Board -- this part is important... Do your research here... Never get the latest and greatest - there is just too much that can go wrong (anything more than a month old you can probably tell from other peoples reports whether it is a lemon. Look for a Mobo that gets a very high rating for stability -- and make sure that there are a whole bunch of people on the internet complaining because the board is buggy -- trust me you will be thankful later...
9) Cost all the other parts - don't skimp on quality for things like power supplies...
10) Now I see what processor my budget allows for now and if nessary

mucksmear
01-31-2003, 07:55 PM
KayosIII, thanks for outlining your process- found it informative.

I did not follow in quite the same order as you outlined, but I have not purchased my workstation yet either. I also relied quite a bit on recommendations found in this forum, both inside and outside this thread.

Components I chose are back on page 3 of this thread.

Where my process differed (or lacked) the most was probably in item 6 and 8.

Basically, I chose from AMD or Intel. Went with Intel, then went for the fastest processor that was NOT just released - don't need to pay that sort of premium.

Could you elaborate on how one chooses different processor families based on intended tasks (Maya)? I did visit Intel's site and looked at their line up of processors (to the limit of my understanding) and looked at things with an eye towards avoiding bottlenecks (AGP flavor, fsb frequency, etc) when choosing my other components- though I don't know if I did that sucessfully. Then again, I've also gotten positive feedback so far in this thread.

I thought noise was a function of the cooling system, not the processor. Though I see that if a processor needs more cooling than normal, it's possible that that cooling will be louder too.

Power consumption, I loosely based my PSU on my power consumption, which was determined by the processor and all other "powered" components.

Mobo choice was determined by the processor, drives, and other features that I wanted, feedback found in this forum plus manufacturer reputation, and then tempered by what was availible and how willing I was to order from multiple vendors.

-Elliot

GregHess
01-31-2003, 08:10 PM
" did visit Intel's site and looked at their line up of processors (to the limit of my understanding) and looked at things with an eye towards avoiding bottlenecks (AGP flavor, fsb frequency, etc) when choosing my other components- though I don't know if I did that sucessfully."

Unfortuantly this is not usually the way to get actual performance information. Visiting the site of a prospective chip, or motherboard manufacturer is going to result in a heavily biased point of view. Lots of PR terms are thrown around like Rambus, DC-DDR, AGP 8x, 533 FSB, but don't really have any meaning until attached to some sort of application that you'll be using. For that type of information you have to rely on users and review sites, hoping to form an overall opinion on which system is the best for you.

Quick example would be a high speed Intel system. Sure its fast...but is it as fast as a Dual AMD system that costs about the same amount of $? How is it that a 2800+ XP running at almost 800 megahertz slower speed then a 3.06 Gigahertz Pentium IV still manages to best it in certain situations?

Another good example would be to visit www.apple.com. Try to see if you can find any instance of a PC beating a Mac. :)

Here's a list of review sites I tend to look at when gathering information about prospective hardware.

www.aceshardware.com
www.anandtech.com
www.2cpu.com
www.maximum3d.com
www.tech-report.com
www.3dgameman.com
www.hardocp.com
www.ars-technica.com

cg sites...

www.3dluvr.com
www.xbitlabs.com
www.highend3d.com
http://www.digit-life.com/

heatsink/cooling

www.overclockers.com
www.frostytech.com

Always remember to visit multiple sites, and never rely on a single sites perspective of a given product. If one site reviews product A and gives it a poor rating, and site 2 gives product A a great rating, find out why...are they using different systems? Is site 2 being sponsered by product a? Etc.

Avoid any of the following sites and/or take all knowledge on them with a grain of salt, until otherwise verified or denied.

www.tomshardware.com

any site with a url like...

www.welovenvidia.com
www.atiisourbitch.com
www.intelrus.com
www.iwoulddiewithoutmyamd.com

etc.

mucksmear
01-31-2003, 09:45 PM
Thanks for the tip and links Greg. I will be checking some of those out - have already been to a few of them too.

Actually, at the Intel site I was looking for basic tech specs to match up to the other components. Not really listening to any of the market speech which is indeed in abundance on most if not all manufacture sites. For example, to check if the processor will hold back the graphics card or vice versa due to diff AGP ratings, or if there is an upgrade path on the mobo for the processor and if so, how far. What RAM is supported, etc. Went to ASUS site to compare the on-board features (LAN, firewire, etc.) of the various boards that support my chosen processor, and gfx card choice, etc.

-Elliot

mucksmear
01-31-2003, 11:12 PM
I just went back to anandtec.com and looked at their articles on the P4 2.8gHz and the AMD Athalon XP 2600.

Not actually seeking comment on "which is better" but rather a confirmation or criticism of my "analysis" or methodology - if you can call it that.

The articles explained some of the physical differences between the 2 processors such as 7 vs 9 layers and the longer vs shorter pipelines for the Intel vs AMD. The benchmarks were interesting in that they covered a general range of tasks from Internet content creation, general usage/buisness apps, to Max as well as Maya. Taken together, I found no real advantage of one over the other. Specifically however, the P4 2.8 seemed to lead in Max while the AMD 2600 took the lead in Maya.

For my needs, which can be described as fairly general with a focus on Maya and/or Max (as opposed to dedicated Maya or Max), I concluded that there was no distinct advantage for me to choose one over the other, especially since the decision is not based on one single parmeter (cost, performance, taske, etc) but a range of those parameters. Kinda averages things out.

Final consideration, the performance gain from anything I build/get today over my current system (600mHz P3) will far outweigh the performance diffrerences between the any of the 2+gHz setups I can choose from today.

and thanks again,
-E

KayosIII
02-01-2003, 12:40 PM
Originally posted by mucksmear
Where my process differed (or lacked) the most was probably in item 6 and 8.
Item 8 is probably the most important. If your mobo sucks... your whole system will suck badly. Don't rely on Manufacturers reputations either. They all have the occasional lemons. One revision of a chipset can be totally screwed up but the next revision can work fine.


Could you elaborate on how one chooses different processor families based on intended tasks (Maya)?
Ok I am not yet familiar with the 64 archictures so I will leave them out.
Lets look at the P4, Athlon and Duron Processors.

The P4 has the best support for streaming instrunctions which helps things like video and sound. You will notice improvements if your app uses floating point rather than integer data internally.
You should check if the applications you are going to use are SSE optimised before worring about this too heavily... The P4 has the fastest single precision float support (used mainly in games)...
The Athlon however while having weaker SSE support does have far far superior double precision floating point maths performance. Profesional CG Apps and CAD apps commonly use this format internally commanly.
The Duron has the same Floating point advantages as the Athlon but performs less well at some other tasks it however uses ~10 watts less power than the Athlon so needs less cooling and is freindlier with not so good Mobos, power supplies.


Power consumption, I loosely based my PSU on my power consumption, which was determined by the processor and all other "powered" components.

Yeah I don't run on mains power here so I have to work to a power budget as well as a montary budget. ie the more power my computer consumes the less I can use it. I have also built systems for other people with simular requirements. Actually there are some new prosesors that have come out in the last year that run about 500mhz and don't draw enough power to need cooling fans at all. Thus leaving you with a silent computer -- perfect for many business apps.

mucksmear
02-14-2003, 10:38 PM
Hello again,

Getting closer and closer to executing my plans here.

Greg, earlier you tried to explain this to me and I thought I understood correctly, but maybe not:

Not a typo. Here's a quick roundup.

PC1600 (200)
PC2100 (266)
PC2400 (266 Cas2, Sometimes 300-333)
PC2700 (333)
PC3000 (333 Cas 2, sometimes 333-400)
PC3200 (400)
PC3500 (444)

You can always use faster DDR in a slower DDR system. Aka if the board specifies PC2700, you can easily use PC3000...faster ram will just allow for more aggressive timings...plus its usually not a big difference in price, which helps give some elbow room. (I like to err on the side of more is better then less).


For the mobo that I'm planning to use, ASUS P4PE/R/L/SATA, the chipset specs state the following:

North Bridge
Chipset Name: Intel 845PE
Manufacturer: Intel
AGP FSB: 4X
CPU Type: P4
CPU FSB: 400/533
Memory Type: DDR
Memory FSB: 200/266/333
Max Memory: 2GB
Sourth Bridge

Chipset Name: None


So, based on this, am I correct in assuming that I will get no additional benifit from using PC3200 or higher ram since it's bandwidth is listed at 400 while the mobo's Memory FSB is down at 333? In otherwords, match the mobo's Memory FSB rating to the bandwith of the memory (hmmn, sounds obvious now that I've typed it out. :D )?

Thanks
-Elliot

mucksmear
02-23-2003, 10:27 AM
Thanks everyone for the immeasurable help and advice.

Changed a few items around, went with a TruePower PSU and Antec Performance case instead of the Enermax PSU and Cheiftec case. Ordered all the parts from Newegg on Sunday, they arrived on Thursday. Quadro 750 is still en-route from googlegear.

This evening, installed the mobo, cpu, heatsink/fan, RAM (PSU was pre-installed in the case).

I popped in an old ATI 4MB vid card and powered up to a successful POST!

Hardware monitor indicated an error. Noticed the PSU fan rmp was listed in red, and was below 1500. According to a note in the documentation, this is normal.

At barebones idle, cpu temp reports 42*C +/- 0.5*

Next steps will be to go thru the BIOS settings and start installing the drives and other devices. Do a memtest, etc, and other things that have been outlined and suggested at various points in the thread.

I'm not finished yet, but for my first build, looks like I'm off to a good start, so thanks again everyone.

Regards,
-Elliot

GregHess
02-23-2003, 03:53 PM
Glad to hear its running ok.

Quick Note though...

You only need to run a single pass on memtest86. Alot of people (including myself) forget to mention this. The test will run to infinity unless you stop it :).

If you do encounter stability issues, you can consider running a dual pass, with all tests enabled (press esc while memtest is running, and set tests to all), to see if the single pass missed something.

Its usually pretty good about finding memory errors on a single pass though.

One other thing. Sometimes a memory error can be bypassed merely by increasing (slowing down) your memory timings and/or reducing the frequency the ram is running at. Though not the best solution, it does buy you some time to order replacement ram, or just gives you a stable system.

Mistyk
02-23-2003, 04:04 PM
GregHess,

Do you believe that memtest86 is generally better at finding errors, than other memory test utilities such as Dell's diagnostic tools? I.e. if a memory error is suspected and Dell's utility claims that the RAM is fine, should one still be worried and use memtest86 to be sure?

Thanks

GregHess
02-23-2003, 04:25 PM
I swear by memtest86. All you have to do to not trust dell, is to talk to one of their tech support people for 30 seconds.

Mushkin also tells you to run memtest if you think something is wrong with the ram they sent you.

It works, its free...its just really ffin slow.

Mistyk
02-23-2003, 04:27 PM
Thank you Greg.

kwshipman
02-23-2003, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by GregHess
I swear by memtest86. All you have to do to not trust dell, is to talk to one of their tech support people for 30 seconds.

Also try to order parts from them. I ordered a HDD from them in October, never received it (tracking shows it shiped to some other city) and have been trying to get a refund or other merchandise or something, still I have nothing. Had to buy a HD somewhere else.:thumbsdow

I'll stop my ranting now.

marc
02-26-2003, 02:46 PM
someone sticky this plz.

paultheplumber
06-13-2003, 12:55 AM
*bump*

the thread is just what the doctor ordered...

marc
06-13-2003, 07:22 PM
this is like a million years old. suprised are the visitors actually searched for it. building a computer isn't easy. computer hardware is on the most part a practical subject. reading online can givve u an understanding. but can't replace practicle experience. just get someone u know to help you thats done this sort of thing before. or do what u can and give it to a store.

JA-forreal
06-15-2003, 07:00 PM
Please make this one "Sticky"!

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