PC noob here, need help in picking out parts for my build!

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by MindC0ntroll, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. MindC0ntroll
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    Newcomer MindC0ntroll Advanced Member

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    Hi :) , Im new to this site so excuse me if I have this topic in the wrong section. I just need help with two things

    Im not really knowledgable with PC parts and diagnosing problems so I hope you guys can help me out here. Anyway, I just bought a PC i3 build on eBay for $200 but came with some messed up parts (hard drive was corrupted and no DVD drive). I need to decide on what parts Im going to get for it and calculate the costs as well as diagnosing another problem (which I'll say later)

    Here's a list of the specs:

    Intel i3 540 (3.0GHZ dual core)

    Motherboard: Intel DH57DD media series (can accept Intel i3, i5, and certain models of the i7 quad core) Socket: LGA 1156. I think the form factor is a Micro ATX, Im not really sure

    No Graphics card

    Power Supply: Corsair Builder Series (rated at 430 watts)

    320gb Western Digital Harddrive. (corrupted)

    RAM: Corsair XMS 3 DDR3 memory 10GB in total

    Rosewill card reader

    Western Digital Caviar Blue GB HDD 6 USB 2.0 hubs

    HDMI port/DVI port. included

    Case is NZXT Lexea S with integrated fan controls. Lights up blue when turned on (holds 16GB of ram total)

    Cooler Master heatsink

    I intend to use this as a gaming rig (Playing BF3 or Skyrim at a high resolution, 2xAA etc.) and for video editing (Sony Vegas, HD rendering). I just need to know what parts I should replace and what I can keep. For the graphics card, I was thinking of getting an NVIDIA GTX 560ti and for the CPU, an i5 (not sure about the clock rate) but Im not sure which is why Im asking for your advice. Is there anything I should replace? Should I replace the power supply, heat sink or anything else?

    I also have a problem with the PC. Call me stupid or whatever but when my PC arrived, I assumed everything was good to go from the box and connected it to a monitor with all the cables and stuff. Had it on for 2-3 minutes before it went black (on the screen), went into Bios mode and turned off completely on me. I tried to turn it on again but nothing happened and made some beeping noises. Decided to check the inside so I opened it and the PC fans weren't connected to the power supply :wink: which I guess it means it overheated. I tried to connect the molex cables to the power supply and turning it on but of course, it refused to boot up. Did my CPU fry up? I'm not really bothered since Im was planning to replace the parts but anyway, could I have fucked up my CPU or motherboard if my PC wont turn on?

    Kinda a long post but anyways, I hope you guys are able to help me. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. marcus134

    Member marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Have you tried a cmos clear? ( a switch or a jumper on the mobo)
    the cpu fan is supposed to be connected by a small 4 pin connector to the mobo, but not with the big 4 pin connector to the psu.
    how do you know your hdd is busted if it was only turned on for 2-3 min?
    what's the beeping sequence?

    There's a safeguard that shutdowns the computer before heat damage happen to your cpu

    i'd be worried if I were you as the 1156 platform is a dead end and cpu aren't particularly abundant in the used market, also going with i5 or i7 model won't result in much better in game results as most game can't take advantage of more than 2 core, while you may gain better results with video encoding and editing, using a gpu transcoding path will be much quicker.

    as for parts suggestion for upgrade, we should wait a little bit and make sure you don't have a dud in your hands.
     
  3. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Alright, let's take this step by step.

    First, the CPU. It's quite a decent (if old) one, providing it works. Keep it until you know you need to replace it.
    The motherboard is a fairly cheap model, but as long as it works.
    The RAM sounds weird. 8GB or 12GB I can understand, but 10GB? Sounds like maybe 4+2+2+2GB which is not exactly ideal. RAM should always be paired to get optimal performance. If you have odd DIMMs, take them out and only leave matching DIMMs in.
    PSU: Low rated means it's for integrated graphics. If you add a good graphics card, you'll want 550W minimum, preferably 600W or more.
    HDD: If the drive is corrupted, either try and recover the data or wipe it. If it's damaged, replace it. Either way, you'll want to buy a new HDD unless you have more lying around.
    Case: If you can get the fans to spin, check the airflow. As long as fans suck in air and push it out the other end, and there are no static air-zones, then you don't need to replace it.

    Heatsink: Now this is where we start troubleshooting. Having an after-market cooler is usually a good thing. As long as it's put in place properly. That means a proper layer of thermal paste between the heatsink and CPU. Also the CPU fan needs to be plugged in. If any of these aren't done properly, you can expect it to shut down quickly and usually beep at you annoyingly to tell you that the CPU cooler isn't working properly.

    So as marcus said (in a ninja post while I was typing), check to see what works. When you turn it on, do the fans spin? Do any lights light up? Do you hear the HDD spin up? Are there any beeps? What happens if you strip out all but 1 DIMM of RAM? Is there a light on the PSU?
    These things can tell us if it's the PSU, CPU or motherboard (or all of the above) that's busted, and help pick your upgrade path.

    If you decide you definitely want to buy new parts for a partial/complete upgrade, tell us your budget. That'll help us pick parts for you.
     
  4. MindC0ntroll
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    Newcomer MindC0ntroll Advanced Member

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    The guy I bought the PC from told me the hard drive was corrupted (which is probably why he was selling it to me for a cheap price) so he gave me an external hard drive with the PC. And I was planning on getting a 1 TB hard drive anyway

    Yeah, I know the 1156 mobos are pretty old but I really dont want to have an uberPc with expensive parts like an i5 2500k Sandy bridge. This is my first build anyway and I just want to get the hang of things like this before I move on to better parts. I'll get back to you guys when I check out the inside again

    The CPU and PC fans, from what I can see, only have molex cables to connect to the power supply's cables. Only one 4-pin connector is connected to the motherboard (which is the CPU fan I think). But even if the 4-pin was the only one connected to the mobo, how come it didn't work the first time it turned on and booted?

    And what thermal paste I should get? I want to get a better thermal paste that keeps the CPU cooler. Its been a few hours and I tried the CMOS clear option and it didn't work. When I turned it on from the front, it only turned on for half a second and the CPU fan moved a tiny bit from the power I guess...
     
  5. MindC0ntroll
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    Newcomer MindC0ntroll Advanced Member

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    So the CMOS option didn't work. It only turned on for half a second, with the CPU fan barely moving from the power. Everything else, from the hard drive to the PC fans didnt even spin. Anything else I can do before I can confirm that I overheated the CPU and replace it?
     
  6. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    The fact that it only spun for half a second points to a problem with the power phasing. The CPU may not be fried, but it's hard to tell if its not getting any power.

    At this point, without having the tools at hand to test individual components, I would replace the CPU, motherboard and PSU to make sure everything worked in the new system.
     
  7. MindC0ntroll
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    Newcomer MindC0ntroll Advanced Member

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    I just got a used motherboard: ASUS P7H55-M PRO LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard. Will this motherboard be okay for now?
     
  8. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Try it. See if it works.

    Just remember to properly re-apply the thermal paste. The brand doesn't matter much as long as it's properly applied.
     
  9. MindC0ntroll
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    Newcomer MindC0ntroll Advanced Member

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    Adding the ASUS mobo worked. I was able to get the fans to work, just have some issues with some SATA cables but everything else is working just fine. Now Im just having some issues connecting to the internet and updating the drivers but I think I can handle it...
     

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