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Old 11-09-2005, 05:45 PM   #1
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Default First Time Build

I am getting ready to build a PC for the first time and I am a bit confused with the boot disc and bios configuration parts of the set up. I have read a few sites but I still dont really understand what they are talking about. Could someone explain this stuff at a beginners level? It seems a bit advanced on most of the sites Ive read. So what is the boot drive disc for and where can I get one? What are the common things I would have to configure in the bios? What about installing the CD ROM Drive... do I need a disc for that? And could some one possibly give any helpful links for installing hard drives...I cant seem to find any explaining how to set up raid. And for the Operating System... What is the difference between a normal copy of Windows Xp and an OEM version?
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: First Time Build

A boot disk will allow you to boot off of a disk instead of your hard drive. This disk can be used to fix issues as well as can be used to help load MS-DOS games (old school stuff). Use this site to help you create a boot disk in Windows XP:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...2-631504EF5E26

You don't mess with BIOS usually. Default settings will work or should work fine. They are usually used to change boot order, enable or disable motherboard specific features, overclocking. CD ROM are very easy to install. You just slide that in the drive bay from the outside of the case, plug the power cord and data cable in. It usually comes with a CD if you buy retail. They are generally software burning programs for DVD and CDs, and drivers too.

Here's a simple guide from Seagate on how to install a SATA hard drive:

http://www.seagate.com/support/kb/di...ll_tshoot.html

It proves very helpful. Windows XP Pro OEM is usually combined with hardware you purchase. Plain Windows XP Pro are usually stand alone retail full or retail upgrade versions.
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Old 11-10-2005, 09:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: First Time Build

So is a boot disk necessary? And I still dont really get the OEM and retail version of windows. On many sites they sell windows as OEM versions... whats the difference? And say at retail stores they sell retail versions of Windows with service pack 2. And what about installing drives in RAID?
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Old 11-10-2005, 05:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: First Time Build

An OEM version is one that was purchased with hardware. Generally they sell you a $5.00 splitter cable and then give you a $5.00 credit. It's the same software as the Retail version sans a bunch of in the box stuff (mine has no user manual... It's freakin Windows....) The manual is available for download for those that may need one but that is probably a short list, most computer savy people (and generally anyone familiar enough to build their own even once) already are pretty familiar with the OS.
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Old 11-10-2005, 05:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: First Time Build

u dont really need to worry about the bios to much when ur building a pc, just put it all together and make sure that in the bios its set to boot off the cd drive first, then just put the windows xp disk in and restart then just install windows and thats it, as for OEM and retail theres no difference at all except they wont give u all the extra stuff but all u need is the disk anyways so it doesnt matter
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Old 11-10-2005, 05:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: First Time Build

oh and also i dont think its really worth having raid because ive seen results of having it and not having it and theres barely any diff if any at all, just get a nice fast hard drive and it will all be good
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: First Time Build

Ok thanks for the info . I think I understand it all except for the boot disk..Do you need it on the initial boot up or how does it all work? I guess ill have to do some more research. And one other question. So something like OEM harddrives... do they just come with say the driver disc and cable and thats it no manual or anything? Thanks for the help. I think I am going to post my specs soon .
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Old 11-10-2005, 09:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: First Time Build

No, boot disk is not a must have item. Don't worry about that. You don't need it. OEM hard drives comes with the drive only. No cables or easy install disc to guide you. Just the barebone hard drive. When you buy a new motherboard, it will come with plenty of hard drive cables.
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Old 11-11-2005, 03:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: First Time Build

Ok thanks for the info so very briefly ..I install everything first then the cd rom , hard drive and install windows using the disc? And what is the diff between SATA and SATA 2.
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Old 11-11-2005, 03:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: First Time Build

Get the motherboard, CPU, RAM, case wiring, video card first and then mount to case. Hard drive and CD Rom can go in in no particular order. Then install Windows. I'll usually turn on the PC right after the CPU is setup just to see if the fan turns.

As far as the SATA spec goes, SATA II drives offer an interface speed of 3.0Gb/sec as compared to the 1.5Gb/sec offered by SATA I. Of course, we don't expect to see real world performance close to that.
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Old 11-12-2005, 09:05 AM   #11
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Default Re: First Time Build

Ok I understand this now. So should I stick with just regular SATA then? I also have a question about DFI's motherboards. What is the difference between the LANPARTY series and the LANPARTY UT series? Is there much difference between the LANParty NF4 SLI, the LANParty UT NF4 SLI-DR and the LANParty UT NF4 SLI-DR Expert?
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Old 11-12-2005, 01:10 PM   #12
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I would still get the best one offered and that is the SATA II. The DFI motherboards all use the same chipset with some supporting SLi depending if you want to go that route. They look all the same to me, just different names. I notice storage support is a bit different as some support SATA II while the other model supports SATA I. Onboard sound differes with Realtek and AC97 Codec. Some have more USB support and more integrated Ethernet port than others. It comes down to matter of preference of what you want. The more expensive the motherboard are, the more features it supports generally. Do you want SLi support? If so, this is a good one:

DFI LANPARTY nF4 SLI-DR Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retai
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...51#DetailSpecs

It's got an extra RAID controller, and support for all kinds of hard drives. This motherboard is totally loaded with stuff.
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Old 11-12-2005, 01:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: First Time Build

Sorry I should have mentioned I want an SLI board. I have it narrowed down to those 3. And would the SLI-DR be out of the box compatable with an AMD Athlon X2? I was leaning towards the UT SLI-DR expert but the SLI-DR is loaded with lots of stuff. Do they all have the same BIOS? And do u know how the UT series is different from just the LANPARTY series? And the SLI-DR expert has more room inbetween the PCI slots I think, but it also has the CPU in a weird spot.
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Old 11-12-2005, 01:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: First Time Build

Since TDRcorolla already answered ur question im jus here to say good luck
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Old 11-12-2005, 01:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: First Time Build

Do you have a link to that DFI Expert board? I can't seem to find it.
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Old 11-12-2005, 01:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: First Time Build

Ill give u links for all of them. I am going to be ordering off ncix.com since its Canadian.

Heres the expert - http://www.dfi.com.tw/Product/xx_pro...D=3872&SITE=US

SLI-DR http://www.dfi.com.tw/Product/xx_pro...YPE=LP&SITE=US

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...anufacture=DFI

And the UT SLI-DR I think has been replaced by the expert version but here it is anyways... http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...anufacture=DFI
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Old 11-12-2005, 01:39 PM   #17
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Default Re: First Time Build

I've narrowed it down to the two I like. The Expert one looks really good, but the board hereL: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...anufacture=DFI looks like it can OCed like a mother. So much you can do to that board. The Expert one has 3 PCI slots while the LANPARTY nF4 SLI-DR only has 2 PCI slots so I'm going to take the one with 3 PCI slots simply because I have a lot of PCI devices. It's your call though. They both look very, very good.
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Old 11-12-2005, 01:50 PM   #18
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Default Re: First Time Build

Will the positioning of the CPU socket on the expert cause any problems with oversized heat sinks? I will probably be using 2 PCI-E slots for my video cards and one pci slot for a fan that I am going to put under the video cards and the another PCI maybe for more usb ports.. but it is always good to have an extra pci slot. The SLI-DR looks extremely good but I dont know anything about OCing yet. Both look like good boards. My next question is on CPUs ... I am going to get an X2... possibly the 4400. My question is... how big of a difference is there between the 4200 and the 4400. The 4200 has 512mb of cache and the 4400 has 1mb for each core. From what I have read the 4200 is better for OCing because it uses the Manchester core and runs cooler and uses less power??? And the 4400 uses the Toledo which runs a bit hotter and is good for stock but not for OCing.
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Old 11-12-2005, 02:07 PM   #19
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If it does run a bit hotter, probably due to the extra cache, it is still by far one of the coolest CPU around. Ocing either core will result in hotter temps, naturally. I would still consider the 4400+ Toledo core because of that extra cache enabled. It's like $100 more for it. I figure if Opterons have a big cache, then it's got to be good for an X2 to have the 1MB cache instead of the 512MB.
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Old 11-12-2005, 02:29 PM   #20
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Default Re: First Time Build

Ok I was just posting a really long post when I got an error and it didnt post so I am going to try to remember everything I just typed. So going b ack to the mobos... Is there a huge diff between sata and sata 2? I would like to get the expert since it has an extra PCI slot and more space but the sli-dr has the sata2. As for video cards.. I was going to get the EVGA E-Geforce 7800gtx but I think i am going ot get BFG GeForce 7800gtx oc - http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...20Technologies

As for ram I was going to get the OCZ EL Platinum PC3200 2GB 2X1GB DDR400 but I read it isnt good for OCing and the OCZ Platinum EB PC4000 2GB but the max most mobos support for AMD cpus is ddr400 correct?
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