Joyful and relieved feelings

…anyone ever bother to read the hilariously translated copy on the box of an ASUS P5B Deluxe? It also carries some weird motto: “Rock Solid, Heart Touching.” I want that on a t-shirt.

Ok, I have an impressive array of computer parts here in front of me, along with a Windows XP disc. Gonna start my very first build from scratch in 3 years tonight. Any advice, tips, or “be sure you don’t do this”?

-ASUS P5B Deluxe
-Geil 2gb memory (2x1gb), 4-4-4-12
-Hiper 580w PSU
-EVGA 8800 GTS (640mb)
-E6600 CPU
-Seagate SATA HD drive
-Lian Li 7-fan aluminum case
-One tube Arctic Silver 5

Going in, my biggest question I think I got the definitive answer on. The P5B manual isn’t real clear, but to run RAM in dual channel mode I want the two sticks in the Yellow slots–A1 and B1 is 2 channels, as opposed to A1 and A2. (In other words, the letters represent the dual channels, not the numbers).

Anything else?

Make sure you don’t spill your beer in the case.

Shit, good one.

“Keep longneck 6”-12" below workspace at all times" /makes note.

Be sure your OS disc says XP and not Vista.

I’d suggest two things:

Some mobos dislike having SATA drives plugged in out of order. You may want to make sure you plug your drive into the first SATA slot, although its possible this won’t matter.

Try and find out the voltage requirements for your RAM. The default voltage for RAM tends to be set on the low side, and some performance RAM will not run very well if they aren’t getting enough juice. Unless you’re overclocking you usually don’t need to mess with voltage setting in the BIOS, but this can create problems if it’s not set right.

Once everything is together I’d suggest running memtest to make sure your RAM is good, and then run Orthos overnight to make sure there are no other hardware problems. (Both of these programs are free downloads)

Advice: The Core 2 Duo default HSF is a motherfucking bitch to put on. You need to press really hard on the corner pegs. To the point where I was sure I was going to snap my motherboard in half.

Oh, and you WON’T hear the clear popping noise of the clip fully inserting. Intel’s documentation LIES.

I saw similar in some of the consumer comments/reviews at Newegg. Good to know.

Only use a tiny bead of Arctic Silver, don’t smother the CPU.

Also, you may have an easier time mounting the CPU/HSF on the motherboard before you install the motherboard in the case. It’s not such a pronounced issue with the stock Intel HSF, but on some larger after-market coolers, its all but a requirement, unless you have extremely long & slender fingers.

Nice, triggercut… have fun :)

Appreciate all the advice and help.

2 more questions:

First, I did use Arctic Silver when I installed my current CPU, an AMD Athlon 3000. I think I did pretty good with it, and definitely remember that small is good, not smothering…but because it’ll gnaw at me, let’s define a “tiny bead” of the compound is. I’m thinking about a millimeter or maybe 2 in diameter?

Second:

I’ve put a bunch of my drivers (especially for my handy dandy USB internet adapter that always comes in handy) on a little usb flash drive, but it got me to wondering…

My current rig is two IDE hard drives. I plan on formatting them and giving them to a buddy, as I’ll be installing a secksy new SATA drive or two. But…I do notice that the P5B has an IDE connection on it. For grins and giggles, can I forego connecting my DVD drive to it and instead connect my old boot hard drive to it? I’m wondering if I can get the BIOS to recognize that there’s a HDD on the IDE, and wondering if it’ll let me boot there?

The reason I ask is that I have a beautiful, pristine, gorgeous news XP SP2 installation on that HD and nothing else. I eventually plan on reinstalling windows and starting fresh on the new SATA drive, but for now–when I’m doing my first power up and all that stuff–for peace of mind I’m thinking that it’d be great to not have to worry about installing windows to a new drive as I’m trying to determine that the CPU, RAM, video card, and everything else is properly connected and seated and working correctly.

Once I determine that all the other hardware is installed correctly, I’d put the optical drive on the IDE connector (disconnecting that old hard drive, obviously) and then install windows to the SATA drive and go from there.

Thoughts?

This works for me better than the “tiny bead” thing:

Ooze out a small amount – call it a tiny bead, if you want to. Then take a craft knife or razor plate and smear it over the top of the heat spreader, as thinly as possible.

Now you have even less still on the knife blade. Take that and smear it over the heat sink surface – you should see no more than a light haze of paste on the HSF surface.

This may work, but you’ll first need to do a repair install of XP anyway. It’s likely on first boot you may get a STOP 0x000007 error, which indicates that your XP install doesn’t recognize the hard drive controller.

If you pop the HDD with XP on it into a whole new system you’ll basically have to reinstall anyway (actually you do a “repair” install but it’s the same thing in the end).

Then you might have problems fitting the 12V 4/8 pin CPU power cable if it lies between the cooler and the case. I mounted a Scythe Ninja before installing the mobo and bloodied my knuckles trying to connect that power lead. But the stock cooler is short enough to not matter.

I found that my Lian case rattled pretty badly. I reused it for my recent build but used butyl matting (used in the aftermarket to soundproof cars… Dynamax is an example) to add mass to the panels. It wasn’t expensive and resolved the issue. To further reduce vibrations I suspended the Hardrives on rubber cabling.

IIRC, the instructions say to put an amount the size of “a grain of rice”, which is much easier for me to visualize than a “tiny amount”, a “tiny bead”, or a “millimeter or two”. Place the HSF on the CPU before you mount it and twist the HSF from side to side. When you pull it off, you should see a circular pattern of paste covering the core of the processor. Re-seat and mount. Voila! Much better than the hour I used to spend with putty knives and old credit cards pain-stakingly covering the whole surface of the CPU with just the right amount.

An hour?

Takes me about 30 seconds.

I hate the newer Arctic silver formulations that are so viscous they won’t smear with my old “finger wrapped in cling film” method. :(

I thought I was the only one who did that.

Criminy, I’m never gonna use the phrase “tiny bead” again.

As for the suggestion to install the HSF before mounting the mobo, this comes from my latest HSF install where the oversized heat sink made it pretty much impossible to fasten the four mounting pins while the board was in the case.

A) I was exaggerating for effect.

B) I tried fairly hard to get precisely right the right amount spread exactly evenly.

If it took me 5 minutes to get it just so, that’s 4 minutes and 45 seconds longer than it takes me with the current method, my only point.

triggercut: I hear you on the Asus P5B Engrish. Asus’s been in the business for a while; you’d think they would manage to clean up their act by now. It doesn’t help that the Asus ACPI Center program is misspelled “cneter,” either.