How To Build A Computer And Take Pictures

‘Let’s build a computer’

My friend S said this to me just a few weeks ago during the final days of Dec 2011. We were watching back to back episodes of ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ on TBS and while lounging in our mutual friend K’s apartment in New Jersey he nonchalantly said that we should build a computer. It’s not so much that he said it, but he said with that voice, the one that seems like it’s the most sensible thing in the world. It’s the same voice God used when speaking to Moses and more recently to Tebow. Its the voice that often flicks a switch in one’s head that one never knew existed. There is no defense against that voice!.

As soon as he said it, I said ‘Yeah, Let’s build a computer!‘. The exclamation point at the end signifies the level of excitement I registered with my own voice at that moment. After coming back to Arizona the material procurement began. There is a bit of research involved but with help from couple of my office colleagues, it wasn’t as troublesome as I thought. Here is the external build (meaning, connecting the units outside the CPU case) I did to check if everything is working.

Spec: Intel i5 3.3 GHz, Hyper Cooler, 700W power, 2×4 GB RAM,500 GB SATA HDD, MSI P67 Board

They look much prettier out of box. The processor is under the smaller fan.

MSI P67 Board. NewEgg website says this board is a winner of customer choice award, but I didn’t get to vote. Note: Make sure you don’t have static on you. Static discharge will fry your board easily.

And this tiny little thing is where the magic happens. Looks far too small for a 3.3 GHz processor with built in GPU.

Fits nice and snug. Seriously, don’t try to push it down. Just settle it over the socket and clamp it.

Time to attach the CPU cooler. Now it may seem like I miscalculated how big the CPU fan actually was before ordering it. I want to assure you that its true. It’s freakishly massive for a device that sits on top of a tiny processor.

The best thing about this CPU fan unit is that the package included everything from hex-screw heads to heat paste which is not commonly included with many coolers. Installation was a bit tricky since the cooler was awkwardly heavy for the board. And the printed circuit meant that there were sharp soldering points at the underside of the board which made holding the board mildly painful.

Pop in the brilliant blue RAM modules. You can see that the first RAM socket is unreachable because of the bulky fan.

The video card (not pictured in the materials pic shown above) came in late – it’s a funny story, for another day – and it’s the last part to go in. This one is 1GB PCI-Express- Express meaning its faster than the PCI-normal type. FYI, there is no PCI-normal type, they are called just PCI.

Moment of truth. Time to connect the power supply and switch it on. This motherboard comes with a sweet little power button which many other boards ignore. Let’s see, blue LED is ON and both fans are spinning joyously. We’re in business. Just one more thing to confirm.

Awesome!! Just to be sure, yeah, its an error message and it is totally expected. The BIOS is complaining that stuff have not been initialized properly yet. We don’t have an OS yet and that’s only because we don’t have a Hard Disk connected!! I’ll set them up once these guys are safely setup inside a CPU case.

Next up, disconnecting these units, attaching them inside the CPU case and then connecting them back. Then the Hard disk will go in and then the new OS. Just for fun I am planning to go with Linux. I know there are multiple flavors of Linux out there. I am looking at Ubuntu now, but does any one have suggestions/advise for total Linux newbie?

[Post: 195 of 365] [Days Missed: 62]
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7 thoughts on “How To Build A Computer And Take Pictures

  1. looks nice but the graphic card looks a bit lame…nvidia? and why would you spend so much on a cpu cooler? stock cooler should be just fine if you’re gonna run linux. i run ubuntu but it drains battery power pretty quickly so i dont use it much…that shouldnt be a problem for you though….why don’t u try linux mint?

    1. Hey thanks. I did not realize that the motherboard did not come with built in video out so that’s why I got the video card. This card actually has good reviews from people who tried skyrim with it so its not that bad. The cpu cooler is one of the most popular CPU fans out there…i want to over clock the CPU which the stock cooler does not support well. Thats also the reason why I went with 700W power which is a lot for an average desktop. I’ll check out linux mint. Appreciate the suggestion.

  2. you finally did it. I have used ubuntu its ok. Also try virtual machines ‘VMware’ allows you to snapshot your OS (I dont know about mac) and run it in any machine. That might be a good way to run other OS in that machine.

    1. Yeah, thanks. VMware is not free though! there is a free VM software from Sun that looks promising..but the problem is both windows and osx are expensive and i don’t want to spend money for OS :(.

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