Scratch building

6 replies [Last post]
steve at work
Joined: May 8 2001

I am building my first computer from scratch, it will be built around a Gigabyte GA-7DXR mobo and an Athlon 1.4GHz chip, although I have never built one before I have installed firewire,HD CD rom etc to my older machine.
What will be the major pitfalls of building from scratch, any advice would be appreciated.
Regards Steve

Joined: Sep 9 2000

I guess one could write a book on this, but where to start?

Read the motherboard manual and, when you set the m/b jumpers make a record, in the manual, of what you have set. If it's your first build start with a minimal set of cards installed. Plan where everything is going in the case; make a list of all the tasks you need to perform and check them off as you go along. Check all connections and then check them again. You don't say what OS you intend to use; XP is pretty good when it comes to providing drivers.

I put a GA-7DXR system together about 2 months ago running XP Professional. It's a great board and the AMD chipset causes fewer problems with DV than most.

Hardly a full list I know, but it's a start.



Trevor Page
Joined: Oct 4 1999

Hi Steve,
If its an AMD system, there are some things which just have to be taken seriously.

Make sure the Power supply is up to the job. Minimum 300W - more is better. Many recommend and use enermax 400W+.

Make sure you get the best CPU cooler you can afford and fit it properly. Follow the guide lines at regarding airflow and cooling, they can save you heaps of time and hassle later.

Via chipset drivers - It is a good idea to install the latest chipset drivers from Nine times out of ten, the ones that ship with the mobo are 3 or four releases behind.


Joined: Oct 20 2001

A big thank you for "Bomag" for the detailed advice.I have learned a lot.At the same time I am confused learning that if I use a hardvare CODEC like Canopus [according to my experience the best in RT] the Dual processor has no advantage in rendering. Canopus have used Dual CPU in their top model RT System for a long time but than it was necessary since the available top speed was around 700MHz. According to some articles the Dual CPU halves the rendering time.
Locally [Australia] there is an offer with the following spec:
AMD Athlon MP 1800+,
Asus V 8200 Ti 500 64MB GeForce 3
60GB 7200RPM ATA 100HDD
Hercules MUSE XL Soundcard.

Any Comments?



Joined: Jun 7 2001

Thanks for the comments, the case I have is a full size ATX 300 W output and I will probably use Win 2000, the part I am not to sure about is the jumper setting on the mobo, I thought these would be a default setting, I dont have much experience with jumpers, any more advise would be helpful.
Steve at work (At home)

Joined: Aug 15 2000


If you have a hardware CODEC the card does all the relavent processing rather than the CPU. Dual CPUs does halve the rendering times if you have a software CODEC.

On another post somebody mentioned that the hardware codec on the Matrox RT2x00 was equivilent to a 700Mhz CPU and that on the latest drivers you could disable elements of the codec so that it can be run by a second CPU. Canopus may do the same considering that CPU development is outstriping cababilities of the capture cards (why spend £500+ on an new card when for £300 you can get a MP motherboard and a second CPU which will be faster).

Unless you are a real games fanatic I would avoid Geforce cards since the picture quality is not as good as Matrox or ATI cards.

Joined: Jun 12 1999


With the GA7DXR mobo the only jumper you have to change is for the mobo clock speed. It is set at 100 by default change it to 133 (assuming you are using 266MHz DDR RAM)

It is that simple

I have the GA7DXR mobo with an AMD 2000XP and Storm card, works great

Do be careful buying as the MOBO BIOS has to be f5 to support XP processors, f7 to support 1800XP and f8 to support the 2000XP

If you buy for a Computer Fair the stock may be old. Updating Gigabyte BIOS is a breeze, dead simple and reliable (famous last words there)

Only niggle is that the onboard sound only has one input.