For a long time I have wanted to build my own machine. I wanted something powerful, a beast. The computer I would build could “run NASA” and design jumbo-jets… and this summer, I saved up enough to just do that.
Unfortunately, my budget didn’t cover NASA’s specs and Boeing had to reconsider, but it is still a monster. At the time I knew little about building computers, but I knew the basics. It started when I wanted something that could actually process a video and upload it quickly. I was really into my YouTube Channel at the time and nothing was powerful that I had my hands on. I decided to check out TigerDirect for some cheap powerhouses. The only thing I could find was a little shy of $700, a goal that might take a couple of summers at my rates. Then I came across “barebones PCs” that you build on your own. A barebones PC is a little PC kit that comes with most of the parts in building a desktop computer. Fully customizable, this was just what I wanted. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was stepping in a big puddle and the water was coming through my shoes.
This is all I wanted, a barebones PC that I could equip with an arsenal of parts. You have the motherboard, the processor, the CPU fan, the RAM, the graphics card, the hard drive, the disc drive, etc., I was in heaven. To give it to you straight, I had myself focused on certain specs that could do anything I wanted. As time passes I can upgrade all these parts and keep my monster angry and hungry for more power.
After working an entire summer, 4 days a week, 3-4 hours a day, I came up with around $500. I know that is not that much for working the ENTIRE summer, but I did what any person would do, and try to enjoy their summer while they could. So, NO, I did not work everyday. Back to my point… With this money I had purchase the following parts:
1. GIGABYTE M68MT nForce 630a Socket AM3 Motherboard
2. AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition OEM Processor (3.10 Ghz)
3. Thermaltake CL-P0503 70mm CPU Cooler
4. Lite-On Internal 24X DVD Writer
5. ADATA 4GB DDR3-1333MHz Premier Series Desktop RAM (x2)
6. Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB Hard Drive (3.5″)
7. XFX Radeon HD 5570 1GB DDR3 PCIe 2.1 DirectX 11
8. DiabloTek Elite 450W PSU ATX Mid Tower Case
I ordered the parts Saturday, September 10, 2011. They arrived Tuesday night, around 6:15 pm. Sadly, I was sick Tuesday and Wednesday and did not get to touch it until Wednesday night. I put all the parts together, solving this hog of a puzzle, in about 2 hours (keep in mind this was my first time putting a computer together). I followed the motherboard and mid tower case instructions and had wired everything to exact details. I took it upstairs to my room to connect it to my monitor. The moment of truth…
I plugged in the power supply and connected the VGA to the back. Flipped the switch, hit power. My beast lit up in bright blue and red on the front, cheering with joy… but blank monitor. (insert sadface)
I immediately shut it off, hoping it wouldn’t explode. I grabbed the manual and briskly flipped through it. I power-read for a good 15 minutes and couldn’t figure it out. By about now it was almost 7:30 and I had a lot of homework still. I decided to put it out of my mind and figure it out this weekend.
This is where I stand. I couldn’t stop thinking about it this entire day and I will probably tweak with it tonight. I don’t want to, but if there is no solution, I may I have to accept defeat and take it to professional help. Which (1) I can’t afford (which means having to pay back my dad) and (2) WOULD BE SO WEAK OF ME!
I will look at it again tonight and pray to the gods of “Motherboard Manual” that there is one silly thing I missed that is kicking me in the shins.
If I figure anything out I will post a weekend blog post on what’s going on.
Yeah I know the wires are messy... SHHHHhhh
My Graphics Card (XFX Radeon HD 5570 1GB)