I am building a computer with spare parts

This is a discussion on I am building a computer with spare parts within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I know the basics of how to do this because I have built one before; I am not asking how ...

  1. #1
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    I am building a computer with spare parts

    I know the basics of how to do this because I have built one before; I am not asking how to do this from scratch.

    Someone was about to throw away a motherboard and videocard thinking that they were broken. He said all that happened was that wierd ascii charactors would appear across the black screen when it was booting up. He gave them to me for free but he kept everything else but these two parts.

    I only need a few more pieces to get it up and running they are: AMD64 cpu, RAM, and A strong Power supply unit. I have all the rest such as hardrives and monitor.

    The strong power supply unit is only $20. The CPU and RAM are $50-60 each at the cheapest.

    My questions are: Will I be able to see if the motherboard works once I buy the power supply unit without the cpu and memory? Will I be able to see the boot up screen and acces the bios? (or CMOS? or whatever its called)

    I do not really want to risk spending a lot of money on this project if the motehrboard is broken. Thank you for any help.

  2. #2
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    I've never seen a power supply unit that I'd consider strong for anything less than $60.

    I have no idea whether or not your parts will work, but considering that they didn't work for your friend who would appear to be less knowledgeable than you about computers, I'd say you'd at the very least have some work to do before you get it to work. If you can, remove the CMOS battery and find the reset jumper. Move the jumper, put it back, put the battery back and see if that fixes it. If you don't want to spend the money, then don't bother doing it.
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    Darkness Prevails Dark_Phoenix's Avatar
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    At the least you will need the CPU, motherboard and a P/S just to see if it will post. If the Mobo does not have onboard video then you will need the vid card too. If you still get the 'weird ascii' characters then do as Sly suggested and reset the CMOS. If that does not work then more than likely the bios is bad.

    But if the Mobo has onboard video then I would go with that first. Process of elimination.
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    For Narnia! Sentral's Avatar
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    A good indication of a good power supply is to feel how heavy it is. If it's light, it's probably s***, but if it's heavy, there is a good chance of having a solid power supply. If you plan to buy a case, NEVER use the power supply's that come with it. Trust me.
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    Thank you Dark_Phoenix for the information as well as everyone else for their suggestions.

    As for the psu, I have found some 400-550 watt ones on newegg for as low as $20. The motherboard manual says it needs 300 watts for itself not including everything else.

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    Registered User Frobozz's Avatar
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    Hehe. $20 for a psu. $5 says it lasts less than a year.

  7. #7
    Darkness Prevails Dark_Phoenix's Avatar
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    >Hehe. $20 for a psu. $5 says it lasts less than a year.

    Yeah. Without a good P/S you won't have a computer for long. This is one place that you should not scrimp on, especially if you need a lot of power (400 watts+)
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  8. #8
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    300 Watts for a mainboard? I do hope the CPU is included in that.

    All you're likely to get without a CPU is a beep code from the mainboard telling you that it has no CPU.
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  9. #9
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    If you really don't want to spend some dough before you check it out, use some of the components from an existing (working) system to check it out. A PSU, RAM, and Vid Card (if you don't have an onboard option on the mainboard you're testing of course) are pretty easy things to swap out of a tower.
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  10. #10
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Yeah, getting a $20 PSU is not only a waste of $20 but also a major risk. They're highly unreliable and you don't want to think about what could happen to your components if it pops on you.
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