Building a PC

Discussion in 'Games' started by gco212, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. gco212 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #1
    I know that this is a Mac forum, but I know that a lot of you have PCs for gaming (which is what this will be used for) and I trust the information I receive from here mouch more than PC message boards (though I've never been to one either). Anyway, I built it (a very nice system for $500) and I think all the connections are fine (I did double check). However, no video is appearing on the monitor which is working fine. I have a PCI video card but the mother board has a AGP slot for video as well. Does that mean I need an AGP video card, or is the motherboard fried or something? Oh, and I the video card works fine, I put it in another computer and I put the card in two different PCI slots on this compuer, so that isn't the problem either. Thanks .
     
  2. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #2
    It is possible you don't have something plugged in all the way. Make sure the video card is firmly inserted, memory, etc... I built my gaming PC using only $170 bucks with some spare PC parts that was not worth much. It was my 2nd attempt. I fried a Athlon system that I built from scratch and saw $350 bucks go down the drain. I would have rather used that $350 towards some memory for my G5. I use my G5 for newer games if possible.
     
  3. Mav451 macrumors 68000

    Mav451

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    #3
    You guys should consider getting an experienced PC user/builder to help you out. A lot of novice mistakes will result in dead systems (tightening mobo screws too tight, inversing the power connectors, forgetting basic stuff like the 12V connector...ugh, I can go on).

    Please, do not be condescending to your PC bretheren. If you need help ASK FOR IT. They will be more than willing to help you out.

    On another note,please avoid getting the cheapest parts possible "just to save a few bucks" and expect your system to boot. There's a reason that companies like Asus, Enermax, Chieftec, for example, are still round. PC users typically will not want to waste time on a "TigerDirect" mobo, which usually is the dirt-cheap ECS board. Get brand names, and you'll get brand name quality. You get what you pay for.
     
  4. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #4
    Oh man, do I SECOND that "don't get it cheap" line above. I built a few PCs, both for myself and for others, and I've only used cheap components once. He wanted the computer as cheap as possible, and I scrounged one up for $150 (yes, $150 for everything, including the case). What a nightmare that was. I told him I'm not going to bother with it, and if he wants me to build him a computer, it'll be $300. He actually listened to my advice for once, and I went and returned almost everything in that $150 PC, and built a $300 PC, a rather nice one. Now, guess what? He keeps telling me how he loves his PC, how fast it is, how stable it is, and all that. For just $150 more.

    And I've only fried one motherboard - and it's that cheap one. Go figure. But luckily for me (and for all the motherboard-friers out there) a fried motherboard is next to impossible to tell apart from a DOA motherboard. So I just called, said my motherboard arrived DOA, and got a RMA. No money wasted :D

    As for the starter of this thread: Did you check if the motherboard itself is working? There are usually obvious signs to tell you that it's working - fans, little lights and beeps, etc. If everything is dead, it's very likely it's the motherboard (but don't count out the powersupply either). Sometimes the motherboard will just die if you have something bad plugged into it. I once got a DOA video card, and it killed the whole machine when it's plugged in. When I unplugged it, the machine started the right up. So you should unplug everything from the motherboard, except the powersupply (and fans if you need it for indication) and the front panel. Start it up, if the motherboard starts up, then it's one of your components. Use trial-and-error to find out which one.
     
  5. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #5
    I would also recomend asking for help on other forums that are more set up to handle it. Overclocker.com forums and http://www.sharkyforums.com/ are both really good for it and will be much more knowlegel and give you better advice as a whole than a mac forum (mainly because it is a mac forum and apple users in general are a lot weaker in this area)
    but like said about dont cheap out on parts. go name brand
     
  6. gco212 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #6
    No, that's why I suspect it's in someway the video card. It beeps, forces the hardrive to spin, lights up my keyboard when it's attached, can open the DVD drive, and just about everything except display the picture.
     
  7. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #7
    Hmm... I'll have to agree with you, it looks like it's the video card. Did you try another PCI slot? Maybe the one you have the video card plugged in is bad? Do you have any other PCI devices plugged in? A conflict is also possible. One more thing, I don't know if they make PCI cards like this, but does your card require it's own line from the power supply? Otherwise, check the specs of your card, are you sure it's compatible with the motherboard? Probably a stretch, but it's worth checking out.
     
  8. musicpyrite macrumors 68000

    musicpyrite

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #8
    Does the computer post?

    Does the motherboard have onboard video? If so, you might be getting your signal through that and need to go into the BIOS to switch to your off board video.

    Have you tried a different PCI slot? I think on some mother boards you have a kind of master/slave setup where to use off board video you need to use a master PCI slot. Check your motherboard and video card manual. But at any rate, at least try putting it into a different slot.
     
  9. Abulia macrumors 68000

    Abulia

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Kushiel's Scion
    #9
    Last poster is pretty close. Does the machine POST? Are you getting only one beep, signaling that the machine POST-ed or a series of beeps? The series means an error code.

    Does the motherboard have on-board video? If so, it's pretty likely that default video out is through this. Hook the monitor to the on-board video, get to the BIOS (usually DEL at POST) and then tell it to use your PCI/AGP video card.

    IRQ sharing conflicts are possible, but unlikely. The slot the PCI video card is in shouldn't matter. Just play it safe and try another slot. If you have the motherboard manual you would prefer to have the video card in a non-shared IRQ slot.

    Really need more information (make/model of parts) before we can really help you, though.
     
  10. gco212 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #10
    Thanks for the help, it was the video card. I picked up a Radeon 9600 AGP, and it went no problem. I just loaded the OS, and I'm now good to go. Thanks for all the help.
     
  11. musicpyrite macrumors 68000

    musicpyrite

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #11
    ah thanks, that's what I was thinking of. I could have sworn that I read in some motherboard manual that it can matter where you put a certain PCI card. What ever. :rolleyes:
     
  12. Abulia macrumors 68000

    Abulia

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Kushiel's Scion
    #12
    No, you're right, it can matter. Most the time it doesn't though. For example, if you're using a SCSI controller card you don't want to share an IRQ slot with your AGP port. Then, in your most agressive applications (i.e. games) you've got both slots juggling the same IRQ. Not good. :)

    Now AGP and a modem? No problem. :)

    Glad the problem got fixed.
     

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