Can anyone advise me on building a cpu?

I wonder if I could get some pointers for assembling a cpu.
I have a tower case that’s about 4 years old and I want to know if I can use it
with a new mother board, drives, expansion cards, etc. It has room for three CD drives, two 3.25 type drives, and seven expansion cards.

What should I know about the power supply? Fan?

What about mounting holes/brackets? Are these standardized?

What’s a good combination of components (M board, cards, drives)?

What else?

Well one of the first thing to check is if you have an AT or ATX power supply. Most motherboard today are ATX and yours is probably AT. The way to chech that is the power connector to the motherboard. One of the cable coming out of the power supply (ps) will have one of the following 2 connectors.

This is a ATX connector:

This is an AT connector:
(Hope they are not burned like the one on this picture :slight_smile:

There should not be any problem with the mounting bracket.

For the mboard and cpu this is quite debatable but if you dont know much a sure bet is Asus mboard and intel processor.

You should try to find a friend that can help you with this.


Building a computer is really not that hard at all. All you do is basically snap things together, or mount it with a little screw. And everything is a different shape, so it dosn’t get confusing. Just make sure you read the specs on the mobo you choose and make sure it is what will work and be compatible now and in the future. I made the mistake a few years back of getting a kx133 chipset with an AMD t-bird. I then learn the t-bird needs the kt-133 chipset (of that line), but I had an origional k7 slot-a where everything was switching to socket-A. So I ended up having to buy a whole new mobo and cpu to match. But if you get everything to match, putting it all together is very simple.

One thing to consider is that old cases may not have the proper air cooling specs which are required for modern cpus (e.g. athlons / pentium 4s).

I recently put a new motherboard / cpu into my 4 year old tower case. It fitted fine, but it didn’t have a exhaust fan sittign near the cpu, so it ran rather hot.

For all the extra money it costs, I recommend getting a new case, one which is pentium 4 compatible (which means that it has the extra exhuast fan).

Then, you can keep the old motherboard / cpu in the old case and use it for a linux box / render box or firewall.


That’s what it is.

It’s also 200 watts (acceptable?)

As for ventilation it has two fans, a place for a third next to the m board and large well vented cabinet.

Thanks for alternate usage idea! I think I’ll do that now with one or the other cpu.

That would be my brother. I just want to pick several brains before start. There’s no rush.

As for a graphics card, better PCI or AGP?

You should probably look into upgrading you powersupply at least. The newer setup use quite a bit of power, maybe get a 350-400 watt. They’re not too bad in price.

As for graphics card, I would definitely go AGP.

You probably ought to browse through this site too:

And maybe start here:

for building your own computer. I went here for my first computer back in '97. The only thing that saved me was that I have no fear, LOL, and my sister built her’s in the 80’s, so I figured it couldn’t be too hard, LOL.

Anyway, Tom’s is great for any info about anything that has to do with hardware! bookmark it!

Love Ingie

Actually, the tower (or whatever type of case for that matter) is not that necessary. As long as you can get all your components fit with each other (don’t forget the power supply :wink: ) it will happily sit in a cupboard, or just on your desk (I have had one of my comps like that, first sitting - or actually lying - on my desk, and then I put it in a cupboard). Just make sure you have the right air circulation).

As for vidcard, it depends on what you are going to use it for. If your ultimate goal would be ray-traying (with for instance pov-ray), a 4MB card (PCI) would do just fine. If you intend to play Doom III on the other hand - have a dynamite card (most likely an AGP). You would need it.