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Assembling the parts for your own PC

Last response: in Systems
December 2, 2008 8:00:22 PM

This is a guide for 1st time system builders, it will tell you how to prepare for building and my part recommendations, how to build the computer (including wiring), and how to set up the BIOS. It will also help you get familiar with the components, in the components section. Also if I miss something plz state what I missed and I will fix it.

1. Preparation
a. Components
b. Anti static rant and about it
c. Getting ready to build

2. Building the Computer
a. Prepare the case for building
b. PSU Mounting
c. CPU Mounting
d. CPU Cooler Mounting
e. Attaching the RAM
f. Mounting the Motherboard
g. Attaching the Graphics Card to the Motherboard
h. Mounting the Hard Drive into the Hard Drive Cage
i. Attaching the Optical Drive to the 5.25” bay
j. Attach Northbridge fans to the Motherboard if you have any.
k. Wiring

3. Setting up the BIOS
a. How to set up the BIOS
b. How to keep your stuff working
c. Have Fun!!!

1. This will tell you how to prepare to build a computer and tells you about the parts.

a. First you have to gather the components, and I will give some recommendations on parts and manufactures to buy from.

Case: The case is what the computer houses the othe parts in. Also note that aluminum cases dissperce heat better.

Power Supply: This is what powers your system.

Motherboard: This is what all the parts attach to it contains the chipset, the socket, the RAM slots, and other conectors.

CPU: What proceses the information in the system CPU stands for Central Processing Unit.

Graphics Card: Proceses graphical information and GPU is what it is and it stands for Graphics Processing Unit.

Memory (RAM): Yes memory is also called RAM it stands for Random Access Memory, I recommend 4GB for Vista and 2-3GB for XP, also you really don’t need anything higher than PC6400 unless you are doing some serious overclocking.

Hard Drives: Hard Drives store information also note that the might be called HDD’s, since that stands for Hard Disk Drive.

Optical Drive: They read CD's and DVD's and can also write to them.

CPU Coolers: This cools the processor or CPU. Note that these usually have separate retention brackets to attach to the Motherboard, most of the time they come with the cooler but not always, so make sure you have one.

Operating System: What your computer runs on e.x. Windows Vista.
Monitors: Display the information.

Keyboards: What you type on. LOL!

Mouse: What moves around the screen has a right and left clickers.

Speakers: Makes sounds for your computer.

Sound Cards: Processes sound information.

TV Tuners: Tunes into T.V. stations

Also you will need a #2 screwdriver, and thermal grease to build the computer.

b. Next you might want to get an anti static wrist strap to prevent electro static discharge. Yes I know that these don’t always help but they usually improve your chance of your stuff working, but if you don’t get one than I recommend to take your socks off and work on hardwood floor or tile, and make sure you don rub you feet on carpet while you are building.

c. You should take your components out of their boxes and put them on some sort of table, but I would leave the HDD’s and the optical drive in their boxes, also keep the CPU in its plastic holder. Once you have them out of their boxes but sill in the plastic or anti static bag the come in place all the boxes into the cases box to store them but take out the manuals for further reference. Make sure you are working on tile or wood, and have a table to work on and another to put screws or parts you will be using later.

2.This section will tell you how to build the computer, how to wire it, and how to attach fans to the mobo.

a. First we have to prep the case for building. You need to remove the side panel of the case if you have two then remove both. Now you need to remove the hard drive bays form the hard drive cage and you might want to remove the hard drive cage altogether. Then you have to remove all the expansion slots from the back of the case so you can use them later. Now you need to remove all the drive bay covers oh and also don’t forget to put the I/O shield on the back of the case (it comes in the motherboard package).

b. Next you need to attach the PSU to the case; it will either be at the top or the bottom. To attach it you will line it up to the screw holes at the back of the case then you screw the PSU into place with the screwdriver.

c. Next you will be attaching the CPU to the mobo, which you should have on the separate table. To attach it you take the plastic cover off the motherboard, then lift the small metal bar to unlock the CPU holder, then align the CPU to the holder, then press down slightly and lock it into place, by pressing down the metal bar.

d. Now we are going to mount the CPU cooler. I would read your manual for the best instructions on this but I’ll give you some basics on it. If you use the box cooler with your CPU then there are pushpins to secure the CPU. If you are using an aftermarket cooler then there will be a backplate to put on the back of the motherboard that screws will go in to hold the heatsink and cooler in place.

e. Now we are going to attach the RAM to the motherboard, which may be the easiest thing to do. You just line the RAM up to the slot and push in then it will automatically lock in if not push on the white tabs on the sides.

f. Now we are going to mount the motherboard into the case. You need to put the mother board standoffs in the bottom so the motherboard is slightly raised up and fits in the case and into the I/O shield better. Next you have to line up the motherboard with the anchors you put for the motherboard then you lay the motherboard on top of them and you screw it in with a #2 screwdriver. I recommend using 5-10 screws to mount it I have 7 screws on my current system. (you should have the case on its side)

g. Now we are going to attach the graphics card to the motherboard. First you have to line the PCIE X16 on the card to the one on the motherboard and line it up with the expansion slots on the back, then you just push in like you did for the Ram and it will lock in.

h. Now we are going to mount the hard drive into the hard drive cage. First you place the hard drive in the bay and line it up with the screw holes on the bay. Then you screw it in with the #2 screwdriver then you put the bay back in the cage and you put that in the computer if it was outside the case.

i. Now to one of the easiest steps mounting the optical drive. To do this you have to slide the optical drive into the bay and screw it in with the #2 screwdriver then you are set for that.

j. This is going to be for users that have northbridge fans. You jut slide in the fan and it will lock into place then you attach the power on the motherboard.

k. Now you will be wiring. This is pretty time conserving… first you should attach the 24pin power to the motherboard and remember to attach the 8 pin power for the CPU, then attach the power to the graphics card, then the hard drives and the optical drives then the fans. Next you need to attach the SATA data cable to the hard drive and the optical drive, this is shaped like a l so plug it into the motherboard and the back of the hard drive and optical drive. Just make sure you have most of the cord out of the way and make sure you plug in everything including the fans for the CPU and motherboard.

3. Now we will set up the BIOS and do some overclocking and troubleshooting and just post if you need help.

a. In this part we will set up the BIOS. First you need to press delete when your computer is starting up. When you get into the BIOS go to load optimized defaults and type in y and hit enter. Now go to standard CMOS features and press enter then go to date then time and set the correct date and time by using the + and – signs. Then hit Esc to get to the main menu… for further info refer to your motherboards manual it will also help you troubleshoot.
b. Now we will get into how to keep your stuff working. This is pretty easy just keep liquids and food away and use compressed air to clean it.
c. Really just have fun with building you computer and if you need any troubleshooting help then just post here!!

Also if anyone has something to add I will add it as soon as possible!


More about : assembling parts

December 2, 2008 8:29:37 PM

Wow thanks, awesome post!!
Related resources
December 2, 2008 8:57:21 PM

Nice start, although I think you'll find it's too much info in one place when it's all said and done.

Although Corsair, PC P&C, and a few others are good generally, Antec does not fall into that category. The Antec Basiq line is cheap trash, and the Neo 650W is poor. The True Power Trio line is OK, although you can usually do better. Earthwatts and Quattro are good overall.

You might want to check here:
December 2, 2008 9:00:52 PM

Wow. There are members of this forum that have Antec PSU's running since before a lot of youse guys were born. I have several. One is running daily since 1999.
December 2, 2008 9:05:22 PM

Take off the recommendations for specific items (ie OCZ RAM,etc) and then this will be sticky worthy. :)  If you wish to keep the recommendations put it under a category called "Recommended Parts" or something like that. Having the recommendations make you look like you are trying to sell something. Overall good job!

December 2, 2008 9:11:03 PM

They simply are not all good. I'm saying you cannot buy any Antec and expect the same quality. They do NOT deserve an "across the boards" recommendation.

I did make an error though in my last post. The trio is OK. It's the Neo that is not.
December 2, 2008 9:14:53 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Take off the recommendations for specific items (ie OCZ RAM,etc) and then this will be sticky worthy. :)  If you wish to keep the recommendations put it under a category called "Recommended Parts" or something like that. Having the recommendations make you look like you are trying to sell something. Overall good job!

+1 ^

You're just stating your personal opinion of what hardware manufacturers are best without backing anything up. You left off some great companies and included some that aren't great.

The build portion is OK, but you left off some obvious things like plugging in the CPU power connector to the motherboard in addition to the 24-pin motherboard power connector. That's got to be the #1 noob move I've seen on these forums. There are already a lot of good how-to's on the net. What makes this any better/sticky worthy?
December 2, 2008 9:20:29 PM

I'm happy to have Antec PSU's on my machines. A lot of my machines run all day in a business office, like 9 to 5. Most of Antec's were installed before the names you see today were released. If I have time, I'll try and find some old links.
December 2, 2008 9:36:45 PM

excellent thread. nice job!!
December 2, 2008 9:42:28 PM

+1 - A pretty decent post. I would not agree with many of the recommendations, but am OK with some. I would get rid of those for a better post.

December 2, 2008 10:22:27 PM

"They simply are not all good. I'm saying you cannot buy any Antec and expect the same quality. They do NOT deserve an "across the boards" recommendation."

What about the Antec Signature Series. Those PSU's are better than All of corsairs models and better than most PCPower and Cooling PSUs.
December 2, 2008 10:49:54 PM

No doubt :) 

I'm still being misunderstood I guess.

Look at it this way. You can go to a store, as the average know-nothing joe, and see a Corsair PSU on the shelf and have complete confidence that, whichever model it is, it's high quality.

If you walk into Best Buy and see an Antec PSU and think "oh it's an Antec it must be good" then you MIGHT be wrong.

You can say, "All PC Power & Cooling PSUs are good."
You can say, "All Seasonic brand PSUs are good."
But all you can say about Antec is, "Many of their power supplies are good, and some of them are the best."

There is a difference, because when you are writing for thousands of readers, many of them do not, and are not willing to, differentiate. They see a review about the Antec SG850 and then go shopping and buy an Antec Basiq because they "heard Antecs were good."
December 2, 2008 11:19:02 PM

I have never seen a zippy.
But I hear good stuff about them.
I have had many types a case psu's and some I bought from Compusa and such.
But the best line of PSU's I ave ever bought have been the PCPower ones and I have 6 of them running at mine and my sisters house.
December 3, 2008 12:00:44 AM

might want to proof read, punctuate and make headings bold, for easier reading.

Also, the CPUs nowadays are Zero Insertion Force, which means they need no pushing at all to slide into place. pushing them in the wrong way can bend things that shouldn't be bent. also, never touch the top of the cpu, since fingerprints are not good thermal conductors.

otherwise a very nice basic guide, i would have been happy to find one of these when i first started.
December 3, 2008 12:49:21 AM

badge said:
I was building systems long before this. The illustrations are nice. 8)

EDIT: Corsair recommends the Antec 480 Neopower. Details inside. 8)


It's a nice how-to though. Good example of how to do it right. Pictures are obviously the most important part.

This guy made this site just recently looks like. He's trying to cover it all, and while I can't agree with everything it's a pretty good effort.
December 3, 2008 1:07:26 AM

Now I've mentioned my ancient power supplys I have still running, well actually I bragged about them. LOL. Now I'm afraid to turn my machines on. They'll probably fry right before my eyes. 8(
December 3, 2008 9:21:47 AM

I think my first card didn't have a name :p  I know I owned a card that said "Cirrus Logic" on it and I think I upgraded to Trident from there :p 
I think there was a Matrox 400 in the house for a time.

One of them is still around here somewhere.... has memory sockets on it.

My first motherboard purchase had a separate cache slot.
December 3, 2008 7:38:48 PM

LOL i have a great old MX4 too. I have now fixed it and took outmy recomendations and put what the components are, thanks for all the good feadback.

Take off the recommendations for specific items (ie OCZ RAM,etc) and then this will be sticky worthy. :) 

Now is it sticky worthy?? LOL!
December 3, 2008 7:46:04 PM

you forgot to drink a beer in between each step
December 3, 2008 7:55:52 PM

I vote for Sticky because THF doesn't have a smiler guide. Also rename the title to "Assembling the parts for your own PC".
December 3, 2008 8:01:11 PM

Now we are going to mount the motherboard into the case. You need to put the screw anchors in the bottom so the motherboard is slightly raised up and fits in the case and into the I/O shield better.

Change that to "mother board standoffs" most people refer to those as such.
December 3, 2008 11:27:03 PM

Thanks Shadow I will fix that tommorow.

Please Sticky!!
December 4, 2008 7:16:55 PM

There I fixed the name and the motherboard standoff part
December 4, 2008 9:17:18 PM

^PM a mod like turpit to get this sticky.