I've only built one system before. I bought everything, mounted the drives, PSU, motherboard, cpu, and heatsink perfectly fine, but when it came time to actually start hooking everything up, I had no clue. I ended up taking it to a local computer shop to have it all hooked up.
I want to do it myself this time, but am still a bit wary. My case is an apevia x-jupiter full tower and has 4 fans, a few leds, and some extra USB ports on top. I think these extra things are what really threw me.
How bad could I screw up the system if I wire it wrong? I didn't try too hard last time. If I just follow the motherboard book should I be alright? Or is there a possibility that I could fry all my parts and end up out $1400?
What I will be buying:
Asus P6T Deluxe
Vigor Monsoon III Heatsink
6 gb G.SKILL
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870x2 GPU
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W PSU
WD 7200RPM 32MB Cache 500GB HD
Asus provides a Q-connector kit for the system panel. This is what you will use to hook up your cases power switch, reset switch, harddrive activity light, and case speaker etc. Just match up the the correct wires to the Q connector, its really easy.
USB port from the case will plug into the usb ports on your motherboard (usually blue but check your manual).
If you have a 1394 connecter make sure you DO NOT DO NOT plug that into the usb parts it should ONLY go in the 1394 slot on your motherboard (usually REd but check your motherboard manual)
Connect your case audio to the motherboard, Check to see if you have HD or AC 97 audio on your case and follow the motherboards instructions. Even if you cant get this to work right the main system will function fine without it assuming you dont need the extra connections.
Connect the 8pin cpu connector to the motherboard
Connect the 24pin Main power connector to the motherboard
Connect the pci express power connector to your graphics card ( should have 2 if your getting the 4870x2)
Connect the SATA cable to your DVD and HDD then into the motherboard. Some motherboards have certian SATA ports that are meant for raid so just check the manual to see which ones you should plug them into
Connect the SATA or MOLEX power connector to the DVD and HDD. NOTE. Some Harddrives have both a Molex and a SATA power connecter what ever you do DO NOT plug in both a Molex and SATA power connector into the same device or it will fry. My HDD has both a SATA and MOLEX connector but i only have the SATA pluged in.
Connect the CPU fan to the cpu fan power connector on your motherboard (Check the manual)
Just chiming in with a vote of confidence! I've built two now and, in both cases, my system upon initial testing, get this, did not work! But in both cases I can absolutely say it was my error. In my first build I lsimply did not insert the power to the motherboard firmly enough. And the second time I did not connect a connector (power to Video card this time) at all.
So my advice is: take it slow and deliberate. Study the Motherboard and case manual first and just get familiar with all of the wires and plugs--a sort of dry run through in your head. Then take each one one at a time and really, really make sure you have inserted everything firmly. Some take a bit of pressing, some are so tiny it's just hard to get the placement right. But it's all really simple and logical.
Then, when you have your PSU and motherboard and fans all hooked up, turn it on. If the fans spin and the motherboard beeps, you know you're successfully in the homestretch.
Most plugs are straightforward-only one way to go about plugging them in. You may have trouble with connecting the front panel wires of the case (HDD Led, Power SW, Reset SW, etc) to the motherboard where the front panel ports are. Look at the wires. Which color comes up repeatedly? If, for example, the color white comes up repeatedly in all wires and the other wire is usually different (green, blue, red, etc), then that white wire is for the negative side. Look in your motherboard manual to see where the negatives match up with the corresponding pins on the front panel connectors.
When applying CPU paste, make sure not to put too much on. You only need a bit.
Don't screw in the CPU cooler screws (if you have a retention bracket) or the motherboard screws too tight-stop screwing as soon as you can feel the force on the motherboard from screwing.
When connecting everything, you must be constantly grounded. Try not to do this on a carpet unless you have to or if you have a static discharge strap. If you do not have a static discharge strap, then ground yourself before touching the motherboard each time. Just touch the side of the case which you unscrewed or touch the PSU with a metal screwdriver. Of course, don't do any of this while the power is connected to the PSU or if the PSU has a switch on the back and is turned ON. Use an extension cord for safe power connections. First connect the PSU to the extension cord (turned OFF). Then, connect the exten. cd. to the wall outlet. Turn on the ext. cd. Turn on the power supply if it has a switch. Turn on the computer by clicking the button on the case. When it is on, don't disconnect by just unplugging the wire to the PSU or the wire to the extension cord.
The hardest part to figure out is the front panel wiring. Pay attention to your mobo manual for that and you should be fine. The various ports on the board have abbreviations that you can look up in the manual if you don't know what they are for. Don't forget the 4/8 pin cpu power.