Building your own PC is a real rite of passage. You’ve gone from buying ready-made computers that anyone can get to building your own customized computer. It is very nice. , , and also intimidating. But the process itself is actually quite simple. We will guide you through everything you need to know.

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Some quick notes

The order in which I assembled my computer may not be the best for you. For example, I put in the motherboard first, then added the CPU, RAM, and everything else. However, it may be easier to install the processor and RAM before installing the motherboard. You might also want to put your PSU in first if there won’t be a lot of room between it and your motherboard. Different walkthroughs recommend different things. But the best way is to consider your case and your components and decide from there.

However, if you do things in an awkward order, all is not lost. You may need to loosen a few screws or use pliers to attach some cables in hard to reach places, but it shouldn’t be too hard to get it to work.

Plus, a cleanly connected computer will be quieter, cooler, and look better. It’s not necessary to waste time checking that the cables are routed correctly, but it’s a good idea. Most cables should be routed behind the motherboard tray (where the motherboard is located) and then back to the front of the board. Not only does this look better, but it also allows for better flow around the heat-producing parts of your PC.

Use Velcro straps or twist ties to keep them secure. You can use zippers, but if you ever have to cut them, be extremely careful not to cut the cable.

Would you like to see the process in video form? We will help you:

1. Eliminate static risk

Static electricity can destroy the sensitive components you use to build your computer. Even a tiny shock can fry a motherboard or processor. Therefore, you will want to take certain steps to ensure that you are not going to build up and release static electricity.

One common way to do this is to wear an anti-static wrist strap. You can get one of these for about five dollars and it will keep you grounded and prevent static electricity damage. This is an easy way to be safe.

If you don’t have one, you can take other precautions. Standing on the bare floor, not on the carpet, while you are building. Do not wear wool socks or a large sweater. Try to minimize the amount of clothing you wear; jeans and t-shirt are good. Touch a grounded piece of bare metal often during assembly and always before handling a component (your computer’s metal case is a good option). Try not to move around while you are assembling the computer. All of these things will help reduce the amount of static you create.

With a note to that effect, be careful when handling your components. They are very sensitive, and bending a tiny pin or getting oil from your skin on one of the pins can affect how they work. Therefore, be especially careful not to touch the contact points. Hold the components by the edges. In general, be careful when working with this stuff and you’ll be fine.

2. Put it all together

The first thing you’ll want to do is collect all of your materials. Gather your case, all your components, and all your manuals together. Take a small screwdriver, small needle nose pliers, thermal paste (if your CPU didn’t come with a stock cooler), and scissors or a knife to open the packages.

You can take everything out of the box now if you want. Leave components in antistatic packaging. Removing all those boxes will give you more room to work, but it will also make everything a little less secure. So it’s up to you. However, I would recommend leaving all guides aside as there is a good chance you will have to refer to them multiple times.

How to build your own computer

Here are the components I used for my own build:

  • Case: Corsair Carbide Series 100R (UK)
  • Motherboard: Asus ATX DDR4 H170-PRO / CSM ( UK )
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad Core Skylake (UK)
  • RAM: Corsair Vengenace LPX 8GB DDR4 2400MHz (UK)
  • Video card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 WINDFORCE 6G (UK)
  • SSD: SanDisk SSD Plus 240 GB (UK)
  • Hard Drive: WD Blue 1TB 7200rpm (UK)
  • Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone G550

These instructions will apply to almost any set of components, but review your manuals to make sure you haven’t missed anything specific to your particular machine.

3. Install the motherboard I/O board

Don’t forget this step! This is a common PC build error.

First remove the side panels from your case. They are probably held on by a couple of screws; remove them, then slide out the side panels.

How to build your own computer

Each motherboard comes with an I/O shield that attaches to the back of the case from the inside. It should be clear which orientation to use (any marks on the screen will be top right), but if it isn’t, see how your motherboard will be oriented in the case. The ports on the board must match the ports on the screen.

How to build your own computer?

You may need to push on the shield to make it snap into place on the back of the case.

4. Install the motherboard

If the processor is the heart of your computer, the motherboard is the nervous system. Coordinates the activities of the various components. Your computer case will have a few screws that hold the motherboard in place, so make sure you have those and a small screwdriver handy.

It should be obvious where your motherboard goes; the ports will be aligned with the I/O shield. There will also be a few standoffs — small posts that keep your motherboard from touching the side of the case. Align the holes in the motherboard with the screw slots and place the motherboard down.

How to build your own computer?

Getting the board right can be a bit tricky, especially with an I/O shield. You may need to move it around a little or slightly bend the metal parts on the back of the shield. Be very careful when doing this and don’t touch the pins on the board.

After the motherboard is properly installed, loosely insert the screws, then tighten them one by one. Don’t go crazy; they don’t have to be very tight, just neat, and you can damage the board if you overtighten them. Just apply enough force to make sure the board won’t move. Be sure to insert a screw into each hole on the motherboard.

How to assemble your own PC motherboard PC screw assembly

There are several cables coming from your case that can now be connected to the motherboard. These are very small connectors that will be labeled «LED+», «LED-«, «HDD+», «Reset», etc. and must be connected to the appropriate pins on the motherboard. Each case will be different, so please refer to your motherboard and case manuals. You can also connect a built-in fan.

How to Build Your Own PC Build a PC Case Fan

My motherboard fan pins are labeled CHA FAN1 (as in «chassis») ; look for something similar on your board.

5. Install the processor

The port for the processor will be obvious on any motherboard; it is a prominent square panel. To open the panel, press the lever and slide it sideways to pull it out from under the metal retainer that holds it. Raise on your hand to expose the pins for the processor.

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Holding the processor by its edges, carefully place it on the port. If you have an Intel processor, there will be two notches that will align if you have it in the correct orientation. AMD processors have a golden triangle in one corner that matches up with the triangle in the processor socket. (It’s also very likely that text printed on the processor will be oriented in the same direction as text printed on the motherboard.)

How to build your own computer

Once you have installed the processor in the socket, use the lever to lower the panel cover. Push down on the lever — this will take some pressure, so you’ll need to push hard — and slide it back under the metal retainer.

6. Install the CPU fan

Your processor will be doing a lot of hard work, which means it will generate quite a bit of heat. A CPU fan (or other type of cooler if you opt for a third-party option) helps keep it cool, extending the life of your CPU. If your processor came with a cooling fan, then it’s almost certain that the fan already has thermal paste. Look for silver stripes on the metal heatsink.

How to Build Your Own PC Thermal Grease Cooler

If you bought a cooler and there is no thermal paste on it, you will have to apply it. There are different opinions on how best to apply the paste you apply, but it all comes down to the same thing: a little bit goes a long way. You really don’t need very much. Some sources recommend a point the size of a grain of rice. Others recommend two parallel lines. Each manufacturer will also provide instructions for applying the paste. Read the instructions that came with your paste.

After that, you are ready to install the cooler. The fan that came with my Intel processor just requires you to press down on the four corner pins until they click into place. Other coolers may require you to do something else to secure them to the board; again, read the instructions.

How to build your own PC build PC CPU Cooler

The CPU cooler must also be connected to the motherboard; You will see a set of pins labeled «CPU Fan» or something similar. Connect the CPU cooler the same way you connected the case fan.

7. Install RAM

Your motherboard should have a very obvious place to put the RAM (it may have «DIMM» printed on it). There are often four RAM slots. Check your motherboard instructions for which slots to use for the number of sticks you have. Mine, for example, says to put one in the second slot if you’re using one; the second and fourth slots if you are using two; first, second and fourth for three; or all four.

The RAM slots have a small lever that you will need to press before inserting the RAM.

How to build your own PC build pc ram socket

Once you have done this, insert the RAM into the slot until you hear a click. This may take more force than you expect (but start gently and slowly increase the pressure). When I first installed my RAM, it only clicked on one side and wasn’t fully utilized. Make sure you’re all right.

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If you have a SO-DIMM (shorter) RAM card don’t put it in a DIMM slot (longer). It won’t work. You will need a motherboard with SO-DIMM support or a standard DIMM memory card.

8. Install the graphics card

If you’re building a gaming PC, this is the real power of your machine. Hopefully you’ve already checked to make sure your card is right for your case — modern graphics cards can be quite large. If not, you will need a new case or a new card.

First, find the PCIe port closest to the heatsink on your motherboard. Your motherboard will likely have multiple PCIe ports, but not all of them are the same length. Many graphics cards use a PCIe x16 port which is longer than the PCIe x4 ports you may also see. Once you have found the correct port for your card, remove the appropriate ventilation covers from the back of your computer. The covers can be removed with a small screwdriver. In my case, the rear vent covers were also secured with an L-piece. If you see something like this, remove it; this will make inserting the card much easier.

How to build your own PC

Now, insert your graphics card into the topmost PCIe slot. If you have two identical slots, always use the one closest to the processor; the latest one is used for the second video card running in Crossfire or SLI mode. . Make sure the plastic retaining lever is down, then slide the card into the slot and secure it with the lever, just like you did with RAM.

As with RAM, this may require a bit of pressure.

How to build your own computer build pc gpu backplate

After you have inserted the card and returned the locking lever, make sure the bracket on the back of the card aligns with the tab on the air vent cover. Insert the screws that held the small ventilation covers back in place to secure the back of the card to the case. Keep these covers in a safe place in case you need them again. Then replace the L-piece as well.

9. Install other expansion cards

If you have other expansion cards such as Bluetooth cards, network cards, or RAID cards, use the same process to install them as you did with your graphics card. Locate the correct sized PCIe port closest to the motherboard heatsink and install the card making sure the retaining lever is in place. Then attach the card — if required — to the back of the case.

10. Install drives

First, find the drive bays in your case. Depending on the occasion, there may be removable brackets to hold your discs on, or there may simply be a scaffold where you can secure the discs. In the picture below you can see the removable brackets that hold my drives.

How to build your own computer

If you have these brackets, secure your drives to them using the small screws that came with your case. If your case offers a tool-free installation, then you don’t need to worry about this step. Once the drives are secure, push the brackets back into the case. Whether you use these brackets or not, position the drives so that the SATA ports are facing the motherboard (or motherboard side of the case).

If your case doesn’t have these removable brackets, you just need to find the screw slots that line up with the small holes on your drives and screw them in. As with other parts, do not overtighten the screws; just make sure they’re tight enough to keep your discs from moving around and falling off.

To connect drives to your motherboard, find the SATA cables that came with your motherboard. Plug one end into the SATA port on your drive and the other end into the SATA port on your motherboard.

How to build your own computer?

If you have both SATA2 and SATA3 ports, use SATA3 ports for your drive as it will benefit from faster speeds. That’s all there is to it.

How to build your own computer build pc sata motherboard

If you chose PCI-SSD you don’t have to worry about all that. Just plug it into a PCI port and you’re done.

11. Install optical drives

While many people prefer to build their computers without optical drives (like I did), you might still want to. To insert an optical drive, remove the cover from the front of the computer and insert the drive into one of the available optical drive bays. You should see two screw holes on each side of the drive, matching the holes in the bay. Fix it with screws.

Then, as with drives, connect the SATA cables. Optical drives should be connected to SATA2 ports if available.

12. Install the PSU

Power Supply — a pretty hefty mechanism that distributes energy throughout your car. First of all, make sure it is turned off and unplug the cord that goes into the wall. This is not a piece of equipment to be trifled with.

There will be an obvious place at the bottom of the case for it, near the back, as well as a large space at the back of the case for the power supply vent. Slide the power supply into the space and align the screw slots on the back of the case.

How to build your own computer build pc psu

After ensuring that the power supply is oriented correctly (the power cord port and the power switch are facing the back of the chassis), secure the power supply with the screws from the chassis. Make sure you can reach the ports on the back of the power supply.

13. Connect the power supply

Everything in your computer needs power, so it’s time to plug in the power supply. If it is a modular power supply, there will be one large bundle of cables coming out of the back of the unit with a 20-, 20+4-, or 24-pin connector. This is the main power supply for your motherboard. Find a large outlet for this connector, make sure it has the same number of pins, and plug in the power supply. If you have a 20-pin motherboard, the 20- and 20+4-pin power supply connectors will work. A 20+4- or 24-pin header will work on a 24-pin motherboard.

How to build your own computer?

You will also need to connect a power supply cable to power your processor; this port should be near the CPU (as you can see below, it will also probably be labeled «EATX12V»). This will be a 4- or 8-pin connector. Connect your power supply to this connector using the appropriate cable. The back of your power supply will tell you which port to use.

How to build your own computer build pc psu cpu

Then connect the power supply to your graphics card and any other expansion card that needs its own power supply. These are usually 6- or 8-pin connectors and your power supply must have the appropriate cables. Again, check the back of your PSU to determine where to connect these cables.

Your storage and optical drives will also need power from the SATA connectors. You may not be able to tell from the image below, but some PSU cables have multiple connectors, so I used one cable to connect the HDD and SSD to the power supply.

How to build your own computer build pc psu sata

Look around your case to make sure everything is connected to your power supply. If you missed something, it won’t work.

14. Install the fan housing

In most cases, a single case fan is used, but if you are going to install additional fans, it’s time to connect them. Locate an unused fan location and use the four screws provided to attach the fan to the inside of the case. Connect the cable from the fan to the motherboard.

If you are using a very powerful processor, graphics card, or large amount of RAM, consider installing additional cooling mechanisms. Additional fans are cheap, easy to install, and will last longer.

15. Double check everything

Now that everything is set up, take a moment to double-check that everything is connected as it should be. Make sure your RAM and graphics card are installed correctly. Make sure your drives are connected to the motherboard. Make sure all PSU cables are securely fastened. Check everything you forgot to put in your computer. If something wasn’t built correctly, there’s a good chance your computer won’t boot.

How to build your own computer build pc final check cae

If everything looks good, slide the side panels onto the case and secure them with the supplied screws.

16. Download

Moment of truth! Connect the power cable to the power supply, plug it into the wall, and turn on the power switch. Plug in your monitor. Then press the power button on the case. If it loads, congratulations! You have successfully created your first computer.

If it doesn’t load — which is probably more likely — you’ll have to get back in business and check everything again. When I first started my machine, the fan came on but nothing appeared on my monitor. I knew the motherboard was getting power so I checked everything else. I found that my RAM was not fully in the socket. A couple of PSU cables loosened a bit too, so I made sure they were all the way through. I had to open the box and check everything again.

How to build your own computer asus uefi bios

Ultimately, however, pressing the power button resulted in a reassuring sound, and the UEFI BIOS was of maximum benefit. appearing.

17. Install the operating system

Installing an operating system on a computer without one should be pretty straightforward; just insert a bootable cd or usb stick and tell the bios to boot from that media (as it depends on the bios on the motherboard). If it doesn’t install right away, you’ll have to troubleshoot. Depending on your components and the operating system you are using, you will use different strategies and your best bet is to search the web.

Once you do that, you are ready! Download Required Windows Apps or customize or do whatever you plan to do with your newly built, fully customizable computer.

Have you built your own computer? Or are you thinking of doing it soon? Share your tips, tricks and questions in the comments below!

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