Picture of How To Assemble A Basic Desktop PC
This set of instructions will help you assemble a basic computer capable of running most modern software packages encountered by a casual user. Modern computers become more affordable when users supplement their monetary investment with a few hours of effort. This computer build will be very basic and will be the minimum hardware necessary to have a functional system. After you have all of the parts and materials needed, it will take between 2 and 4 hours to assemble your computer and you will need to be able to use simple hand tools, such as a screwdriver and a pair of pliers.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Procuring Parts

Picture of Procuring Parts
First you will need to buy the parts necessary to build the computer. The parts we will use in this project are labeled in figure 1:

1. Processor (CPU)
2. Computer Case
3. Optical Drive (DVD RW and SATA capable)
4. Memory (RAM)
5. Power Supply
6. SATA Cables
7. Motherboard (SATA Capable)
8. Processor Fan
9. Case Fan
10. Hard Drive (SATA Capable)
11. Assortment of case and drive screws (Not Pictured)
12. Flowers (necessary if you are invading the space of your significant other)

Most, if not all of these parts can be bought together in what is known as a “barebones kit”. In this instance, the case, motherboard, cpu, hard drive, and memory were bought together from as a barebones kit for around $200. The DVD drive and cables were purchased from for less than $30 before shipping. There is an obvious financial advantage to buying parts bundled together, but less obvious is the benefit you will realize from the amount of time you save trying to research parts compatibility.

Caution: Double check the manufacturer’s specifications on all items before you purchase them. Kits are supposed to contain compatible parts, but mistakes can happen.
Muralita4 months ago

while it is nice to assemble the hardware, a computer isnt a computer unless it works! That means installation and testing of software is a key part of the build. Hope future builds will incorporate this.

AbdulR17 months ago

Preparing a computer can be a productive experience in the life.

aprajapati23 years ago
but how can i install OS ?
Gramjen4 years ago
Thanks for the detailed information on computer parts and accessories needed to build a computer from scratch. This is really good information and the format of the post is really well done.
Spannerz4 years ago
Agreed (I clean mine with a simple paintbrush)
BTW it's facing the wrong way. the label is supposed to face outwards, which is also the way the air should flow. you wanna suck the hot air out rather than sucking more air in. It also makes less noise ;D
Spannerz4 years ago
I'd just like to make a point here - the audio cables have both 'HD AUDIO' and 'acc '97" plugs. the motherboard I'm using is *supposed* to support HD audio however it absolutely refuses to run with HD plugged in - only '97 did. T be honest, if the plugs just lead to a Mic and Headphones port (2 channell) '97 is sufficient.
Spannerz4 years ago
Dude, what case did you use? or who made it? I bought one oh so very similar, only less bays (the top one has DVD logo stamped on it and a flap opens to revel DVD tray - emac style) the front is red and the power button glows blue.
I have found that an AMD CPU can sometimes run Hotter then Specified which will Cause Freezing and Crashing. so getting a Copper Overclocking Heat sync is always a good Idea and conductive past Also most Forms of Microsoft Systems If you are not Using RedHat which is free Require 2GB Ram or Better. so get the 500 DDR 4GB ram or Better granted they are almost $200.00 but good Ram is Worth it... Also it is a Good Idea to Buy heat syncs for your MB bridge chips
Man, that fan is DUSTY! Clean it before you install it, man.
ben_k4 years ago
You did not install RAM or a CPU cooler, and your case fan probably should be an exhaust, not an intake given its position.
jimirayblues (author)  ben_k4 years ago
See Step 10: Install RAM. From Step 12: "Align the mounting holes by holding the fan to the mounting pad on the inside of the case as shown in figure 25. The fan needs to be mounted so that it blows air out of the case". The CPU fan is mentioned briefly when the CPU is installed. Do you think this should be a separate step to make it more clear?
It's just that you did not show the ram or cpu cooler in your final pictures, and the fan in the picture does not blow air out of the case. Adding a step for the cpu cooler would probably be a good idea.