Introduction: How-to: Build a PC

Picture of How-to: Build a PC

Building a PC can be a daunting task. It takes research and patience. Rushing through a build can create immediate or intermittent issues. In this tutorial, I'll walk you through the process of of installing the PC components and provide some handy tips along the way. This tutorial uses parts for an Intel based system. The parts for an AMD based system are similar; the only difference is the motherboard and processor. I'll toss in a brief segway into AMD processor installations for those of you going with the underdog. Let's get started!

Step 1: Parts and Tools

Picture of Parts and Tools

Gather the components. The components I use in this build are listed in parenthesis.
The bare minimum components for a computer to POST are are

power supply (Antec Earthwatts 380 Watt)
motherboard (ECS G31T-M MicroATX motherboard)
processor (CPU) and heatsink (Intel E5200 2.5GHz)
memory (2x1GB DDR2 Crucial Ballistix)
video card [can be onboard] (EVGA 8800GTS 320MB)

The other components of a standard computer are:
optical drive (none, I use an external USB DVDRW)
hard drive (SATA: Maxtor 160GB, IDE: Samsung 80GB)
case (Cooler Master Centurion 5)

magnetic screwdriver

gloves (latex will do, but antistatic gloves are better)
cable ties
cable mounts
thumb screws
thermal compound
cleaning rag
rubbing alcohol

Step 2: First Things First

Picture of First Things First

First things first, read the motherboard and case manuals! It will have important information that you will need for the install process. Have them within arms reach during the build. Clear a large work area. This makes it much easier to find small things you may drop. Gather all the tools and components needed for your build. Inspect all the components to ensure it hasn't been damaged during shipping.
A magnetic screwdriver makes it easier to guide the screw into it's hole. A flat head screwdriver makes turning the Intel heatsink pin easier if you need to remove it.
Gloves serve two purposes: they protect your hands from nicks and scratches and the prevent the oil on your hands from contacting the components. Cable ties and mounts organize the plethora of cables inside the case. It will help with airflow and prevent wires from hitting fans. Thumb screws ease the removal of the side panel. Thermal compound, a cleaning rag, and rubbing alcohol are needed if you want to replace the existing compound with something that transfers heat better.

Step 3: Beginning the Install: the Motherboard and Processor

Picture of Beginning the Install: the Motherboard and Processor

Discharge static electricity by touching a large metal object such as the computer case. The motherboard should come in an antistatic bag inside a small box. There is usually a thin antistatic foam pad to protect the board during it's travels. These items can be helpful during the build process.Carefully remove the board from the antistatic bag. Be cautious as the solder points can be prickly and avoid touching small soldered components. Place the antistatic bag on the motherboard box and place the foam pad on the antistatic bag. Place the motherboard on top of the foam pad (you may want to fold the foam pad in half and align it under the processor socket for additional padding). Using these accessories will ease installing the heatsink and protect the motherboard.

Tip: You can hold the motherboard by the I/O ports (serial/usb port area) as those are thoroughly soldered and unlikely to be damaged during handling.

Lift the CPU lever and lift the CPU plate. Remove the plastic CPU socket protector.
Hold the CPU by the edges away from the notches. Align the CPU notches with the CPU socket and lower the CPU, starting on the end with the notches and lightly dropping the other end of the CPU.
Make sure the edges of the CPU are flush with the socket. Close the CPU plate and lower the lever. You'll need to apply a little force to lower the lever.

If you need to remove the CPU from the socket, lift the lever and the plate. Carefully lift the CPU with one hand and pick it up by the edges with the other hand. Alternately, you can grab it by the center edge with two fingers and lift it straight up.

If you bought a retail, it should come with a heatsink with a thermal pad or paste. This thermal compound should be fine for most systems. As you can see from the fifth picture, the included compound may not fully cover the CPU. Enthusiasts and overclockers may want to use better thermal compound.

Step 4: Beginning the Install: Heatsink Installation

Picture of Beginning the Install: Heatsink Installation

Line up the CPU fan over the four holes. Now this is where the antistatic pad comes in handy. The heatsink pins will protrude through the bottom of the motherboard. If the motherboard were on a flat surface, it becomes difficult to properly install the heatsink. If the motherboard is installed in a case, there may not be much room to manuveur to install the heatsink.
Position the heatsink over the four holes around the CPU socket. Notice how I positioned the heatsink relative to the placement of the CPU fan power connector. While pressing down on one corner of the heatsink, press the pin down on the opposite corner. Now, keep pressure on the same corner and press down the pin in that corner. Do the same for the remaining two pins.

The third photo shows how the pin should look on the bottom of the motherboard. Without the padding from the antistatic pad, the pin may not insert fully or worse, the plastic mount may become unuseable.

Note: If one of the pins didn't get installed properly, use a flat head screwdriver (or hand turn it) and turn the pin counter clockwise. This will release the pin. Pull the pin up fully, then hand turn the pin so that the line is purpendicular to the heatsink.

Tip: Make a loose knot with the fan power cable. This picks up loose slack and makes looks organized.

Step 5: Installing AMD Processors

Picture of Installing AMD Processors

If you have an AMD processor, the installation is a bit easier.
Lift the CPU lever, orient the CPU and drop it in. Press down on it and close the lever.
If you need to add thermal compound, wipe off the old compound and use a thin amount of the new compound. Using too much can increase heat retention.
Place the heatsink in the mounting bracket, loosen the latch, apply the clip to the mounting bracket, tighten the latch. Easy.

Step 6: Installing Memory

Picture of Installing Memory

Next, install the RAM into the RAM slots. Many motherboards have two pairs of color coded slots. To enable dual channel, you need to install memory in pairs. You also need to populate one set of color slots. Also be sure to install the proper RAM type. There are three primary types currently available, DDR, DDR2, and DDR3. DDR2 is currently the most popular (and cheapest). DDR RAM has 184 pins, DDR2 and DDR3 have 240 pins. These three types of RAM are about the same size, but have notches in different places.
Align the notch on the RAM module with the notch in the RAM slot. Press down on the RAM module, then pull the white clips up to lock the RAM in place.

Tip: Press down on the RAM module and lightly wiggle it back and forth. This ensures all the pins will make reliable contact.

Step 7: Optional: Testing the Bundle

Picture of Optional: Testing the Bundle

Optional, but recommended: Test the bundle. You 'll need to have the power supply outside of the case.

Refer to your motherboard manual and find the section that describes the front panel header. Unfortunately, this motherboard doesn't have a diagram imprinted and is not color coded on the motherboard. That's OK, because the manual will tell you the pin configuration. Right now, all we're interested in is the power switch pins. For my motherboard, it's the pins next to the blank header spot labeled PWR_SW_P. You can use your screwdriver to turn the bundle on by touching these two pins. The pins in this header are very low voltage. Touching the wrong set of pins will not damage the board. The speaker header has a +5Volt line which can cause damage, but you would need a very wide screwdriver to cause a short circuit. If you're afraid of breaking something, skip this step.

Grab your power supply and connect the 20/24 pin power connector, the 4/8 pin CPU power cable.

If you have onboard video, skip to the next paragraph.
Align the edge of the bundle with the edge of the motherboard box. Grab your video card and connect the monitor cable and if necessary, the 6 pin power cable. Insert your video card into the�large PCI Express slot closest to the CPU. Be careful not to put stress on the video card since it's basicly being held up by the PCI Express slot.
Plug in the power supply. If there is a switch on the back of the power supply, put it in the ON position. If there is a greed LED on your motherboard, it should light up signifying the board is receiving power. Now, simutaneously touch the two power switch pins that you found in the motherboard manual for a brief moment with your screwdriver. You should see the fan spin and the BIOS screen on the monitor.
Switch the power supply off or unplug it.

Step 8: Install the Bundle

Picture of Install the Bundle

Now we're on to the case. Remove the side panel. Install the power supply if necessary. The power supply can only be installed in one orientation.
Install the motherboard standoffs into the case. There's usually 6 for micro-atx motherboards and 6 to 10 for atx motherboards. Make sure you put the standoffs in the right places or you can cause a short circuit.
Snap in the I/O shield. Make sure it is fully inserted or the motherboard may not line up properly with the standoffs. You may need to bend some metal bars upwards to ease the installation of the bundle.

Note: Screws for the standoffs can be coarse thread or fine thread. Try the coarse thread first and if it doesn't fully screw down, use fine thread screws.

Note: If for some reason, your case came with paper washers for the mounting holes, do not use them. The screws help ground the motherboard to the case.

Step 9: Fun With Wires

Picture of Fun With Wires

Now the fun part. Connecting the tiny wires for the front panel header. There will be at least four sets of wires (8 wires total): power, reset, power led, and hdd led. Take a look at the wires from the case. The ground wires will be either black or white. The important colors that we need to know are the orange cable which is the positive HDD led cable and the green cable which is the positive power led cable. If the orientation of the HDD led and power led are reversed, the light will not work. The orientation of the power switch and reset switch do not matter. Use the diagram in your motherboard manual to find the positive HDD led cable and positive power LED cable and connect those first in the proper orientation.Next, connect the power and reset cables.

Note: Some motherboards have 3 blocks for the power led, some have two blocks. Some cases have 3 blocks and don't fit into motherboards with 2 blocks. You can either break the center unused block to connect the wires or move one wire over and have a block hanging off the side of the header.

Step 10: Drives and Connectors

Picture of Drives and Connectors

There are two types of drives that are installed in computers, optical drives and hard disk drives. They come in two varieties, IDE and SATA. SATA is the newer standard utilizing thin cables and faster transfer speeds. All modern motherboards have SATA connectors whereas IDE connectors are fading out.

When using IDE devices, be sure to properly set the jumpers for Master and Slave devices. There are three connectors on a standard IDE cable with a red stripe on one side of the cable. The red stripe will be closest to the power connector of the optical or hard disk drive. The blue connector goes to the motherboard. The device connected to the opposite end of the cable must be set to Master. The device connected to the middle of the cable must be set to Slave.

Tip: If you have an 80 pin cable, you can set your devices to cable select. The motherboard will automatically set the device as master or slave depending on where it is connected to the cable. Most modern motherboards come with an 80 pin cable.

The SATA connectors have made things easier. Only one device can connect to a SATA cable. The connectors can only connect in one orientation. The cable is thin and pretty flexible allowing for better airflow. To connect a device, yo just plug the SATA cable into the device and motherboard.

Step 11: Install Your Drives: Optical Drive

Picture of Install Your Drives: Optical Drive

Cases can vary a great degree. Some cases use rails to mount the drives, some are screwless. Refer to your case manual on how the drives should be installed. I'll document how to install drives into a Cooler Master Centurion case as a reference and include photos of other cases.

Optical Drive

Remove the front cover by lifting the front panel from the bottom of the case.
Remove the metal EMI shield from the slot you plan on using. (I prefer using the top slot)
Unscrew the slot cover. Replace the front cover.
Install the optical drive by sliding the drive in from the front of the case until it's flush with the case. Slide the plastic lever forward and lock the drive in place.
Note: All optical drives use fine thread screws.

Step 12: Install Your Drives: Optical Drive (cont'd)

Picture of Install Your Drives: Optical Drive (cont'd)

Some cases use a rail system. Some cases just need the slot cover removed and the drive slides in.

Step 13: Install Your Drives: Hard Drive

Picture of Install Your Drives: Hard Drive

Hard Drive

Install the HDD into a 3.5" bay. Slide the plastic lever forward and lock the drive in place. Connect the data cables for your devices. If you're using IDE devices, do not fold and flatten the cable. This can damage the wires in the cable causing errors.

Note: All HDD's use course thread screws

Tip: If you have multiple HDD's, space them out for better airflow. If your case has a fan that blows over the HDD, mount the drives behind the fan. This can extend the life of the hdd which holds all your data.

Step 14: Finish It Up

Picture of Finish It Up

If you have case fans, you'll either be plugging it into the motherboard or to the power supply. Plug in any other case cables you may have (Firewire, USB, audio). The cables are usually color coded.
You can install any other add on cards you may have before installing the video card. Due to it's size, you should install the video card last. Remove slot cover(s) and install your video card.

Tip: If you have a lot of fans, I recommend plugging them into the power supply to reduce the power load on the motherboard.

Plug in your power connectors. You'll be plugging in the primary 20/24 pin ATX cable, 4/8 pin CPU power cable, 6/8 pin video card cable (if necessary), and a power cable for each drive. Use cable ties and pads to organize the jumble of wires. That should be it! Plug in your power supply and test it out.

Phew! I wanted to make it under 10 pages, but there's a lot to cover. Good luck and let me know if I missed something.

Step 15: Video of All the Steps

I'll post a video of the build process soon. It won't be completely detailed, but it should give you a good visual of how to do things.


T0BY (author)2016-11-24

I am very impressed! Genius!

DcSkiing (author)2016-07-26

Do you think a Raedon 7770 HD GDDR5 1 GB would handle Arma 3 okay

s3alax (author)2015-09-06

This is good. I always think connecting the cables up is the biggest PITA. I wrote a guide to help build a gaming PC. Link is: - feedback welcome!

shaik Sha (author)2014-10-02

thanks for the information

jackowens (author)2012-07-10

Wow this was only 3 years ago but already everything seems ancient. Computers sure advance fast!

AloneWolf5 (author)jackowens2012-10-27

yeah, when I look at the my old computer, i have a same feeling (ancient device)

awang8 (author)2009-03-23

I'm planning on building a new computer. Will this work? It's mostly a general home PC (no 3D gaming, not too much strenuous tasks). CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Motherboard: Asus P5QL-E RAM: Corsair DDR2800 800Mhz (2X1024MB dual-channel) Case: Huntkey H401 Case Fan: CoolerMaster 12CM Blue Led Case Fan PSU: Antec ATX TruePower 550W Trio Keyboard: Logitech Newtouch Keyboard 200 USB Mouse: Logitech Optical mouse USB Black Disc Drive: Asus DRW-20B1LT 20x DVDRW SATA LightScribe Hard Drive: Samsung 640G 7200RPM SATAII Monitor: Acer V223WB 22inch Widescreen 5ms Black Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32bit (OEM) Graphics Card: Asus EN8400GS Silent 256M HDTV DVI PCI Express Should I improve something?

Prometheus (author)awang82009-04-06

As said below, CPU is overkill, but that's not a bad thing...Just stay away form 3dfx cards. I suggest more than one hard drive, no matter what you have. Set windows to use the secondary drive for the swap file instead of you primary, this will vastly improve performance because read/writes will be done aside from your primary drive, optimizing RAM usage. Lose Vista....The smart people use WinXP SP2 if anything, and know better. Vista will never be as good as XpSP2. Don't let the myth of "newer is better" fool you. Your system is great with exception to Vista. Vista offers nothing more than problems for you, XP SP2 is ideal for this system. If you are that excited about Vista, then get the real thing: Mac OSX 10, or Leopard. After all, Vista was merely an MS port of OSX10 anyway, and a very poor one at that.

awang8 (author)Prometheus2009-04-07

I've been using Vista since SP1 has came out and this is what I think about people who say it sucks: rubbish. Vista isn't a slow, memory-hogging, totally incompatible worthless piece of junk, it's simply brilliant! No-one in the whole entire universe can put me off my personal favourite OS, and no, it's not because it's new! I don't give a fig for what Vista SP1 vs. XP SP3 reviewers say. 2 hard drives... My budget doesn't really extend that far, but I guess the "overkill" CPU will make up for the performance drops. As for Mac... Well... If you swapped the title for a Vista review to "Mac OSX 10 review" then it would be perfect.

M0HIZ (author)awang82012-01-05

You're having a laugh! Vista's (I hate even the thought of it) is RUBBISH). I just about managed to put up with it for 3 years, and have now got Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit very cheaply because I am a UK student (see my Instructable:

M0HIZ (author)Prometheus2012-01-05

Apple's rubbish - get windows 7 ultimate 64 bit!

devonfletch (author)Prometheus2010-10-14

Yes, and OSX is just a port of Linux, although a very good one! Why not go to the Master OS, Ubuntu? Totally free, Windows and Mac compatible, huge array of FREE apps, you don't have to pay for MS Office, Photoshop, AutoCad, or almost anything else!
Investigate this OS, even if only to deal with the BSOD situations that WILL happen. You can burn a fully-operational boot-CD, and keep it safe for your time of need.
And they release a (free) update every 6 months, this thing just gets better!

A dual core is overkill? Wow, Then what's a quad core considered as? That's what i'm getting...

altaria1993 (author)awang82009-04-02

That CPU is pretty much overkill for what you are gonna do with it, you're better off with a E5200.

awang8 (author)altaria19932009-04-07

I got a 2.8ghz Pentium 4 right now and it's SLOW. Everyone in the household is complaining about it. I've read many great things about Intel's E8000 series of CPUs, so i'm stuck with it.

enigmacipher (author)awang82009-04-07

That most likely has more to do with your operating system or amount of RAM than your processor. Try reinstalling the OS, then upgrading RAM (to 1 or 2 GB) and I assure you your computer will be running mighty quick in no time. If you dont have a nice video card, and you want to play games, buy an 8600 GT or better, and you can even play crysis!

dark sponge (author)altaria19932009-04-02


960 cores

250 times faster than a normal computer


enigmacipher (author)dark sponge2009-04-02

absolutely positvely not worth the money. A core i7 and a nice MB with quad SLI GTX295 will provide 3.576 teraflops, and will be much more functional. It supports NVIDIA's CUDA which is consistant with your link, and is only slightly less powerful. If you want, you could add another 295 which would provide another 1.788 teraflops (5.364 Tflops total). That doesnt even include the CPU, which is very, very good as well. (although scalar, not vector, if you know what that means) This rig would be 300 for case+PSU, 300 for CPU, 300 for MB, 1700 for GPUs, and 100 for other stuff. That doesnt even top 2000 dollars. (plus, if you buy the personal supercomputer, youd need a computer and extra CPU anyways)

20% of price, 500%+ of functionality, 134%+ of sheer power.

total=more than 1,440 cores.

awang8 (author)enigmacipher2009-04-07

I think you ought to know a Core i7 920 isn't much faster than a Core 2 Duo E8600, but the i& costs much more. Anything more than the Core i7 920 is overkill, even by my standards. (Would you pay $2000 for a 3.3ghz quad core chip?)

mickcaulton (author)enigmacipher2009-04-05

Hi enigmacipher, was just scaning over the HOW TO BUILD A P.C .able. Now i am computer literate to a point and am enginering minded and trained but i have been away from computer technology for a long time. used to build my own p.c 's back in the day. The old 8086,186 ect up to the start of the pentium era. Now as in the how to build a p.c post nothing much has changed on the physical builing but the spec's are totally different world now. Could you expain to me ( treat me like a total new commer ) what is ment by the terminology you use. core i7, quad SLI GTX295, teraflops ? ? ?GPU's ? ? ? You may laugh at my ignorance but trust me i am just out of touch just give me a little push in the right direction and i'll be talking the talk in no time i promise. Thans. Mick Caulton, from Midlands, England.

Prometheus (author)mickcaulton2009-04-06

186? It was 8088, then 8086, then 286, etc... Just saying...Been a long time since I wrote for C64 too lol....

mickcaulton (author)Prometheus2009-04-06

Yes you are correct ( as you know ) there was no such thing as a 186 . Silly thing is i don't know why i typed really. I do and should know better. You say you are a self taught engineer may i ask in what field. You may well be a man of my own heart. I personally love mechanical engineering although as i am sure you will agree, to grasp any form of engineering fully a person needs a good knowledge of all fields. oh and writing for the C64. Great old day's.

Prometheus (author)mickcaulton2009-04-07

No worries, I was just razzing you lol. My skills center on mechanical and electrical engineering, but I generally try to stay a "jack-of-all-trades", with as much variety as I can have. I wouldn't say you need a good grasp of all fields, but the wider your spectrum, the easier it is to tackle bizarre problems. My parents hated it because I would always take things apart relentlessly, but it all worked out in the end...Cheers!

enigmacipher (author)mickcaulton2009-04-05

Hi, Most of the things that probably confused you are commercial terms. After the end of the Pentium Era, intel release the core, which focused on developing two cores on one CPU, then the Core 2, which was almost exclusively DualCore and QuadCore, and then the Core i7, which is Intel's newest line of CPUs, currently exclusively Quad Core, and very fast. Basically, core i7 is intel's brand name for their newest CPU. (they start at 300USD) SLI stands for Scalable Link Interface (I think) it was developed by 3dfx (a computer graphics company) in the late 1990s. 3dfx has since disapeared, and the current computer graphics giant, NVIDIA, now supports SLI. Normally, GPUs (graphics cards) render 3D as a single unit, but by splitting up work between multiple GPUs, better (or faster) 3D can be rendered. This is relevant because Graphics processing requires something called vector processing. Vector(most GPUs) is differnt from Scalar(most CPUs) the way .33 is differnt from 1/3. Keep in mind, that is a vast over-simplification, but you get the idea. Now that Vector processing is almost as popular as Scalar processing, NVIDIA realized how effective it can be used for supercomputing. (protein folding in biology, searching for life in other solar systems, etc.). So SLI is NVIDIA's name for multiple GPUs. Recently, NVIDIA has realeased triple SLI, and even dual GPUs withing one card. The most recent Graphics cards from nvidia have a naming scheme of "GTX 2??", where the "??" can be numbers up to 95. In this case, the GTX 295 is NVIDIA's fastest single graphics card, aided by the fact that it contains 2 GPUs (in SLI). These cards cost up to 500USD. By using 2 of these cards, you have a total of 4 GPUs, in two graphics cards, which NVIDIA calls quadSLI. Because these are commercial terms, I will mention Crossfire, which is basically the same thing as SLI, but developed by NVIDIA's rival, ATI (which is owned by AMD). teraflops is a way of measuring floating point processing power FLOPS is an abreviation of FLoating point OPerations per Second. Tera means trillion. In other words, 1 teraflop is 1 trillion floating point operations per second. After people started using GPUs as supercomputers, NVIDIA produced a standard which would keep programs meant for GPUs working on all differnt models numbers. NVIDIA named this Standard "CUDA" If the GPU you have supports CUDA, as most newer NVIDIA GPUs do, then you can aid in the quest for alien life or cure for cancer buy downloading a program like SETI@home or folding@home. Although you can run these programs on almost any CPU, GPUs are often over 140 times faster. A computer such as the one I have described i meant for gaming. However, because more consumers want to game than super-compute, a processor meant for supercomputing is more expensive, when a GPU can do the same work. I say 500% of functionality because NVIDA's Tesla GPUs arent actually GPUs (these are what dark sponge was tallking about). They cant do any graphics processing, and so are limited to super computing. However, a GTX295 can do better supercomputing then a TESLA, AND play games, browse the web, write documents, spreadsheets, and more. To put this in perspective, a single GTX 280 GPU contains 240 processing cores. A GTX 295 has two sets (so 480), and if you had two of those, you would total 960 cores. This is the max number of GPUs that can be used to play games, but a nice motherboard would allow you to add another GTX 295 (which could help in other applications, like super computing) to total 1440 cores. I don't laugh at you ignorance, but marvel at what you probably know that I have never heard of, considering I am just a 15 year old hobbyist coming at you from the Midwest, USA. Cheers!

mickcaulton (author)enigmacipher2009-04-06

Well that was some thing else... Thank you very much for taking the time to answer me. I couldn' t have asked for any more than that. I just can not get over one point, it has nothing to do with computing it is that you are 15 years of age. Wow . so well informed well spoken and have such a humble manner. You trully amazed me. As for your answers well ill P.M you . Thank you again.

Prometheus (author)enigmacipher2009-04-06

Well said Mr. have a very promising future in IT/IS.....Verse yourself in Mac and you will be an indispensable commodity in the high-tech market. All you need to do now is to survive tech-support without becoming a serial-killer. If you live through that, you might have a chance at a very lucrative career in IT management. It's not often I run into a promising candidate for genius around here....Whatever you are doing, keep doing it and let no-one stop you. Extraordinarily-well done sir. You are the example of promise of a future that humanity has. You are currently the valedictorian of the instructables community. An exceptionally-knowledgeable answer to a question, as well as an honorable humility at the same time. You win an Internet for your skilled answer sans ego. You are an example to all Instructables members. Well said and way to go to keep your ego in check. Brilliance without belligerence.....You are a shining example of what a member here should be. I am enthralled by your example here, as I have not seen it before, until now. You are an example to all, well done! Stay in school and put Gates in the ground for the rest of us! I must say, the best overall response I have seen on this site on no less than 2 years.

If any of this confuses you, or you still want to talk to someone who doesnt have a formal education in this subject, feel free to PM me. If you are interested in building, just keep reading these instructables.

i apologize, i meant 3,000 dollars, so its 30% of price, not 20%

dark sponge (author)dark sponge2009-04-02

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the biggie: 4 Teraflops of computing power!

nutsandbolts_64 (author)2011-04-09

Now all I need is a motherboard and permission to build a computer (I just found a load of 256 and 512MB RAM chips and what I thought was a motherboard, but it was a graphics card). Now why'd they put the RAM so close to the video card? It causes me to inadvertently touch the video card and move it out of place causing everything to fail (which was what happened when I tried to fix my PC). Oh, yeah, what about the power buttons? If none then do you mean to say that it can turn on by itself without the buttons (perhaps using the switch on the power supply?) In case I missed something, please point it out.

_Scratch_ (author)2011-01-28

lol, i am starting to build a new computer, but my power supply sucked, so i had to get a new one with a better design, more power connectors etc. etc. so, i thought that my 200watt one was too small, so i bought a 600 watt power supply, a bit much maybe? if my comp only uses 200, i think i should of bought a smaller one.. or is a unnecessarily big one alright?

Flea (author)_Scratch_2011-01-31

It depends on your system. Unless you have a dual video card high end system, you won't need a 600W PS. For general PC use something under 400w. Make sure it's a brand name like Antec or Seasonic (or check newegg reviews as it's generally a good guideline). Make sure the PS is at least 80% efficient. This will help ensure that they're not just tossing in cheap parts.

manumanu764 (author)2010-06-21

Can I ask you what for are these audio outs in the optic drive? I'ts driving me crazy!!

Flea (author)manumanu7642010-06-28

Those are legacy audio connectors for back in the 90's (pre windows 2000). One set of pins is for digital out, the other set is for analog out. Now, everything is transferred over the IDE/SATA cable.

manumanu764 (author)Flea2010-06-29

thanks bro

Spannerz (author)2010-03-22

 I love that computer! Although I would sacrifice height a little; I don't need 5 disk drives; one's enough for me, and two is more than enough XD Could be done if the mobo and psu were moved down a little. Love the front though!!

xd12c (author)2009-04-04

Why amagnetic screwdriver? Won't that wreak havoc with the hardware?

emuman4evr (author)xd12c2009-04-06

Not really, modern components are pretty well protected these days. Ive dropped a neodymium magnet in my computer and it got stuck to the case and that was a pain to get out but the computer was fine.

willrandship (author)emuman4evr2010-01-04

Magnets will still wreak havoc if it's running, though. It will also hurt CRT monitors.

Flea (author)xd12c2009-04-06

No, there's not enough magnetism to do any damage. You'll cause more damage from dropping screws and fishing them out.

anarchysk8 (author)2009-09-23

lol you got the picture off of newegg didnt you hehe

willrandship (author)anarchysk82010-01-04

Nothing wrong with that....

anarchysk8 (author)2009-09-23

o yea as a rule of thumb if you have no anti static just keep the power supply near and touch it every time you are about to touch something else (other than your self hehe)

willrandship (author)anarchysk82010-01-04

Or just lean on the's grounded by supply!

makebot (author)2009-11-26

How much did all the components cost together? I am thinking of building a computer and want to know what the price range is.


willrandship (author)makebot2010-01-04

If you're good and conservative it can be as low as 250! Of course, you skip out on some stuff, like fancy cases and uber video cards, but I managed to budget one with a decent Video card and 2G ram, plus a 160GB hard drive for around 300. Remember, crappy cases make your pc less likely to be stolen!

If at all possible, reuse an old tower, supply, or Video card. It doesn't often work, but if you have an atx tower, chances are your mobo will fit.

anarchysk8 (author)2009-09-23

lol i have a fdd but its in my c64 restore project lol what a time that was

anarchysk8 (author)2009-09-23

lol a beast you are just think what a 1000w power supply with 3 sli cards and an amd 3.3ghz cpu oc'd to just 4.0 with liquid cooling would read on that thing

Muscelz (author)2009-03-12

no there is various speeds on either type, DDR1 has 266mhz and 400mhz. DDR2 has speeds off 400mhz, 533mhz, 667mhz, 800mhz and 1066mhz. DDR3 there's 800mhz, 1066mhz, 1333mhz and 1.6ghz which is 1600mhz. make sure when you buy the ram it is compatible with the ram for your board. some boards only take a certain ram at a certain speed and some times isn't backwards compatible. so watch out, there's little things everywhere you need to get right

anarchysk8 (author)Muscelz2009-09-23

actually ddr has a high speed 533mhz as well and ddr2 and ddr3 have a bigger selection of speeds and timings but you are close dont worry about that as much as how many pins the stick of memory has and what the TOP speed of the memory the motherborad allows IN THE MANUAL!!!!!! as of now there are for ddr3 alone from 800mhz to 2300mhz and everything in between but i have put more computers together than dell has staff members pun intended

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