Introduction: How to Build a Computer

In this Instructable I will be explaining how to build a computer. For a normal computer (one that isn't water-cooled) you will need these parts:

  • Case Motherboard
  • CPU compatible with motherboard
  • Heatsink for CPU
  • RAM compatible with motherboard
  • Hard drive (either HDD or SSD)
  • Power supply (needs to have enough voltage to power everything in your computer)
  • SATA cable
  • 2 Case fans
  • Graphics card (optional)
  • Thermal paste for CPU
  • 4 Pin ATX power extension (you may need this)

You need to buy the parts. A local computer store, Amazon or Newegg are good places to start. All of these components must be compatible. Once you have these parts you can start your computer build. Make sure though, that you have something to reduce static electricity. One way to do that is to touch a piece of metal often so that you don’t have static electricity. Make sure it’s not a computer component.

Step 1: Motherboard Related: Part 1

  1. Take your motherboard out of the packaging and set it on the box that it came it. This will make it easier to work on.
  2. Pull the lever up next to the CPU slot is pulled up so that the “lock” for the CPU is released.
  3. Take your CPU and heatsink out of the box or boxes.
  4. Put thermal paste on the top of the CPU if there isn’t any already. This will help keep it cooler so it doesn’t overheat.
  5. Remember to touch metal so you won’t have static electricity.
  6. Put the CPU in the CPU slot. Remember that there will be some indicator to which way it should go. To add to that, you will need very little to no force to put it in if it’s in correctly. It should be how the pins are or a arrow on the CPU and slot.
  7. Pull down the lever next to the CPU slot to “lock” in the CPU.
  8. Next you’ll need to put the heatsink on. You need to set it on the CPU on to the thermal paste.
  9. Then lock it in. You need to have the lever on the heatsink up. Then you need to put one side of the metal piece in the heatsink onto one side of the CPU slot. Then do the other one on the other side.
  10. Push the lever on the heatsink down to lock it in place.
  11. Plug in the heatsink. There should be a slot that says “CPU_FAN”, which it plugs into.
  12. Remember to touch metal so you won’t have static electricity.

Step 2: Motherboard Related: Part 2

  1. Take the RAM out of the packaging.
  2. Then make sure the levers on the sides of the slot are out so that you can put the RAM in.
  3. Put the RAM in the slot. You will need to push it down to put it in. When you do this, the levers will move slightly to the locked position.
  4. Push the levers in to lock them.
  5. If you have more than 1 RAM, repeat steps 1-4 for the other ones.
  6. Remember to touch metal so you won’t have static electricity.

Step 3: Motherboard: Part 3

  1. If you have a graphics card, you'll need to go and take it out of the packaging.
  2. Find the correct slot for it to go into. In our example we have a PCIe 16 pin.
  3. It will go in at a angle.
  4. Give it a little pressure, but not to much and it will go in just fine.

Step 4: Motherboard: Part 3

  1. This step is not necessary, but recommended.
  2. There should be a small microphone that came with the computer case or motherboard. Find the "speaker" slot for it and plug it in.
  3. Take your power supply out of its packaging.
  4. Plug it into your motherboard. There will be different power slots for different motherboards. If you have a 24 pin connector there will be a long 2 row 10 pin on each row connector and then a 2x2 pin connector.
  5. Plug these in.
  6. Next you'll need a monitor. Get the monitor plugged in and ready.
  7. Next, plug the VGA from the monitor and then plug the power into the power supply and make sure the power supply is on.
  8. Turn it on by hitting the "-PWR-" piece on the motherboard (it's a little pin or a couple of pins) touch it lightly with a flat head screw driver to see if it will turn on.
  9. If it doesn't turn on repeat the Motherboard: Part 1 and 2 steps.
  10. If it does turn on see if 2 things will happen. 1. If the speaker will beep. 2. If the motherboard company name will come up.

Step 5: Case: Part 1

  1. Take your case out of the box.
  2. Open up your case and lay it on its side.
  3. There should be screws in the case so that you can screw in computer components. Get these.
  4. Find where you need to put your motherboard in. It will be different for different types of motherboards.
  5. You need to put on the I/O shield, which protects the USB ports, VGA, etc.
  6. Put the “stands” in. These are small metal things that screw into the screw slots. Put these where the screws need to go. If you don’t the motherboard will sit on the case and short out.
  7. There may be a metal piece blocking where your graphics card needs to go. Take this metal piece off.
  8. Then put the motherboard onto the “stands”. Screw them in.
  9. Screw in the graphics card.
  10. Remember to touch metal so you won’t have static electricity.
  11. Plug in the start button and other things from your case into your motherboard. They will be indicated by things such as “-PLED-” or ”-HD-”

Step 6: Case: Part 2

  1. Next you’ll want to take your case fans out of their packaging.
  2. Find where these need to go. You may need to remove the front of the case to do this.
  3. The front fan should be blowing in and the rear fan blowing out.
  4. Screw the front fan in, making sure it will blow in (there should be a arrow or other indicator of some kind) then plug it into the SYS_FAN1 slot.
  5. Screw in the rear fan, making sure it will blow out. Plug it into SYS_FAN2 slot.
  6. Remember to touch metal so you won’t have static electricity.

Step 7: Case: Part 3

  1. This part is with the hard drive. I used a HDD, but if you use a SSD it will have the same steps.
  2. Take the hard drive out of the packaging.
  3. Some cases require you to take off both sides of the case. See if you need to take off the other side and identify where the hard drive need to go.
  4. Put the hard drive into its slot
  5. Screw it in.
  6. Next you'll want to plug in the SATA cable. Plug it into the "L" shaped slot on the hard drive.
  7. Then plug it into the "L" shaped slot on the motherboard.
  8. Remember to touch metal so you won’t have static electricity.

Step 8: Case: Part 4

  1. Next you'll want to put your power supply in.
  2. If it's not already out of the packaging, take it out.
  3. Then place it in your case the correct way it should go.
  4. Screw it in.
  5. Then plug the cables into your motherboard (you may need the extension at this point)
  6. Plug the power cable that goes to the hard drive into it.
  7. Remember to touch metal so you won’t have static electricity.

Step 9: Finishing Up

  1. Put the side or sides back on the case.
  2. You'll want to keep your boxes with the instructions and other things relating to your computer parts in the correct box.
  3. After you have cleaned up, you can try your computer out.
  4. You'll want to have a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and power cable going into it. You may want a Ethernet cable if you plan on having internet.
  5. Plug these in and turn your computer on.

Step 10: That's All!

That's all you need to build your computer. You may still need a operating system and drivers, but those are in another instructable.

Have a great day!