Building a PC is a satisfying project that anyone can do. So long as you get the parts right and have a Phillips screwdriver at hand, you’re good to go. In fact, this is an exciting time to be building a gaming PC. Components come in all price ranges, and they are available online. In this post, we’ll be building a CPU tower from scratch. Our experts will walk you through the process of connecting the parts. But you’ll need a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to complete the setup.
Gather the Tools
Every PC build project starts with gathering tools. A novice builder might be tempted to think a Philips screwdriver is all they need. But it’s not. Zip ties are pretty useful thingies that will save you a lot of trouble. Their main job is to tidy up wires in the build, and you can even label things if you need to. Most parts will come with this handy component. But it would be a good idea to have a few zip ties lying around.
You might want to bring an anti-static wrist band, especially if you have cats or carpeted floors. Static electricity can damage your expensive components, ruining the build. If you don’t have this tool, touch any metal surface for a couple of seconds to discharge.
Get the Parts Right
Not all computer parts can work on the same PC. That’s why you should have an experienced builder write the parts list for you. A good idea would be to follow a Youtube video or checking out a PC building course. That will eliminate guesswork from this expensive project.
Start With the Fans
Any experienced builder will tell you a PC is as good as its cooling system. And it’s true. An underperforming fan will result in high core temperatures, reduced performance, and a shorter computer lifespan. That’s why you need to get this right. Usually, PC cases come with preinstalled fans. But just so you know, you’ll need two intake fans at the front and one at the rear to blow out hot air.
Install the Motherboard
Now that the fans are in place, it’s time to install the motherboard. Here’ how you should do it:
- Make sure the chassis standoffs align with the motherboard’s screw points.
- Install CPU backplates or M.2 solid-state drives if the PC case does not have a CPU cutout in the mobo frame.
- If steps 1 and 2 go as planned, make sure the motherboard lines up with the PC case port slots.
- Secure it with screws.
Next, install the processor on the motherboard. However, every processor family comes with a different installation process. If it’s an Intel mainstream CPU, slide the spring-loaded arms and lift the bracket. Then gently place the CPU inside its socket, matching the pins to the little cavities on the mobo. As a rule, make sure the CPU triangle aligns with the one in the socket. Any wrong move will result in a broken CPU, which is never a good thing.
Installing the memory is perhaps the most straightforward job in this build. For Ram, line up the component to match the motherboard’s socket then push it in. You should hear a clicking sound on both ends as the memory sits in place. Next up, install the non-volatile memory. Most PC cases come with a hard disk slot that can fit both solid-state and hard disk drives. Once you find it, slide the drive in place and secure it with screws. That’s it.
Add Functionality to the Buttons
At this point, your build is taking shape. Now it’s time to connect all the buttons. Some case makers combine button wires in a single block that connects to the motherboard’s IO port. If this is what you have, make sure the pins are aligned to the socket then push it in. If you’re not so lucky, you will have to use the motherboard’s installation manual. It has all the info you need to complete the connection successfully.
The Final Touches
Finally, we are nearing the end of the build.
Find and remove the PCIe slots on the motherboard. Usually, that means undoing two screws to create room for the GPU. Just like the motherboard, the IO of the GPU should be facing the rear of the chassis. Then align the gold contacts on the GPU and PCIe slots then push till it clicks. At this point, you can connect the peripherals and power up the machine. The CPU temperature should be anywhere between 30 and 40 degrees, and the main drive should be showing up on BIOS.