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How to Build A New PC

Updated on August 14, 2011

Buying a new computer can be an expensive and confusing endeavor. In order to find the one you want, you may have to visit numerous stores, compare numerous specifications, and spend a lot of money to get exactly what you want. However, building your own computer can be a cheap and easy way to get what you need in a machine, if you are willing to use a little elbow grease. I was able to build a machine that would have retailed for over $1500 for $450 just because I assembled it myself. It only takes a few simple tools and a little determination to build your own computer.

What You Need

Determining what you will need for a computer will depend on what you plan on doing with it. If you are planning on doing some word processing and bookkeeping, you could probably just go by a netbook for $200 and call it good. However, if you are doing some major Photoshop work, editing movies, or playing games, you will probably be looking to get something a bit more powerful. Even building this computer yourself, you are looking at spending quite a bit of money. Deciding what you can live without will do you a lot of good, as compromise will save quite a bit of money.

No matter what type of computer you are building, you will need a ground bracelet. These are very cheap and will save you from shorting out components as your are building your computer. You will also need a set of precision screwdrivers, and thermal compound.

When purchasing components for your computer, make sure that they fit together. Each part will have a specification about what it will fit. The easiest way to do this is to find a motherboard that will fit your needs, and finding the corresponding parts that fit into the motherboard. You will need to see what sort of tower it will fit into (such as ATX), the type of memory it will take (DIMM, SIMM, as well as the amount of pins), the connections for hard drives and optical drives (IDE or SATA), and the type of processor that it will take. You will also need to pay attention to whether or not there is an on-board video card, or if you will need to purchase one separately. If you add a separate video card, you will need to find out if it is a PCI connection or a PCI-express connection, as well as whether or not you will need a bigger power supply to power the card.

Construction of Your PC

  1. Put on the grounding bracelet, and attach it to the tower of the computer.
  2. Install your power supply into your tower. It usually goes in the back, at the top. It will fit into the large hole in the back of the tower.
  3. Install the motherboard into the tower. There will be a few special thumb screws that will screw directly into the case where the motherboard goes. These will be what you screw the motherboard into. The inputs will go through the back of the tower where there is a rectangular hole. Make sure that you insert the plate into the tower before installing the mother, as it will be very difficult to add it afterward.
  4. Install the optical drives and hard drives inside the tower in whatever configuration that works best for your particular tower. I usually place my optical drive at the top of the computer, and my hard drive somewhere in the middle.
  5. Attach the cables for each drive, and, if applicable, each tower connection, into the motherboard. The tower connections could be front-side USB ports, LED lights, or a card reader. The motherboard manual will tell you exactly where each of these connections are located.
  6. Insert the memory and video card into the motherboard. The motherboard manual will tell you exactly where to plug these in.
  7. Insert the processor into the designated area. It will only fit one way, so do not force it. It should slide in easily. Add thermal compound, then the heatsink, and finally the fan. Plug the wires from the fan into the motherboard.
  8. Plug in the connections from the power supply to the drives and motherboards. Unhook yourself from the tower, plug in the computer, and see if it boots.
  9. Load your operating system onto your computer. This is often done just by adding a CD or DVD in your optical drive before the computer boots. Install and enjoy!

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