For experts, building a computer is second nature. Everything seems to just fit in to place and when you look at an experienced system builder at work – it’ll seem like it’s all so quick. The fact is, building a computer isn’t about being quick, it’s about being efficient.
When it comes to putting components together and assembling the system unit, it’s always best to work off a specific order to ensure that you’re not wasting energy, and most importantly – you’re not making things difficult for yourself. Over the years, system building has become increasingly easier, and while everybody can do it, not everyone can do it well.
Take a look for our quick guide on the best build order for building your computer. We’ll be covering these topics in detail later on, so don’t worry if it seems a bit brief:
- Don’t un-package anything apart from the components you are about to work on. Keeping things in the silvery ESD static-free bags helps to ensure that components aren’t at risk.
- Check everything is compatible and that you have enough screws, cables, fans and adapters if you need them.
- Unpack the motherboard and install the RAM and CPU. Make sure to follow the appropriate guidelines and do not install the CPU the wrong way round! If you force it, you can destroy this expensive component!
- Install the heatsink and fan on to the CPU – once again do this the correct way!
- Install the rear I/O plate that came with the motherboard (this fits at the back of the system case)
- Prepare the brass or plastic riser screws – these are what the motherboard needs to sit on, and perform a ‘fit’ test of the mainboard, noting where the screw holes go so you can install the risers in the correct position. Make sure any cables (front panel etc.) are out of the way and don’t get trapped behind the mainboard.
- Install the motherboard after you have fitted all of the risers. The trickiest part is to get everything lined up, as the I/O area can be a headache – wiggle around and when everything is in place correctly, the screw holes will line up and you can secure the mainboard in place. (use the correct size of screw that fits into the riser).
- Your power supply should be installed already, if it’s not, install that now. Also connect up the front panel and mainboard power. There is a 24 pin Molex power connector that supplies power to the mainboard and also a four or six pin that supplies power directly to the CPU.
- Install the hard disk drives and DVD drive and connect them up to the mainboard.
- Install the graphics card and if it has a powered fan, connect it to the PSU.
- Route cables properly for maximum airflow, check everything is seated correctly.
- Connect monitor, keyboard, mouse, power and boot your new computer.
It actually sounds really easy, right? While that’s essentially the build process of building a computer – it’s important to know what you’re doing when it comes to wiring up the front panel, ensuring fans are set up correctly, and making sure that everything is OK.
Anyone can build a computer, but not everyone can build one that works first time!