How to Build a Computer – What You Need Before You Begin

Building a computer is nowhere near as complicated as it looks, and in some cases it can be a great way to save money and cut your budget down to the last penny.  Unlike buying a computer at a store, when you build one – you can choose everything, right down to the color of your case.

In this series of guides, we’re going to take a look at how to build a computer, and what you need to do it. However, before we start, there are a few things you need to know.
While it’s true you don’t need many specialist tools before you build a computer, it’s important to be prepared for every eventuality in order to prevent possible disaster. Electronic components are well known for being sensitive, so it’s important to be careful and most importantly – treat all components with care.

When lifting any component, make sure to lift it only by the edges. Never touch any components directly, because while the chances are rare for you to damage circuitry by electrostatic discharge, it has happened before.

Things you should have when building a computer

  • Philips (star) and straight-edged screwdrivers,Scissors,Electrical tape,Cable ties
    Band-Aids,A clean tidy area to work from,A pot for screws,A four way extension,
    A spare monitor,A Bootable DVD or USB with install media (Windows)

Before tearing any packaging or breaking any seals however, the most important thing you can do is to make sure that everything is compatible.

To do this, make sure you can answer is yes to all of the following questions:

Do you have a hard disk, DVD drive, memory, CPU, heat sink, fan and mainboard?
Do you have a computer case (ATX / Micro ATX)?
Does the mainboard socket type and the CPU socket type match? Is the CPU listed as a compatible model in the mainboard manual?
Do you have a bag or box of screws that came with the case? (Check inside the case)
Do you have cables for the hard disk and a metal back plate for the case? (look inside the mainboard’s box)
Do you have a fan or heat sink for your CPU?
Do you have a power supply unit – sometimes you get this already installed in the case, sometimes you have to buy one separately.
Does the power supply unit have wide white connectors (Molex) and black ones (SATA)? If the answer is no, you will need to buy an adapter (about $1) to convert MOLEX power format to SATA.
Do you have a clean working area where you can lay out components without them being exposed to shock?
Do you have the tools mentioned earlier?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions

, then you are just about ready to start building your computer. Obviously for those new to it, it’s important that you take things slowly and even more so – when it comes to installing things, never force anything!

Computer components are fragile!

They are also sensitive to static electricity, so whenever you touch any component make sure you are properly grounded beforehand.

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