Building a PC means you get to customize the perfect system for your needs. It also means you get to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your PC.
It’s easier than ever to build a PC, and everything that you need is readily available at your local computer store. You can choose from a wide range of motherboards and CPUs and then add storage and memory according to your needs. If you’re looking for an off-the-shelf solution, we’ll show you some of our favorite prebuilt PCs on the market today.
When you buy a desktop computer, you are also purchasing its operating system. It means that if the operating system ever needs to be updated or changed, you will have to buy a new computer. With a PC, this is not the case. A PC will allow you to customize everything about your computer for free! Building your PC can save money and give you more control over how it functions.
Installing the CPU
Depending on whether your CPU is Intel or AMD Ryzen, the chip will either have little golden contacts on one side or little prongs instead. Ensure to not touch them. Screw the sink into place and get back to the motherboard instruction manual to find the accurate place close to the processor socket for plugging your heat sink’s cooling fan.
To seat your processor, double-check the instructions of your motherboard and unlock the processor socket following those instructions.
Once you have done that, find the corner of your processor which has the little golden triangle for the chip and line it with the same symbol as the one on the processor socket of your motherboard. Gently lower the processor and then carefully flip the locking mechanism.
Look at the square of silicon in the center of your processor to know where the heat sink has to sit. One side of it has a copper circle. Add the heat sink directly on top of the processor. The copper circle and silicon square should line up perfectly.
Gently squeeze a pea-sized amount of thermal paste onto the square and ensure it is as close to the center as possible. You can update your daily schedules, access your calendar, and navigate any other feature within minutes.
Using screws, line up your heat sink and lower it into place. Squish the thermal paste to create a thin layer that covers the back of your processor.
Screw the sink into place and get back to the motherboard instruction manual to find the accurate place close to the processor socket for plugging your heat sink’s cooling fan.
Installing Memory and Storage
Memory is the easiest thing to install while building a PC. The vertical sockets beside the CPU are where you need to line up your sticks of RAM. Starting from the left-hand slot, slot them in and they will lock into place when seated properly. Skip a slot if you have two sticks of RAM. Your motherboard manual should help you out with finding which slots you need to use.
For your HDD or SSD, locate an empty bay in the part of your case which is front-facing. Slide in the hard drive and screw it into place.
If your drive is an M.2, locate the place on the motherboard where you can slot it indirectly. Refer to the motherboard manual.
Install the Motherboard and Power Supply
Put the motherboard into your case and line up the screw holes with the ones on the motherboard. Refer to the manual for a detailed understanding specific for your model.
To install your power supply, locate a spot for it near the bottom or top of the case. The back of your case should have a big empty square which is where the power supply goes. You’ll plug in your PC towards the end in that slot. Find this space, slot it in, and screw everything into place.
Ensure all the snaky cables that are coming out of the supply are reaching the motherboard while having room to spare. Do not plug anything yet for now.
Install the Graphics Card
The GPU is pretty big. Even modestly powered GPUs such as the GTX 1060 are quite large when compared to other hardware components. So, how it is fitting into your case is important. Once you fit the GPU in there, the space will begin to get tighter.
Get back to the motherboard manual and locate a PCIe slot. The slot will be horizontal and there will be a small plastic latch next to it, near the bottom or middle of the motherboard. That is the location for plugging the GPU in. Identify the back of your GPU (the side with the DisplayPorts and HDMI), line it up with the back of the case, and finally, push the GPU into that horizontal slot.
Fasten your GPU to the case with screws. Look at the cables snaking out of the power supply. A few of them should look like they could fit into the square or rectangular socket towards the side of the GPU. There should be around six to eight tiny holes in a rectangular shape.
Finally, hook your motherboard into all devices. The power supply unit should help eliminate clutter since having a ton of cables leads to having to deal with a lot of unused power connections that dangle inside your case. Connect the PSU to the motherboard and the SSD.
Plug the motherboard into the case – the audio plugs, power buttons, and USB ports at the front. Check the manual to detect the location and learn about the function of each and every grouping of pins as there are special headers for each type of plug. These pins must be plugged a certain way but they are extremely miminusculen size. The case’s fan should also have a hookup. The SATA cable for the SSD plugs into the motherboard.
With this, you are done with the hardware setup for your PC. All that is left is to install Windows and then you are good to go.