Picture Guide to Computer Building and Hardware Installation (56K)

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#301 Posted by forgot_it (6756 posts) -
Pretty sweet guide, I have a question for some people though and this seemed like the best place to ask. I was wondering if someone could recommend me a build...the thing is though, this computer will not be used for gaming at all. The only thing the computer is ever going to do is Microsoft Office and funny cat videos on the internets. I'm looking to limit my spending as much as possible, I already have an OS, Mouse/Keyboard and a case but if the case causes trouble for whatever reason I'm willing to shell out a bit more for one that cooperates. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
#302 Posted by teeheeterror (27 posts) -

My gaming laptop is 2 years old now and I was thinking about building my own PC for once.
What parts do you recommend for a budget no more than 700 bucks?

#303 Posted by skydivenii (11 posts) -
Good Thread.
#304 Posted by PErSJa (17 posts) -

My gaming laptop is 2 years old now and I was thinking about building my own PC for once.
What parts do you recommend for a budget no more than 700 bucks?

teeheeterror
With OS?
#305 Posted by lancepk (1 posts) -
Great guide thank you
#306 Posted by GattsTaichou (44 posts) -

The fun thing about computer building is that you can't really connect things in the wrong way. I've been building my own PCs since I was 12 - this is my 9th version since. People are always afraid of it, but I bet everyone realizes after the start that it really just seems scary, but it is a nobrainer.

#307 Posted by Pepsidew6969 (1 posts) -
Awesome guide
#308 Posted by firedrakes (1469 posts) -
nice. jsut need to mention stress test your machine for a week. from hard drive test to ram
#310 Posted by hussey90 (2 posts) -
Thanks a lot i was searching for this for very long time, actually i recently join this forum and i hope got lot of such useful information in future. [QUOTE="General_X"]This will be a step by step guide to building a custom computer, I will try to be thorough but different hardware configurations may assemble differently, so only use this guide as a starting point or for supplemental information. Please provide any suggestions or feedback in your posts. Table of Contents (1) Picking out the parts (2) Basic Computer connections (3) Computer Case Overview (4) Drive installation (5) CPU and RAM installation (6) Motherboard installation (7) Graphics Card installation (8 Power-supply installation and power connections (9) SATA or IDE connections (10) Front panel wiring (11) Operating system and driver installation (1) Picking out the parts The first step to building a custom computer is picking out all the parts you will be using. If you are unsure of what you need or are scared of picking out incompatible components, I highly suggest just making a topic right here on the PC Hardware board with a budget in dollars and allow others to pick out the parts for you. The main thing to keep in mind when picking out parts is that the cpu or motherboard you choose will decide the rest of the parts to get. An AMD socket CPU must be paired with an AMD socket motherboard and the same applies to Intel CPUs and Intel socket motherboards. Parts used in this guide Case - NZXT Apollo ORANGE NP Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 Graphics Card - XFX Radeon HD 4850 512MB Power Supply - Corsair CMPSU 400CX CPU - AMD Athlon 64 X@ 5200 Brisbane 2.7GHz Hard Drive - Western Digital Cavier Green 750GB RAM - G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 DVD - Sony DVDRW Drive Operating System - Windows 7 64bit Total ~$635 with shipping A really good budget gaming rig that will be able to max most games out right now (Jul 2009) Here they are (2) Standard Computer connections and slots Overview of the motherboard Motherboard CPU socket RAM Slots (also known as DIMM slots) SATA Data connection Motherboard SATA ports Drive SATA Ports (both hard drive and DVD drive) PCI Express 16x and/or 2.0 slot PCI Express and PCI slots (From top to bottom) Motheboard Sound header(For hooking up the front headphone and mic jacks on a case) Motherboard USB header(For hooking up the front USB ports on a case) Motherboard Front Panel headers(For hooking up the power switch, reset switch, power LED, HDD activity LED, and motherboard speaker) (3) Computer Case Overview Overview of the different drive bays of an empty case (4) Drive Installation This particular computer case, like many today, is designed for a nearly tool-less installation of its components. Some people like this and others do not. Personally I like most of the toolless designs I've gotten to work with, and they usually aren't too hard to figure out. For installing the DVD-ROM drive, you have to pop out the drive cover on the front bezel of the case that will line up with the 5.25in drive bay that you will be putting the DVD drive in. Then all you have to do is slide the drive in the bay and either lock it in with the tooless latch or screw the drive in with screws provided with your case. (Sorry, didn't take pics of popping off the bezel and sliding the drive in) To install the hard drive, this case comes with a tool-less rail system that I've seen on a couple of cases. All you have to do is attach the rails to the hard drive with its drilled in screw holes and slide the hard drive into is position in the hard drive cage. The Rails Put on the drive Slide the drive into the hard drive cage Now you're ready to install the CPU and RAM into the motherboard outside the case. (5) CPU and RAM installation For installing the CPU and RAM, I prefer to do it while the motherboard is outside of the case. This especially makes CPU installation easier. CPU Installation First you need to open up the CPU socket latch, which will allow you to install the CPU Then you need to grab the CPU, making sure not to touch the top of it or bend any pins. And line up the pins with the proper holes on the socket. Many times there will also be an arrow on one corner of the CPU that should line up with an arrow on CPU socket, this will help you get the correct orientation. The CPU should just drop into place, so if you have to push it in with force you probably have it lined up incorrectly. Close the CPU socket latch, securing the CPU into place, this may require a bit of force, so be don't be scared if you have to push down on the latch hard in order to secure it. Now grab the CPU's heat-sink, all retail CPU's come with stock heatsinks. And remove the plastic cover on the bottom, exposing the thermal paste. Now depending on your which CPU manufacturer you went with, installing the heatsink may be a little different. The AM2 Socket CPUs use a latching mechanism to attach the heat sink to the motherboard, but Intel's LGA775 socket uses what are known as push pin latches that, in my opinion, are much more difficult to work with and secure. Line up the up the CPU's latches with the motherboards And lock it into place The heatsink should be attached very tightly, so if it is loose at all you need to redo the latching mechanisms. Now plug the fan on the CPU's heatsink into the motherboard CPU FAN header The CPU is now completely installed RAM Installation Installing RAM is one of the easiest parts of building a computer. Open the latches on the RAM slots Orient the RAM stick so that the gap in the middle is lined up with the ridge in the slot Push down on the top of the RAM stick until the latches lock into place, and repeat the process until you've installed all of your RAM sticks If you have 2, 4 or 6 sticks of DDR2 RAM, you can run what is known as Dual Channel mode (theoretically doubling the RAMs bandwidth), in order to do this the RAM sticks must be placed in the same channel. Most motherboards color code the RAM slots, so all you have to do is place the RAM sticks in the slots of the same color. (6) Motherboard Installation Motherboard installation can vary slightly depending on the form factor of motherboard you use. For this build I used a standard ATX size motherboard, by far the most prevelant size. Another popular form factor for motherboards is the Micro-ATX, which is designed for smaller cases. Alright, to get started installing the motherboard you must pop in the correct I/O plate that comes with your motherboard into the back of the case, replacing any generic I/O plate that may have come already installed on the case. Next you will need to screw in the motherboard stand-offs that should have been supplied with your case, there will be extra holes drilled in the case for different form factor motherboards. Now all you need to do is screw down the motherboard onto the stand-offs. Stand-offs you screwed in should align with the holes in the motherboard so that it is flush with the I/O panel. And that's it for installing the motherboard, you're almost done so hang in there. (7) Graphics Card Installation Installing the graphics card, (assuming you aren't going to use integrated graphics) is another very easy step in building a computer. Start off by removing the PCI slot shields on the back of the case that correspond with your graphics card placement. Now all you have to do is grab your graphics card, preferebly by the heatsink so as to not touch the connection and shock it, and plug it in to the PCI-Express 16x and/or 2.0 slot. The graphics card will only fit in this type of slot so don't force it into any others. + And that's it for installing graphics card, you will also need to hook it up to the power supply but I will get to that in the next section. (8 Powersupply installation and power connections This case, as with all other standard mid-tower and full tower size cases, accepts powersupplies that use the ATX form factor. Only smaller cases may use non-standard power supplies. Alright, all you have to do to install the powersupply, or PSU, is to orient it correctly in your case's powersupply slot and screw in the four screws that will attach it to the case. Now you have to hook everything up that needs a powerconnection. -The motherboard will have a 24pin power connection that will need to be plugged into the PSU + -It will also have a 4pin power connection near the CPU (though sometimes the motherboard might have an 8-pin power connector) + -All of your peripherals, such as hard drives and DVD drives, will need to be hooked into the PSU -Most new graphics cards also need to be hooked to the PSU with a 6 or 8 pin PCI power cord (though, some higher end models might need more than one 6 pin or 8 pin connection) -If your case fans do not have the proper connections to be hooked into your motherboard's 3 pin fan control headers, they will also need to be hooked into the PSU And now you're almost ready to fire up your new rig, just a couple of steps to go (9) SATA data connections Your hard drives and DVD drives need to be able to transfer data to the motherboard, this means we need to hook them up with SATA cables Just attach one end of the SATA cable to the motherboard SATA header, and the other end to the hard drive or DVD drive Repeat until all drives are connected to the motherboard, most motherboards come with 2 SATA cables, but if you order more than 2 OEM drives you will need to order extra SATA cables

#312 Posted by realguitarhero5 (3900 posts) -

Building a PC is like legos until you whip out the PSU and have about 700 rainbow colored wires to deal with... :/

#313 Posted by General_X (9026 posts) -

Building a PC is like legos until you whip out the PSU and have about 700 rainbow colored wires to deal with... :/

realguitarhero5
But you really only need about 5 of those wires and you bundle the rest away lol.
#314 Posted by ycdeo (2526 posts) -
Something bigger than 23" LCD computer monitor infect exists, tell me the brand?
#315 Posted by GattsTaichou (44 posts) -

Something bigger than 23" LCD computer monitor infect exists, tell me the brand?ycdeo

Sitting in front of one... there are 24-26-27 and I think even 30-32" LCD screens (of course you can play on an LCD TV as well, so the sky is the limit).

My Monitor is a Samsung Syncmaster T260.

#316 Posted by GattsTaichou (44 posts) -

Building a PC is like legos until you whip out the PSU and have about 700 rainbow colored wires to deal with... :/

realguitarhero5

There is no real way to screw up PC building... it's not like it's a profession or something that you need to learn :) You need eyes, hands and you probably need to be able to read... Here are your basic requirements. People are just a fraid of it coz they think it requires some advanced technical knowledge (but these are the ones who have never tried).

#317 Posted by Silicel1 (2342 posts) -

[QUOTE="realguitarhero5"]

Building a PC is like legos until you whip out the PSU and have about 700 rainbow colored wires to deal with... :/

GattsTaichou

There is no real way to screw up PC building... it's not like it's a profession or something that you need to learn :) You need eyes, hands and you probably need to be able to read... Here are your basic requirements. People are just a fraid of it coz they think it requires some advanced technical knowledge (but these are the ones who have never tried).

As long as those people live I have a job :D
#318 Posted by Peanutbutterz (180 posts) -

I'm building my first PC within the next two weeks, and I'm wondering as far as windows OS goes, do I HAVE to buy a system builder's version of windows, or can I use something I already have?

#319 Posted by General_X (9026 posts) -

I'm building my first PC within the next two weeks, and I'm wondering as far as windows OS goes, do I HAVE to buy a system builder's version of windows, or can I use something I already have?

Peanutbutterz
Yes assuming you also have an unused product key.
#322 Posted by Var1794 (2 posts) -
You know, you could have put up a video to make it simpler. Assembling computers ain't that hard.
#323 Posted by General_X (9026 posts) -
You know, you could have put up a video to make it simpler. Assembling computers ain't that hard.Var1794
I've found that it's very difficult to get nice detail shot's with a video format. And many people have given their thanks in this thread so there are those who appreciate this guide.
#324 Posted by ukiegunz (84 posts) -
Is this build still good for games out right now? 2012?
#325 Posted by 3KindgomsRandy (15488 posts) -

Is this build still good for games out right now? 2012?ukiegunz

And if not, what alterations could be made to keep it in the same general price range while maximizing bang for buckage. (I'm assuming the 2009 tech is significantly cheaper than it was when you created this thread).

#326 Posted by General_X (9026 posts) -
This build is definitely outdated now by 2012 standards as far as parts go. And unfortunately old tech doesn't really drop in price significantly, it just sort of gets phased out completely by new technology unless you can find it second-hand. If you want a general guideline for parts at a given budget I suggest giving this guide a look though I still suggest running it by the members of this forum before you pull the trigger on buying anything.
#327 Posted by 3KindgomsRandy (15488 posts) -

Cool, thanks for the info. I'll post a prospective build idea when I get one together and let the board pick it apart and improve it.

#328 Posted by marystolz (2 posts) -
The clarity in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this field. Thanks a million and please keep up the fabulous work. Now to install Ubuntu 11.10 and enjoy
#329 Posted by deadarknight (800 posts) -
I am thinking about building a new PC, I got two question. Since the first post is in 2009 and there are 33 pages of posts, is there an updated rig somewhere in there that I need to go around digging for? Also I want to have a dual monitor set up, What do I need to do in order to go about doing that?
#330 Posted by mamkem6 (1457 posts) -

What do you guys think about this guide?

They are updating it almost daily. How correct are they in your opinion?

I'm a noob at this but as soon as I get the money I will built a budget PC ( I'm very tight on money )

http://www.build-gaming-computers.com/gaming-desktop-computer.html

Motherboard

ASUS M5A97 AMD 9 Series ($100)

CPU

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition ($125)

RAM

Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR3 (1333 Mhz) ($17)

Video Card

EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti SuperClocked (1GB) ($130)

Hard Drive

Seagate Barracuda 1TB ($110)

Optical Drive

Sony Optiarc 24x DVDRW Drive ($18)

Case

Cooler Master RC-430-KWN1 Elite 430 ($40)

Power Supply

Cooler Master Elite Series 460 Watts ($30)


Total Cost: $570 (USD)

Last Update: 16th March 2012

I will add an additional 4GB RAM so that makes it 590$

#331 Posted by General_X (9026 posts) -
I am thinking about building a new PC, I got two question. Since the first post is in 2009 and there are 33 pages of posts, is there an updated rig somewhere in there that I need to go around digging for? Also I want to have a dual monitor set up, What do I need to do in order to go about doing that? deadarknight
I always recommend starting a thread in the main computer hardware forum asking for recommended computer parts at a given budget. As for dual monitor set-ups they aren't too much hassle, you just need a graphics card with two or more digital outputs (HDMI, DVI, and Display Port are all examples of digital outputs). Triple monitor set-ups are a whole 'nother animal though.
#332 Posted by General_X (9026 posts) -

What do you guys think about this guide?

They are updating it almost daily. How correct are they in your opinion?

I'm a noob at this but as soon as I get the money I will built a budget PC ( I'm very tight on money )

http://www.build-gaming-computers.com/gaming-desktop-computer.html

Motherboard

ASUS M5A97 AMD 9 Series ($100)

CPU

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition ($125)

RAM

Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR3 (1333 Mhz) ($17)

Video Card

EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti SuperClocked (1GB) ($130)

Hard Drive

Seagate Barracuda 1TB ($110)

Optical Drive

Sony Optiarc 24x DVDRW Drive ($18)

Case

Cooler Master RC-430-KWN1 Elite 430 ($40)

Power Supply

Cooler Master Elite Series 460 Watts ($30)


Total Cost: $570 (USD)

Last Update: 16th March 2012

I will add an additional 4GB RAM so that makes it 590$

mamkem6
It's a decent build for the budget, just keep in mind though that the processor is starting to get dated and the graphics card isn't much in the way of a power house. Also keep in mind that unless you have a copy of Windows XP/Vista/7 laying around you will need to budget about $100 for an operating system if you plan on playing games, otherwise you could look into a linux distro.
#333 Posted by deadarknight (800 posts) -
[QUOTE="deadarknight"]I am thinking about building a new PC, I got two question. Since the first post is in 2009 and there are 33 pages of posts, is there an updated rig somewhere in there that I need to go around digging for? Also I want to have a dual monitor set up, What do I need to do in order to go about doing that? General_X
I always recommend starting a thread in the main computer hardware forum asking for recommended computer parts at a given budget. As for dual monitor set-ups they aren't too much hassle, you just need a graphics card with two or more digital outputs (HDMI, DVI, and Display Port are all examples of digital outputs). Triple monitor set-ups are a whole 'nother animal though.

I was thinking about making another thread but I thought against it since this exist. Well I have an iMac so that will be my third screen =D
#334 Posted by AutoPilotOn (8092 posts) -
Just replaced a couple parts. Seasonic 1000watt power supply Asus Maximus motherboard Nzxt white tower case
#335 Posted by parkurtommo (25902 posts) -

Are these parts all compatible? Feel free to facepalm :P

Asus Crosshair V Formula/Thunderbolt Motherboard (With SLI & Crossfire capability)

Intel SandyBridge i5-2500k Unlocked Core i5 Quad Core Processor *3.30 GHz, 6MB Cache(

G Skill 8GB XL Ripjaws X for Intel SandyBridge Platforms DDR3 PC1 2800 1600MHz 8GB kit

Seagate ST3500413AS 3.5 inch Barracuda 500GB 7200 rpm SATA Drive with 16 MB Buffer

Sony AD - S2805-0B DVD RW 24x SATA Drive

Asus 1GB GeForce GTX 560 TI Direct CUII PC1-E Graphics Card

All incased in a CiT Vantage Black Mesh Gaming Case with 4 fans.

#336 Posted by jakeonator (131 posts) -

Yeah that is all comaptible, youd be surprised how much everything works with eachother. unless some is old and some is new, then you get bottlenecking performance

#337 Posted by Bozanimal (2483 posts) -
@General_X
    I wrote an extensive guide to building a PC back when I did my own in 2007 with video. Some of it might be useful; you're welcome to borrow the video code if you want to use any of it. The parts in my build are, I believe, a bit more dated than your own, though it's not like PC building is any different today than it was at the time, really.
      Anyway, was looking through the sticky for a friend that's building his own PC now and though someone else might benefit from the work I'd done back in the day.
        Happy gaming,
          Boz
          #338 Posted by jok3r39 (12 posts) -

          Great job man showing all these pictures . Really helpful

          #339 Posted by arcticavengers (10 posts) -
          Perfect computer buil up
          #340 Posted by Steve_LowBill (81 posts) -

          Very nice , clear and useful . There's no such a great feeling to assemble your computer part by part by yourself and to get all the hardware and software working smoothly .

          #341 Posted by Ross_the_Boss6 (2508 posts) -

          Can anyone recommend a good, quiet 120mm fan for the front of my case? Quiet is key.

          #342 Posted by General_X (9026 posts) -

          Can anyone recommend a good, quiet 120mm fan for the front of my case? Quiet is key.

          Ross_the_Boss6
          I hear good things about Scythe's fans, I don't have personal experience though so you might have to peruse Newegg and read reviews.
          #346 Posted by risako9 (840 posts) -

          If you get the wiring / cabling wrong? can it destroy the whole system?

          #347 Posted by General_X (9026 posts) -

          If you get the wiring / cabling wrong? can it destroy the whole system?

          risako9
          That's very nearly impossible as most if not all power connections (the ones that have the potential to damage your system) can only be plugged into the socket that they belong in.
          #348 Posted by roozmarry871 (5 posts) -
          good guidelines for us.. i request you please more describe this please.. thanks
          #349 Posted by free_milk (4368 posts) -
          Good guide it's abit confusing but I'm not building it someone else is but I will make sure they read this. I am buying my CPU online it doesn't come with heatsink it comes with CPU cooler do I need a heatsink?
          #350 Posted by free_milk (4368 posts) -
          Do I have to buy the latest drivers?