Part 1 – What will we build?
Part 2 – What components are required?
Part 3 – The Computer Case or Chassis
Part 4 – Motherboards, Processors and Memory
Part 5 – Graphics and Expansion Cards
Part 6 – Hard Disk and CD/DVD ROM Drives
Part 7 – Make a Checklist
Part 8 – Begin Assembly
Part 9 –Assemble Continued
Part 10 – Operating System and Device Drivers
In the last article we began our final preparations for building our own computer. We will now start assembling all these components.
Prepare the case.
1- Remove both side panels from the case as you will need full access inside the case.
2- We will start by getting our case ready to install our components. Have a look at your motherboard. It should have some holes in it which are used to mount the board inside the case. We need to fit our motherboard riser mounts supplied with the case to match the holes on the motherboard.
3- Next we will fit our back panel for our motherboard ports. This should have been supplied with the motherboard.
4- Have a look for the case switch and speaker cables. Familiarise yourself with them and look at the motherboard manually to see where they will be connected.
5- Check where you will be fitting your CD/DVD ROM drives and remove any facia plates etc that need to be removed when fitting these drives.
So we have prepared our case and now we will move on to the motherboard, CPU and memory. It is personal preference but I usually assembly these components outside of the case. I find it is usually easy than when the motherboard is inside the case.
Your motherboard should have come with a manual of some sorts. This will be either on CD or in handbook format. You will need to locate the following pages, The detailed diagram showing all the locations on the board, fitting the CPU, fitting the memory and there will be a page with a close up showing all the header connectors for the computer case LEDs and power button etc. We will need to refer to these throughout the build so make sure they are close to hand.
1- Place the motherboard on the anti-static bag that it was supplied in. (Make sure you are taking anti static precautions yourself.
2- You should see the processor / CPU socket. It may have a protective cover which will need to be removed. Now follow the motherboard manual instructions for inserting the processor making sure you remove any covers from the CPU itself. Usually it can only go in one way. Most processors have notches to ensure correct fitting. Once fitted there will be a mechanism to lock the CPU in place.
3- Install the heatsink and fan as per manufacturer or motherboard instructions. Be sure to connect the fan cable to the motherboard. The manual should tell you which connector is for the CPU fan.
4- Fit the memory. Again like the processor, your computer memory will have notches cut into the bottom edge. These need to match the motherboard memory slots. There will be instructions on how to do this in your manual but usually there is a latch mechanism at each end of the slot. These have to be opened or pushed outwards. As the memory is inserted these latches close and lock the memory into position.
The major components are now fitted to the motherboard and we can begin to install our motherboard into our case.
1- Carefully lower the motherboard and attached components into the case.
2- We now have to match our screw holes and motherboard risers whilst ensuring our rear ports are correctly aligned to the motherboard ports.
3- I usually begin by loosely screwing the four motherboard corner mountings. This keeps things in place whilst I check all my ports are aligned and nothing is strained.
4- I then loosely add all other motherboard screws and begin to tighten them all checking that everything is aligned all the time.
5- Case headers. As mentioned earlier these are the cables that come from the case power and reset button. The will also contain any cables for the case LEDs such as the power light and hard disk activity light. There may be a speaker header cable and if you case has front audio or USB ports there will be cables for these also.
6- Look in the motherboard manual to see where these should be connected. There will be various locations around the board for them to be connected to. Note it can sometimes to work out which way these cables should be connected. Some can only connect in one way but some can allow incorrect fitting. If in the motherboard manual your header has a 1 or + sign next to it them the cable should be marked with something to make it different in some way. This will be the end that you align with the 1 or + sign.
If your power supply was already fitted in your case you just need to connect the main power block to the motherboard. There may be more than one connector required so always consult the motherboard manual for guidance.
If you have to fit your own PSU this is relatively straight forward. It can only go in one way to align with the screws holes on the back of the case. Be sure to tighten these screws well so as to stop any chance of vibration and noise. Once fitted, connect the main power cable as describe in the previous paragraph.
So it is finally starting to look like a computer. That concludes this part of the series. In part 9 we will fit our final components.
The views and advice contained in this article are that of the author and not IvoryEgg.com.
When following any advice contained within this article, you do so at your own risk and you should always consult manufacturer’s guidelines. IvoryEgg.com and the author take no responsibility for any damage caused to your computer equipment as a result of following this guide.