Surprisingly, the hardest part about building a computer

Surprisingly, the hardest part about building a computer is deciding which
parts to use and purchase. Luckily, there are several great resources out
there to make things easier for you. PCPartpicker.com is our favorite.
PCPartpicker allows you to create a “virtual” version of your
build with easy to follow information such as price comparisons,
required parts, compatibility, and important specifications.
When you’re finished selecting your parts, you can view a summary
with the total cost. This summary is easily sharable via the PCPartpicker
Partlist URL. Share your build with your friends or the helpful community
at reddit.com/r/buildapc for advice and recommendations.
Remove the rear I/O shield from the motherboard
packaging. Find the proper orientation and install
it into the back of the computer case. Place the
motherboard inside the case as reference to
ensure the I/O shield is installed correctly.
Carefully place the motherboard inside the case, pushing gently against the I/O shield. Double
check to make sure the ports are accessible through the I/O shield and begin screwing the
motherboard in using the screws provided with the computer case. There will typically be 4-9
screw holes present depending on the size of your motherboard.
There’re several options out there to choose
for CPU cooling (listed above). Our preferred
method is the all-in-one liquid cooler which
offers the best bang for your buck. (instructions below)
Hint: Match the grooves
on CPU with the CPU slot.
Prepare the backplate
according to the instructions
of your CPU cooler. For
example, positioning the
sliders into the proper position based on your motherboard socket.
Remove the CPU slot cover on the motherboard and open
the tension lever to access the socket. Carefully place the
CPU into the socket using the grooves and arrow on the
CPU to identify the proper orientation. Be careful not to
touch or bend the pins located in the socket. Once the
CPU is installed, lock it into place using the tension lever.
From the front side of the motherboard, install the standoffs onto the backplate to secure it into place.
Back of Motherboard
Attach the backplate to the rear of the motherboard
using the four holes located around the CPU socket.
Make sure the cooling plate on the pump has thermal
paste installed. (It should come pre-installed if it’s a
brand new cooler) Align the pump onto the standoffs
and use the provided thumbscrews to secure the pump to
the motherboard.
Install the fan or fans onto the radiator (sticker
end facing the direction you want air to blow)
using the 28mm fan screws included with the
cooler. Optimal fan orientation varies
depending on your situation. We prefer to
have the fans exhaust air through the radiator
and out of the case.
The final step is to attach all of the cables such as
the fans, USB header and SATA power. We like to
hold off at this step and install all of our cables at
the same time. (See Step 8).
Position the radiator into the case and use the supplied screws to mount it. Use
the shorter screws for a single set of fans (push or pull) or use the longer
screws for a double set of fans (push and pull).
Release the clips located on the sides of the memory (RAM) slots.
Using the grooves located on the memory module, position
the memory into the proper orientation and gently press it
into the slot. The clips should automatically lock the
memory into place once enough pressure is applied.
HINT: Keep in mind that the proper slot or slots to use vary
depending on the number of modules you will install. Consult
the motherboard manual for the proper configuration.
If necessary, release the clip on the end of the PCI slot.
Carefully align the graphics card and gently push it into
the slot. The clip on the PCI slot will automatically lock
once enough pressure is applied.
Consult the motherboard manual to locate the appropriate
PCI slot for the graphics card. (Typically the one closest to
the CPU) Remove the corresponding expansion slot cover on
the back side of case.
Secure the graphics card to the case using
the screws from the expansion slot cover.
Side of case
Remove the 3.5” hard drive tray from the side of the case and attach
the hard drive disk (HDD) to the tray. Re-attach the tray to the case.
Remove SSD tray from the case. Secure the SSD to the tray using the four screw holes located on
the backside. Return the tray back to the case and screw into place.
Finally, we connect the SATA data and power
cables. We usually save this step and connect all
cables at once. (See Step 8).
Sample Accessories:
DVD
Installing 5.25” accessories such as Sentry 3,
Aperture M, Hue, or Optical Disk Drives:
Left side of case
Insert accessory
from the front or
back depending
on your case
Use the tool-less latch system to easily lock the 5.25”
accessory into place.
Remove cover from optical drive bay
Place the 5.25” accessory into
the optical drive bay.
Connect the cables. Connect any cables such as USB headers,
SATA data, SATA or MOLEX power. We typically reserve this
step to connect all cables at the same time. (See Step 8).
Installing Grid+:
Connect any appropriate cables such as FAN cables,
USB headers and MOLEX power. (See Step 8)
Back of Grid+
For a discreet accessory such as the
GRID+, use the included adhesive to
mount the device in a hidden location.
The Grid+ can be installed almost anywhere inside the case.
We like to install it in an empty hard drive tray that is hidden from view.
Slide in power supply from here
Place the power supply into the case and secure it using the four
power supply screws provided with your case.
For modular power suppplies, connect the appropriate
cables into the power supply first.
Back of Power Supply
Connect your power supply cables beginning with the
24-Pin Motherboard connector.
Back of Power Supply
Next, connect the 8-Pin CPU/ Motherboard cable. Some
motherboards will only require a 4-Pin connector.
Back of Power Supply
Next, connect the 6 or 8-Pin PCI power cable to your
video card. Some video cards do not require additional
power from the power supply. Some video cards will
require two 6 or 8-Pin PCI power cables.
Next, connect your storage or disk device such as
your HDD, SSD, or DVD Drive.
DVD
Back of Power Supply
Connect the SATA power cable from the power supply to the drives.
Connect the SATA data cables that were included with
your motherboard. Connect one end to the hard drive
or disk drive and the other end into the appropriate
SATA slot on your motherboard. Consult the manual
for additional instructions on which slot to use.
Connect other accessories.
Back of Power Supply
Connect the SATA or MOLEX power for any of your accessories or
coolers such as the SATA power connector in the Kraken™ liquid
cooler.
Connect any USB headers from your accessories such as
the GRID+ or Aperture M Card Reader.
Connect the USB, Audio and Power/ Reset from your
computer case.
Connect the USB 3.0 connector to enable the USB 3.0
slots on the outside of your case. (If there are any)
Connect the HD Audio and USB headers
to enable the USB 2.0 and Headset /
Mic ports on the outside of your case.
Connect the Power SW, Reset SW and LED indicator headers into the motherboard to
enable the activity LEDs and power / reset buttons on your case.
Pull any excess cabling through the rubber grommets to ensure the PC
is nice and clean from the front. Organize the remaining bundles of
cables and begin zip tieing them to the case using the zip-tie points.
Gather excess cabling together and tuck them away in an empty space
such as an unused hard drive mount in front of the power supply.
Arrange your cables into a group without overlapping or tangling
them. Zip tie them together to the back of the case to create a neat
and slim profile.
Continue arranging cables and zip tieing them to the case until you
are happy with your result. Close the side panel and make sure any
excess cables are out of view from the front of the case.
Check to make sure I/O shield is connected to the case.
Check to make sure BOTH 24-pin motherboard power and 8-pin
(or 4-pin) CPU power are plugged in.
Back of Power Supply
Check to make sure power and reset buttons are properly connected (consult motherboard manual to make sure they are in
their proper places.)
Ensure all cable connections are plugged in and snug.
Check to see if there are any loose cables that didn't get
plugged in. (Such as a USB connector or SATA accessory
power connector)
Ensure all components that are plugged into the motherboard are
connected and secure: CPU, Memory, Video Card, etc.
Now you can turn on the computer and install the operating
system!
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