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!