Build your Own PC

by Peter Bezanson - Date: 2006-12-09 - Word Count: 819 Share This!

Build your own PC!

Simple and Fun. Just follow these instructions and you're on your way to a relatively inexpensive way to building a fast and fully functional personal computer.

Parts Needed:

1.Case with 500 watt power supply - Raidmax Smilodon 89.99
2.Motherboard Biostar P4m80 46.99
3.CPU - Pentium 4 Socket 478 3.0E $79.99
4.Ram(Memory) PQI 512MB DDR SDRAM 51.49
5.Hard Drive Seagate Momentus 69.99
6.CD Burner Lite-on 18.99
7.Ethernet card - Internet Connection 10.00
8.Windows XP Home Edition 89.99

By the way all these prices come from

Total cost of parts minus shipping: $457.43

Can't forget Windows XP!

Tools Needed:

Believe it or not, all you really need is a good screwdriver set. Philips head and flat head of course. For Safety reasons, never build a computer while it is plugged into the wall. Common sense here people.

Build It!

The process of building a PC consists of several major phases. One of the most important is installing the mainboard into the system case. However, once the mainboard is in the case, it is rather difficult to access it to install components on the board. For that reason most PC assemblers first set up the mainboard with critical components before they put the mainboard into the case. In this section we'll do exactly that. We'll start by installing the CPU into the mainboard, then attach the fan, and finally, insert the RAM.

Placing the CPU into its socket is easy, and we'll do it in three steps. First, we'll prepare the mainboard to accept the CPU. Then we'll open and examine the CPU Socket. Finally, we'll insert the CPU into the mainboard and secure it in place.

Before touching the CPU chip, touch your hands to a grounded piece of metal. Touch the CPU chip only by its edges to protect it from static electricity!

Hold the CPU only by the edges. Due to the pin configuration, the CPU will only insert in the correct orientation. Continue to push the lock lever down. When it gets to the close (fully down) position, gently pull the lever slightly away from the socket to clear the notch that locks it into place. Then, allow the natural springiness of the lever to move the lever back toward the socket so it's held in place by the notch.
You now have the CPU properly inserted into the socket.
Checking Installation and Connecting the Fan
The installation instructions say you should examine the seating of the heatsink to be sure it's resting properly on the die. In practice, it's difficult if not impossible to do this. But, if you have a good light handy, you can peek between the heatsink and the CPU if you want. (Incidentally, a Mini-Mag AA flashlight is a great tool to have handy here.)
Finally, examine the mainboard manual and see where the three-pin CPU fanpower connection pins are. They're usually clearly marked. Then, plug in the heatsink fan Don't forget to plug in the heatsink/CPU fan! Do this immediately after the heatsink is installed! If the heatsink fan isn't plugged in, it won't work and your CPU will overheat. When your system is fully assembled, it's a good idea to leave the side of the case off and examine all of the fans to be sure they're operating properly.

Preparing to Install the RAM
RAM is very sensitive to static electricity. Before picking up a RAM chip, touch both hands to a metal piece to draw any static electricity away from your hands. You might also want to wear a grounding wrist strap when you install the memory. Try to touch the RAM only on its two sides and the top near the sides. The sides are great for picking it up, but you'll need to push it into its socket from the top. Try not to touch the chips themselves or the metal contacts. And, leave the RAM in its original packaging until you're ready to install it.
Not touching the metal leads of the memory is also important because oils that build up on your hands can damage the leads.
Examine the RAM sockets and the RAM chip You'll see that RAM can only be inserted in one direction, because there's a small cut out separating the metal contacts (also called leads) on the RAM chip into two sides. Each side has a different number of metal contacts, making it impossible to seat the RAM chip incorrectly. Be sure the notch in the RAM chip is aligned with the protruding part on the RAM socket.

In Short, your ¾ of the way there! Now Screw in the motherboard to the case. Connect the Power supply to the motherboard and you're in business. Make sure all connections are made such as connections to the hard drive and cd-burner. Now you're catching on.

Now it's test time. Put the Windows disk in the cd drive and plug it in. If all went well, Windows will carry you through the rest.

Congratulations!! You just built your own computer!

Related Tags: computer, ram, cpu, harddrive

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