In this build guide, we’re going to address what makes every member of PC Builder’s Club a member: how to build a PC! This is less witchcraft than some might think and doesn’t require eternal training. With our whole side we want to simplify the entrance into the PC world and create the basis, so that everyone can build its own PC.
One important thing is the choice of components. The market variety is almost overwhelming, which is why it is difficult to find the right constellations. To simplify this step, we have created our Basic articles, which provide the necessary knowledge. In addition, we have created many of our own compilations that show good constellations according to different purposes and styles and can be built exactly like this.
Basically, not many tools are necessary for assembly. The most important tools are patience and tact – and screwdrivers. Many components can easily be mounted by hand without tools, for example CPU, graphics card and RAM. However, the CPU cooler, the motherboard itself and other parts are often screwed together. It is therefore advisable to have a suitable set of screwdrivers at hand. Another useful tool is tweezers, which can be used to hold many a small screw.
ESD – Electrostatical Discharge
Not to be underestimated is the danger of destroying some components with your own static voltage on your fingers. Therefore, it is important to ground yourself before starting the build. To do this, you can either briefly touch the pipes of a radiator with both hands or the grounding contacts in the wall socket. Of course you don’t get an electric shock, but if there is any remaining voltage in your fingers, it will escape. If you want to be on the safe side, you can also work with ESD equipment, which permanently grounds you with a wrist strap and ESD mat.
Assembling the processor, RAM and M.2-SSDs on the motherboard
In the first step, we mount the processor and the working memory. With light pressure on the lever on the side, you can unhook it to release the holder. The processor simply has to be inserted into the socket. The markings on the socket and the processor must be observed to ensure that the processor is correctly seated in the socket. Don’t worry: it’s not possible to insert the processor the wrong way, but it’s possible to bend the pins if you use force. Afterwards the frame has to be folded down again, the lever is clamped under the device again.
Mounted processor. (Image: PCBC)
Afterwards, the RAM can be inserted into the DIMM slots. It should be noted that most mainboards have a certain sequence when only two connectors are used. This is either in the manual or, as in our model, directly on the mainboard. First, the brackets on the side have to be folded to the side. The modules are then pressed down into the slots with some force, whereupon the side brackets should spring back into place. Alternatively, they can be fixed by hand.
Above the slot the order is marked. The slots A2 and B2 have to be filled first. (Picture: PCBC)
After that, the M.2-SSD mounted, if one is provided. The mounting points for this are usually at the PCIe slots, but can also be at other places. The length of the modules is standardized, so there are always several holes on the motherboard. Therefore, any spacers have to be drilled according to the length of the M.2-SSD must be screwed into the mainboard. The M.2-SSD is then fixed with a screw from above.
M.2-Slot with holes for the spacer. This is screwed into the last hole, the screw to fix it is screwed into it. (Picture: PCBC)
Thermal paste and processor cooler assembly
To mount the mainboard in the case, several preparations have to be made. First, the I/O panel has to be clipped into the back of the case in order to cover the connectors of the mainboard properly. Afterwards, spacers have to be installed in most cases so that the mainboard doesn’t rest on the mainboard tray. Afterwards the mainboard can be lifted into the case and screwed with the enclosed screws. The connectors have to be threaded into the slot bracket, which can be quite difficult due to the springs on the bracket. If necessary, these springs can be bent away to the outside.
Wiring of the mainboard and case fans
The installed mainboard can now already be wired to the case. The front panel offers several connectors that have to be plugged into the mainboard. In our case, the Nanoxia Deep Silence 3 offers USB connectors, audio connectors, reset and power button and two fan controls. The USB connectors are plugged to the corresponding USB headers. The headers are either written on the mainboard or can be looked up in the manual. USB 2.o-Headers are equipped with significantly less pins than USB 3.0 connections, which are designed as connectors.
Connection of a USB 2.0 connector to the corresponding header. The connectors are designed in such a way that you can’t turn them around. (Picture: PCBC)
USB 3.0 connector directly underneath the power connector and corresponding plug before plugging it into the mainboard. (Picture: PCBC)
The connections for the control of the mainboard itself, in this case the reset and power button, have a common header. In our case, however, the connectors are individual, which is why they have to be plugged in individually as well. The manual provides exact information here, which pins are intended for which function.
The case fans are also connected to the mainboard. There are usually 3-pin connectors available for this purpose. Alternatively, in many cases, including ours, a fan controller is installed, which is connected directly to the power supply and is thus independent of the mainboard.
Install the power supply and finish wiring the computer
The most time-consuming part of the build is the installation of the power supply and the cabling. In most cases, the position of the power supply is at the bottom, which makes installation easier. The power supply is lifted into the case and screwed to the case at the back. Some cases also offer a power supply cover, which has to be removed beforehand. Afterwards the cables are led through the hole in the mainboardtray. Depending on the power supply, the cables are fixed or partly modular. With modular versions, only the necessary cables have to be plugged in. Afterwards the cables, which are needed, are connected to the mainboard.
The 24pin ATX mainboard connector is the most important and most difficult to wire up. It has to be connected on the right side of the mainboard. The cable is led to the appropriate lock on the back of the tray and plugged into the mainboard.
Connected 24Pin ATX connector. Underneath you can see the USB 3.0 connector. (Image: PCBC)
Another necessary connector for the mainboard is the 12V connector for the processor. This is usually installed above the processor, which is why it can be difficult to connect it in the already installed mainboard. Nanoxia has included a short additional cable for this purpose, which can be plugged in very well. The 8-pin 12V connector of the mainboard is then connected to this additional cable.
The two 12V cables for the processor. in the background you can see the connector to which the cables have to be connected. (picture: PCBC)
For the graphics card, the installed cable marked with GPU is now led through the corresponding opening. This cable will later be plugged directly into the graphics card. A possibly existing fan controller can now also be connected to the power supply, in our case to a Molex connector.
The cables should now be tucked away as neatly as possible in the case. For this, there are usually holders on the mainboard tray, in which the cables can be hung or fixed with cable ties. The remaining cables must also be tucked away. In our case we used the space for the hard disk holders for it. A semi-modular or fully modular power supply helps here, as you can save a lot of cabling effort.
Installing the graphics card
To make it easier to plug in the motherboard connectors, the graphics card is installed only afterwards. For this, the corresponding slot covers must be removed at the back, where the graphics card will later be installed. These covers are usually fixed with small screws. The graphics card is then plugged into the PCIe slot and usually secured with a split pin at the back. At the same time, the slot brackets are inserted into the intended holder of the case and screwed to it on the top side.
Graphics card screwed into connection slots. (Picture: PCBC)
Afterwards, the power supply from the power supply unit is plugged into the connector on the top or back side. Some graphics cards only need a 6-pin connector, which is realized by simply bending the two additional pins to the side as a separate connector. More power-hungry graphics cards require more connections, which is why sometimes two cables must be laid to the graphics card.
Connected 8-pin connector at the back of the graphics card. (Image: PCBC)
Install the hard disk, remove the hard disk cages
If an additional 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch hard disk or SSD is to be installed, it will find space in suitable brackets or hard disk cages. In most cases, individual frames can be pulled out of the hard disk cages, in which the hard disk can then be mounted. In our case, the 2.5″ hard drive from Barracuda is mounted in a small frame and then slid into the existing cage. On the back, the hard disk can now be connected with a power cable directly from the mainboard and a SATA cable. This SATA cable must also be connected to the mainboard. Note that the fastest connection is chosen, as some mainboards still have old SATA 3G connections. The exact connections can be found in the manual.
In many cases, redundant motherboard cages can also be easily removed. Sometimes a screw has to be loosened, but often the cages can be removed without tools.
2.5″ hard drive mounted in a hard drive frame. (Image: PCBC)
Connected hard disk. On the left you can see the power SATA connector, on the right the SATA data cable to the mainboard. (Image: PCBC)
Last but not least: switch on
After the computer is properly assembled, all cables are stowed and everything is securely mounted and fixed, you can start it by pressing the power button. In the BIOS you should now check the temperatures of the processor to exclude a wrong installation of the cooler. After that, you can install the operating system.