There are several excellent pre-built gaming PCs on the market, but there's nothing comparable to building your own. While putting a computer together isn't difficult, it is intimidating the first time.

Be Prepared

Before you start constructing a PC, make sure your workspace is ready. Check to see if you have all of your components and equipment on hand. At the least, you'll need:

  • Phillips-head screwdrivers 
  • Zip ties and/or twist ties for cable management
  • Thermal paste 

To make all the components work, it is necessary to select it in such a way that it is fully compatible with each other. If you follow this rule, your PC is guaranteed to start after assembly, because many parameters of computer hardware are strictly regulated. That is why you can not, for example, plug DDR4 type RAM into DDR3 sockets on your motherboard. 

In general, the order of components selection is as follows.

  • Processor
  • Cooling system, unless a boxed version of the CPU is planned, which comes with a cooler in the kit.
  • Motherboard
  • RAM under the motherboard.
  • Graphics card (if not satisfied with the built-in solution).
  • A power supply that can handle the main components.
  • A case that can hold everything.
  • Drives.

A brief list of all the steps:

  • Install the power supply and run all the wires beforehand.
  • Complete the motherboard. That is: put the processor in the socket, apply thermal paste (if required), install the cooling system, insert all the memory cards.
  • Install the hard drives.
  • Connect all wires coming from the power supply and the case.
  • Mount your graphics card.
  • Close the chassis and enjoy the results.

Installing the Motherboard

The only thing you need to do to insert it correctly into the system is to tighten the nuts. Everything except the screwdrivers is included. As you can see, the task is not difficult, the main thing is accuracy.

If the compactness of the assembly is not important, it is better to choose the largest motherboard: when it comes to connecting wires, and there are a lot of them, it is easier to do with a large board.


Installing the Power Supply

Often modern cases have a power supply compartment underneath to allow for better ventilation. This should be taken into account to ensure that the wiring is long enough for the system components at a decent distance from the power supply.


Processor

There is also nothing difficult about installing the CPU. But first, it is worth remembering: it is important not to try to push it into the motherboard. Excessive force can damage the components without the possibility to repair them.

How to do it right:

  • Remove the socket cover on the board.
  • Find the arrow marks on the corner of the CPU and the motherboard socket. These are the so-called keys.
  • Pull back the mount to open the socket.
  • Check if the location of the keys is the same on both components. If so, all that remains is to carefully insert the CPU into the motherboard, close the socket and lock it with the lever.

Cooling system

Installed on the CPU. But first, you need to degrease the components and apply thermal paste, a substance to improve thermal conductivity. It is applied with a syringe and carefully smeared a thin layer on the surface. Cardboard, thick paper, or old plastic card comes in handy here.

How to put the cooling system (CO) on the Intel CPU with your own hands

Coolers from this manufacturer are characterized by a fairly simple way of fixing, implemented by four legs, which snap into place. Identification marks in the form of keys here, too, so everything is done easily.

  • Find the connectors for the cooling system legs on the motherboard.
  • Insert the legs into the slots.
  • Secure the cooler using the latches. 
  • Connect the wires to the power supply.

Hard drive and SSD


There are two different form factors for SSDs: 2.5" and 3.5". The former is suitable for desktop and laptop PCs, while the latter is only for system units. SATA-type loops that run from the motherboard to the power supply connect them in a case with separate baskets. SDDs in the M2 form factor that installs directly into the motherboard offers great performance and small size at a minimal cost. They're ideal for lightweight laptops and tiny desktop PCs.


Installing the RAM


The last step in this section is to insert the RAM strips into their sockets. This is probably one of the simplest operations in the assembly process. Each RAM strip has a key. It eliminates the risk of making a mistake: simply put, the user will not put anything incorrectly at worst - not fully insert the strip.

How to do it right:

  • Push back the latches on the sides of the connectors.
  • Insert the RAM card into the slot smoothly and carefully.
  • You will hear a "click" when the installation is complete. It means that the modules are properly inserted and the latches have returned to their original position.

Video card

Usually, this component is the last to be installed. The thing is that most discrete cards are installed in the very first PCI Express x16 slot. But if the card needs several ports, acting according to this scheme, the user blocks access to the slot below. To connect this component, power cables are taken out beforehand.

How to do it right:

Once the case is almost ready, this component is installed. This will allow you to take measurements and assess whether everything inside is comfortable.
There are cases where after installing the card there are problems with installation or even damage when drawing out the signal cable. This happens if the graphics card does not leave space for free access to its output connector. While doing that, be especially careful!
Connecting ports on the motherboard power supply unit to cables or modular plugs occurs in a standard order - from left to right, starting along the bottom edge of the board. The cords are inserted into their sockets carefully without any sharp twists and rapid movements because otherwise, they may get stuck or break off due to force input.
If you choose the right components, connect everything as described in the instructions, then even a novice can cope with the self-assembly of the PC.