How to build a computer

Computing technology has evolved a lot in the last decade and has come a long way since then. For many years building computers was as tough as landing on the moon, as you had comm ports, game ports, printer ports, serial buses, and all sorts of things that were had to be configured to make your computer work properly. You never had a chance of getting your computer to post or boot, and many things didn’t appropriately set, unlike the dip switches and all sorts of other mechanical controls. But fortunately, those days are gone.  Today, the popularity of computers is on its peak to cater to the growing needs, unlike efficient gaming solutions, continuously browsing on the web, and connecting with friends and colleagues.

How to build a Computer?

People pursuing different jobs may have different computing needs. Some may need more space, and some might need more speed, professional working under the video, and audio sectors want good versions of graphic and sound cards installed in their computer. But if you purchase a fully furnished computer, you still kind of shoehorned into whatever build the company feels that they want to offer. Hence, if you’re the kind of person that likes to take control like to customized computers and build things with the most upgradeable, adaptable, and most robust features, the only option is to build it yourself. The fact that you can control your parts means you can manage your budget.

It becomes more fun to build the computer than to game on it. Before starting, you must do the proper research of every individual computer part and its limitations and capabilities. The other benefit of building your own is the freedom to swap or replace anything as per your requirement. You can easily replace the parts with their new upgradation or with their up to date versions. Nothing else can give you this amount of satisfaction or control as the result of developing your computer. It will be something you can utterly and genuinely call your own.

Choosing right Parts for your Computer

Computer parts range in price, features, and performance. Knowing your PC’s purpose will help you determine which parts to buy and how much to spend.

  1. CASE
CASE

The first thing you’re going to need is a case. It houses all the components of your computer. Some other popular manufacturers of cases are Corsair(www.corsair.com), Antec(www.antec.com), and Cooler master (www.coolermaster.com). They come in a lot of different varieties of colors and sizes.

  • MOTHERBOARD
MOTHERBOARD

If you’re looking to build your customized PC, your motherboard will serve as the foundation for your computer. The first decision you would make while choosing a motherboard is by deciding and comparing between the Intel or AMD motherboard. Both the companies offer processor options across a wide variety of different price points and performance levels. Whether you’re putting together a low-cost build for light home use or something powerful enough to handle 3D content creation or gaming and streaming at the same time, once you’ve decided which CPU family is best for you, you only need to pick a motherboard that uses the right socket.

Basically, a processor socket is a mechanism through which a CPU is attached to a motherboard. You need to pick a motherboard with the compatible socket for this CPU that you planned to purchase. Motherboards come in different sizes. It helps in establishing some flexibility in building your PC to fit into your environment. If you have plenty of space, you might want to use a full-size tower case, but if you’re building a home theater PC that’s meant to sit beneath your living room TV, you’ll likely want to use it a much smaller case and motherboard. Hence, the larger the motherboard’s physical size, the more components it will support.

The components of your PC will all connect to your motherboard in one way or another. While paying attention to connectivity options on your motherboard, just make sure there are enough slots and ports for the components you want in your belt.

  • POWER SUPPLY
POWER SUPPLY

It turns out that there’s a lot more to consider when deciding on a power supply. There are lots of questions which pops up. At least for our first built how many Watts do it need? Does the efficiency matter and what should be its apt size, etc,. There are three elements to pick any reliable power supply:

  • Size: Size is the first factor to consider because it’s the most straightforward. The majority of computer cases in the market support one of two PSU form factors that’s ATX and SFX.
  • Wattage: To calculate the total Walt usage of your computer you can reply upon PCPArtPicker.com. Select all the components and it will provide the quick watt estimation in the top right-hand corner. It is important to realize that some more unscrupulous brands can label their power supplies with peak wattage instead of what they can deliver continuously. So even if your power supply is labeled for let’s say 600 Watts it could still easily fail on you sometimes spectacularly if your computer ever actually draws that amount especially if you’re running it in a warmer room. But Corsair power supplies are all rated for continuous output at the stated wattage so when Corsair says 600 Watts, they mean 600 Watts.
  • Efficiency: 80 plus rating system is optimal for vast majority of efficient computer. 80 plus rating system attempts to promote power efficiency with respect to load wattage. There are several tiers to consider i.e., 80 plus, 80 plus Bronze, 80 plus Silver, 80 plus Gold, 80 Plus Platinum and 80 plus Titanium. The closer to unit set to titanium, the more efficient your power supply unit is at that predetermined power load.

The other important factors like reliability efficiency build quality and noise levels can vary wildly between models.

  • CPU
CPU

Choosing the correct CPU or processor is one of the crucial things you start looking while building a computer. The CPU is the brain of your computer. It determines what you do and how fast you can do it. Now, there are many choices on the market today, but people prefer only two real competitors i.e., AMD and Intel. Intel consistently scores higher in benchmarks; however, they are, on average higher in price. AMD is typically not as powerful as a lower price, which might be more appetizing than Intel’s. Following are the parameters that will help you decide your CPU or processor:

  • Price: Your budget dictates which company you will go with. If you are solely trying to build the most powerful machine and are on a small budget, then you must pick up an AMD chip, but if you’re looking for the best performance, Intel is your guy. AMD provides better options at the lower end, especially if you’re under the $200 range for CPUs, but if you can afford to put more into your CPU part of the budget, then Intel is the no brainer.
  • Core count: You can also rely upon a dual-core CPU, but it needs to be a good one. Example: Intel i3 4130 is a decent budget CPU that can handle games pretty well. However, games are becoming more demanding, so a quad-core processor is highly recommended when you’re in the buying process. The quad-core Intel i5 had been a quite common go-to for most gamers out there. If you were doing nothing but video editing, 6 and 8 cores might be something you want to pick up. Most games out there are only optimized for 4 cores, so having more cores is necessarily a better thing in some situations.
  • Cache: Caching allows the processor to store frequently accessed or soon to be accessed memory, which is typically stored on the ram. It provides the speedup after raw Clock speed in terms of program performance. If you are stuck between two processors, get the one with the most significant L3 cache.
  • Dedicated GFX: Most processors have onboard video graphics that allow you to see what you’re doing on a computer without a dedicated video card. If you are building a computer for low-end gaming or your everyday office work, then graphics needs will be low meaning. You will not need a dedicated graphics card at the graphics provided by your CPU will be enough. Now, if you’re playing on gaming HD with good textures, you might need a dedicated video card.
  • Overclocking: Overclocking changes your CPU’s default core Clock and allows you to make it faster. If you don’t know what you’re doing and made a critical error, you might destroy your CPU in seconds. But if you have a decent amount of protection with thermal shutdown limits in overall production. 
  • MEMORY/RAM
MEMORY/RAM

Memory houses the temporary storage of your data. The memory is also known as Ram for random access memory. Ram is an acronym that stands for random access memory and is the type of memory that can only store data while it’s powered. Ram is significantly faster as compared to other memories. The PC makes use of this speed by constantly overwriting and refreshing the data inside the ram so that the CPU and GPU can always have quick access to relevant data without having to store it anywhere permanently. DDR has gone through four iterations over the past two decades DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4. But DDR4 has only reached mass-market adoption somewhere around 2016.

The Clock speed is a specification that determines how fast ram can process data, and it’s measured in megahertz. Higher clock speeds result in better gameplay experiences. Go with 16 gigabytes of Ram; if possible 8 gigabytes is still enough for most games.

  • HARD DRIVE OR SSD
HARD DRIVE OR SSD

All files and data of your PC are by default saved on the storage drive permanently. This data is held on either a hard disk drive (HDD) or SSD (Solid Drive Disk). Running out of space on a PC is still an ever-present concern. But with increasingly large hard drives available on the market, both under and overestimating your storage capacity is pretty easy to do. When it comes to raw speed, SSDS is faster and more efficient than hard drives. But if you have lots of data to store in that case, hard drives are optimal solutions. Hence, this is where hard drives still excelled at the time of backups and storing files.

Hard drives are pretty reliable these days, but as devices with moving parts, they will die or wear out eventually. But with SSD’s reading from them won’t wear them out. The speed inconsistency happens from the reading (loading) and writing (saves/transfer) pattern of the two-storage device. SSD uses the advanced NAND flash technology to load or transfer data, whereas hard drives use spinning platters and small mechanical moving parts. Thus, SSD provides improved speed, efficiency, and durability because NAND technology is not susceptible to physical damage, whereas small mechanical parts and spinning platters easily damage a small jerk.

  • GRAPHIC CARD (OPTIONAL)
GRAPHIC CARD (OPTIONAL)

Graphics card, video card, and GPU are all used to refer to the physical chip present on the card’s PCB. Different graphic cards could be based on the same GPU. You should purchase the graphics card based on their coolers, IO ports, and clock speed. New architectures are developed by AMD and NVIDIA around every 1 or 2 years. They often shrink the size of the physical component of the processors. Thus, allowing them to fit more features and transistors onto the GPU. The graphic card should have a boost clock wherein the card’s speed will boost itself under heavy processing load like a video game. However, the speed will drop back down if it gets too hot (known as thermal throttling), and thus, you also want a cooler on your GPU. Your card should have a memory clock to determine the memory bandwidth or calculate the number of bits that can travel to and from the VRAM to each clock cycle.

  • SOUND CARD (OPTIONAL)
SOUND CARD (OPTIONAL)

Your PC’s ability to produce good sound does affect the experience and is dependent on a variety of factors. All the components inside your PC provide electrical interference, which can bleed into the sound processing portions of your motherboard and distort your sound quality. Integrated sound has got a lot better in recent years, but it reduces the amplification capabilities. An to prevent these limitations, dedicated external equipment like Dax, Amps, or Sound Cards are used. Sound Cards have software that allows you to customize things like Eq settings and surround sound setups and audio quality. They have more audio inputs and outputs, allowing you to connect speakers or microphones.

  • MEMORY CARD READER (OPTIONAL)

A memory card reader is a device for accessing the memory card’s data, such as a compact flash, secure digital, SD, or MNC. The most card reader also offers to write capability. The memory card reader is not expensive and can be found anywhere. One of the essential things about the memory card reader is the speed. You can grab the one that comes with USB 3.0 or the upgraded version (the lower USB versions are not so fast). The next thing to consider is firewire. The firewire card reader is preferred because they’re fast and could use multiple readers at the one time.

  1. Operating System
Operating System

Operating System is a program that manages all other application programs on a computer. Applications make requests to the OS through APIs, and users can interact with the OS through a command line or graphical user interface. There are several operating systems out there, such as FreeBSD, Linus, Windows, OpenVMS, Mac OS, and OS/2. Each of these operating systems has the same functionality as connecting with hardware and software, but the look and feel are different. For instance, if you have a MAC OS, it will have its own set of protocols, interface, tools, etch. If you have Microsoft Windows, it also has its own set of proprietary rules and instructions. Based on your preference, you can purchase or buy or use any of these operating systems.

Assembling Computer Parts

Assembling Computer Parts

As you have purchased all your computer parts, it’s time to assemble them all in their right proportion and order. It may sound tough, but assembling is the most fun part. Everything is appropriately labeled and instructed, and all you need is a screwdriver. The below details may vary slightly depending on the components or type of computer you want to create.

Step 1: Safety First

Before you start assembling all the parts, you shall take care of all the precautions for safety. As most of the computer parts you are going to handle are static electricity sensitive. Your body acts as a conductor, and it is more likely to build static electricity. Most of the computer parts have an electric component, and thus, the electric shock from your body can easily pass to the parts. These shocks possess the power to depower the quality of the CPU chip instantly. Thus, making it dead.

The best and common way to prevent static shock is the common Grounding technique. It will instantly eliminate all the current from your body. There are practically ample modern ways of grounding. The easiest and common way of grounding is to wear a bracelet (specifically made for grounding purpose) on your wrist, connect the other end of the bracelet to a copper pipe, or a screw touched to earth or wall. components either use an antistatic wristband or the easier method of just touching a metal part of your case from time to time especially after moving your feet to avoid damaging stuff with static electricity

Step 2: Open Case

Bring the case which you brought. Open the case by unscrewing all the nails and thumbscrews present on the either side of the case. Remove external cables that are present inside the case as they may .

Step 3: Install Power Supply

Remove all the cables from the wrapping. Every case and motherboard layout can be different, but the connections are a bit the same in all. You will have different types of cable to connect with your power supply unit. For the motherboard, your computer needs a 24-pin connection cable, the CPU requires an 8 pin connection cable, the graphics card also needs 8 pin connection, and for the SD or hard drive, you need the SADA connection. Looking at the power supply, you get the power cord, power cables, and the power supply unit itself. It is always advisable to use a modular power with it, you get to connect cables that you need and don’t have to deal with the cables already pre-installed.

Match the cables with the connection needed in your motherboard. For the CPU, the cables labeled CPU or the motherboards 24 pin connection are the only 24 pin connection in your power supply. For the graphic card, you’re looking at a PCI Express cable and for your SATA cable. Connect everything to the PSU before going inside the case.  Everything on the PSU is already label so that you won’t disconnect anything.

Install the power supply inside your case. Before doing that, you have to remove the thumbscrews located on the back of your case. Then align the mounting screws perfectly on the top of your power supply. Before we slide on the power supply, there is a fan at the bottom of it. There’s a grill at the bottom of your case it’s recommended to put it down, so it exhausts through that case, but if you’re going to have your computer on the ground go ahead and flip it upwards, so it exhausts towards the inside of the case.

The last step is to connect the power supply to the motherboard, starting with the 24 pin connection then the CPU connection followed by the PCIe connection on your graphics card and the SATA connections for your hard drives. Finally, do a little cable management, and you are off to go.

Step 4: Add All Components of Your Motherboard and Secure It

The motherboard is also known as the mainboard or mobo. Make sure that you have the right motherboard, so it fits in your selected case. The three most common types of motherboard from largest to smallest are ATX, MICRO ATX, and MINI-ITX. Kindly choose the appropriate motherboard supported by your case (it would also be listed in your case product specification, and you can quickly check the right motherboard size that will fit in your case). Before putting the motherboard in the case, first, install the processor, and if you’re using an air cooler, install that as well. Most modern cases have built-in, non-removable spacers between the back wall and motherboard, known as standoffs. Just do

Next, check the standoff screws which hold your motherboard in place and match your particular board. This step is essential as these screws carrying heavy parts. Kindly note that the motherboards are delicate, and the components can be easily damaged by bending or straining. The screw holes on the board are there for a reason and thereby use all of them. If the standoffs are missing or in the wrong place, you can either move them around or use the ones in your case accessory kit (if any are provided).

Many cases do not come with a standoff adapter, making it difficult to add or remove standoff screws. If you don’t have an adapter, you can use pliers, but they can damage the paint on the standoff. Match up the standoffs with the screw holes on the board screw them firmly in a clockwise direction, so they don’t move. Once the standoff in place, put your motherboard inside the case and check that all of them are in the correct position.

Before screwing the motherboard onto the standoffs, take it out and install the i/o shield. Once the i/o shield is installed, place your motherboard down. Align the rear ports with the i/o shield and then align the screw holes with the motherboard with the standoffs. The last step is to grab your motherboard screws and attach them while turning clockwise. Once all the screws are in place, you have successfully installed the motherboard in your PC.

Step 5: Affix Heat Sink

The heastsink will fit right over the processor. It has 4 screws (sometimes tool less tabs) that will have to be secured.

Step 6: Secure RAM

The installation of Ram is pretty simple, as it doesn’t need any external wires. Fold and open the outer cover of the Ram. There are two factors involvement with Ram installation: Direction and Slot Preference.

The direction to set your Ram in the PC is easy. Your motherboard has prefixed memory slots for RAM. Hold your RAM such that it directs just above the slot in the right direction. If it’s in the opposite direction, flip the RAM to 180 degrees.

The motherboard slot choice depends on your RAM. If it’s a single stick, it will be installed in the A1 slot. In case, you have two stick (dual-channel configuration), it can be installed either in A1 and B1 or sometimes in A2 and B2 slots. The last step is to unlock the RAM slots’ clips and then install the RAM modules by pushing it down firmly in the appropriate slots.

Step 7: Install Graphic Card

The GPU installation process is quite straightforward. It’s vital to make sure that your parts are compatible in terms of size and power supply. The first step is to decide where on your motherboard your card is going to go. Modern graphics cards can go in a PCIe Express X16 slot, which is the longest on your motherboard in the expansion slot area. Generally, it’s a good idea to install the card in the topmost slot closest to the CPU to ensure you’re running it at full speed but check your motherboard manual to confirm its best use. Most cases will have bracket covers for unused expansion slots unscrew and remove the covers that correspond with your card and then line up the bottom of the card with the slot.

Note: Hold the case by the cooler and avoiding touching these sensitive Contacts on the bottom or the traces on back.

The slot is keyed, so it’s impossible to insert the card backward so push down with a firm but steady pressure on each end of the card until you hear an audible. Some of the motherboards have clips that you have to squeeze or push sideways on to release the card, or with some, you can push the clip down. Release the clip if you ever need to remove it; otherwise, you could damage both the card and the board if you try to rip it out. Once you’ve got your card in the slot screwed into the case is sure to lift the cart a bit as you screw it. The last step is to find the PCIe Express cables attached to your power supply and plug them into the card.

Step 8: Install Drivers

Suppose you are using 5.25-inch drivers. You can install them either by using a tool-free system on one or both sides of the cade or by screwing it in place. It’s quite rare for installing a 3.5-inch drive using caddies or trays, though they can be screwed in cage wherein the size of the cage should be below 5.25-inch one. Some of the cases come with a default space of 2.5-inch drives. Nowadays, most of the drives are developed with inbuilt adapters, making the installation easy even for 3.5-inch bays.

Note: For more details, check your motherboard manuals motherboard or any unusual drives information.

Step 9: Connecting Power & Data Cables

Once you have assembled the parts of your PC, the final step is to link the various parts through cables and wires to operate them in sync. Connect the data cables of your drivers to the suitable ports of the motherboard. Next, connect the PSU (power supply) cables to the appropriate motherboard port (one terminal at 24-pins and the other at 4-pinned or at the 8-pinned plug). Once its done, connect the power wired of your CPU cooler. Make sure everything is connected that needs power.

Note: In case of any connection regarding connection, consult the motherboard’s guide manual.

Step 10: Turning Computer on and Installing Windows & Drivers

Connect your PC with other hardware devices like monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc., Turn on the power button your PC will start. Install your operating system or Windows, and you are good to go.

Congratulations! You have developed your customized PC. But this is not the end as you can upgrade the part anytime. Suppose you are having speed issues you can boost the speed by swapping the processor with a faster one. In that case, you can easily enhance the gaming experience by replacing your video card with a higher version and even can increase your disc space by adding more hard drives.

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