Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public. ITE PC v Chapter 3. 1. Chapter 3: Computer. Assembly – Step by. Step. IT Essentials: PC. This is the print version of How To Assemble A Desktop PC The SANS Institute provides a PDF guide called Windows XP: Surviving the First Day, which . COMPUTER ASSEMBLING. Introduction; Information Technology is becoming pervasive in the country as more organization take to using computers.
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Computer Assembly—Step by Step. Objectives. Upon completion of this chapter, you should be able to answer the following questions. PDF | Desktop computer system been DIY (assembled) or Branded has become sine-qua-non compare to other tools in business organizations. Jad njeim. Introduction. Computer assembly is a large part of a technician's job. Work in a logical, methodical manner when working with computer components.
What are PDF patterns? PDF patterns are downloadable patterns which you can print at home on a normal domestic printer. The first thing that you want to do after you have downloaded your PDF pattern is save it into a new folder on your computer, removing it from your Downloads. On our computers, when you download something, a linked button appears at the bottom of our browser Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc screen. When you click on this button, the file will open, but it will open in your browser. We do not want to look at the file in our browser.
Don't worry if you connect them wrong, you won't damage anything the lights just won't work. It should be clearly indicated and the only place it would fit note: there may be more than one USB 3 header. Use any one you like. If there are more than one headers, use the one that is indicated as 1.
NOTE: make sure you look at the connectors to identify which side had no pin so you can align it properly with the motherboard header. Take note of the missing pin that you need to align when inserting the connector into the header. There is only one place where the RAM sticks can go, so you can't go wrong. If you are not filling the RAM slots with RAM sticks, refer to your manual to know the optimal configuration to put them in.
This is important. If it doesn't seem to go in easily, stop and check that everything is aligned and the notches match. Also, it's important to insert the RAM stick horizontally. DO NOT insert it at an angle ex: one side first. It is the square socket on the far end of your motherboard. It can fit at only one place. It should just lay on top if aligned correctly. The plastic cover should pop out by itself. This usually means turning your motherboard over and installing the backplate, then turning it over to finish installation.
You'll find more details in your fan's manual. Avoid touching thermal paste with hands as it could be toxic. This would lead to trouble if left on. Do NOT touch the heatsink base with your fingers. Some use screws, some are push-pins, some use latches, etc. This is important as the connector could fit in many headers on your motherboard. This is usually in the drive bays near the front of the case or on the power supply basement if there are SSD mount there. Sometimes, you have to access the hard drive slots by accessing the other side of the computer case.
Please refer to your manual to find out which sata port to use for optimum speed. Some cases are more complicated and you might need to check the case instructions. Add 2 screws on each sides to secure it properly if tooless just look at mechanism to learn how to lock it. Any vibration from a loose installation will cause it to go slower. These ports can be position horizontal to the board so look carefully on the sides of the board.
Route the cable to your disk drive and connect it to the SATA data port. If you have many card, then the most powerful card usually the most expensive one should be the closest to the CPU, then the next most powerful should use the next closest PCIe slot and so on.
Note that some cards are wider and will require you to remove 2 PCI covers. If that's the case, open it now. If it doesn't seem to go in, please look at the motherboard slot and connectors to make sure that everything is correctly aligned. Store the slot cover in a safe place for future use. If you see a power connector, you'll need to route a matching power cable from your power supply to the video card and connect it. Some video cards have 2 power connectors, if so just repeat the process.
If it doesn't seem to go in, please look at the motherboard slot and connectors to make sure that everything aligns correctly. Cases now come in a plethora of styles and colors to suit anyone's taste.
And as current components require much more power, power supply quality and size is an important issue.
If you are only building an office computer, the style of case will be of little concern to you. Any ATX motherboard, and the parts designed therefore, will fit in any ATX case , and an inexpensive power supply as you won't be running a high-end processor or graphics card. If possible, avoid power supplies with sleeve bearing fans, as these are of considerably lesser quality. Before downloading any PSU, make sure that the supplied wattage is sufficient for your components.
Power requirements are usually listed in the manuals that came with your components. It is important to note a power supply's total power, and the power at each voltage: If any of these do not meet your requirements, the rest of the specifications don't matter. Some companies have calculators to help you determine what your power supply needs are; if you are the type to just plug in the numbers without reading the details, you should download a power supply that is 1.
For a quiet system, you can choose a fan-less power supply -- more expensive but well worth it if noise is a concern, but be sure to monitor system temperatures to make sure cooling is adequate. Form factor is the specification that provides the physical measurements for the size of components and where mounting devices for them are located. Many OEM computers use non-standard form factors.
Be sure to choose a motherboard compatible with your case's form factor. Internal hard drives take up space in the case, so make sure you consider how many drives you will need and what size slot they require.
Note that optical drives and floppy drives will need what are called "external" slots meaning they have a hole in the case through which their face can be accessed , while hard drives do not need to be manipulated manually often, so they can usually go into an "internal" slot.
This is not to be confused with an external drive, which doesn't go into the case at all. Note that it's possible to download adapters to fit items that go in small bays usually hard drives into large bays. It is, however, not possible to do the reverse. The power supply unit PSU you choose needs to supply enough stable DC power to all the components and even to some of the peripherals.
It needs also to be consistent, by complying with accurate standard voltages, i. Cheap power supplies tend to fall down in these areas. There are several tech-heavy websites that actually throw a multimeter on the PSU in the course of a review, seek these out and make sure you select a quality PSU. In selecting a power supply, check carefully that it has the power feeds you need, e.
Both companies have certification programs. There are several calculators that try to help you select an adequate PSU for your system, such as:. Choose an efficient PSU. Efficient PSUs run cooler and more quietly and thus do not create as much noise important if you plan to sleep or think in the same room with it or use it as a media center PC.
They also reduce the wastage on energy. If your budget allows, consider opting for a modular PSU. These have connectors that can be added or removed, which allows for more versatility and also reduces clutter. The power supply also has an exhaust fan that is responsible for cooling the power supply, as well as providing a hot air exhaust for the entire case.
Some power supplies have two fans to promote this effect. It is important to download a power supply that can accommodate all of the components involved. Some may argue that it is the most important part of a computer, and therefore it is worth spending the money to get a decent one. Most cases mount one or more case fans, distinct from the fans that may be attached to the power supply, video card and CPU. The purpose of a case mounted fan is to move air through the system and carry excess heat out.
This is why some cases may have two or more fans mounted in a push-pull configuration one fan pulls cool outside air in, the other pushes hot interior air out. The more air these fans can move, the cooler things will generally be. Make sure the power plug on the chosen case fan is supported by your motherboard; 3- and 4-pin Molex connectors are common. Fans can also be powered directly by the PSU, but in that configuration, the motherboard can't control or report the fan's speed. Variable speed fans with built-in temperature sensing are available, but they may need to be specially ordered from an electronics supply warehouse.
They also may not have power plugs attached to their wire leads, but this can be remedied by a competent technician. Variable speed fans tend to run quieter than constant speed fans, as they only move as much air as needed to maintain a set temperature within the case or the power supply box. Under typical operating conditions they may be barely audible. Since fans run continuously when the computer is turned on, bearing selection may be important for long life.
The least expensive fans use sleeve bearings. As the fan ages, the lubricant in the sleeve bearing dries out and eventually the bearing wears, allowing the fan blade to nutate or vibrate, making it very noisy.
In severe cases the bearing may seize and the fan will stop turning entirely, possibly jeopardizing the computer when ventilation fails. The most expensive fans tend to be those that use ball bearings , but they also have very long service lives. Ball bearing fans tend to be slightly noisier than sleeve bearing fans.
A fairly recent type of fan bearing is a magnetic or "maglev" bearing, which uses a magnetic field to suspend the fan rotor without physical contact. Such fans exhibit practically zero bearing wear and barring a failure in their motor drive components, have essentially an infinite service life.
Maglev bearings also tend to be completely silent, and when used in a variable speed fan, can produce practically silent ventilation. The motherboard is a very important part of your computer.
A good motherboard allows a modest CPU and RAM to run at maximum efficiency whereas a bad motherboard restricts high-end products to run only at modest levels. There are six things one must consider in choosing a motherboard: One must also make sure that the motherboard is of a form factor compatible with the case. The CPU interface is the "plug" that your processor goes into. For your processor to physically fit in the motherboard, the interface must be an exact match to your processor.
AMD currently uses four sockets: Check with the motherboard manufacturer to ensure that the slot on the motherboard will support the CPU you want to use. It is important to know whether the motherboard's bus can support the exact CPU you plan on using.
Most modern processors come with a stock cooling fan which will work well at stock speeds, stick with this if you have any doubts. The function of BIOS is highly important. Some BIOS feature crash proof functions essential for updating the firmware.
Newer BIOS have temperature controls, and functions that shut down the computer if the temperature gets too high. The CPU chipset is also important. Some low-end motherboards use cheaper chipsets low-end. These have limited ports and features. The low-end H81 chipset supports only 2 of these, while the high-end Z97 supports 6 of them. Used for connecting hard and optical drives, most motherboards used to have two parallel, 40 pin IDE interface connectors which are now mostly used for backwards compatibility if they are present.
SATA connections are simple - one plug, one cable, one device. A 44 wire ribbon cable was used for this connection with three connectors, one on each end and one in the middle actually slightly off center. One end was plugged into the motherboard connection and the other end plugged into the first or only device.
If two devices are connected the second is connected to the middle connection. Two devices connected on the same IDE port can contend for access to the bus, causing a reduction in the effective speed of the drives. The newer serial ATA SATA interface has four or more separate motherboard connections that allow independent access and can increase the speed at which hard drives work. The cables are also narrower, improving the flow of air inside the case. Due to the evolution of new graphics cards on the serial PCI-Express Technology, current newer motherboards have the following connections:.
USB 3. Note that, regardless of the motherboard's native support, additional ports of all kinds can always be added via a PCI or PCI-E 3 expansion card. The amount of random access memory RAM to use has become a fairly simple choice. Unless one is building on a very restricted budget, one just has to choose between installing 4 or 8 gigabytes.
While bit operating systems can address 4 gigabytes, they can utilize little more than three gigabytes as system RAM actually 4 gigabytes minus Video RAM minus overhead for other devices. If one wishes to utilize the full 4 or more gigabytes of RAM, one needs to install a bit operating system. It really comes down to a financial decision. Some specialized applications may profit from more than 8 gigabytes of RAM.
If one plans on using such, make sure to check that both the operating system and the motherboard will accommodate the amount of RAM one has in mind. One might also choose to get 4 gigabyte of high quality RAM over 8 gigabytes of lesser quality, especially if one plans to overclock, though that is quite rare now.
Another thing to consider when choosing the amount of RAM for one's system is the graphics card. Most motherboard-integrated graphics chips and PCI Express graphics cards marketed with the "Turbo Cache" feature will use system memory to store information related to rendering graphics; this system memory is generally not available at all to the operating system.
On average, these graphics processors will use between 64 megabytes and megabytes of system memory for rendering purposes. The actual type of RAM one will need depends on the motherboard and chipset one gets. DDR4 is the current industry standard. downloading low-latency RAM will help with overclocking the FSB, which can be of use to users who want to get more speed from their systems. If one is upgrading an existing computer, it is best to check if one's machine requires specific kinds of RAM.
If your RAM temperatures get too high, they can get damaged. For this purpose, there are dedicated RAM coolers that can be used, but most will not find any need for them.
SSD is a hard storage systems that use flash memory rather than rotational platters. Because of this, they make virtually no noise and generate far lesser heat than a HDD.
If you plan to upgrade a computer, it is an excellent idea to replace an HDD with an SSD as the performance of the computer can be boosted by a wide margin. However, there are some important drawbacks. Some form of video output must be provided by the hardware of a computer as to permit the use of an image display.
The majority of home and office computers, which predominantly use 2D graphics for office applications and web surfing can use an 'onboard' or integrated graphic processor which will be included on most low to mid range motherboards. Then there is also high computational tasks from running physics models to process large blocks of data has created a move towards modular Graphical processors units GPU that can even be stacked to grant more power, a trend that predates even multiple core cpus.
On the other end, 4GB to 8GB video cards top the consumer end of the video card market. As a rule of thumb, if you want a high end video card, you need a minimum of 2GB of video memory -- preferably 4GB. Don't be fooled, though; memory is only part of the card and the actual video processor is more important than the memory.
It is generally better to choose your video card based on your own research, as everyone has slightly different needs. Many video card and chip makers are known to measure their products' performances in ways that you may not find practical. A good video card is often much more than a robust 3D renderer; be sure to examine what you want and need your card to do, such as digital DVI output, TV output, multiple-monitor support, built-in TV tuners and video input.
Another reason you need to carefully research is that manufacturers will often use confusing model numbers designed to make a card sound better than it is to sell it better.
Newer technologies such as SLI and Crossfire allow the use of two theortically 4 video cards to render the same video scene, similar to using two physical CPUs. These systems tend to be expensive, as only some video cards offer this option, and you'll need two of them. However, it can be a useful upgrade path to consider. A SLI-capable motherboard is usually not much more expensive than the regular model, and will work fine with a single video card.
You can use it with one card now, and download another one in the future which will probably be much cheaper by then , which means you will take advantage of your old video card too. If you do plan to use 2 graphics cards, make sure that your PSU is up to the task by making sure that it has enough power and also making sure that it has the requisite ports required. If you have a CPU that does not have a graphics processor like Haswell Extreme Intel or AMD Ryzen , then you will need to download a discrete video card otherwise your computer will simply not work!
Most retail computers will ship with an integrated graphics card. It is important to understand that an integrated graphics card uses the system's RAM, and relies heavily on your system's CPU. This will mean slow performance for graphic-intensive software, such as games. Most motherboards that have integrated graphics will also have one of the other three slot interfaces available so it isn't hard to place a new card to suit your needs if the need ever arises.
However, you will have to match the video cards to a motherboard supporting the multiple card technology of choice, and use two similar video cards that both support dual video cards. Keep in mind that to provide best picture quality your graphics card must be capable of displaying the same resolution as your LCD display's native resolution.
Optical drives have progressed a long way in the past few years, and you can now easily download DVD writers that are capable of burning 9GB of data to a disk for an insignificant amount of money.
Even if you don't plan on watching or copying DVDs on your computer, it may still be worth downloading a burner in the event you need to do so.
This will ensure that you can burn to almost all recordable DVDs currently on the market the other major format, DVD-RAM is almost unused, for the most part, so don't worry about it.
That being said, most applications are now being distributed via the Internet or even using a USB flash drive, so you may find that you truly do not need an optical drive at all, but it's still worth getting one just in case.
Dust can be removed from a CD's surface using compressed air or by very lightly wiping the information side with a very soft cloth such as an eyeglass cleaning cloth from the center of the disc in an outward direction. Wiping the information surface of any type of CD in a circular motion around the center, however, has been known to create scratches in the same direction as the information and potentially cause data loss.
Fingerprints or stubborn dust can be removed from the information surface by wiping it with a cloth dampened with diluted dish detergent then rinsing or alcohol methylated spirits or isopropyl alcohol and again wiping from the center outwards, with a very soft cloth non-linting: Most motherboards have built-in sound features. These are often adequate for most users. However, you can download a good sound card and speakers at relatively low cost - a few dollars at the low end can make an enormous difference in the range and clarity of sound.
Also, these onboard systems tend to use more system resources, so you are better off with a real sound card for gaming. Sound card quality depends on a few factors.
The digital-analog converter DAC is generally the most important stage for general clarity, but this is hard to measure. Reviews, especially those from audio file sources, are worth consulting for this; but don't go purely by specifications, as many different models with similar specifications can produce completely different results. Sound cards made for gaming or professional music tend to do outstandingly well for their particular purpose.
In games, various effects are often times applied to the sound in real-time, and a gaming sound card will be able to do this processing on-board, instead of using your CPU for the task.
Professional music cards tend to be built both for maximum sound quality and low latency transmission delay input and output, and include more different kinds of inputs than those of consumer cards. A modem is needed in order to connect to a dial up Internet connection.
A modem can also be used for faxing. Modems can attach to the computer in different ways, and can have built-in processing or use the computer's CPU for processing. Modems with built-in processing generally include all modems that connect via a standard serial port, as well as any modems that refer to themselves as "Hardware Modems".
Modems that rely on the CPU are often designed specifically for the current version of Windows only, and will require drivers that are incompatible with future Windows versions, and may be difficult to upgrade. Software Modems are also very difficult to find drivers for non-Windows operating systems. The manufacturer is unlikely to support the hardware with new drivers after it is discontinued, forcing you to download new hardware.
Most such modems have internal or external USB, but this is not always the case. Modems can be attached via USB, a traditional serial port, or an internal card slot. Internal modems and USB modems are more easily auto-detected by the operating system and less likely to have problems with setup. USB and serial port modems often require an extra power supply block. Gaming modems are normal modems that default to having a low compression setting to reduce lag, but are generally no longer used by games, which prefer broadband connections.
A Network interface card, or Ethernet card, is required in order to connect to a local area network or a cable or DSL modem. In many cases, one or two Ethernet adapters will be built into a motherboard. If there are none, you will have to download one. These typically are inserted into a PCI slot. Anything outside the case that connects to your computer is considered a peripheral. The keyboard, mouse and monitor are pretty much the bare minimum you can go with and still be able to interact with your computer.
Your choice in peripherals depends on personal preference and what you intend to do with your computer. There are broadly two types of mouse: Mechanical mice use a rubber coated ball bearing that contacts the mousepad or other surface and actually rolls around. Optical mice use a bright light and a sensor to track the movement of the mouse. When choosing a mouse, there is generally no reason not to choose an optical mouse.
Make sure that you spend money on a decent-quality mouse made by companies such as Microsoft or Logitech, as lower-end optical mice will skip if moved too fast. Mice of medium-to-high quality will track your movement almost flawlessly.
Although three buttons are generally enough for operating a computer in normal circumstances, extra buttons can come in handy, as you can add set actions to each button, and they can come in handy for playing various video games. One thing to note is that with some mice those extra buttons are not actually seen by the computer itself as extra buttons and will not work properly in games.
These buttons use software provided by the manufacturer to function. However, it is sometimes possible to configure the software to map the button to act like a certain keyboard key so that it will be possible to use it in games in this manner. Wireless keyboards and mice do not now display the sort of noticeable delay that they once did, and now also have considerably improved battery life. However, gamers may still want to avoid wireless input devices because the very slight delay may impact gaming activities, though some of the higher end models have less trouble with this.
The extra weight of the batteries can also be an inconvenience. For most purposes, a mid-range inkjet printer will work well for most people. If you plan on printing photos, you will want one that is capable of printing at around dpi. Also, you will want to compare the speed of various printers, which is usually listed in ppm pages per minute. When choosing a printer, always check how much new cartridges cost, as replacement cartridges can quickly outweigh the actual printer's cost.
Be aware of other possible quirks as well. For example, Epson has protection measures that make refilling your own ink cartridges more difficult because an embedded microchip that keeps track of how much ink has been used keeps the printer from seeing the cartridge as full once it has been emptied. For office users that plan to do quite a bit of black and white printing downloading a black and white laser printer is now an affordable option, and the savings and speed can quickly add up for home office users printing more than pages a month.
Scanners are useful, especially in office settings, they can function with your printer as a photocopier, and with software can also interact with your modem to send Faxes. When downloading a Scanner, check to see how "accessible" it is does it have one-touch buttons , and check how good the scanning quality is, before you leave the store if possible. Finally, "Multi-Function Centres" also called "Printer-Scanner-Copiers" are often a cost-effective solution to downloading both, as they take up only one port on your computer, and one power point, but remember that they can be a liability, since if one component breaks down, both may need to be replaced.
When choosing a display for your computer, you have two choices: Both technologies have their advantages and disadvantages but CRT's, now nearly obsolete, are almost unavailable new - making the argument moot.
Used CRT's on the other hand, can be had nearly for free and still work if you have the room for them. When running at the screen's native resolution, this can result in the most stable and sharp image available on current monitors. Such displays will be a bit fuzzier than their digital counterparts, and are generally not preferred over a similarly-sized CRT. If you want an LCD display, be sure to choose a digital setup if you can; however, manufacturers have chosen to use this feature for price differentiation.
The prime disadvantage of LCDs is "dead pixels", small, failed areas on your monitor, which can be very annoying, but generally aren't covered under warranty; this can make downloading LCD displays a financial risk. In fact, most LCD panel manufacturers allow for a certain number of dead pixels in their product specification.
LCDs are acceptable for fast-paced gaming, but you should be sure that your screen has a fairly fast response time of 12 ms or lower if you want to play fast games. Many flat panels sold today meet this requirement, some by a factor of 3.
When picking an LCD, keep in mind that they are designed to display at one resolution only, so, to reap the benefits of your screen, your graphics card must be capable of displaying at that resolution.
That in mind, they can display lower resolutions with a black frame around the outside which means your entire screen isn't filled , or by stretching the image which leads to much lower quality.
When choosing an LCD, make sure to get one which uses IPS technology, as that one provides for sharper colour reproduction and also has high viewing angles.
The older TN often found in very cheap displays is only relevant for gamers who need fast response times; otherwise, it has weaker colours and has poor viewing angles and should be ignored.
A 2-speaker set is adequate for basic stereophonic sound. Low-end speakers can suffer from low bass response or inadequate amplification, both of which compromise sound quality.
Powered speakers with separate sub-woofers usually cost only a little more and can sound much better. At the higher end, one should start to see features like standard audio cables instead of manufacturer-specific ones , built in DACs, and a separate control box. The surround sets include a sub-woofer, and two or more sets of smaller speakers. These support 5. Movies and video games make use of this technology to provide a full-immersion experience.
Make sure your sound hardware will support 5. If your budget allows, you can avoid the computer speaker market entirely and look into piecing together a set of higher-end parts. If you are downloading a speaker system designed for PCs, research the systems beforehand so you can be certain of getting one that promises clarity rather than just raw power. Speaker power is usually measured in RMS Watts.
Headphones can offer good sound much more cheaply than speakers, so if you are on a limited budget, but want maximum quality, they should be considered first. The advantage of headphones is that the acoustic environment between the audio driver is fully contained and controlled within the earcups and is not dependent on room acoustics.
There are even headphones which promise surround-sound, though these have not been favorably reviewed. Now that you have selected your parts, you get to what is arguably the most fun part of the process: Proper preparation is the key to a successful build. At this point you should leave the parts themselves in their protective anti-static bags, and assemble all the accompanying manuals.
Now I know you want to get started, but trust me, read the manuals , check the diagrams, make sure you understand where each part goes and how it attaches.
Find a dry, well-ventilated place to do your work. You should have plenty of light and if possible, you should choose an area without carpet on the floor, as carpet tends to generate a lot of static.
An unfurnished basement is a good work location. Safety precautions are important for your own security. Please read the safety precautions thoroughly. Start by putting your case down on your work surface, with the case door facing up, and open the case. Find the motherboard standoffs spacers that should have come with the case. They are screws, usually brass, with large hexagonal heads that are tapped so you can fasten screws into the top.
These hold the motherboard up off the case preventing a short-circuit. Set these aside. There may be small metal tabs on the inside of this face plate, if so you may have to adjust them to accommodate the ports on the back of the motherboard.
Some case styles make it difficult to install the motherboard or the CPU with the power supply installed. If the power supply is in your way, take it out and set it aside we'll put it back in later.
Now locate the screw holes on your motherboard and find the corresponding holes on the motherboard plate or tray in the case. Put a standoff in each of these holes on the tray and position the motherboard so that you can see the holes in the top of the standoffs through the screw holes in the motherboard. Now is the time to make sure the ports on the motherboard are mating with the backplate you just installed, and make any necessary adjustments. The small metal tabs are intended to make contact with the metal parts of the connections on the back of the motherboard and ground them, but you may have to bend these tabs a bit to get the ports all properly mounted, this is where those needle-nose pliers may come in handy.
If you have trouble lining up the screw holes, double check that you have the standoffs in the proper holes on the tray.
With lower quality cases there are sometimes alignment problems and you may have to forgo one or two screws. If this is the case, make sure you remove the corresponding standoffs. Some combinations of motherboards and cases may also use different types of screws in different places or provide non-matching screw holes that cannot be used in a specific case.
The motherboard can possibly be damaged if you try to push it into position with the wrong set of standoffs underneath or when trying to use the wrong set of screw holes. Now fasten a screw through each of the motherboard screw holes into the standoffs underneath. These screws should be snug but not tight, there is no reason to torque down on them, hand tight is fine, otherwise you can damage the motherboard. During the process, if anything does not seem to fit or make sense, put the parts down and look things over carefully before you proceed.
Therefore, for these details, you should rely on the instructions that are provided with the CPU. The two things that go wrong the most often and most expensively minimum of a killed CPU, sometimes more in building one's own computer are both related to the CPU and its cooler:. If you download a third party cooling solution for your CPU make sure you get one that is compatible with the CPU you have.
After the CPU is installed in the socket and secured in place, it's time to add thermal paste and then install the cooler. The plain metal back of the CPU, which is what you're now seeing, is exactly matched by the bottom plate of the cooler. You add thermal paste only on the CPU, never on the cooler's surface. Very little is needed. The two flat metallic surfaces will spread the paste between them, and it will spread a bit more when it becomes hot.
The cooler surface may have a protective piece of film over it; don't forget to remove it. But see below for the possibility of "thermal pad" being supplied, instead of paste. This is rare nowadays, but read the instructions. A pea-sized dot is the amount usually advised, though some people make a thin "X" on the CPU surface, and some draw a line.
There are numerous videos on Youtube advocating one or another, some with photos using glass plates. Don't overdo -- you don't want paste squeezing out the edges. Some people suggest spreading paste over the whole surface, then cleaning it off with a razor blade, then adding the pea. The idea is to close invisible imperfections in the metal.
This is probably overkill, and involves extra handling of the CPU, never a good idea. Try not to touch the mating surfaces of the CPU and cooler -- the oils from your skin will impede heat transfer.
You should receive a tube or applicator of thermal paste in the CPU or cooler package, some CPU coolers come pre-applied with thermal paste such as AMD's wraith cooler , you can optionally add your own to the CPU as extra or continue with the pre-applied compound.
If your CPU didn't come with thermal paste and the cooler didn't have any pre-applied, thermal paste is readily available from most computer retailers. It was written to be specifically for Arctic Silver paste, but the same techniques can be applied to other brands of thermal paste. If using a thermal pad supplied with your cooler, make sure you remove any protective tape from the die just before installing and do not get it dirty - and do not combine thermal pads with thermal paste, it is either one or the other.
Then, check that you install the cooler in the right orientation and that you set it flat on the CPU die without exerting undue pressure on any edges or corners - the latter can make small pieces of the die break off, killing the CPU. One option you may consider, before installing the heat-sink, is to "lap" the heat-sink, which means to smooth out the bottom surface.
To do this, you will need a very flat surface; a piece of thick window glass will work. Fasten your sandpaper on the flat surface, invert the heat-sink on the sandpaper and sand in small circles, applying minimum pressure. Check frequently and when you see a uniform pattern of scratches, switch to finer grained sandpaper the numbers go up as the sandpaper is finer, so something such as is coarse while will be very fine.
Remember that you are not trying to remove any material, just polish out surface irregularities. Some companies producing heat-sinks lap the surface themselves, so if the surface already looks like a perfect mirror, leave it alone. A lapped heat-sink is more effective as it will have better surface contact with the chip. Tighten the cooler using only the specified holding devices - if you did everything right, they will fit. If they do not fit, check your setup - most likely something is wrong.
After mounting the cooler, connect any power cables for the fan that is attached to the cooler. As an aside to the instructions above, it has been my personal experience that fitting the CPU and heat sink is best done on a supportive surface a telephone directory on a table in my case prior to installation, to avoid excessive flexing of the motherboard. A last note: Don't panic! All it takes is a coffee filter not paper towels or anything else that will leave fibers and a little isopropyl alcohol from the drugstore.
Thermal paste removes easily with a little gentle rubbing. Work from the outside edge in. Next, you will need to install your RAM random access memory. Find the RAM slots on your motherboard; they will look something like the picture on your left. To install the RAM modules, first push on the levers white plastic in the picture on either side of the DIMM socket, so that they move to the sides.
Do not force them, they should move fairly easily. Put the RAM module in the socket. Line up the notch in the center of the module with the small bump in the center of the RAM socket, making sure to insert it the right way.
Push down on the module until both levers move up into the notches on the sides of the module. There should be a small "snap" when the module is fully seated. Although this does require a fair bit of force, do not overdo it or you may break the RAM module. Take a good look at your seated RAM, if one side seems to be higher than the other, odds are it is improperly seated - take it out and try again.
As you handle the RAM, try not to touch the copper stripes you can see along the bottom edge, as doing so is the best way to damage the part. On motherboards with 4 slots, you'll see alternating colours. For example, slot 1 is blue, slot 2 is black, slot 3 is blue, slot 4 is black. If you were to put 4 gigabyte of RAM in your personal computer, it is best to use dual channel 2 GBx2 sticks.
Put the first 2 GB stick in slot 1 , and put the 2nd stick in slot 3 the two slots that are blue - leaving slot 2 empty. This will give you better performance, than putting 4 GB in slot 1 alone.
Installing your power supply is pretty straightforward, if it came with your case it was pre-installed and if you took it out earlier to get the motherboard in, now is the time to put it back. Otherwise a few moments of screwdriver work will get the job done. Generally there will be a bracket on the top of the case where the power supply is mounted and a few screws used to fix it in place. Some cases place the Power Supply differently, see the documentation that came with yours.
If your power supply has a switch to select V or V make sure it is set properly, this is important. Once you get the power supply installed make sure you check the motherboard documentation carefully for the location of the power sockets. You may then connect the main power, a 20 or 24 pin plug, into the motherboard. There may also be an additional four or eight pin power lead that needs to be plugged in to the motherboard the CPU power connector usually located near the processor socket.
Your computer will have a few of them, but choose the one which is most convenient for you and will allow you to fit it into the desktop case easily. Check your motherboard manual for instructions. When your card is properly installed the line formed by the top of the card will be exactly perpendicular to the motherboard, if one side seems to be higher than the other, chances are that it is not fully inserted, press a little harder on the high side or pull it out and try again.
The ends of the cables are L shaped, just look carefully at the cable ends and the connector on the drive and match them up. Only one drive can be connected to each SATA port on the motherboard. When using an IDE cable, plug the two connectors that are closer together into the 2 drives, and the third to the controller or motherboard. The connector furthest from the board should be attached to the drive set as Master.
Make sure the drive that you will install your OS on is the primary master. IDE connectors are often keyed, as to prevent inserting them backwards. It does not take much force to bypass this and possibly ruin your motherboard.
Look carefully at the drive and the cable connection before you try to connect them. You should see a "missing" pin on the drive, and a corresponding blocked socket on the connector. If you break a pin on the drive, you will probably have a worthless drive. Most parallel IDE cables have a colored stripe down one side. That colored stripe signifies "pin 1" - and usually will line up next to the molex power connection on your drive.
Use this rule of thumb if your connectors are not keyed. Next, plug a 4 pin molex power connector into each hard drive and optical drive. If you are installing the power connector to a SATA drive, some drives have the option of using either the SATA power connector a flat about 1" wide connector or the standard molex connector; use one or the other, not both. Connecting both can break your hard drive.
For better data transfer, you can download heat-protected high-end data cables at your nearest electronics store. If you install a floppy disk drive, the cable is very similar to the IDE cable, but with fewer wires, and a strange little twist in the middle.
The floppy disk connector is not usually keyed, making it all too easy to plug it in the wrong way!
One wire in the IDE cable will be colored differently: There is usually some indication on the floppy drive as to which side this is. The power plug for a floppy is 4 pins in a line, but rather smaller than the standard hard drive power connector. Plug the end of the cable with the twist into the floppy drive "drive A: Plug the other end of the floppy ribbon cable into the motherboard.
If you install a second floppy drives, plug the middle connector into "drive B: The twist between drive A: In order to turn the computer on, you will need to connect the power button and while you are at it, you might as well do the reset buttons and front panel lights as well. There will be a set of pins, usually near the front edge of the motherboard to which you will attach the cables sometimes already connected to the front of the case, or if needed to be supplied with the motherboard.
Most of the time the plugs will be labeled as the pins they will connect to in the motherboard, there they can be difficult to read since the print is very small or you may not be in the right orientation to do so. The documentation that came with your case and motherboard should tell where these connectors are.
The front panel LEDs are polarized: In addition, you can connect any case-specific ports if they are supported by the motherboard. Other connections of this type to remember can be power for the CPU fans, various temperature sensors and Wake-on-LAN cables if the feature is supported from the network card to the motherboard.
Some people will put power to a system several times during assembly and for experienced builders this may serve some purpose. Minimal because that way there are comparatively few potential sources of trouble, complete so that you can test everything at once and because the fewer times you have to put power to an open machine, the better.. Briefly this includes a case with a motherboard in it, a processor and its cooling unit and some RAM plugged into the motherboard, hard and floppy drives installed, and some kind of video available.
If your motherboard has built-in video, you might want to use that for this first try, even if you are going to install a video card later.
If you have one type of plug and the graphics card has another, you can easily download an adapter. Some cards even come with one. Plug the mouse and keyboard in the appropriate slot. Otherwise your keyboard will not work until the operating system has loaded USB drivers. Take a moment to check one more time that everything is as it should be. Make sure you've removed your wrist strap, turn on the monitor, then press the power button, and observe the inside of the open machine.
Do not touch any part of the inside of the machine while it is powered up — you will NOT die but your computer might. The first thing to look for is that the CPU cooler fan spins up, if it does not, cut the power immediately. If you have a Gigabyte brand motherboard, the CPU fan may twitch and stop turning.
Wait seconds and it should start. If it does not, there is a problem and you should immediately cut power as stated above. Other fans such as case fans should turn on and spin.
If the CPU fan spins up, check that all the other fans that should be spinning — case fans and fans on the power supply and video card if installed are also spinning. Some of these fans may not spin up until a temperature threshold is passed, check your documentation if anything is not spinning.
If this happy event does not occur, if smoke appears, or if the computer does not do anything, unplug the power cord immediately and check the steps above to make sure you have not missed anything. Give special attention to the cables and power connections. If the computer does appear to come on, but, you hear beeps, listen carefully to the beeps, turn the computer off, and refer to your motherboard's manual for the meaning of the beeps.
Some boards have an optional diagnostic device, usually a collection of LEDs, which when properly plugged in will inform you of the nature of the problem. Instructions for installing this as well as the meaning of its display should be in the manual for the motherboard. If the computer turns on but the only thing that comes on is your power supply, turn it off. This probably means something is shorted, and leaving it on could damage the parts.
If all is well it is time to turn the computer off, and close it up. These options will be explained in the motherboard manual. In general, the default options are OK, but you may wish to set the computer's hardware clock to the correct time and date. If you want to install Windows 7 on a UEFI-based motherboard, you may have to configure it to start in legacy mode.
Check your documentation for instructions on how to do so. If you want a further quick test before you install an operating system, you may find a bootable CD-ROM such as Knoppix extremely useful. An operating system or two must come first, then hardware drivers so that the operating system can access your hardware followed by security software and utilities. One important step that can be required as the starting point after you have a working PC, depending on how stable your BIOS is bugs or any lacking specific software and hardware support , is to do an update of it called "flashing" the BIOS.
This step can be overlooked if you are sure that any later versions of your BIOS will not solve any issues or requirements you have. The simplest way as an initial step is to, find another computer, download the flash update and put it on a USB thumb drive or another a bootable support media and boot the new computer with it. If you do not have another computer or thumb drive, you will need to put off this step until after you install the operating system you can also use a boot disk that permits you to get an OS running out of it to get the new computer connected to the network.
If you have a workable machine that recognizes the basic hardware CPU, memory, HD, mouse and keyboard you can now start installing an operating system OS. You may select from several available on the Internet or from your local computer store. It all depends on the uses you will be giving to your machine function and required software and the price tag you are willing to pay and the support you require.
Simply put, can you accomplish your day to day tasks with the software that will run under the operating system in question? Do you require some special software availability, ability to run on older equipment? Have you considered the costs? Determine your needs before installing an operating system. Note that you also have the option of installing more than one operating system in what is called a multiboot setup.
Having installed an OS, you can always install another later. The complexity of doing so may vary, depending on how the last one automates or not at all the process. If your multi-boot setup is Windows-only, install the oldest Windows version first. If you are going to install Windows OS in a multiboot setup, you should start by installing Windows first. Newer versions of Windows tend to be more cooperative. The installation of Windows is relatively easy. If you are doing a Windows-only install, just allocate all of the hard drive to Windows.
Some people find that it's useful to create separate partitions for the operating system and data. This means that if something goes wrong with the operating system, the partition can be formatted and the operating system can be reinstalled, possibly without losing data. If you have already allocated the whole disk to 1 partition and you want to change it later, you can do so and create new partition from the existing partition using Disk Management in Windows Vista and later or use a third-party tool.
If you are installing Windows on a RAID drive, or a SATA drive in some cases, you are going to have to provide drivers to the Windows installer so that it can access the hard drive on the raid controller. At the prompt where you are asked to choose a partition, you can click Load Driver and browse or ask Windows to search for the driver. If you do have a copy of Windows 7 or later version, it used to be possible to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, though that offer is no longer available.
If you are dual-booting, some extra factors must be considered. This system is now in widespread use and most up-to-date Linux distros will support the NTFS file system.
Previously only read support was safe, and this may still be the case for some distributions. You should also modify the partition table as necessary - you may not need as much space for Windows or you may need more in your FAT32 transfer area. But you must ensure that you leave at least 30 GB for your Windows installation, since the standard installation of Windows takes up about GB of hard drive space, and it is always wise to leave extra on, to allow for any changes that may occur.
Windows 8 in particular blocks installing on drives less than 16GB 20GB for bit free space. One can download the. By default, the installation version of Ubuntu will erase all files on the hard drive and partition 1. If you want to customize, follow the on-screen instructions carefully. If the terms are unfamiliar a quick Google will usually bring enlightenment.
Also, as in these two examples, most such choices are a matter of preference and either choice will work. From time to time, software companies and independent programmers release new and improved versions to their software; these are known as updates.
Updates usually install new features or fix problems. Usually, you should download the latest updates to improve system performance though it's sometimes wise to wait a little while to be sure the update itself does not cause problems.
Many programs update themselves and this process is known as an automatic update. If you have to manually update your software, do so through the software developer's site, not through a secondary source.
This approach will reduce the chance of contracting a virus or other piece of malicious software. A newly installed Windows computer using a broadband connection can be attacked within moments of being connected to the Internet.
In severe cases, the attacks can render a system unbootable or make a second reinstallation faster or easier than manually removing the malicious programs causing the problems. Surviving the First Day , which explains how to update a new Windows XP box without immediately becoming infected by viruses and worms.
To avoid having your new computer attacked, install a firewall, or activate the one that came with your OS. Windows 8 includes antivirus however, but still it is recommended to use Windows Update. As soon as you are on the Internet, run your operating system's update facility to fix any security flaws that have been found since your CD was printed. If you use other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Office, then it can be valuable to use Microsoft Update , which covers updates for all Microsoft products, and can be done within Windows Update.
For either of these, you can also switch on "Automatic Updates" from the Security Center program mentioned above. For Debian and Linspire you type the following into a terminal window while running as the root user:. If your computer will be running overnight or if you're just lazy , it may be good to have your computer update itself. Debian-based LINUX - Debian -based operating systems including Ubuntu, but Ubuntu already has a more simplified automatic updater will typically use a cron script for receiving automatic updates by the console although you can download some GUI-based updating tools - that is, if you're working with a GUI.
Then open up the "Updates" tab and select "Automatic updates", also select "Install security updates without confirmation".