Overclock.net › How To's › How On Earth Do I Build A Computer Lesson 1

How on EARTH Do I Build a Computer?? >>Lesson 1 >>


This is my first lesson on computer building. Assuming you have read the introduction, I will continue verbatim.

Parts Assembly, is an important step in building a computer, however, we shall try to help you understand a little of what these parts are, and what you are doing with them first.

you may see a box much like this.

this is your motherboard.. its the template on which almost all of the other parts sit.

An important part is the Central Processing Unit also known as the CPU. In the upper center of the motherboard is a block, this block is called a 'socket'. There are two main manufacturers who make sockets. One manufacturer is Intel and an other is AMD. Each have different ideas how to make computers/cpus. Each work well and do not stop you using Microsoft Windows programs.

you need the correct CPU for the correct socket.. think of it like putting a key in a hole, or perhaps a jigsaw piece in place. if the wrong piece is forced, the computer will break.

There is also a 'latch' which looks like a lever, to hold the CPU in place. you must unlatch it to put the CPU in, and then re-latch it so the CPU is held tightly to the motherboard.

The CPU should come with a fan and heatsink, a large grey metal block with a fan atop it. it also has a wire to connect it to the motherboard, this wire is important, as it powers the fan directly from the motherboard. at some point it is important to connect the fan while assembly is taking place and before you have put any power in to the motherboard.

Here is what a correctly inserted heatsink and fan look like thanks to wiki!

The heatsink and fan sit on top of the CPU, and also the heatsink *should* have some gooey grey stuff on it, this is called thermal paste, its a grey very very thick liquid, to cool down the CPU, it bonds the CPU and heatsink together to make sure there's no gaps and so make it a little cooler.

Once the heatsink is in place, there should be a way of attaching it to the motherboard, there are too many different ways to go into detail here.. although the standard Intel and AMD 'stock' fans have two systems, latch and pop, AMD use a latch based system and Intel use a 'pop' based system. the AMD latch system is much like latching a garden gate. While the Intel system is 'pop and click'.

The RAM modules fit upon the motherboard also, they have two latches to each module and central notch that must be aligned.

here is picture of two correctly installed modules.

this concludes the first lesson.



Introduction : http://www.overclock.net/a/how-on-earth-do-i-build-a-computer-beginners-guide
Lesson 2: http://www.overclock.net/a/how-on-earth-do-i-build-a-computer-lesson-2
Lesson 3: http://www.overclock.net/a/how-on-earth-do-i-build-a-computer-final-lesson-3

Comments (9)

Sensational!! I didn't get even the slightest hint of sarcasm from that, and if it was me who was typing it up, it would more than likely have been awash with it.. well done for getting the balance right.. could you do one about ripping music from CDs and or syncing an Ipod too? Then i could just point to your review instead of being forced to deal with repeated pathetic requests for help from lazy and incompetent people who should be able to work it out for themselves (yes Mike, i'm talking about YOU)... seriously though, nice job.
Thanks! I wrote this for everyone.. but also as a reference guide for my girlfriend.. she had an exam on system building for her mid-terms.
I plan to do lesson 2 and 3 when I get pics. how hard is it i wonder to find someone putting a PSU in a case? and then fitting the drives.. :/
i cant just start nicking pics tho. those ones are Manuf. or wiki or here. .. hmmm.. anyways. thanks again for the encouragement! i will try to maintain a good tone in lesson 2 and 3.


Cant wait for lesson 2
I honestly thought this was a real question, I was going to respond with something along the lines of "You don't, all Computers are built in Outer Space"
looks good mate (:
No. They're brought by the cyber stork!

I get most of my equipment from "free range computers". They're usually found hanging out around peoples trash cans on trash day. Much can be learned, and even salvaged, from older units.
nice going buddy
great guide but you might wanna tell em to put on anti static wrist bands before handling computer components cause you know static discharge so small you cant even feel is enough to render any of your hardware unusable
I wish I had stuff like this when I started. I too salvage units, and make mad cash. Get to know your neighborhood scrappers. They sell NICE stuff for the copper in it. I sell working hard drives (a dock will pay for itself in a month or so), graphics cards,..., and occaisionally you get really good stuff. I found a "trashed: computer with a fully-functional 90gb Kingston SSD last summer.

Also great for electronics gear (high-end caps especially if you check old (*GROUNDED!) VGA TVs and monitors.
Overclock.net › How To's › How On Earth Do I Build A Computer Lesson 1