The best order to install PC parts

Building your own PC is a task that may seem daunting, but with the right knowledge and a bit of patience, you can construct a machine tailored to your exact needs. The order in which you install PC parts is key to ensuring a smooth and successful build. This article will guide you step-by-step through the process.

Step 1: Preparation

Before you start building your PC, you need to make sure you have all the necessary components and tools. Your essential PC parts will include:

  • Case
  • Motherboard
  • CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  • GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
  • RAM (Random Access Memory)
  • Storage (SSD or HDD)
  • Power supply unit (PSU)
  • CPU cooler
  • Fans (if not included with the case or CPU cooler)
  • Monitor, keyboard, and mouse for setup

You’ll also need a Philips-head screwdriver and an anti-static wrist strap to prevent electrostatic discharge that can damage your components.

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Step 2: Install the CPU on the Motherboard

Start by taking the motherboard out of its packaging. Locate the CPU socket, lift the lever to open it. Your CPU has one corner that is marked differently, usually by a gold arrow. This corresponds to a corner of the socket on the motherboard. Align the CPU to the socket and gently place it in. Then, close the lever to secure the CPU.

Step 3: Install the CPU Cooler

If your CPU comes with a cooler, it may already have thermal paste applied. If not, you’ll need to apply some. Once this is done, place the cooler on top of the CPU, aligning it with the mounting holes around the CPU socket. Secure the cooler using the provided screws.

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Step 4: Install the RAM

Locate the RAM slots on your motherboard. Open the latches on either side of the slots you plan to use. Align the notch on the bottom of the RAM stick with the ridge in the slot, then firmly push the RAM into the slot until the latches snap into place.

Step 5: Install the Motherboard into the Case

Place your motherboard inside the case, aligning the rear I/O ports with the corresponding holes in the case. Once the motherboard is in place, use the screws that came with the case to secure it.

Step 6: Install the Power Supply Unit (PSU)

Place your PSU into its designated area and secure it using the provided screws. Do not connect the cables yet.

Step 7: Install Storage Drives

Secure your HDD or SSD into the designated area in the case, typically a drive bay or on the motherboard directly in the case of M.2 SSDs.

Step 8: Install the GPU

Remove the necessary case’s backplates. Then, align the GPU with the PCIe slot on your motherboard, and gently push it into place. Secure the GPU by screwing it into the same spot the backplates were located.

Step 9: Connect the Power and Data Cables

Connect the appropriate cables from your PSU to your components: motherboard, CPU, GPU, storage drives, and any case fans. Also, don’t forget to connect data cables (SATA for HDDs/SSDs) from your storage drives to the motherboard.

Step 10: Install Additional Case Fans (if necessary)

If your case has spots for additional fans and you’ve got some, install them following the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Step 11: Final Checks and Boot-Up

Before powering up, double-check all your connections. Make sure everything is securely connected, and there are no loose screws or tools lying around. Connect your monitor, keyboard, and mouse, then plug in the power cable and switch on the PSU. Press the power button on your case and your new PC should start up!

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Building your own PC allows you to understand the inner workings of your machine. Plus, it’s a fun and rewarding project that leaves you with a custom PC to meet your specific needs. Follow these steps, take your time, and enjoy the process!

Marcus Richardson

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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