#1 Edited by david3cm (636 posts) -

So after months of putting up with my crappy laptop and buying games on steam and being unable to play them I have finally bought the components necessary to build a pretty decent gaming pc! With one problem, I have no stinking clue how to put it together! I have never assembled a pc before nor installed an os, so I am a little worried to start the process. I have watched multiple how-to's on youtube and read through some articles on maximum pc but am still a little worried I might put things together wrong/ruin a piece of $300 equipment. I could go to my local computer store and pay someone to put it together but would require me waiting until next pay day and sitting here starring at what could be an awesome pc which is driving me crazy.

So I ask for your assistance community, any helpful tips? Can you dirrect me to some awesome tutorials? Any horror stories to share so that I might not make the same mistake as yourselves? I picked up a bunch of games on the steam sale I can't wait to get into, thanks for the help duders!!

EDIT: Thanks for all the helpful hints and tutorials guys. I'm feeling confident to start assembly. I am still a little flummoxed with installing an os though. I have a disc copy of windows 7 home premium, and after reading some how-to's am still a little confused. Having zero experience with using BIOS I am not really sure what to expect. Again, thanks for the tips, this is turning into a great thread for any first timers, such as myself.

#2 Posted by Slab64 (1063 posts) -

Tested did a video about that a while back I think, don't know where to find it but some google fu will probably turn it up. I did pretty much the same thing you're doing now when I had to install a gas line to my dryer, except the consequences were potentially more serious if I screwed up. :P But I watched a few videos, sacked up and did it and it worked out fine and felt good to do it myself. So I suggest you do the same. Good luck!

#3 Posted by LiquidPrince (16181 posts) -
#4 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1779 posts) -

To be too scared. Tbh, it's not that hard to put a PC together. It's, for the most part, like lego, pieces just fit in a certain way. Just do as you did and watch some videos and keep in the back of your head that some of the components need a fair ammount of force to put in. If you think something is going wrong with a one of the components just revisit some of those videos. I am by no means an expert but I can manage to put together a PC just fine. Just takes me some time :)

#5 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Just don't be silly, don't force things too hard or get frustrated. The only hard part is wiring up the front panel, and that's not even hard, it's just kind of annoying because sometimes that stuff isn't labelled as good as it should be.

#6 Posted by Luxer (8 posts) -

It's actually very difficult to break something while building a PC. All the new cases make it very easy to place things and screw them in. Just make sure you put the grounders in for the motherboard or you could be in for a shocking experience... believe me I know!

#7 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

As long as you avoid ESD and don't force anything into the wrong hole (that's what she said), you should be fine.

#8 Posted by Loafsmooch (365 posts) -

Like the guys above me said. Don't worry too much about breaking components, it really is like lego in a way.

Some important things to keep in mind though:

When handling the CPU and the CPU socket, be extremely careful, the pins in the socket can break/bend VERY EASILY if you handle it the wrong way. Easiest way, for me atleast, is to lower one side of the CPU into the socket first, then slowly lower the other side.

Static electricity is the only thing that can randomly break your components, grounding is pretty important.

Don't touch any of the yellowish shiny parts. Like the underside of the CPU, or the connecting parts of the GPU and any other cards you might have. They are very sensitive to sweat/oil from your fingertips, and any other liquid. If you happen to touch them with greasy fingers I recommend wiping them off with some industrial alcohol.

#9 Posted by OldGuy (1575 posts) -

I always thought the Building with Brad: The PC video was better than the Tested one... :-)

#10 Posted by mtcantor (951 posts) -

Some basic rules/pointers:

  1. Avoid static shock. No socks on carpet, touch metal to ground yourself, if you are really worried about this, wear one of those silly anti-static bracelets.
  2. Make sure you have a TON of light. Like, excessive light. Also, a flashlight handy.
  3. Keep screws/small parts in separate bowls or containers. Don't mix things up and don't, for fucks sake, put them on the table or building surface.
  4. Be slow and methodical. This can be frustrating. Don't get frustrated.
  5. Don't force ANYTHING. At most, some firm direct pressure may be necessary for PCI-E cards and the like, but pretty much everything else should just slide into place.
  6. Be prepared. Have everything laid out in the order that it will be assembled.
#11 Posted by david3cm (636 posts) -

@OldGuy: After watching multiple build videos, this one seemed the most straight forward. And after using this technique I can safely say it does not work.

#12 Posted by 49th (2851 posts) -

I built my first PC a few months ago, it's not too difficult if you are careful. If you aren't sure about something just double check online.

I watched the Tested video before and also these 3 Newegg ones, I found it really helpful.

Good luck, it's great when you turn it on for the first time.

#13 Edited by Silvergun (297 posts) -

@david3cm said:

@OldGuy: After watching multiple build videos, this one seemed the most straight forward. And after using this technique I can safely say it does not work.

That's because he didn't go for a 3-Pointer with the CPU.

Really though, pretty much everything you get is going to come with instructions. Most of them won't be great, but like people have said, it's not all that tough. Most PC components these days are built to universal standards, so it won't be too hard to figure out where things go. Also, on the bright side. Once you've put together your first system, you'll be able to do any subsequent ones in your sleep.

Installing the OS should be stupid simple. I'm assuming you're using Windows 7 right? It basically installs like anything else you've ever installed. It's possible you might need to change a setting on your motherboard to allow the system to check the DVD when booting, but I'd assume these days, most motherboards are smart enough to do that without you telling it to.

#14 Posted by CosmicBatman (317 posts) -

@OldGuy: Haha that's awesome I had never seen that before.

Here is a another tested video that is also a bit shorter and simpler than the one already posted.

#15 Edited by Ashcrack1087 (45 posts) -

This is what I used when I built my pc last year(It's a 2hour long video), he probably has an updated version on his channel somewhere.

#16 Posted by Alex291190 (20 posts) -

Honestly - You can build a PC using not much more than a Screwdriver. Make sure to touch a radiator to ground yourself before starting, and touch the case occasionally as you build.

Every piece in a PC will fit together with reasonable simplicity. Honestly - I was terrified the 1st time, but after that it becomes fairly easy, after you've done it once it's much simpler to do it again :)

#17 Posted by markini6 (452 posts) -

Just did my first a few days ago, time consuming but relatively simple. I used the Newegg videos on youtube, along with my motherboard and case manuals, and had next to no problems. It used to boggle my mind looking at the inside of a PC, but there is a certain amount of (geeky) pride in looking at your PC and saying: "This is what I have wrought. And I understand it."

#18 Posted by bchampnd (108 posts) -

I put together a PC for the first time this past weekend so I know exactly how you feel. Here are a few things that I can tell you:

1. Give yourself a lot of room to work in a well lit area. Dining room table was where I decided to set up shop.

2. Even if you have good lighting, keep a flashlight at the ready.

3. Develop a plan and map out exactly where things will go before you begin installing components. The manual for your motherboard should have some kind of diagram showing exactly where everything is supposed to go and the motherboard itself will often have labels. My build generally went well but I had to remove the GPU after installing it because I did not notice at the time of installation that the card was blocking the SATA ports I would need to access later to hook up my hard drives to the motherboard. (It wasn't actually blocking the ports but the way the card was situated made accessing the ports and being able to see what we were doing very difficult so we decided the easier thing to do was to remove the card instead of trying to work around it and somehow end up damaging it.)

4. When you start getting frustrated (and you will if this is your first time doing it because at some point you'll make a mistake or not be able to figure out exactly what you should be doing) walk away for a few minutes to calm down and then take a few minutes to review what you've done so far and what's left to do.

5. For software, if you're installing Windows, I recommend doing it via USB drive. It only took a few minutes. If you have the disk version of Windows, you can still do this by using wintoflash, a free program that transfers the necessary files so you can install via USB. I didn't even both putting an optical drive in my computer because I have no interest in watching dvds/blu-rays on my PC (I have a TV and PS3 for that), haven't purchased a CD in close to a decade and pretty much all software is digitally distributed. Installation of devices became a bit more interesting since I had to download all the drivers/software from the internet (including the driver for my motherboard's onboard internet connection so I had to use another computer and a USB drive) but most things are plug-and-play these days and if I would have installed off of a CD/DVD it'd probably just make me download an updated driver from the internet anyway so I don't feel like I'm missing much.

6. Lastly, remember that the internet is your friend. If you run into a problem with a particular component or piece of software, chances are you're not the first and there will be a forum post about it somewhere and there will often be a solution posted, maybe even a video if you're lucky.

#19 Posted by david3cm (636 posts) -

After looking over my components and watching the newegg video 49th provided I have noticed an oversight. I picked up an Intel i5-2500k processor and an Intel motherboard. I then noticed my processor is from the LGA1155 series and my motherboard is from the 1156 series. Do I need to return my motherboard and pick up an LGA1155?