By Samuel Wilson
Hopefully by this point in time, all the necessary items for the computer build have been identified and are ready to be ordered. The following are some tips to help make assembling the computer a little bit easier (stay tuned for the Intel build parts list at the end of this segment).
Before any of the components are unboxed, it’s important to discharge any static-electricity that may be built up on your body. This can be done by touching the metal on a computer tower or a grounded object. Anti-static wrist bands (ESD wristbands) can also be used. Once that is done, the items can safely be removed from their packages. Be cautious when handling computer towers, there is a possibility that there are sharp corners. Quality cases generally don’t have this problem, but it would be wise to be cautious non-the-less.
The computer needs to be partially assembled to see if it will POST (Power-On Self-Test), prior to putting it inside the tower. This helps to make sure the components aren’t DOA and to see if there are potentially any problems.
To make this happen, the contents of the motherboard box needs to be removed, because the PC will be temporarily built on top of it. Make sure the anti-static bag that came with the motherboard is not under the motherboard when building.
Locate the RAM and install it on the motherboard, then do the same for the CPU, CPU Cooler (make sure to plug in the fan), the GPU, the Power Supply Unit, and finally, plug in all the wires (don’t plug in the PSU into an outlet until everything is connected). Review the motherboard instruction manual, to locate where to install components. Most computer hardware will only line up or fit one way in their designated location.
Once that is completed, plug in the mouse, keyboard, monitor, switch the PSU to the on position and power on the computer by placing the tip of a screw driver (with a rubber handle or non-conductive material) between the Power + and Power – (+PW-) pins on the motherboard (this is done because the power button that is built into the computer case isn’t attached yet).
If all goes well, the computer should start and then POST (there should be activity on the screen). If this does not happen, check all the connections and try again. Once the computer POST, the machine can now be fully assembled inside of the case, but first disconnect the GPU and power cables from the motherboard.
Lay the tower on a flat, even surface and install the metal mounting hardware on the motherboard tray (they look like little bronze or gold screws); they will line up with the holes on the motherboard. These mounts will allow the motherboard to be securely screwed into place. Ideally, the motherboard should be installed last, to avoid having issues since there may be limited space inside the case.
Another thing to consider, is to not use the stock cooler that may come with the CPU. They are generally noisy and provide poor cooling for the CPU. An aftermarket CPU cooler is generally a better option; choose one from a credible manufacturer. Cooler Master, for example makes fantastic CPU coolers like the Hyper 212X and Hyper 212 EVO. These are air cooled CPU coolers that are pretty quiet and provide great cooling. If one desires to moderately or heavily overclock a CPU and/or wants a completely silent computer, an AIO (All-In-One) Water Cooling unit will be needed. Cooler Master also manufactures quality computer cases, fans, power supplies, and accessories. Some of those items are available in silent varieties as well (coolermaster.com).
After the motherboard is installed, connect all the cables to the board, including the ones attached to the computer case. It’s also a good idea to perform cable management. The other side panel of the case can be removed to help organize everything. This can help maximize airflow, which helps regulate temperatures inside the case. The other plus, is that the inside of the case won’t look like a rats nest and the components inside the case can be put on display if there is a side window.
Once everything is fully assembled, fire up the computer and enter into the BIOS by pressing the key listed on the screen. Now set the Boot List to whatever OS install media you have (USB or DVD), then exit and save, and now install the OS.
Use a high speed USB 3.0 drive like a Lexar 32GB JUMPDRIVE M20c (lexar.com) for the OS installation process and/or for any file transfers. During the OS install, plug the USB drive into a USB 2.0 port on the new PC.
The following is a list of components for different build types that utilize a Socket LGA-1151 Intel Skylake processor (intel.com) with a Windows 10 OS.
Processor (CPU) – BX80662G4400, with Hyper 212X CPU Cooler
(coolermaster.com) * Motherboard – Gigabyte GA-H110M-A (gigabyte.com)
* Memory (RAM) – Mushkin Redline 992192T (mushkin.com) * Tower – Cooler Master Elite 130 (coolermaster.com) * Power Supply (PSU) Cooler Master GM650 (coolermaster.com)
* Hard Drive – Seagate SSHD 1TB to 4 TB (seagate.com) * Additional Drives – (Optional) SanDisk Ultra II SSD –
* Monitor – Eizo S1921 (eizo.com) * Keyboard and Mouse Combo – CM Storm Devastator SGB-3010-KKMF1-US
(coolermaster.com) * Sound/speakers – Monster Soundstage S1 (monster.com)
Processor (CPU) – Core I5-6500, with Hyper 212X CPU Cooler
(coolermaster.com)* Motherboard – ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Professional Gaming i7 (asrock.com) * Memory (RAM) – Mushkin Redline 992192T (mushkin.com) * Tower – Cooler Master CM 690 III (coolermaster.com)
* Power Supply (PSU) Cooler Master GM650 (coolermaster.com) * Hard Drive – Seagate SSHD 4TB (seagate.com) * Additional Drives – 512GB Mushkin eco2 SSD (mushkin.com) –
* Monitor – Eizo FP-2401W (eizo.com) * Keyboard and Mouse – CM Storm Devastator SGB-3011-KKMF2-US (coolermaster.com) * Sound/speakers – Monster Soundstage S2 (monster.com)
Processor (CPU) – Core I7-6700k, with Hyper 212X CPU Cooler
(coolermaster.com) * Motherboard – ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Professional Gaming i7 (asrock.com)
* Memory (RAM) – 16GB to 64GB G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series F4-3200C16D-16GVK (gskill.com)
* Tower – Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 (coolermaster.com) * Power Supply (PSU) Cooler Master GM650
(coolermaster.com) * Hard Drive – Seagate SSHD 4 TB (seagate.com)
* 1TB Trascend TS1TSSD370 SSD (transcend-info.com) * Monitor – EIZO Foris FS2434 (eizo.com)
* Keyboard and Mouse – CM Storm Devastator SGB-3011-KKMF2-US
(coolermaster.com) * Sound/speakers – Monster Soundstage S3 (monster.com)
Hopefully all this content provided valuable insight to make things easier to plan, execute, and assemble a computer build. For additional tips and a more in depth look at assembling a computer, head over to newburghtechgroup.com. Stay tuned as I discuss various computer topics that utilize the new computer that was just built and I will also let everyone know when the computer build videos will be released.