How to Build a PC, Part 2 - Assemble the components

Last Updated: 2023-02-27

Install CPU

Check your motherboard manual to put the CPU in the socket. Intel and AMD CPUs are slightly different.

If your CPU cooler does not have thermal paste pre-applied, add a pea sized blob to the center of your CPU.

Install the CPU fan on top of the CPU. It may require a backplate, which may be pre-installed on your motherboard and you need to take it down first. Again check your motherboard manual.

Ater the cooler is securely installed, plug the 4-pin PWM fan header into the CPU Fan slot on the motherboard.

Install Memory

ATX or mATX motherboards should have 4 memory slots while Mini ITX motherboards should have 2. Check your motherboard, it should indicate which slots to use first.

Install Motherboard

Put the motherboard in the case.

Connect the front panel, LED, USB, audio, etc.

Install Storage

If you are using M.2 SSDs, plug it in the motherboard; otherwise connect your 2.5 inch or 3.5 inch SSD / HDD by SATA cables.

Install Power Supply

If you are using a modular PSU, figure out what cables you need first.

Install the PSU in the case.

Plug-in cables:

  • 24-pin to the motherboard.
  • 8-pin to the CPU power (although plugin a 4-pin connect to the 8-pin slot works fine).
  • SATA power cables to your SATA SSD / HDD drives, if any.
  • (your GPU may need separate power supply, after the next step)

Install Graphics Card

If you have multiple PCIe slots on the motherboard, choose the one closest to the processor.

Plugin the power supply (8-pin or 6-pin).

Boot up your PC

Plugin monitor, mouse and keyboard; plugin power. Boot up, you should see the BIOS setting screen.