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  1. #1
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
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    Building Your First Computer in 9.75 Steps

    Building Your Computer in 9.75 (Short) Steps
    Courtesy of llDemonll

    I tried to make it shorter; you can only make it so short though. Third computer I've built in three weeks...identical components aside from video card and CPU (Sapphire 6950, Twin Frozr III 6950, and Twin Frozr III GTX 570 / two i5 2500K's and an i7 2600K)...grand total of two hours start to finish to build this time around with at least 30 minutes of that being wiring. This guide assumes you can figure some stuff out on your own based on general pictures that I post and intuition. Even the amount of text here over-complicates how hard the actual process is.

    Step .5
    Pick out components. If you need help make a new thread, then come back here once the boxes arrive

    Step 1
    Familiarize yourself with this picture. It has all the important connections labeled that we are going to use (and likely some that you won't). Your actual motherboard will vary depending on the make, but for socket 1155 processors, the general layout of an ATX motherboard will look like this image. The motherboard in question is the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro


    Step 2
    Items Needed: Motherboard, CPU
    Take the motherboard and remove the cover protecting the CPU slot. Remove the CPU (Intel i5 2500K) from the packaging and don't touch the pins on the bottom or the top of the CPU (where the info text is). Line the notches in the side of the CPU with the notches on the motherboard. Usually the gold arrow on the CPU points to the lower left from the perspective we are viewing at. Once seated, lower the level on the CPU holster to lock it into place.


    Step 2.5
    Items Needed: CPU Heatsink Bracket
    If your CPU heatsink has a bracket, follow the included directions to install it. The bracket on the Noctua NH-D14 will look like the below image when installed


    Step 3
    Items Needed: RAM
    RAM (G.Skill Ripjaws X Series) almost always goes in the same-color slots that are furthest from the CPU; in my case these are the light blue slots. Align the RAM pins with the pins on the motherboard and make sure they are firmly seated. The clips should close themselves when the RAM is seated all the way.


    Step 4
    Items Needed: Case, Motherboard
    Take the side panel off case (the case I'm using is the Fractal Design Define R3). Place backplate for motherboard into case from the inside. Make sure that all the motherboard standoffs are in place and in the correct positions. Once aligned, screw it down.


    Step 5
    Items Needed: Thermal Paste (Optional), Heatsink
    If you bought a new heatsink other than the stock one, apply the thermal paste to the top of the CPU. I like the 'X' pattern, but it's all personal choice. Follow the directions on the heatsink for proper mounting procedure.


    Step 6
    Items Needed: Video Card
    Remove expansion slot guards from case. Install video card into PCI-E 2.0 slot. Secure the card with the case hardware. The card in this build is the MSI Twin Frozr GTX 570


    Step 6.5
    Items Needed: Any PCI or PCI-E cards
    If you have any additional PCI or PCI-E cards, install them now. I have an ASUS PCE-N13 Wireless Adapter that goes in the PCI-E slot.


    Step 7
    Items Needed: Power Supply
    Take power supply (Seasonic X750), screw to case.


    Step 8
    Items Needed: Hard Drive, Optical Drive
    No pictures here. Find the mounting points / brackets for the hard drive and attach them. Optical drive usually goes in the top-most slot but you can put it where ever

    Step 9
    Items Needed: Power Supply Wires
    Hook that stuff up. 24-pin cord goes to the Motherboard Power, 8-pin cord goes to the CPU Power. Most graphics cards will require two PCI-E 6-pin cables. Hard drive and optical drive both require a SATA power cable. If you have case fans they will require a molex connector. Since the heatsink likely wasn't connected, find the fan cable for it an plug it into the CPU Fan connector on the motherboard. You also need to connect the case front panel stuff, your motherboard manual will tell you what goes where. White or black cables are negative, colored are positive.


    Step 9.75
    Items Needed: Computer
    Unlucky number 9.75, time to test! If it doesn't power on check if the front panel cables are switched negative-positive and check the power connections
    Last edited by llDemonll; 2011-09-19 at 10:33 PM.

    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
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  2. #2
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
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    Awesome! Have been looking forward to your updated guide for a while. Keep up the good work!

  3. #3
    Scarab Lord Howard Moon's Avatar
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    Nice, just in time for me. Thanks for the guide looks great!
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  4. #4
    Legendary! Asmekiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
    White?!

    Nice update you made there. Love how you made it a "How to do it in less than 10 steps" thing
    Oh, don't forget to add it to the sticky list.

  5. #5
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
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    Yea, the white is nice though with the black accents. Haven't started the computer so I'm not sure how quiet the case will make it but it's very well insulated so it should be pretty darn silent

    ...doing this again, and even knowing (kind of) what pictures I wanted, it's still a pain in the ass trying to put it into writing. The actual building process is easier. I suppose this guide is truly a guide and not an instruction book

    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
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  6. #6
    What's also nice is that you don't have the whole "mash of colors", or don't have to concern yourself with it. Optical drives are hidden behind the door on the case, yay. <3

  7. #7
    Brewmaster imtehrogue's Avatar
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    Thanks for this building my first PC in 5 years in a few days don't remember a thing, so this is helpful

  8. #8
    TOTALLY NOT
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    I like the case.

    Also, I'd like you to add that "too little" is always preferred over "too much" as far as thermal compound goes.
    It's also recommended that you put the GPU in the top-most slot for most motherboards, since that one is almost guaranteed to be the one who's wired for 16x. This doesn't matter on all boards, but mine, f ex, is a physical 16x but a wired 4x (and PCI-E 1.0 even!) on the lower slot.
    That will help bandwidth.

  9. #9
    Moderator Uggorthaholy's Avatar
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    Excellent job, Demon. I might be coming by the boards for my next build just to ask about a heatsink backplate installation if I can't figure it out, though the A70 doesn't look to terrible.

    I think this should be in the sticky index

  10. #10
    Herald of the Titans Platinus's Avatar
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    You forgot to add that the motherboard manual usually says where to place the RAM. Other then that, nice guide. Well done.

    /sticky

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  11. #11
    Brewmaster angael's Avatar
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    I'm going to sticky this for when I have the money to make my first computer. Thank you.

  12. #12
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Platinus View Post
    You forgot to add that the motherboard manual usually says where to place the RAM. Other then that, nice guide. Well done.

    /sticky
    This is very true, but 95% of the time with 1155 socket you're going to be safe in the furthest color-matched sockets from the CPU.

    The RAM and front panel connections are the only things I look at the motherboard manual for, but the new ASUS boards are coming with connectors for the front panels that are labeled and pinned so that they only plug into the motherboard one way that way you can hook up the connections then just plug in the one adapter and they'll all be connected correctly

    @tetrisgoat the case i really like. i have a black optical drive and it matches perfectly thanks to the rest of the black accents on the case, the door hiding it does help though

    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
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  13. #13
    Moderator Uggorthaholy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
    This is very true, but 95% of the time with 1155 socket you're going to be safe in the furthest color-matched sockets from the CPU.
    I actually think the DIMM slots on my particular mobo are not the same. I'm almost 100% positive they are seated in the outside pair of slots and are reading as DIMM 2/4 in my mobo's control panel program. But I have to double check, and I'm lazy. REALLY lazy. It's not hurting anything, so I CBA to bother.

  14. #14
    Hi thanks for this, this is great help. Can I ask that you would add one thing.

    Could you add picture of how CPU with thermal paste looks like, after you spread it and maybe also describe how thick and how it should look like on the CPU - regardless of the method of how you apply, I take the end result should be the same. I personally don't care which method is the best, all I care is to know what the end result should be like. I think for novice builders, like me, the thermal paste part is one of those bit unknown parts.

    Cheers
    Last edited by jtgizmo; 2011-09-08 at 02:55 AM.
    "Bill Nye: So Todd I got an offer for you. You and me. Any time. Any place. Debating science mano- a-mano. I'll bring the facts, and you bring the Vaseline. Because your ass is gonna fucking need it when I'm done whipping."

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  15. #15
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtgizmo View Post
    Could you add picture of how CPU with thermal paste looks like and maybe also describe how thick and how it should look like on the CPU - regardless of the method of how you apply, I take the end result should be the same. I personally don't care which method is the best, all I care is to know what the end result should be like. I think for novice builders, like me, the thermal paste part is one of those bit unknown parts.
    http://i.imgur.com/hm404.jpg? Step 5 explains it.

    If you are a novice I would suggest the "pea size method". Basically just put a small amount of thermal paste in the very center of the CPU backplate about the size of a pea and then mount the heatsink. You should never remove the heatsink to check if the paste was spread evenly, as that will create air bubbles and severely hurt the heat transfer capacity of the compound.

    Also, might add this:
    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...-thermal-paste and http://www.techpowerup.com/printarticle.php?id=134
    Last edited by Marest; 2011-09-08 at 03:04 AM.

  16. #16
    TOTALLY NOT
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    tetrisGOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtgizmo View Post
    Hi thanks for this, this is great help. Can I ask that you would add one thing.

    Could you add picture of how CPU with thermal paste looks like, after you spread it and maybe also describe how thick and how it should look like on the CPU - regardless of the method of how you apply, I take the end result should be the same. I personally don't care which method is the best, all I care is to know what the end result should be like. I think for novice builders, like me, the thermal paste part is one of those bit unknown parts.

    Cheers
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyXLu1Ms-q4 This might be relevant. Or not, I wouldn't know.

  17. #17
    Moderator Uggorthaholy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtgizmo View Post
    Hi thanks for this, this is great help. Can I ask that you would add one thing.

    Could you add picture of how CPU with thermal paste looks like, after you spread it and maybe also describe how thick and how it should look like on the CPU - regardless of the method of how you apply, I take the end result should be the same. I personally don't care which method is the best, all I care is to know what the end result should be like. I think for novice builders, like me, the thermal paste part is one of those bit unknown parts.

    Cheers
    theoretically, you want a thin even spread of thermal grease across the whole contact area of the cpu/sink face.

    I "tint" the heatsink contact first
    This is done by taking a small amount of thermal grease and spreading it SUPER thin across the whole of the face of the heatsink contact plate. This helps eliminate any inconsistency with the surface (whether it be poor machining, microscopic grooves/pitts, etc)

    Then, I add a 1/2 BB sized dot directly on to the center of the CPU, and press down the sink firmly. These gives that small amount of grease a nice even spread over the center of the cores and provides a nice, thin, smooth contact between components.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Marest View Post
    http://i.imgur.com/hm404.jpg? Step 5 explains it.

    If you are a novice I would suggest the "pea size method". Basically just put a small amount of thermal paste in the very center of the CPU backplate about the size of a pea and then mount the heatsink. You should never remove the heatsink to check if the paste was spread evenly, as that will create air bubbles and severely hurt the heat transfer capacity of the compound.

    Also, might add this:
    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...-thermal-paste and http://www.techpowerup.com/printarticle.php?id=134
    I just realized something, I might have had wrong info - but are you not meant to spread it around onto CPU, with very light/thin layer as end result?

    From what I am reading from your reply is that, just pop the paste on and then press heatsink on it and let it spread it itself?

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-08 at 03:12 AM ----------

    Also as you can see from various replyes, that maybe adding one ore two lines into step 5 briefly explaining mechanics and how it works for thermal paste would help?
    "Bill Nye: So Todd I got an offer for you. You and me. Any time. Any place. Debating science mano- a-mano. I'll bring the facts, and you bring the Vaseline. Because your ass is gonna fucking need it when I'm done whipping."

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  19. #19
    Fluffy Kitten Marest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtgizmo View Post
    I just realized something, I might have had wrong info - but are you not meant to spread it around onto CPU, with very light/thin layer as end result?

    From what I am reading from your reply is that, just pop the paste on and then press heatsink on it and let it spread it itself?
    There are literally a ton of different ways to apply thermal paste. Some do a dot, some do five dots, some do a cross, some 2 lines, some 1 line, some spread it, some dot it on with a latex glove. List goes on. For novice users (and one of the easiest ways to do it) is the "pea size method" afaik. Just put a small dot in the very center about the size of a pea, and the pressure from the heatsink will spread it evenly. The "gain" by doing more advanced applying methods is less than 1-2c.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Marest View Post
    There are literally a ton of different ways to apply thermal paste. Some do a dot, some do five dots, some do a cross, some 2 lines, some 1 line, some spread it, some dot it on with a latex glove. List goes on. For novice users (and one of the easiest ways to do it) is the "pea size method" afaik. Just put a small dot in the very center about the size of a pea, and the pressure from the heatsink will spread it evenly. The "gain" by doing more advanced applying methods is less than 1-2c.
    Oh, I see...I didn't know that, that seems fairly easy,pea size method, I take it is not fool proof, but quite straight forward nevertheless?
    "Bill Nye: So Todd I got an offer for you. You and me. Any time. Any place. Debating science mano- a-mano. I'll bring the facts, and you bring the Vaseline. Because your ass is gonna fucking need it when I'm done whipping."

    Mr Eames: "You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling"

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