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.
Pick out components. If you need help make a new thread, then come back here once the boxes arrive
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Items Needed: Power Supply
Take power supply (Seasonic X750), screw to case.
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
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.
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