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Old 11-19-2008, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default The Ultimate, "How To Build a Computer"

Had to write it for a process paper for English class so I thought I'd post it up...

I left out a couple details for my paper(my teacher won't know...) so I will throw those in tommorrow or something, as well as some pictures.
As for the parts, I didn't exactly know them in and out, so I might be wrong on a couple things.
See the New Build Guide for a better parts guide depending on budget. I followed the $1500 build, except for a couple changes. A different GPU, and a Blu-ray drive.

Anyway, here goes:




How to build a computer

Building a computer is just like legos, if a part seems like it will fit, it probably is the right spot for the part. I am going to be building a computer with a budget of $1500 here. The list of parts for the computer itself or the best to the date, November 2008.
The list of parts used for the build will be as follows: for the CPU(central processing unit), we will use an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550. The Motherboard that brings it all together will be the DFI LANparty T2RB ATX. For RAM/memory I will be using a G. Skill 2x2gb 240 pin DDR2 PC2 6400 Kit. The hard drive in my machine will be the Samsung Spinpoint F1 750gb SATA 3.0GB/s. The case is all up to preference, but I particularly like the Antec 1200 ATX full tower case with a power supply already installed. For an optical drive, I am purchasing a Samsung Blu-ray drive. And finally, the GPU(graphics processing unit). In my case, this beast will be used for gaming as well as editing videos, so a powerful graphics card is needed. So I will be using the EVGA GTX 280 Superclocked Nvidia 200 series card. As well as all the parts listed above, I will need a small tube of thermal paste, I always use Artic Silver. And finally, the most important part needed: a screwdriver.
Now the actual build itself. First off I will put in the motherboard. In an ATX case, there are 9 holes that will line up with the 9 holes in the motherboard. I match all nine holes up and place a screw provided with the motherboard in each one, and use the screw driver to screw each one in. Now I have gotten the hardest part done, and next I will be putting in the CPU. The CPU is probably the most important part, and the smallest. In the box there will be two parts, a large contraption with fans and big copper fins. The second part is a small square chip. This is the CPU. This used to be the scariest part of the project when it was 400+ pins where if one got bent, the CPU was shot. In my case, it is an LGA 775, which means it has 775 points of contact in a 1.5 square inch area, but they are no longer pins, so it makes things much easier. Installing a CPU is very simple. On the top left corner of the motherboard is a small square piece, this is where the processor fits. There is a small triangle in one corner of the CPU and on the piece on the motherboard, I need to line these two up and drop the CPU into place. Once the CPU is put in, there is a small plastic lever that you pull down and lock into place. Next I use the thermal paste, since we have a quad core; we need to have the paste on each core. I apply the thermal paste in an “X” shape across the processor. Next the heat sink, which is the other part in the box that came with the CPU. It has four pins that line up with 4 holes placed around the processor spot, I line these up and simply push the plastic pieces on top to snap it into place.


The next steps are the simplest and they can be performed in any order. I will start with the memory. To the right of the CPU, there are 4 slots, I have two sticks of RAM.

Most motherboards have two channels, and each channel is color coded. For example, two slots will be yellow, and two slots will be orange. And they are usually organized in a “Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Orange” order. In my case I will be placing a stick of RAM in the first and third slot. The ram lines up with the slot, snaps in easily, and then I pull down the tab at either end of the RAM, and it is good. The next part I will be putting in is the Hard drive. This and the optical drive are both the simplest things to do, and both fit in the same way. The hard drive fits in a slot on the front of the case. It is exactly 3.5” wide, and the hard drive slides right in.

On this case there are 3 of these slots, but I will only be using one, it does not matter which one though. Once the hard drive is in place, two of the three holes on the side of the hard drive should match up with two holes on the case, put a screw in each one. The Blu-ray drive uses the same steps, except it fits into a 5.25” drive bay at the top of the front of the case instead of the bottom like the hard drive. Finally I will be putting in the GPU. This is as simple as the memory. On the back of the motherboard towards the center, there is a long plastic slot above many other slots that are the same. It is the one(sometimes two in the case of an SLI or Crossfire board) slot that is different than the rest. This is called a PCI-Express x16 slot, the rest are PCI slots, and any small(1”) slots are called PCI-Express 1x slots.

The graphics card has two DVI(digital video interface) slots on the back, these point towards the back of the computer. The back of the GPU lined up with the back of the case, I simply snap the metal contact bar that sticks out the side of the graphics card into the PCI-E x16 slot.
Now that everything is snapped into place, things start to get more complicated then legos. I now need to plug everything into the PSU(power supply unit). First is the motherboard. This is the biggest plug that comes out of the power supply which is located in the top left of the case. The motherboard uses a 24 pin plug arranged into two rows of 12 pieces. Plug this into the motherboard in a slot that lines up with all 24 pins. Next the GPU needs power. The 280GTX uses two plugs as it draws a lot of power. One is an 8 pin molex, and the other is a 6 pin. I found these easily in the mess of cables from the PSU, and plugged them into the GPU on the front of the card. The Hard drive uses a SATA power cable. Unlike most plugs, it is a small black plastic bar plug, this plugs into a slot that looks the same on the back of the Hard drive. The optical drive, and any fans that came with the case all use a 4 pin molex plug. There are many of these coming out of the power supply. I simply plug it into the back of the Blu-ray drive, and any fans in the case. Finally the data cables for the optical drive and hard drive need to be plugged in. Both use the same type of data cable. On the front of the motherboard there are 4 SATA ports, they look like shorter forms of the plug used on the Hard drive. I simply take one of the cables supplied with the motherboard and route it from the SATA ports on the motherboard to the SATA port on the back of the hard drive and another cable from the motherboard to the Blu-Ray drive.
My computer is now ready to run. It is as easy as legos, especially with my guide.
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Ultimate, "How To Build a Computer"

Wow, thats amazing. that was very detailed!
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Ultimate, "How To Build a Computer"

see really i need to show my friends this. i am like uber geeky in there eyes but really it is like legos
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Ultimate, "How To Build a Computer"

very nice paper Mate!! great amounts of details!!
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Ultimate, "How To Build a Computer"

Thanks, I had to make it with every little detail to get a good grade on it. I will try and find some pictures tommorrow. I should have gotten the second and third posts reserved for pics, oops, lol.
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Ultimate, "How To Build a Computer"

Horrible paper man, can't believe how bad that was.. waste of my time.












On a serious note, well done. I bet that'll land a good grade as long as your teacher isn't a douche.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Ultimate, "How To Build a Computer"

Haha, this is the first time I've ever seen computer building compared to legos, besides when I say it.

I always say that it's really like legos, but, I haven't seen anyone use that same analogy before! Awesome, after all, great minds think alike.

Unfortunately, unlike legos, your computer can start smoking and blow up.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Ultimate, "How To Build a Computer"

The GTX 280 takes an 8 pin molex?

I'm not trying to nit pick here, but for n00bs, it would probably be easier to install the CPU, cooler and RAM on the mobo first, and then put it in the case.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Ultimate, "How To Build a Computer"

Quote:
Originally Posted by worshipme View Post
The GTX 280 takes an 8 pin molex?

I'm not trying to nit pick here, but for n00bs, it would probably be easier to install the CPU, cooler and RAM on the mobo first, and then put it in the case.
Really? I never thought of doing that... lol. I think the GTX takes an 8 pin and a 6 pin, at least my friend that has one said it does, but idk really. The Antec 1200 has a slide out mobo tray doesnt it?
I thought this would kind of go along with your guide worshipme, for those people that come here and ask what brand of computer to build, and when we tell them it easy to build, they dont believe us, now there is an easy thing to read! lol.
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Old 11-29-2008, 03:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Ultimate, "How To Build a Computer"

Updated with some pictures finally, lol.
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