Oct 11th 2012
Know How... 15
To Build a PC
Build your own PC! Find out how to pick components and put together your own custom machine.
This is a project that every nerd should try - building your own PC.
The first thing you should figure out is how you want to use your machine. Chad Johnson volunteered his system for our episode and he wanted a very powerful video editing and gaming station. The skills you learn in this episode work with any kind of PC - from a budget PC to a gaming rig. Chad also wanted his machine to be a hackintosh eventually.
His main resource was TonyMacx86. The site tests out all kinds of components to make sure they will work with Mac OS X.
Here is a complete list of the parts Chad used for his machine: PCPartPicker.
To figure out how big a power supply you’ll need, use a power supply calculator. If you plan to expand your system over time, get more power than is recommended.
Building a PC is actually surprisingly straightforward. Every area of the motherboard is labelled and its instruction manual will have a detailed map.
Here’s how we went about building our PC:
- Install the processor on the motherboard.
- Install motherboard into case.
- Install the heat sink. First applying a small amount of thermal paste on the processor (about the size of a pea, but no larger) in the center and place the heat sink on top. The heat sink will spread the paste along the processor.
- Install the power supply.
- Route power cables to components.
- Connect the rest of the cables (SATA cables, etc).
- Install your RAM, graphics card, and hard drive. It’s relatively difficult to mess up the install as components only fit a certain way into the motherboard. If there is resistance, stop and check what you’re doing.
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