Know How...

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.
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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. Download or subscribe to this show at Contribute to our show! Send us show ideas and more via email at or leave us a voicemail at 408-800-KNOW (408-800-5669). Thanks to Cachefly for the bandwidth for this show.