Gaming Computer

Pointers Before Starting Your Build

Wash your hands
Start in a clean dry space with good light
Layout all your parts on a flat surface
Leave the CPU in its protective cover until ready to install
Put on your static bracelet or properly ground yourself on the PC case
Do not build your PC on carpet

Tools Needed

Number 2 Phillips Screwdriver
Extra case screws 6-32 qty
Needle Nose Pliers
Thermal Paste and Applicator
Isopropyl Alcohol
Paper Towels


CTO – Configure To Order
Mobo – Motherboard
PSU – Power Supply
CPU – Central Processing Unit
DIMM – Dual in-line memory module
Optical Drive – DVD drive or Blu Ray drive
SATA – Serial Advanced Technology Attachment
PCI-E – Peripheral Component Interconnect Express
MOLEX – MOLEX 8981-style 4-pin power connector
SSD – Solid State Drive

Step-By-Step Directions (1 hour)

1. Prepping your Case

Remove both side panels
Remove any manuals or plastic from the case
Untangle front panel port cables
Install Mobo I.O. Shield
Install Mobo stand-off riser pins
Tip: When installing the Mobo stand-off riser pins ensure you match the layout to the mounting holes on your mobo

2. Installing the PSU

Place the PSU in the case and align the screw holes
Ensure that the PSU fan is oriented so it pulls in fresh air (This will vary by case)
Thread in all 4 screws before fully tightening them
Ensure all 4 screws are tightly fastened

3. Installing the Storage Drive

Slide your storage drive into an open Storage slot of your case
Fasten your drive into the bay using the clip or screws that come with your case (fasteners will vary by case)

4. Installing the Optical Drive

Remove the top 5.25” filter/vanity cover from the front panel of the case
Gently rock the protective metal tab blocking the top 5.25” bay opening
Tip: The method for removing both the cover and protective tab will vary by case
Insert the optical drive into the top 5.25” bay
Fasten your optical drive into the bay using the clip or screws that come with your case (fasteners will vary by case)

5. Mounting the CPU

Release the latch arm(s) on the CPU socket retention bracket
Lift the lid of the socket retention bracket until it is pointing perpendicular to the Mobo
Look for the arrow on the corner of the CPU
When seating the CPU into the socket, match the gold arrow on the corner of the CPU to the black arrow on the corner of the CPU socket retention bracket
Tip: The CPU only goes in and fully seats one way. This is very apparent
Close the lid of the CPU socket retention bracket
Fasten the latch arm(s) on the CPU socket retention bracket
Tip: This will require a bit of force and will cause the arm to flex slightly
Tip: LGA 2011 CPUs have 2 arms, and there is a required order for opening/closing

6. Mounting the CPU Cooler

Clean the surfaces of the CPU and Cooler interface with isopropyl alcohol and a paper towel or cloth (You want to ensure any finger oils and stock thermal paste are cleaned off)
Apply a drop about 1/3 the size of a pea to the surface of the CPU
Use a piece of plastic to spread the thermal paste until 1/3 of the surface is covered. (The compression of the cooler on the CPU will cause the thermal paste to evenly cover the CPU surface)
Press the mounting pins into the motherboard until you hear a loud and positive click
Tip: There are many types of CPU coolers and the mounting process will vary.
Connect the 3 or 4 pin fan power connector to the CPU_FAN power connector on the top of the Mobo

7. Mounting Memory on the Mobo

Pull back the clasp on the DIMM slot of the motherboard
Align the memory stick with the DIMM slot
Note: Memory
Seat the memory stick into the DIMM slot
Firmly press down while distributing pressure evenly across the top of the memory stick until you hear a positive click
Tip: DIMM slot configuration will vary across Mobos. Refer to your owners guide for a diagram of your DIMM slot layout

8. Installing the Mobo

Lay your case flat on its side with the motherboard bay facing up
Align the screw holes on your Mobo with the threaded riser pins and set it on the riser pins
Thread in all screws before fully tightening any screws into the riser pins
Tighten all screws in a star pattern until all screws are fully fastened
Tip: Ensure that all Mobo screws are in place and fully fastened as this will ensure that the Mobo is grounded. Loose screws may cause issues when trying to boot or post your PC

9. Wiring Power Cables

Firmly plug in the 4 or 8-pin CPU power cable until it clicks. This port is usually at the top of the Mobo just above the CPU socket
Note: Some high end motherboards have 2 x 8-pin CPU power connectors
Firmly plug in the 24-pin motherboard main power cable until it clicks. This port is usually on the right side of the Mobo above the SATA Data ports
Run SATA power from your PSU to your Optical Drive and Storage Drive
Firmly plug in a SATA power connector into your Storage Drive
Firmly plug in a SATA power connector into your Optical Drive
Tip: Power cables only fit in the ports

10. Wiring Data Cables

Firmly plug in a SATA cable into SATA Port 1 on your Mobo
Firmly plug the other end of the cable coming from SATA Port 1 into the SATA Data Port on your Storage Drive
Firmly plug in a SATA cable into SATA Port 2 on your Mobo
Firmly plug the other end of the cable coming from SATA Port 2 into the SATA Data Port on your Optical Drive
Tip: To add additional storage or optical drives to your PC, repeat this process on the next numbered SATA Port

11. Wiring Case Fans

Firmly plug each 3-pin fan power connector to a 3-pin PWR_FAN port on the motherboard
Tip: There are usually 3-5 ports located on different places of the motherboard to accommodate fans in different locations. If your case has more than 3 fans you may want to consider a fan power hub that would plug into a MOLEX power connector

12. Wiring Case Panel Ports

Open your Mobo Owner’s Manual to the layout diagram showing the F_Panel pin layout
Follow the Diagram and ensure you plug in the Power Switch, Reset button and HDD Data light cables
Tip: These cables are dual colored. The white or black wire is always the “ground” wire – while the colored wire is usually the “hot” or “+” wire.
Plug in the Front Panel USB cable into the pinned USB connector (This port is usually found at the bottom of the Mobo to the left of the SATA Data ports)
Plug in the Front Panel HD Audio Cable into the pinned HD Audio Port. (This is usually found on the left side of the Mobo at the bottom or in-between the PCI-E slots

13. Installing the Graphics Cards

Seat your Graphics Card into PCI-E Slot #1
Apply even pressure across the side of the Graphics Card until you hear and feel a positive click
Secure the Graphics Card bracket to the case using one of the provided case screws
Firmly plug in your 6 and or 8-pin power cables into the power ports on the side of your graphics card
If you have a second card for SLI repeat steps 12: a,b and c in PCI-E port 2 or 3 and then install your SLI bridge

14. Confirming cable connections

Physically double check all cable connections and ensure they are fully seated into their ports

15. Starting up the PC and getting to Bios

Press the power button and hold down the delete key on your keyboard until the BIOS screen shows up on your monitor


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See Also:

Top Ten Gaming PCs

Top Ten Gaming Keyboards

Top Ten Gaming Mice 

Top Ten Gaming Headsets


Source: Amazon

Photo by Sentey