When you’re done installing the motherboard with the CPU mount backplate, it’s time to install the cooler on the CPU. Keep in mind that most CPU coolers have pre-applied thermal paste. If yours doesn’t, add a small blob of thermal paste, ideally, around the size of a pea, on the center of the CPU.
- Only necessary for gaming and editing PCs—regular PCs should be fine with a stock cooler.
- However, if you do end up buying a tube of thermal paste, you can clean the cooler’s paste off and use your own.
- The USB header connecting to your front-facing motherboard ports will be on its own.
- First, we took our case’s mounting bracket and screwed it onto the back of our power supply.
PC builds can have many styles and uses, but some components are fundamental and must be a part of every PC. If you get to this part of the building process, you’re good to go. But if you didn’t get any of this, check everything from the start and make sure you didn’t miss a thing. Along your motherboard, you will have a lot of different pins and ports and what have you. You will need to use these to hook up your power, reset, and other I/O buttons and ports.
Start With The Color Scheme
Slot your drive into the appropriate place and screw, or lock it into place using your case’s mounting system. When in place, attach the SATA data cable to the drive and the motherboard, and attach the SATA power connector to the drive. The motherboard’s main power connection is a wide, two-row cable that fits snugly into a similar-looking spot on the board itself. This pin connector powers both the motherboard and the CPU. However, some boards have a second 4-pin or 8-pin connector for the processor, which resides near your CPU, typically in the top corner. Before we move on to the last step of physically building your PC, you may want to do some cable management to clean up.
Luckily, if you’re on more of a budget, you can get something like an Intel Core i K and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 , and have an incredible 1080p gaming machine. And, that will be able to get some video editing done on the side too. However, there are plenty of people that need something with a bit more oomph. Computers are legitimately more powerful now than they’ve ever been, and there’s never been more options to build something that will tear through the best PC games like they were so much paper.
Plugging Everything In
This’ll create some room for air circulation and accessing your components if you ever want to upgrade later. Most cases come with Velcro straps or zip ties, but I always keep a bag of Velcros on hand just in case. The case we went with, Fractal’s Meshify C, includes an awesome area for cable management that’s equipped with a series of Velcro straps. We were able to slide all of our cables into this space and keep it all fastened up nicely. Assembling the motherboard outside of the case will make your whole experience much easier to deal with. Our general rule of thumb is to install as many parts as possible before screwing it into your case.
This will then spread out evenly as you mount the cooler in place. We’ve arranged this guide in an order that makes sense for most builds, though it may not be optimal for every PC. You’ll need to check the layout and see which components will need to be installed first, but usually, starting with the power supply is the best way to go.