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minervx

10 Tips for Beginners Assembling Their First PC

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Posted · Original PosterOP

1) Watch a full length step by step build guide

A 20-25 minute Youtube video.  Watch it all at once.  The 5-10 min videos often skip steps.

The in-depth videos save time because if you miss a step you're unaware of it, it costs a lot of time.

 

2) Build in an intuitive order

RAM can go in the motherboard before its attached to the case.  Possibly, the CPU cooler as well.

However, the video card is best saved for later on so it doesn't take up hand room.

 

3) Do a test build on the table before building inside of the case

A beginner learning how to build and do cable management at the same time can be overwhelming.

If a mistake is made, it's easier to correct it on a table than have to go inside a case full of parts.

Also, it's easier to manage cables once you know where everything is supposed to go.

 

4) Have a good work environment

A big flat surface with enough free space (like a clear desk or a dining room table).

Have a way to sort different screws, whether it's little dishes/containers or baggies.  You don't want to get any screws lost or mixed up.

 

5) Know where the parts and connectors on the motherboards go

It may vary, but I've generally noticed:

* 8-pin connector is top left

* 24-pin connector is right

* RAM is top right next to the CPU slot

* Front panel connectors and SATA ports are bottom right

Establishing all this first will make cable management easier because you'll know which sides to put the cables on.

 

6) insert the 24-pin connector correctly

* Connect the 20pin +4 pin together before inseting

* Apply enough pressure for it to go in all the way.  If it's not in all the way, it might result in your video card not powering on.

 

7) Know the ordering front panel connectors go in advance

The little tiny wires. i.e. The power/reset/LED +/- pins. This is one of the most difficult parts for many beginners. 

It should say on the motherboard or on the manual booklet where they go.  Figure it out before you build to save trouble.

 

8 ) Fully open the case , removing all the detachable panels, before working on it

Also, make sure your OS boots properly and everything's fine before closing, so you don't have to re-open your case.

 

9) installing the cooler correctly

* Firstly, the little metal fan clips attach to the sides - not vertically - (they should look like ears).

* Many coolers require bolts in the back of the motherboard to hold into place

* Assuming the airflow is from the front to the back of the case, the fan on the cooler should face the same way as the fans on the case.

 

10) Make sure the fans are in the right direction

Use a sheet of paper to test which way the air is flowing, because it may be deceiving by just feeling it with hands.

Typically, the face (the more aesthetically pleasing part of the fan) faces the front and sucks the air and the backside (with the wires/labels/etc. blows it out)

 


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11.

Make sure the thing is on before panicking


 

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What ummmm.... happened to #2?


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1 minute ago, minervx said:

1) Watch a full length step by step build guide

Image result for that's all folks


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Even when doing your 100th build - yes, you will forget to even plug it in and when you hit the power on button and panic lol


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6 minutes ago, Den-Fi said:

What ummmm.... happened to #2?

#2 Screw with confidence


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Just now, Spotty said:

#2 Screw with confidence

You're my best friend for the next 11 minutes.


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4 minutes ago, minervx said:

1) Watch a full length step by step build guide

A 20-25 minute Youtube video.  Watch it all at once.  The 5-10 min videos often skip steps.

The in-depth videos save time because if you miss a step you're unaware of it, it costs a lot of time.

 

Why do anything past this?

 

Quote

 

No step 2.

 

4 minutes ago, minervx said:

3) Do a test build on the table before building inside of the case

A beginner learning how to build and do cable management at the same time can be overwhelming.

If a mistake is made, it's easier to correct it on a table than have to go inside a case full of parts.

Also, it's easier to manage cables once you know where everything is supposed to go.

Don't see how building it on a table would apply to any way with how cables are routed through a case.

 

5 minutes ago, minervx said:

4) Have a good work environment

A big flat surface with enough free space (like a clear desk or a dining room table).

Have a way to sort different screws, whether it's little dishes/containers or baggies.  You don't want to get any screws lost or mixed up.

Thanks Verge.

 

5 minutes ago, minervx said:

5) Know where the parts and connectors on the motherboards go

It may vary, but I've generally noticed:

* 8-pin connector is top left

* 24-pin connector is right

* RAM is top right next to the CPU slot

* Front panel connectors and SATA ports are bottom right

Establishing all this first will make cable management easier because you'll know which sides to put the cables on.

The positions are not always standard. You can find boards with these in different places.

 

7 minutes ago, minervx said:

6) insert the 24-pin connector correctly

* Connect the 20pin +4 pin together before inseting

* Apply enough pressure for it to go in all the way.  If it's not in all the way, it might result in your video card not powering on.

24pin is motherboard power, not GPU power.

 

7 minutes ago, minervx said:

7) Know the ordering front panel connectors go in advance

The little tiny wires. i.e. The power/reset/LED +/- pins. This is one of the most difficult parts for many beginners. 

It should say on the motherboard or on the manual booklet where they go.  Figure it out before you build to save trouble.

Why do I need to know the order in advance? Why can't I look as I am doing it. Won't change how I cable manage at all.

 

8 minutes ago, minervx said:

8 ) Fully open the case , removing all the detachable panels, before working on it

Also, make sure your OS boots properly and everything's fine before closing, so you don't have to re-open your case.

Really? Thought I could put it together with the panels on. And honestly who cares if you have to spend 30s to undo the side panel screws?

 

9 minutes ago, minervx said:

9) installing the cooler correctly

* Firstly, the little metal fan clips attach to the sides - not vertically - (they should look like ears).

* Many coolers require bolts in the back of the motherboard to hold into place

* Assuming the airflow is from the front to the back of the case, the fan on the cooler should face the same way as the fans on the case

There are so many ways to install a cooler, not all are going to have clips and whatnot. Also depends on AMD or Intel and what socket.

 

10 minutes ago, minervx said:

10) Make sure the fans are in the right direction

Use a sheet of paper to test which way the air is flowing, because it may be deceiving by just feeling it with hands.

Typically, the face (the more aesthetically pleasing part of the fan) faces the front and sucks the air and the backside (with the wires/labels/etc. blows it out)

You'd have to be an idiot to be able not to tell.

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All steps are meaningless after step 1. Tons of build PC guide video in YouTube are over 30 ~ 40 minutes time and even hours


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I feel like, really only watching a full-length build guide is all a beginner needs to build a full PC, because a full tutorial will show all the connectors, where they go, what type of component is being installed at that moment.

 

I remember back when I knew nothing, all I did was watch a bunch of build guides from people such as Bitwit and Jay.

 

Any further information I got such as learning what type of cases there are, modular PSUs, RGB fans etc was superfluous to what it took for me to build my first PC.


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9 hours ago, givingtnt said:

-snip

1a. As long as it isn't The Verge's step by step PC building guide.


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-Moved to Guides and Tutorials-

 

For #2 I would almost always recommend cooler install before installing the motherboard into the case, especially if it's a non stock air tower. It's a lot easier to work with the brackets especially on some cheaper models where the bracket system isnt as beginner friendly. 

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20180805_140841.thumb.jpg.ed3b2e1e9daedb7ca016df732631c6d4.jpgSnapchat-509350391.thumb.jpg.6bca6436ebaab963176648c77cfd2129.jpg20180325_194625.thumb.jpg.a99fc328596262d794e2e8585ddfedc2.jpg20180707_154014.thumb.jpg.2a53f09d7b3b4f94333987eba744b9ff.jpg

 


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Nobody ever mentions this: Don't close up your case until you're certain the computer will work. (or at least boot up into an OS)

 

2 hours ago, TVwazhere said:

For #2 I would almost always recommend cooler install before installing the motherboard into the case, especially if it's a non stock air tower. It's a lot easier to work with the brackets especially on some cheaper models where the bracket system isnt as beginner friendly.

If your case has a neat cutout in the back, I'd argue the order doesn't matter.

 

Though tower coolers do make for a nice way to pick up the motherboard 🙃

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Posted · Original PosterOP
14 hours ago, seoz said:

I feel like, really only watching a full-length build guide is all a beginner needs to build a full PC, because a full tutorial will show all the connectors, where they go, what type of component is being installed at that moment.

 

I remember back when I knew nothing, all I did was watch a bunch of build guides from people such as Bitwit and Jay.

 

Any further information I got such as learning what type of cases there are, modular PSUs, RGB fans etc was superfluous to what it took for me to build my first PC.

Yeah, the problem with only watching the 5-10 minute videos is that beginners get bits and pieces of the puzzle but not the big picture and what order they need to do it in.  

 

You're right that there's so much information out there that beginners can get lost in topics that may not really be relevant to their use case.  This is because beginners don't know where to start inquiring first - it's an unknown unknown; you dont know what you dont know.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
22 hours ago, SeraphicWings said:

All steps are meaningless after step 1. Tons of build PC guide video in YouTube are over 30 ~ 40 minutes time and even hours

I think the work environment tip is really important.  Having free space and keeping the screws organized.  

 

The building on the bench before case is also something I wish I would've done.  Someone who is watching an in-depth video step by step may not absolutely need to do it, but if the person assembling their first PC does happen to miss a tiny step somewhere or do cable management incorrectly, it can cost time.


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I'd like to say this would be for beginners, but truthfully, I think it applies equally to intermediate and experienced guys. The thing is, make sure you REFER TO THE MANUALS, and at least make sure you look at it first if you can't figure something out. And by Manuals I mostly mean the Motherboard Manual, and in particular, the first half that talks about things like features, installation precautions, hardware installation. It'll cover 80% of what you need and some best practices. It's very technical and dry in parts, and very, very intimidating, but it has many simplified drawings, diagrams and names for the components of the board you're working on. At the very least, look at the pictures and try to match it up with your board. It's no good when asking for help by googling or asking people, "that plug with 2 pins won't fit when I try to plug it into the white hole." But you'll get a far faster and better answer if you ask "That plug with 2 pins from the computer case won't fit into this SYS_FAN  hole" since you looked at the diagram in the manual and know how to call it, even if you have no idea what it does.

manual5.png.e8228ab0759e757c5df961025c944e0e.pngThe Manual usually have diagrams or pictures on how to install parts such as the CPUs, CPU fans, RAM, and expansion cards. It'll show you where all the pins are on your board, which one is +, which one is -. Definitely check out how other people do things online, though unless the Youtuber you are watching has the exact same board, he or she will not be able to offer you the same amount of information.

 

Another reason to at the very least glance through the manual is maybe there's a last minute firmware change that you need to download to enable fatures, like that RAID setup you planned, or perhaps the manufacturer added support for PCIe4 before the standard was finalized and you need to flash the UEFI to make it work with the final standard. Often these last minute changes are included in the manual since it's far easier to change a few pages in a booklet to say "BTW..." then admitting that the company screwed up and didn't finish a feature on time publicly. And it's sure easier to figure that out ahead of time when you're planning then when you're halfway through a build and realize that your planned build will not work. Chances are, 90% of your problems can be solved faster if you just look it up in the manual. A statement such as  "(Note) The M2B_SOCKET connector supports only PCIe SSDs" will probably give you a clue to not use that connector as a first choice to try installing things on, even if you don't understand exactly what it means.

 

manual1.png.f1f48add543112bb63c7ab0b9c7f31ff.pngNow there are certainly very well written manuals and very poorly written ones, although their quality have improved a lot in general. I'll admit freely that when I first started, I looked through a Motherboard Manual and it might as well be written in Martian, especially the part about configuring things in the BIOS/UEFI. It is very hard to understand at first, and probably not necessary for most people. But time after time, I have found that very often, the answer to questions that I may have spent countless hours googling or going through chatrooms and forums, is very often, right in that manual that came with the motherboard, and everytime I take a crack at that, I learn something. Hmm...perhaps for all the questions on the forum posts on builds, there should be a checkbox asking "Have you checked the manual" before the post can be created. :P

 

Manual4.jpg.75cd805adba1eedded534afb05008d02.jpg


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If you decide to use a thermal pad:

 

1. Make damn sure it is the same size as your CPU. Too small and you'll fry the CPU.

 

2. They're VERY slippery. Get a teeny-tiny mirror on a pole or something so you can check to confirm that the pad hasn't slipped out of position from placing the fan.

 

3. Carbon pads are electrically conductive. Do not mess with them near your motherboard unless the power is turned off and capacitors discharged (as best you can).


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