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Building A PC: Step By Step Guide

by A. Camballe - 11th Jun 2009
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Do you need a new computer? Is your old computer not quite cutting it anymore? Are you dissatisfied with the prices and selection of hardware when browsing prebuilt OEM systems? If so, then why not build your own computer? It is actually quite easy and is not as difficult as many make it out to be.

Today, DriverHeaven will show you just how easy building a computer really is... a few simple steps and some time is all it takes and you will gain the satisfaction of building your own PC and learning a lifelong skill in the process.

Getting Started
Before building a computer, you will first need to get all the components. To build a basic system tower, you will generally need at least nine components depending on your requirements.
  1. A processor and cooler (usually come as a set, however you can opt to purchase a better cooler separately, which we would generally recommend. Even the budget aftermarket coolers are far superior to the Intel or AMD reference models)
  2. A motherboard
  3. A set of system RAM
  4. A video card*
  5. A hard drive
  6. A sound card**
  7. An optical drive (CD/DVD drive)
  8. An OS (you would usually want windows)
  9. A power supply unit
  10. A computer case
*Not needed if the motherboard has an integrated graphics chipset, however if you want to game a standalone card will be needed.
**not necessary unless you have the equipment to utilise a high end audio processor

You will also need a Philips screwdriver for mounting the components
Extras you may find helpful:
  1. Zip ties
  2. Aftermarket thermal compound^
  3. Additional case fans
  4. Aftermarket CPU cooler
  5. Antistatic wrist strap
  6. A modular power supply unit
  7. 70% or purer Isopropyl alcohol (higher percentage is better)
^The cooler supplied with your CPU will have preapplied thermal compound but you may wish to replace it, or, if you have purchased an aftermarket cooler this may be a necessary step. Despite the surfaces of your CPU and heatsink base appearing perfectly smooth there will be microscopic imperfections in the surfaces invisible to the human eye. Air is not a conductor of heat so thermal compound is used to fill those tiny gaps.
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