Building a computer from the ground up can seem very intimidation for most people. But it will be one of the most satisfying projects you can take on.

Building your own computer now is lot easier than 15 years ago. In the past it takes a realtechnician to configure and install a motherboard and CUP into a computer. Now, any one can do it as long as he/she doesn’t mind getting his/her hands dirty. Everything is pretty much plug and play. There no more jumpers or switches to set like the old days.

To build a good computer, however, you need to choose the right computer components. Among the first components that you should consider is the computer motherboard. The motherboard is usually referred to as the of the computer because it acts as a hub for all your internal components.



Motherboards are picky computer hardware that will only accept or work with
computer parts of a particular type and architecture. If you want to build a PC
that is solid and stable, you have to choose a good motherboard which can
support all of your desired computer components.

You will need to do some research to figure out the technologies and
components that a motherboard can support. You will need a motherboard with PCIe
slots for PCIe devices like video cards and sound cards. Your motherboard needs
to support SATA technology if you want to use SATA hard drives and optical
drives. Try to stay away from the older motherboards since they will not be able
to support the latest computer components.

Your motherboard also dictates the type of processor that you can use.
Motherboards can only accept either an AMD processor or an Intel processor, not
both. You will have to make a choice between an AMD machine and an Intel

Check out the number of USB ports that your motherboard can support too. Many
useful computer hardware are attached to the computer via USB ports. Some of
them include your printer or scanner, your mouse and your keyboard.



The processor acts as the brains of your computer. It executes your programs
and applications. You will need it to run your favorite software games and your
office application suite. If you are building a gaming computer, it is vital
that you get a fast and modern CPU.

It is not a wise ides to scrimp on cash when it comes to the CPU because your
computer’s abilities will greatly be hampered by a low-end processor. In the
interest of building a computer that can run efficiently, try to get the most
powerful processor that you can afford.

One of the things that you should weigh when choosing a CPU to purchase is
its clock speed, which is expressed in gigahertz. Anything above 3.0GHz is good.
A fast processor will allow you to run and load computer applications and
programs faster.

When building your own computer, you should also consider the number of
processing units that a CPU contains. Single-core CPU, which only contain one
processing unit, are basically slower than multi-core CPUs. If you can afford
them, get a multi-core CPU because these computer components are more energy
efficient than the single-core processors.

There are currently two multi-core processors are available: the dual-core
CPU which has two processing units and the quad-core CPU which has four
processing units. To take advantage of a multi-core processors’ faster
processing speed, however, you need to install software that have been specially
designed to run on these types of processors.

Most programs right now are unfortunately not designed to run on multi-core
CPUs. Accordingly, running these programs in a homebuilt computer with a
multi-core CPU will yield the same result as running the programs using a
single-core CPU. This will eventually change in the future as software
technology catches up with this advanced hardware technology.



When deciding on the amount of RAM for a computer that you are building from
scratch, always get as much as you can. RAM, or Random Access Memory, is very
useful for all computers especially for a high-performance machine such as a
gaming computer.

When running programs, computers have to access certain data frequently. The
computer stores these data in your RAM. More RAM means that your computer can
manage more applications.

If your RAM is full and your computer still needs instant access to a lot
data, it will store the excess data in your hard drive. This can create problems
because the data stored in the hard drive cannot be retrieved as fast as data in
the RAM. Thus, you will experience significant lags and loading times when you
are multi-tasking in a computer that low RAM.

RAM is measured in megabytes or gigabytes. You can buy RAM memory modules in
various storage capacities, including 256MB, 512MB, 1GB and 2GB. Your
motherboard dictates the number of memory modules that you can use. Motherboards
usually have only two slots for memory sticks. Modern motherboards can allow you
to use more than two RAM modules.

If you intend to use Windows Vista as your operating system, try to get at
least 2GB of RAM. Vista is a demanding program that will need a robust system.

Your motherboard also determines the type of RAM that you can use. There are
three types of RAM memory used in computers today: DDR, DDR2 and DDR3. DDR3 is a
relatively new technology so only the latest motherboards can support it.

So when building a computer, always get as much RAM as you can get your hands
on! More RAM will not only permit you to run several programs together, it will
also significantly increase the speed of your home built computer.


Video Card


To the uninformed consumer, buying a new graphics card can be a daunting
task. There are literally hundreds of different aspects to consider when buying
a new card, and we’ve composed this article to help you find the graphics card
that best suits your needs and your budget.

The first major thing to consider when purchasing a card is the type of chip
that you want. The main two companies that market graphics card chips are Nvidia
and ATI, and pretty much every graphics card available features a chip from one
of these two manufacturers. The chip of the card is of utmost importance;
different graphic cards with the same type of chip often feature similar
performance levels.

Next, you’re going to want to consider the amount of memory that your future
video card will have. The more RAM that is in a graphics card, the more it can
process, giving it more speed and smoother transitioning.

You’re also going to want to consider the possible multimedia applications of
your future card. TV-out is one type of feature incorporated into graphics card
that is commonly sought-after. TV-out compatible graphics cards allow you to
hook your computer up to your television, allowing for the viewing of movies and
other general purpose features shown on your TV screen. Another feature that is
gaining popularity in the graphics card world is dual-head support. Dual-head
support allows for you to use two separate monitors side-by-side with your
windows toolbar stretching across the two screens.

When it comes to spending money, you can get a sub-par graphics card for less
than $70. However, those who are looking for a decent graphics card that can
hold its own for a few years to come, you’re probably going to want to spend
around $200. Top-of-the-line graphics cards are available and are priced upwards
of $600. While the chips are cutting edge, they’re usually not too much more
noticeably efficient than those priced slightly lower. Performance will
increase, without a doubt, but you won’t see the same kind of effects as opposed
to buying a $300 chip over a $150 one.

Now that you know more about graphic cards, you can more easily find one to
suit your needs while sticking to your budget. Only buy the features that you
find necessary; you can spend a lot of extra money unnecessarily by being coaxed
in by bells and whistles.

Hard Drive


Making a more careful decision about the hard drive can mean a much longer
working life for the hard drive. Better reliability, allowing the hard drive to
run for many years without mechanical failures or the worst of all, losing your
precious data to errors on the drive.

Obviously the main thing that people think about when getting a new drive is
size. Although a 400GB drive sounds great, there are very few people who
actually use this much space. Only if you save DVD movies to your hard drive, or
if you do serious amounts of video editing will you need this much space. The
smallest size drives available today are about 40GB and will suffice for all
your needs. However if you want the latest technologies, bigger sizes are

Over the years the speed at which hard drives work has increased. One of the
main technologies to improve is the connection between the hard drive and the
rest of the computer. It passes the information back and forth from the hard
drive, the faster it is the faster information can be passed, and so speeding up
the programs you use and the files you use.

There are 2 main varieties for this connection:

The old IDE kind, which comes in 4 flavors: ATA33, ATA66, ATA100 and ATA133,
each number corresponding to the transfer rate in MB/s, the bigger the faster.
This type is pretty standard. If your computer is older, you may only be able to
use this kind, and depending how old will determine which speed.

SATA is a newer kind. It uses a different cable and allows much faster
information transfer. The slower kind is 150MB/s and the faster is 300MB/s, so
they are much faster than IDE.

A newer technology called Native Command Queuing (NCQ) speeds up how fast
things are found and done on the hard drive. Just briefly, it orders the read
and write commands given to it in such as way as to get the tasks done quicker
and with less delay.

Drives are most often separated by their size and this is a big factor in the
pricing of a drive. The smallest drives today are around 40GB, you can get a
little smaller, but no point really. The largest of 400GB will be enough for a
really long time.

The other thing that affects pricing is the rotation speed, which is the
speed at which the big disk spins inside the disk drive. The faster it spins the
faster information gets found. Look for rotation speeds of 7200RPM as standard
and 10000 for the fast end.

With all of this it may be hard to decide, but here are my suggestions.

For a main drive, which has your Windows and programs on it, go for something
faster, but bear in mind that even for me my ATA66 drive is fast enough for my
uses. But a faster one will speed up how fast your programs go. It might be a
good idea just to go for one big, fast drive.

Brand name drives are often worth getting, as manufacturers like Seagate,
Maxtor and Western Digital are well known for long lasting quality products,
which will not make any difference in the short term usually, but will pay off
with long life and reliability.

If you want or need two drives the second one can sacrifice speed for size,
as that’s what’s most often needed for a second drive, which usually stores all
your information.

You should now have enough to make a smart choice in your next hard drive
purchase. A good one can be kept for a very long time and minimize any hassles
in the future.



  1. Case
  2. Power
  3. Motherboard
  4. Processor(CPU)
  5. Cooling
  6. Video
    Card(onboard will work)
  7. Memory
  8. Hard
  9. Optical
  10. Thermal




  1. Philip
    screw driver
  2. Cable
    ties (optional)

Let’s get started.

Computer case:
Most older case will work for modern motherboards.  However, the power supply that’s in the older case may not
work for your motherboard since most newer motherboard uses a 24pin power
connector to supply power to the motherboard.

You will need to find one that fits your motherboard.
Another option is to buy an 20pin to 24pin adapter.

Power Supply: Any
power supply will do if you are just a basic system.
If you are planning on having multiple optical drives and hared drives
then you will need a better power supply that can handle the load. Check out the
end of this tutorial for what brand of power supply to get of stay away from.

Install the power if you case does not already have one

Motherboard: Choose
a motherboard with the most onboard options will save you a lot of money. Most
motherboard comes with onboard LAN, Audio. You should choose one that also
includes a video card.

Most motherboard comes user manual, driver disk, SATA
cable, and IO shield.

This one I chose has two video ports VGA and DVI. You can
connect and use two monitors to this board at the same time.

Different connectors and slots on the motherboard.

Fix the IO shield to fit your motherboard. This one I need
to open the DVI port and the audio jacks. Don’t panic, they are very easy to

Make sure the shield is facing right direction before
installing it. You can use a plat head screwdriver to push it in place.

Standoffs: Install
the standoffs according to the screw holes on your motherboard.

Plastic Standoff: You
might need one for the lower right corner of the board if your case does not
have a spot for a screw-on type.

Install the plastic standoff on the motherboard.

The easiest way to install the motherboard it to put it in
from an angle. Insert the ports through the IO shield then laid it down.

Align the screw holes and screw the motherboard down.
That’s it, the motherboard is now installed. You can connect the power supply
to the motherboard now or you can wait until later on.  Now, let’s move on to installing the CPU.

This is an AMD Athlon II x4 530 CPU. This one has 4 core
processors. It’s about 10 times faster than a Pentium 4 2.4ghz processor.

Processor(CPU): You
can buy processors in retail package or OEM/Tray version. Retail version comes
with cooling fan and 3yrs warranty. Tray version just the CPU itself and
warranty is between 30days to 1yr. Tray version usually cheaper but without the
fan and longer warranty.

Installing the CPU. You should read the motherboard manual
on how to install the CPU properly.  Align pin1 to pin1 on the motherboard.

Pull the lever away from the clip and lift it up

Gently insert the CPU into the socket. Do not force it or
you will bend the pins if it’s not aligned correctly.  Make sure pin1 is facing the correct corner. Check an make
sure the CPU is fully inserted into the socket before locking it in.

Once the CPU is seated all the way into the socket you can
now lower the lever to lock it in.

Cooling Fan: Installing
the cooling is easy. You hook on to one side of the bracket and the other side.
Once both side are in you then push the lever down to lock it in place.

Connect the 4pin fan to the motherboard. Notice that I have
already connected the power supply to the motherboard. Do so now if you have not
done it.

At this point it should look something like this.

Connect the 4pin CPU power connector to the motherboard.

Memory: There
are many different memory types. Refer to your motherboard for memory that fits
your motherboard. These are 240pin DDR2. Go to the end and read more about

Installing the memory modules: Press the latches outward on
both ends of the memory slot. Align the notch on the memory module with the
memory slot. Press down on the memory module near the edge to pop it in. Try one
side fist then the other. Wiggle it little bit if you have to.

Make sure all the pins art inserted into the slot.

Connecting the front panel LED and switches:
This board has color coded pins and also labeled on the board.
How to read it? For example, the two red pins at the end of the lower
row. Match that with the label on the motherboard and you’ll see it is labeled
RST or Reset. This is where you plug in the reset switch cable. On/Off will be
connected to the power switch. You get the picture.

Plug in the rest of the connectors from the front panel.

Now, you are ready to test the system to see if it works.
Connect the monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Turn it on, you will see the BIOS
screen if all the parts are install corrected correct and working.

Optical drive

Hard drive with SATA connection. This one take SATA power
and Molex connectors.

Insert the optical drive through the front panel.

Install the hard drive into the drive bay.

Use two screws to secure the drive from falling out.

SATA data cables

Connect the SATA cable to the motherboard. Start with

Connect the SATA data cable and Power to the hard drive and

Now, we are pretty much done with the hardware aspect of
this guide.

Install an OS and you are all done.
Wow! You just built yourself a computer from the ground up.




Good power supply brands(the ones that people know):




Enermax Liberty

Fortron (FSP Group)


PC Power & Cooling







The crappy ones:


Q-Tec(all over ebay)

Powmax & Diablotek(both made from Leadman)

Powerup(more like power down)




Just PC

any generic psu


Raidmax(cheap ones)



Turbo links (the ones that comes in the Aspire cases)




















The OK ones:


Cooler Master


Thermaltake (the cheapest ones,the costy ones are much better, but have weak +12

Aerocool (not bad at all)




epower/tagan(the tagan series)



Power Supplies that no one knows of, but are good:


Super Flower

In Win (power man series, made with fortron parts)

Sytrin Nextherm






Most motherboards have paired and color coded slots.
To enable dual channel you’ll need to install memory in pairs.

There are three types of memory currently available

DDR: 184pins

DDR2: 240pins (most popular right now. April 2010)

DDR3: 240pins

All these memory are about the same size but they have
notches in different places. Therefore you can not fit a DDR chip into a DDR2