How to build a computer

Building your own PC is the best way to earn geek cred -- here’s how to do it

You’re starting on page 2 of this, click here to start at the beginning.

Opening the case

Preparing the case is the easy part. The instructions should introduce you to the basic layout of your case, as well as offer up special instructions regarding component installation.

Lay the case in your work area and remove the side panel that provides access to the interior. For most cases, this means the left-side panel (as viewed from the front). Also remove anything that’s dangling inside the case, or if it’s attached, push it aside. Many cases have permanent internal wiring that can become a hassle later.

Before we start putting other parts together, we’re going to install the power supply, and then set the case aside for a few minutes.

The power supply

The first component to make its way into the case should be the power supply, or PSU as it’s more often called. Typically located at the rear of the case, usually in the bottom or top corner, the slot is easily located by searching for a square opening. This opening will have screw holes on at least two corners, and the PSU sits in it with a switch and female socket facing outward. Consult your case’s manual if you have trouble finding the proper location.

There are two main varieties of power supply: standard and modular (there’s a hybrid semi-modular type too, but we don’t need to worry about that for now). Modular PSUs have cables that detach from the main unit to avoid clutter. They’re ideal for smaller cases and neat freaks.

If you have a modular supply, it’s best to leave the cables out for now and run them as you install each additional component. If all the cables are permanently attached, carefully bundle them up so they’re hanging out the open side panel of the case, for now. This will keep them out of the way while we install the rest of the components.

Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Contemporary review

Tired of carrying around keys? Make keyless entry so easy that all you have to do is have your phone nearby to open the door. It’s a little pricey, but sleek lines and simple features make the Kwikset Kevo Contemporary a great choice for…
Mobile

Join the Apple club with our complete guide to switching from Android to iOS

If Android simply isn’t cutting it for you anymore, then you might be considering Apple’s warm embrace. Here’s how to make the switch from Android to iOS without losing your contacts, sleep, or hair!
Computing

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Computing

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though, our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.
Android

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…
Computing

Google is giving its G Suite web apps new touches of visual improvements

Your G Suite applications will soon have a different look. Several of the web apps are getting updated with subtle visual improvements inspired by Google's Material Design guidelines. 
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Computing

Hackers are scoring with ransomware that attacks its previous victims

Computer viruses are always evolving. In a new one, dubbed "Ryuk," hackers are targeting PCs with ransomware that scours an infected network in order to pinpoint and attack and enterprises with big money.
Computing

An update to Microsoft To-Do will help you keep up with your resolutions

If you're looking to stay productive in 2019, you might want to check out the freshly updated Microsoft To-Do app, now with additional integration with the Windows 10 Start Menu and more.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?
Computing

Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

Changes are on the way for two key features in Windows 10. A separation of Windows 10 search and Cortana will allow Microsoft to more often innovate on each of the features independently.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents with Adobe or a free option

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.
2 of 8