Who said build your own DIY PC is difficult. It’s not that hard if you try it by yourself. This article is dedicated to you guys who want to build your own PC. It is not a guide, it is me, sharing the experience.
In any way, I hope it can be your reference and could help you more confident to do it yourself. Whether you want to build it for gaming, casual home/office use or for Hackintosh maybe?
Trust me, you can do it, and is not that hard like you think. So, let’s get started all the basic stuff that you need. We start with the list of the hardware you need to choose along with an explanation.
List of hardware you need to build your own DIY PC
To build your own custom build PC, the first thing you’ll need to consider most is the Mainboard/Motherboard and the CPU/Processor.
Because these two-part have a ‘pair’ connection one and another that cannot be separated. So, we start with it …
1. Choosing the Motherboard, CPU plus CPU Cooling Fan
It can vary, depend on the budget you have and what kind of spec you want to build your DIY PC.
For example, if you want to build the lowest spec, you can choose Motherboard with a type, for example G31TM-P21 LGA 775 by MSi and pair it with the supported processor like Core2 Duo. The max supported proc for G31 LGA 775 is Core 2 Quad.
And for more high spec like H61M-P31, the max supported processor is Core i 7. And so on.
Usually, every brand has the list of the supported processor for its Motherboard product on their website. So make sure to check the list first before you buy it.
Important! Buy the CPU along with the Cooling system (FAN) and also don’t forget to buy the Thermal Paste too. Usually, some of the sellers sell it in one package.
Make sure to bought RAM (Random Acces Memory) that also pair with the motherboard series.
For example, if your mobo is required DDR 2 RAM then use DDR 2. If the mobo required DDR 3 then use DDR 3 RAM and so on.
Any brand is okay, just choose the best you can afford. The better the RAM is the more longevity of the RAM you have then.
Next, you’ll need the hard disk to run the Operating System. You can use the native IDE HDD or SATA HDD.
Most of the motherboard still support the native HDD.
But if you have a budget, is better use the new generation of SATA disk which is SSD Drive. It is faster and better. You also may need DVD Drive as well. It can come in native HDD or SATA models.
4.Power Supply Unit (PSU)
For the Power Supply, choose the best you can afford. Usually, it comes in one package with a computer case. If you want to use custom PSU other than the built-in case PSU. Buy the PSU that supports the newest Motherboard model.
It can be always useful if someday you need to upgrade your mobo and other hardware that required more cable for power, so you don’t need to buy it again. The more the cable port the more you can install hardware like HDD/SSD to your PC.
Again, choose the case that suit with your need and spec. Like has been explained before on the PSU section, that the PC case comes with the built-in PSU. So, make sure to choose one that has a good PSU on it.
The price of PC Case very vary. From the lowest one to the most expensive far from what you imagine. Just choose wisely.
6.Cable, Accessories & Others
To connect one hardware to another you’ll need some basic cable and accessories.
You will need:
- A VGA cable (DVI or HDMI cable if you use external GPU)
- HDD cable (to connect native HDD to Motherboard)
- SATA cable (to connect SATA disk to Motherboard)
- External Graphic Card/GPU (Optional if you want a better visual experience. Useful for gamming, Video editing and all things that need high video graphics performance)
- Mouse and Keyboard (the most used weapon :D)
- OS Installer (it could be in CD/DVD or USB stick format. And the OS can be Windows, Linux or even macOS as a Hackintosh)
Of course, you’ll need a PC Monitor for the display. Choose one that suits your needs and budget too.
Below is the example of an affordable but good PC Monitor by Acer from Amazon.com.
Build it up
Once you have all the things you need, is time to build it up. Here I will use my old motherboard from the past as an example.
Basically, you’ll get the manual book on how to connect all hardware to the Mainboard. But here, I’ll try to explain it along with the screenshot. So, you’ll get the idea.
Install the CPU/Processor to the Motherboard
To install the CPU to Motherboard, find the CPU socket on the Mobo you have. Then open the socket lock by pressing the lock, down gently. And drag aside a bit so the socket will open.
To place the CPU there, put the CPU in the socket matched with the socket dot line. Don’t put it upside down. See the screenshot for example.
When everything is done right, push the CPU gently and lock the socket. Next, install the CPU cooling fan. You will need to apply the thermal paste to the back FAN cooler shink. This is necessary for the FAN cooling system to work properly.
Again, do it gently. Don’t forget to plug the fan cable to the fan power socket. Find for socket pin with initial CPU_FAN or something similar.
Before put Motherboard to the computer case
Once the CPU and its cooling system installed properly in the motherboard. Now it’s time to install the motherboard into the case.
But! before doing that, install the HDD and SATA cable connector. See screenshot.
And ya! the RAM should be installed first to make the work easier later.
Also, if you are using external GPU, put it on the socket first. It will also make all the work easier later.
Installing the Motherboard
Then, install the mobo to the case. Most of the motherboard has the same screw hole pattern to attach it to the computer case.
So, just find the screw hole and screw it properly (Not too tight or too loose) into the PC case. Look at the example below.
Installing front Power/Reset button, USB, Audio, etc cable/pin to its panel
Plug all the necessary cable/pin for Front PC Power to its socket. Just find the pin socket with code similar to F_PANEL. Then, plug the PWR_LED, HDD_LED, PWR_SW and RESET to its own independent socket pin.
Important! pay attention to the + and – for each pin. Please see the screenshot.
Also, plug all Audio, USB, etc to the socket on the mainboard. Here is the example of the front USB socket PIN.
The name usually uses F_ to initiate. F_USB fro Front USB and F_AUDIO for Front Audio.
It may differ from other manufacturers but the point is the same. You’ve got the idea.
And it actually easy cause all has been written there. You just need to find its socket spot.
Now, put all the HDD/SSD and the DVD drive to the Drive Bay in your PC Case. Screw it properly, not too tight but make sure it will sit properly and not shaking and make noise later when the PC is turned on.
Next, if you using an ATA. Plug the ATA/IDE cable connector from the mobo to the HDD. And also plug the power pin from the PSU.
This is why I advise plugging the ATA cable connector to the mobo beforehand so in this section you’ll get the work more easy.
Note! that the SATA and native HDD power PIN cable is different. See the picture below for SATA based drive cable pin.
Plug all the misc (Keyboard, Mouse, etc) and TEST IT OUT!
This is the most fun time. Time to test it out! plug the mouse and the Keyboard to its port. For PS2 mouse and keyboard, usually, the mouse port is colored green and purple is for keyboard. See screenshot.
If you already have a PC Speaker/Headphone also plug it to its port. Usually, for rear audio is colored green. But don’t turn it on yet, it’s optional for testing audio later.
If you are using a USB mouse and keyboard then simply just plug them to the USB port.
Last but not least, plug the Power cable to the PSU power cable port. Then plug it to the electric power source. And turn the PC on by pushing front the PC power button.
Don’t worry if you do it right, it won’t blow up. If you are doing wrong it may just won’t turn on that’s all. Just make sure there is no electrical shortcut.
If everything is done right, it should turn on for the first time and the PC will scan all of the drives and all active hardware. And it will bring you to the BIOS setting.
The BIOS setting
The example here is just a reference only since different Motherboard has a different user interface. But you got the idea.
The first thing first is to set the CMOS of your PC BIOS to get the Clock right. To do it, in BIOS setting go to CMOS Features. And then set the Date and clock to the present time. See the screenshot below for an example.
The second is to set the position of all the installed drives. Put the DVD drive on the 1st position (for installing OS from DVD) and put the drive you want the OS installed on the 2nd position. And all the “Slave drive” after and so on.
Also if available, make sure in the Boot From Other Device option is set to Yes. You always can change it later when you have OS installed on your PC. To do it, go to Advanced BIOS Features > Boot squance. See screenshot.
Next, put the DVD OS installation to the DVD drive. And then Save the settings and exit the BIOS. The PC will restart and you can install the OS to it.
Just follow the OS installation instruction and you just fine. If you need references for what’s going on in the OS (Windows) installation process you can check on our article that can be your references. Check here: https://digimanx.com/how-to-test-windows-10-with-virtualbox/
Optional, if you want to install the OS from the USB drive installer, then put the USB Installer in the 1st position in the BIOS settings section.
And that’s it! yeah, it is. It should as easy as it sounds if you follow the tutorial carefully. Believe me, is not that hard if you were willing to spend your time to build your own DIY PC. You can do it yourself bro 🙂
You know that build a DIY PC gives us more choices than if buy already made PC. And yeah, you can calculate the budget to spend on it. So it could save money too.
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