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PC assembly - Installing the motherboard


DEUSESFRITBR
January 2013
The motherboard

The motherboard is screwed into the casing. Small risers, called spacers or mounting screws, come with the motherboard and are used to keep a space between the motherboard and the case. These risers are plastic points which "clip" into to the case or into metal supports that have been screwed into place.


Building your PC:
Assembling and Installing the Motherboard

Introduction
In part 3 of this series on building your own PC you saw the various components that I'm going to use to build my PC (and you found out where I sourced those components and why). We're now into the interesting part of this entire process: actually building the PC. I usaully start with the motherboard as this contains most of the more sensitive componetns of the PC. As a result all the processes described below should be done on an anti-static mat or on a static free surface and you should wear an anti-static wrist strap.


Page Map
Installing the CPU Inserting the Motherboard
Installing the Heatsink and Fan Attaching the Power Supply
Installing the Memory Modules Conclusion
Preparing the Case


Installing the CPU and Cooling Fan


Installing the CPU

The CPU (shown left) is a pre-used item, so it has some thermal compound still on it. This is not an issue however, and more compound will be added during the next stages of the assembly process. You should also note the notch and the gold triangle on the bottom left hand side of the CPU. This marks the point where a single pin is missing on the chip's underside. This there as an aid to properly orienting the CPU in its housing on the motherboard. Indeed, because of this there is only one way that the chip can actually fit into the motherboard itself.


The CPU itself sits in the socket indicated by the arrow on the image of the motherboard presented on the left. This is a special type of socket called a ZIF (zero insertion force) socket.

The pins on the underside of the CPU are very fragile. As a result the ZIF socket incorporates a lever that's used to move two plates over one another. When open obvoious holes are visible and it's easy to drop the CPU into these holes. As the lever is pushed back down the two plates are brought together so that a tight grip is maintained on each pin of the CPU. This secures he CPU in place and provides for good electrical contact to each pin.

The image presented on the left shows an open zif socket with the locking lever raised up into the vertical position. If you look carefully at the image then you will see that two pins are missing from the upper left hand corner of the zif socket near the lever. This is the position that the notch and the golden triangle of the CPU should be aligned with.

Making sure that you're wearing your anti-static wrist strap and that it's hooked to an earth metallic object (such as a water pipe), lift the CPU and carefull align the notch with the lever and drop it into place. If your alignment is correct then the CPU should drop into place so that it aligns flush with the base of the ZIF socket.

The image on the left shows a CPU correctly inserted into the ZIF socket. The notch and gold triangle align with the socket's handle. You can also see that the CPU's base is flush with the ZIF socket itself. If your alignment is correct then the CPU will drop into place with no force applied. If you have to push the CPU down then you haven't oriented it correctly.

If you haven't positioned the CPU correctly simply raise it up from the ZIF socket, look for the missing pins and lign the notch or golden triangle (or golden dot) on the CPU with the missing pins. Once the CPU drops easily into place you're ready for the next stage of assembly.


Once the CPU is seated correctly in the ZIF socket you need to lock it in place. This is simply done by taking hold of the lever and pulling it down. Near the base of the downward arc you should feel some resistance as the two plates come together to grab the pins of the CPU. Pull he lever down past this point and house it securely in the plastic restraining pins. Your CPU should now be held securely in the socket.

Once the CPU is securely in place apply a little thermal compound to the centre of the CPU (I tend to use 'Arctic Silver' myself and a pea-sized drop is more than enough.


Adding the Heatsink and Fan

Now that the CPU has been securely added to the motherboard nd prepared it's time to add the thermal protection for the CPU: which effectively means a CPU and a fan. In my case the CPU and fan came as a single assembly (as on the left) and they are ment to be secured by two spring clips.

In actuality, addding he heatsing and fan assembly is simplicity itself. Simply lift it up and sit it securely on top of the CPU. Try not to jiggle it too much as you set it down though as this can cause too much smearing of the thermal compound.


Usually the heatsink itself is oblong rather than square so that it will only fit on top of the CPU in one of two ways. Even then you should make sure that the cable associated with the fan can easily reach to and be housed in the fan power connector on the motherboard. This is usually either on the outside of the motherboard (as in my case) or is situated on the inside of the motherboard across from the zif socket lever hinge.

Make sure, however, that you check where the power socket is before you put your heatsink down on top of your CPU otherwise you will smear the thermal compound all over the place (and it's a pain to clean up, believe me).

Assembling Your Computer

Now, since there are countless possible configurations for a new PC, there's just no way that I can address them all here. I'm going to keep it simple and stick with PC assembly basics. We'll only cover the components that are common to most modern home computers.
Not sure you have all the parts needed to assemble a computer? Check out an example parts list HERE.

Computer Assembly - How To Assemble A PC

Install The Motherboard Into The Computer Case

The motherboard is ready to be installed in the computer case. At this point, the processor, CPU cooler and memory modules have been installed onto the motherboard so it looks like this.

Remove the right-hand panel from the computer case and lay the computer case on its side. The motherboard will lay flat inside the case, resting on brass-colored mounting posts.

The Best How To Assemble A Computer Tutorial Of 2012 And 2013
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The Best How To Assemble A Computer Guide - A Simple Step By Step Illustrated Tutorial

"The Best How To Assemble A Computer Illustrated Tutorial Of 2012" is how some people describe this tutorial and after reading these easy step by step instructions on how to build a computer, you might feel the same way.

This illustrated tutorial will guide you step by step while you learn how to assemble a computer.

You will start by preparing your computer case, then this tutorial will guide you step-by-step while you assemble a computer all the way up to the point of powering up your computer for the first time.

How to Assemble a Computer Motherboard
By Larry Amon, eHow Contributor

Print this article

Motherboards are the heart of a computer.
A computer motherboard is the heart of any computer system. The motherboard is what connects everything together. The motherboard is one part and does not need to be assembled but the other parts of the computer must be assembled onto the motherboard. Motherboards can have a large variety of different connections type, so using the motherboard manual will be required if you are unfamiliar with or have trouble with a specific connection.
Other People Are Reading
What Are the Different Parts of a Motherboard? Types of Motherboards
Things You'll Need
Screwdriver
Pliers

Instructions
1
Screw the motherboard holders onto the matching holes on the computer case. Set the motherboard on top of the small metal holders. Screw the motherboard onto the holders through the matching holes in the motherboard.

2
Lift the processor bar and insert the processor in the matching square with the pins or pin holes that line up with the processor. There should be one corner on the chip and the motherboard area that is missing a pin and hole so that you know how to place the chip.

Sponsored Links Assembling your own PC is not hard. Modern computer systems are designed to be easy to fit together, and they are. Computer Motherboard Types
The motherboard is the soul of your computer. This is where the most important entity, your computer's processor, is embedded. All computer peripherals ultimately connect to the motherboard. Scroll below to learn which are the different types of computer motherboards.
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A computer motherboard is nothing but the circuit board or the circuit which controls the entire functioning of the computer. All the components that make up your computer are connected to the motherboard. The computer processor, which is the most important component of your computer, is mounted on the motherboard. All other components like the keyboard, monitor, mouse, hard drives, etc., are all connected to the motherboard through cables.
You can bench-test the CPU/memory/motherboard assembly outside the case to confirm that everything's working, before you get too many complicating factors like drives and extra cards. Although I didn't actually do that myself, it's certainly a good idea, so I'm faking it for illustration purposes. �: ) Most people will be using an add-in video card, so I'm covering that too.PC Building Best Practices: Hardware
By Marco Chiappetta, PCWorldJun 14, 2012 6:00 PMprintSINGLE
PAGE PC Assembly - Installing the processor

The beauty of PCs is that they are highly upgradeable. Swapping out your old motherboard for a new one, for example, is a feasible prospect for increasing performance without buying a whole new machine. If you're considering the process, though, there's a lot to bear in mind...
Martin Walker

There may be several dozen connectors on a modern motherboard, but as long as you install the board carefully and connect them up methodically you can provide your current PC with a new CPU and a huge boost in performance.Assembling a computer from components

This page is obsolete. I have a new page explaining how to build the 2006.01.07 standard workstation.
Assembling the 2005.05.14 standard workstation

The instructions below are for the 2004.10.10 standard workstation.
The 2005.05.14 standard workstation has the following changes:
Computer Assembling
Home Services Computer Assembling
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Forum Systems : Homebuilt Computer assembly service
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Our computer assembling services are of high optimum quality and are popular in the whole nation. Our computer assembling services are of the best quality and can be availed nowhere else. Our efficient team is highly skilled when it comes to pc assembling. We also provide our clients with the service of computer peripheral assembling.
The UATA hard drive (and cable) have been replaced by a SATA hard drive (cable included with the motherboard). Effects on assembly: the hard drive uses a different cable from the one shown below, and plugs into a different spot on the motherboard.
The Zalman fan has been replaced by a three-speed Antec fan with a 4-pin power connector. Effects on assembly: the fan plugs into main power instead of the motherboard; the power-supply fan plugs into the motherboard.Cenext Offers Custom PC Assembly Service
The new service enables customers to own their very own customized computer

This new service packages Cenext PC components together with assembly support and direction on the inner structure of PCs provided by engineers. It will be offered to individual of all ages to big corporate, regardless of technical skill level, to enjoy owning their very own customized computer.

The Custom PC Assembly Service is to provide customers comprehensive support services for all aspects of a PC's life cycle, from initial purchase to suggesting application environments, troubleshooting, and even for recycling and eventual replacement stages.

By offering participants the fundamental knowledge of a computer's internal construction, this service reduces customer anxiety during computer operation and explains correct usage techniques so that the computer can be fully utilized in an assured, convenient, and comfortable manner.
The video card and DVD-ROM drive are different. Effects on assembly: none, but slightly different pictures.
The 2005.08.23 standard workstation has more changes. There turns out to be a serious bug in the motherboard BIOS in the 2005.08.23 workstation, and fixing that bug requires the following extra steps once the computer has beeped:

On a working computer, download the file A8V-ASUS-0213.ROM from the Asus A8V download page. This file has MD5 checksum 9c44e207cb3e37a6dc797aa6e1b99f5e.
On a working computer, rename the file as A8VB.ROM and burn that file to a CD.
On the standard workstation, as soon as the initial boot screen appears, press Alt-F2 to enter the BIOS EZ Flash utility, and then insert the CD. The EZ Flash utility will read A8VB.ROM from CD, erase the system's BIOS, and copy A8VB.ROM to the system's BIOS; don't turn the computer off while this is happening!
After reboot, don't worry about the bad-checksum message; simply press F2 to continue.
Other changes in the 2005.08.23 standard workstation are not reflected here yet.
While buying a faster processor, more RAM, or a larger and faster hard drive can provide a useful boost to your PC's performance, there comes a time when more drastic action is needed. My Pentium III 1GHz machine has performed very reliably over the last two years, and has been able to do everything I've asked of it until recently. Its main failing for my purposes now is that while it can still run quite enough plug-ins and audio tracks, it's beginning to struggle when I ask it to play lots of soft synth notes (see 'The Right PC For The Job', SOS June 2003, for more details on how resources are consumed).

The sensible choice for me, as a reviewer, is to stick with Intel's Pentium range for maximum compatibility, and to upgrade to a Pentium 4 processor. Since Intel are pushing their latest 800MHz-buss models, and at the time of writing the 2.8GHz model is considerably cheaper than the 3GHz and 3.2GHz ones, this is the one I decided to buy. Having decided on a processor, I had two choices: buy or build a completely new PC, or replace the motherboard in my existing one.

With a new PC you could continue to use the old one alongside for running soft synths, but I've already got four PCs dotted around the house, and I'm running out of space! So I decided on the latter strategy, particularly since this means I can retain my existing Lian-Li PC60 aluminium case, Quiet PC power supply, hard drives, CD-R/W drive, floppy drive, and cables. Many of you will be facing a similar decision, so it may be useful for you to know how I managed.
DEUSESFRITBR
December 2012
The processor

The processor is the computer's key integrated circuit which performs the main calculations. Processors come in various formats which can be grouped into two families:

Socket processors
Slot processors
ZIF socket

When installing a processor of the ZIF Socket (Zero Insertion Force) type, make sure the small lever on the side of the socket is raised, then gently insert the processor, making sure the "alignment marking" on one corner of the processor lines up with the corresponding marking on the socket (consult your motherboard documentation for details).
We publish a plethora of PC build guides here at PCWorld. In the past few months alone, we’ve covered how to build a quiet, energy-efficient PC, how to assemble a powerhouse Sandy Bridge-E computer, and how to put together a compact gaming machine and a compact energy-efficient system. All of those articles follow a certain theme and deal with the component selection and performance levels of the systems.
This time around, we’re taking a different approach. In this piece, we’re going to look at system building from a nuts-and-bolts perspective and outline some of the most common problems that can arise when you're assembling a PC. While it is true that most computer components can be installed in only one way, or fit in only one type of slot, the process involves some subtle nuances that only experienced PC builders know to watch out for.

With that in mind, here are some of the issues that are most likely to crop up when you're installing processors, heatsinks and coolers, motherboards, memory, graphics cards, drives, and power supplies. Print this article out and post it near your work area to ensure that you always have access to basic PC building best practices.

PCI-Express (PCIe) is the current standard for video card interfaces. Here's what the edge connector for PCIe x16 video cards look like. One row of pins, and the connector area is a bit slimmer than PCI or AGP:


If you're building with old hardware that has an AGP video card, be aware that AGP cards have two rows of gold-plated contacts on their edge, unlike a PCI card that has just one row.
Why is it important to know the different computer motherboard types? Well, if you are planning to assemble a desktop computer, then this is the most important question that needs to be answered. Computer processors are motherboard specific and so are the computer cabinets. So it is very important that you know the different types of motherboards before you start with the assembly process.

Types of Computer Motherboards

There are different ways to classify motherboards, which are:

Classification Based on Assembly

Integrated Processors
Video, graphics, sound... such facilities involve components. Peripheral device slots, serial parallel ports and input output ports are other physical components or parts that are involved in the working of a computer. When such components are provided for by the motherboard, i.e. they are built into the motherboard, the motherboard is called integrated.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/computer-motherboard-types.html

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3
Push the RAM straight down into the memory slots until it clicks and the tabs pop out on each side of the slots.

4
Connect a hard drive cable from the hard drive connector on the motherboard to the hard drive. Push any cards, such as video or sound cards, into the card slots on the back of the motherboard and screw the cards onto the case.

Read more: How to Assemble a Computer Motherboard | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_6849918_assemble-computer-motherboard.html#ixzz2JoXh8ODb


Image by Big Joe

(This 2012 illustrated tutorial is written in a generic fashion that should cover a broad type of the most common computer builds. )

This shot is taken looking straight down into the case at the position in which the motherboard is to be installed. The orientation of the motherboard when it is inside the case is the same as the picture of the motherboard above. It's easy to see in the enlargement of the picture below that the case comes with four brass-colored mountings posts already installed. There are holes in the case for additional mounting posts, but not all of them are appropriate for all motherboards.

The motherboard is ready to be affixed to the case. This is done using fasteners that came with the computer case, shown in the picture below. What's needed are some, but not all, of the brass-colored mounting posts shown in the center of this picture, as well as some, but not all, of the mounting post screws shown in the lower-left of this picture. At this point, pair up screws that fit easily into a corresponding mounting post, including the four mounting posts pre-installed inside the case.
Step 1: Get Organized

-->> Step 2: Prepare your Computer Case
Make sure you have all of the major components ready--Check the Parts List

Gather all of your components and lay them out in an organized fashion.

Make sure you have the required tools handy:

Phillips screwdriver (#2)
Standard slot (flathead) screwdriver
Needle-nose pliers
Flashlight
5mm socket wrench or nut driver
Isopropyl or Ethyl Alcohol (90+ percent pure)
Wrist strap (for grounding)
You could also purchase a PC toolkit which contains most of the above items--to have on hand whenever needed.

Ro securely attach the heatsink and fan take the spring clips, hook one end int othe plastic housing on the motherboard (leftmost image). Once you've done this use a small flat-head screwdriver to lever the free end of the spring clip down and into the plastic holder on the other side. Repeat this on the other side of the heatsink and fan assembly. Once this is done the heatsink is now being pressed down firmly on top of the CPU, ensuring good thermal contact between them.

With this done, the CPU should now have been properly inserted into its housing.


After securing the heatsink and fan above the CPU the next stage is to clip the fan's power connector into the power socket on the motherboard. This is normally a three-pin connector (as shown on the left) and in general is to the right of the CPU housing on the outside of the motherboard. The power plug will only fit into this socket in one orientation so it should be an easy matter to marry the two together. Once this is done you have successfully completed the installation of the CPU.
Once the motherboard is aligned on the risers, and the inputs and outputs are aligned with the holes in the case the motherboard should then be screwed into place at the bottom of the case.

The motherboard is then connected to the PC power supply. Inside the case a 12 or 24 pin female plug-in connector (or 2 x 6 pin connectors) comes out of the power supply. This connector should be plugged into the matching socket connector on the motherboard (see manual), make sure that the 4 central wires are black (ground).

After that, several other components must be connected to the mother board. The row of pins on the motherboard is used to wire the front panel on the case (pc speaker, power button, light indicators, etc.).

We recommend referring to the motherboard manual to find where they go, even if the names are marked on the board (SPK-speaker, etc.). Here is a non-exhaustive list of components: