Answer Best answer as chosen by user silence11
Get All Your Ducks in a Row
Since you've already selected all your components (that's usually the hardest part), I assume you're asking for help with assembly. It's easier than you might think. Everything on the case and motherboard is labeled, and nearly everything else is straightforward and only attaches in a single, unique way.
You don't even need many tools. A set of precision screwdrivers and a precision wrench driver and sockets are just about all you need (and the appropriate wrench sockets and driver are usually included with the motherboard, and the screwdrivers will mainly be used on the CPU cooler and to wriggle something you dropped out of the tight little crevasse it fell into).
You may also want some 91% isopropyl ("rubbing") alcohol and some lint-free microfiber cloths. This is to remove any excess CPU thermal paste. And get an anti-static bracelet and clip and use it during assembly. Clip it to the case.
An unexpected thing is the amount of force that needs to be applied when clamping the processor down into the socket with that little lever. Definitely make absolutely certain that it is properly seated in the socket, but you really have to apply considerable force, way more than you might expect if you've never done it before, to lock it down.
The trickiest parts are attaching the CPU cooler to the motherboard and chip with the little thermal paste and the various little bitty screws and mounting bracket - you can find lots of instructions online.
All those little wires from the case may seem confusing, but they really aren't. They're all labeled, as are the sockets in the motherboard. Just do one at a time. Make sure you attach all the fan connectors properly - that was the only semi-confusing part.
The connectors from the power supply to various components seem only to fit where they are supposed to go. Match the SATA connections on the motherboard -- different speeds are different colors -- to the appropriate drives; faster to faster. Remember, TWO connectors from the power supply plug into most video cards.
Work with both the right (bottom) and left (top) case covers off.The order that worked for me was:
1. Attach the motherboard to the case.
2. Insert the CPU into the socket and clamp it down.
3. Apply the cooling paste and attach the CPU cooler. At this time connect the CPU cooler fan wires.
4. Insert the RAM into the slots.
5. Install the physical disk drives into their various "holders" (some go right in, some have rails you need to attach, some have little drawers; modern cases usually have little drawers for both sizes -- HDDs are usually 3.5"; SSDs usually 2.5").
6. Install the optical drives in their appropriate locations. Note that possibly for #5 certainly for #6 you may need to remove cosmetic front panel covers from the case.
7. Install any other card you may like into the appropriate motherboard slots.
8. Install the power supply.
9. Now you're ready to connect all the wires. Billions and billions of wires (a slight exaggeration, but only slight).
a. Connect all the various fans except any that might be in the removable case panel.
b. Connect the SATA connections for your various drives, again fastest to fastest. Take care; some motherboards have a fast SATA controller (in addition to the others) that cannot be used for your system disk. See your motherboard manual and make sure to plug your SSD into the fastest SATA socket that is appropriate for the system disk.
c. Connect the power supply plugs to all the places they go, routing them to provide the neatest results (some cases provide pathways out of the way), making sure that they don't interfere with cooling or any of the empty slots. Make sure the plugs are COMPLETELY seated in the sockets. Many have positive snaps. There will be a number of plugs left over.
d. Connect all the front panel connections, including the power switch, little LED lights, and all the rest appropriately. Thank your lucky stars here that labeling of these things is largely standardized between the case and motherboard manufacturers.
Now you're ready to put the covers on. Do the right (bottom) one first. Then do the left (top access panel), making sure to attach any fan connector if necessary.
Now you're ready to attach the keyboard, mouse and monitor, attach the power cord and plug it into your UPS (you DO have a UPS, right? If not, get one FIRST), throw the switch on the power supply, and then, for the first time, hit the power button and crank that sucker up! You would be absolutely AMAZED how good you will feel when that light comes on, those disks start to spin, and the motherboard splash screen appears on your monitor, just as it should.
You'll see the BIOS configuration screen. Make sure in the BIOS configuration that you are booting from CD first and your SSD second, and that it sees all your drives. Throw your O/S distribution disk in the boot CD drive, and then shut it down and start it back up to install the O/S onto the SSD. Any tweaking, overclocking, disk partitioning and whatnot can be done after the O/S is installed.
This sounds like a lot and like it's really complicated and confusing, but it actually isn't nearly as bad as you might fear, and it all goes a LOT faster than you would imagine -- maybe an hour, certainly less than two. Believe me, I am as clumsy an oaf as walks this earth, and mine have invariably worked right from the git-go.
And it feels GOOD!
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