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Lesson 1: Overview of parts - build a computer video lessons

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In lesson 1 we'll go over all of the components of the computer and the tools needed to assemble them. Make sure you watch all of the build a computer video lessons before attempting to assemble your computer.

Let’s go over the components we’ll be installing.

First we have the drives. We’ll be installing a SATA solid state drive and a SATA hard drive with connections for data and power cables.

  • A SATA DVD recordable drive with connections for data and power cables.
  • 2 PCI Express 3.0 16x video card, a PCI wireless network card and a PCI Express 1x sound card
  • 2, 4GB DDR3 Ram sticks
  • Processor with heatsink and fan.
  • The motherboard.
  • The computers case.
  • The power supply.
  • An extra case cooling fan
  • Serial ATA data cables for the SSD, hard drive and DVD recordable drive
  • A power strip with surge protection

The tools we’ll need

  • A Phillips or plus screw driver
  • A flat head or minus screw driver
  • A power screw driver is optional
  • Needle nose pliers for getting into tight spaces or to retrieve dropped screws
  • And a parts container to hold the small screws while you’re working and to store extras

Using a Power Screw Driver

When using a power screw driver be careful not to over tighten the screws. It’s easy to strip the threads which can ruin the part. If you do strip the threads try using another screw with bigger threads in the hole.

To reduce the likelihood of this happening, hold the power driver very loosely, so when the screw is tight, the driver will slip in your hand. Under no circumstances use a power drill with a screw driver adapter.

Types of Screws

Inside the case you’ll find a bag of screws. You can use the parts container to separate the different sizes and types of screws to make finding them later a little easier.

There are two basic types of screws: screws with little threads and screws with big threads. The screws with little threads are used on DVD and Blu-ray drives. The screws with big threads are used on the motherboard, hard drives and add-on cards. There are exceptions, but the general rule is if a screw doesn’t fit in a hole, try the other kind of screw.

Front Panel Connections

There are several cables coming from the front panel that control the power and reset buttons and also light up the hard drive activity light.  Some cases also come with cables for a sleep button, power light and case speaker. There are USB and Audio cables coming from the front panel as well.  We will connect these cables to the motherboard in lesson 3.

In lesson 2 we’ll install the memory stick and processor onto the motherboard.

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$500 Computer

Tech Specs
Intel Pentium G2020 2.9GHz Dual Core
4GB DDR3 Memory
XFX Radeon HD 6670 1GB
1TB Hard Drive
24X DVD Burner
23" Widescreen Monitor

Go to Parts List

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"I just built my very first PC and I could not have done it without your tutorial.  I learned so much about what to do and not do, what to look for and what to avoid.
Your tutorial is very thorough, precise, detailed and easy to understand.
My PC is up and running very well and it is all thanks to your video. 

Check out the computer I built!
Thanks again!
Norman Lao

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