How To Build A Computer

Hello and welcome to the DIY All Day guide on how to build a computer.

Let us start by saying: there is nothing more frustrating than trying to do something new with an incomplete set of instructions.  We at DIY All Day feel your pain.  Other guides are incomplete, outdated or worse—both.  That’s why when we set out to make our guide on how to build a computer we wanted to make it the best on the net.  It is our hope that with this guide that even someone with very little experience can get their parts ordered, assemble their system and handle any troubleshooting that may be required to get the system up and running.

We updated this guide periodically following any major hardware release.  Check the “Last Updated” date at the top of any article to see when it was last revised.

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Basics

1. What are the benefits of building your own computer?

2. What are the Parts of a Computer? [Get Parts Checklist]

3. What Type of System am I Building?

4. Buying Parts

Parts Selection

5. Selecting a Processor

6. Selecting a Motherboard

7. Selecting Memory (RAM)

8. Selecting a Hard Drive (HDD)

9. Selecting an Optical Drive [CD/DVD/BD]

10. Selecting a Case

11. Selecting a Video Card

12. Selecting a Wireless Card

13. Selecting a Power Supply

14. Selecting an Operating System

Common Builds

15. The Basic System

16. The Budget Gaming System

17. The High Performance Gaming System

Specialized Builds

18. Computer Enthusiast Setups

19. Home Theater PCs

20. Photo Editing/Graphic Design Workstations

21. Digital Audio Workstations

22. Digital Video Workstations

23. 3D Systems/3D Gaming

24. Multiple Monitors/Multiple Displays

Ordering

25. Before You Place Your Order

Assembly

26. Installing the Motherboard and Power Supply‏ [With Video!]

27. Installing the Optical Drive and HDD [With Video!]

28. Installing the Processor and RAM‏ [With Video!]

29. Installing the Video Card, Wireless Card, or Any Other Card [With Video!]

30. Hooking Everything Up [With Video!]

Software

31. Installing Windows 8  or (Windows 7 version here)

32 An Overview of the New Windows 8 UI (Windows 7 Tweaks article here)

33. Installing Drivers

34. Useful Freeware Programs

Troubleshooting (As Needed)

35. Troubleshooting any Display or Power Issues

36. Troubleshooting Drive Recognition Issues and Automatic Power Offs

37. Troubleshooting the Blue Screen of Death

Glossary

38. Glossary of Computer Terms