CNET How To - Build your own desktop computer

tablets and laptops can be great for

browsing the web and playing games on

the go but nothing will replace a

desktop computer for the ultimate gaming

experience you can walk into your local

Best Buy and purchase a computer from

companies like Dell HP and Lenovo for

around 300 bucks but if you want a truly

high-powered machine and aren't afraid

of getting your hands dirty

nothing beats building your own I'm dan

Graziano and today I'm going to teach

you how to build your own computer here

you have all your components the

motherboard CPU graphics card ram hard

drive DVD drive and power supply the

motherboard is the heart and soul of

your system it pumps commands to every

component while the central processing

unit acts to the brains the graphics

processing unit controls 2d and 3d

graphics RAM is your computer's memory

the hard drive stores all your files and

the power supply powers the entire thing

for a complete rundown these components

visit my three-part guide on building

your own computer now that you have the

basic understanding of each component

let's get started there are numerous

ways to build a computer but we're going

to opt for an external process take your

motherboard and place it on a non

conductive surface such as a wooden

table lift the LGA socket remove the

protective cover and gently place the

processor inside without applying any

pressure a large fan comes with the CPU

this is called a heatsink to attach it

simply find the power connector rotate

it accordingly and push down the pins

next pull back the clips on the RAM slot

and place your cards inside push down -

you hear click but make sure the RAM

cards aren't located next to each other

but rather in slots with the same color

set the motherboard aside for a little

as we move on to the case take the power

supply and line it up with the

corresponding screws sockets at the back

of the case and secure it in place

there are two types of power supplies

modular which has removable cords and

non modular with attached cords like so

which is why you want a modular model

next up is the motherboard line it up

and screw it into place


then pull back the PCI clips and click

the graphics card into place both the

hard drive and DVD drive slide into

place and can be secured with screws

once everything is installed it's time

to bring the system to life your power

supply will come with either 24 pin or

20+4 pin adapter this plugs into the


along with a four pin connector which

can be found near the CPU plug two of

the 6 pin PCI connectors into the back

of the graphics card each drive must

also be connected to a SATA power cord

with the smaller cord being plugged into

the motherboard and each fan must be

connected to a 4-pin molex adapter the

power button and LED light will either

be a 1 or 2 pin connector and they will

plug into the first 8 pin header on the


while the 8 pin front-facing ports plug

into their corresponding sockets close

the system up plug it in and if

everything is installed properly it

should power on once you hit the button

for a more in-depth guide on building

your own computer including detailed

steps for installing an operating system

be sure to check out my three-part

article on how to cnet.com for CNN I'm

dan Graziano