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Full-tower cases are designed to fit both Extended-ATX motherboards and standard full-size ATX motherboards. They usually measure around inches tall, inches long, and more than 8 inches wide. Lastly, you’ll need scissors for cutting zip ties and unpacking components. You will need a Phillips #2 screwdriver for just about everything. If you’re installing an M.2 device, you’ll also need a Phillips #0 screwdriver. The first thing you need to do to prepare is gather the tools you need to complete the build.

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Generally speaking, mid-tower is the most common case size. Their dimensions can vary quite a bit, but these cases usually measure around inches tall, inches long, and 6-8 inches wide.

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Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors. If you see the BIOS screen pop up on the monitor, that’s even better. Assuming your PC powers on, there are a few final steps to take. Before you do, you should see if your computer is working as intended. Plug in the system and attach a monitor and a keyboard, the bare essentials for seeing if the system will boot.

  • The manual supplied with the cabinet will have a diagram to show the points you need for your motherboard.
  • Even though you can have an engineer build the PC for you but given how awesome the experience you will have, it makes it worth the effort to build it yourself.
  • Plug in the HDD to motherboard using a SATA cable and connect it to the PSU using a SATA connector from PSU.
  • Screw your motherboard to the standoff using the screws that pair with the standoffs.
  • Put your motherboard on the standoffs and the holes in your motherboard should match the location of the standoff screws.

Preparing the materials below ahead of time goes a long way to ensure that the build process goes smoothly. To decide what components you want, you can either research each individual component or find a pre-made list online. Carefully consider what kind of case you want before choosing your components, as well as your budget. With the right preparation and instruction, anyone can build their own PC.

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Take your RAM sticks (you probably have two, or perhaps four if you’re going for a high-end X299 or X399 build) out of their packaging. Depending on your CPU cooler, it may already come with thermal paste applied, but if you want to use a different thermal paste, you should remove any pre-applied paste. The Kraken X62 comes with a circle of thermal paste already in place, and we’ve found it works fine. If you’re using a different cooler and need to apply paste, a small pea-sized blob in the center of the CPU works well. You can also use an ‘X’ or a line about the size of a grain of rice. In general, how you apply the thermal paste isn’t usually critical—use enough but not too much, and let the pressure from the heatsink or waterblock spread out the paste.

Then make sure the power switch on the back of the PSU is in the on position and press the case’s power button. Once you know where you’re putting the RAM, unlock the slots by pushing down on the hinged tabs on one or both ends.

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Orient your RAM so that the notch on the stick matches with the notch on the slot. Don’t worry about pressing too hard—it takes some pressure. The tabs will click into place when the sticks are fully inserted. One of the most common reasons a new PC won’t boot is that the RAM is unseated, so double check to make sure they’ve clicked in properly. If in any doubt, here’s the best RAM for gaming right now. This step is super easy, and it can be done now, much earlier in the build , or even later.