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You can view the first part here!

I actually look back on the process as being quite fun. After getting the requisite screwdrivers (hint: magnetic ones are awesome for those times you’ll drop screws in fiddly places…just saying, in case it ever happens) and some copper wire for grounding/earthing, we went forward. While I’m at it, you don’t actually need the wire. In the guide we were using in for building, we read that you can plug the wire into the power supply unit and plug socket, but don’t actually turn it on. Just make sure to touch the case before circuitry. So yeah, don’t say I didn’t help, because I totally just did.

The actual process is fairly simple. Everything is done in a logical order and most things either fit or they don’t. No forcing required. General observation of the inside of a case will allow you to work out where a lot of things go anyhow, before even needing a guide. You slot some things in, screw down others, plug some things in, put some things down into their position and then tighten. You do a lot of tightening. You then get to gawp at the ridiculous looking parts you’ve bought yourself.

Here’s another hint. Make sure that the pieces you get fit the case properly and that the motherboard and case actually take what it is you’ve got for it. In a related note, it came to fixing the separately bought fan to the heat sink that sits atop the processor. Now, the standard fixings that came with the heat-sink/fan combo were, and this is being polite here, a bit shit. After some time of both of us struggling to fix it, it stays precariously in place. Until later. Then, brain wave! Copper is a good conductor of stuff! I know this because I learnt it in a science lesson. So, armed with the power of knowledge, we took some of the copper wiring that I bought for grounding and fashioned them into fixings. Did they work? I’m peering at them now through a vent hole. Hello fixings!

Then we proceeded with the rest of the plugging of in. And it was plugged. And then we stopped in appreciation of our work; standing there on the ground before us sat a black box with all kinds of fantastical components inside that I’m reliably well read up on enough to inform you produces magic. So, software was installed and that was that. I went on my merry way, new gaming PC in tow, merrily installing and buying cheap sale-priced games from Steam. What a wonderful life. Of course, probably should’ve done this after exams, but hey ho.

It’s probably worth mentioning at this point that I shortly after went on to make a less powerful PC for my parents. The process was mostly the same, apart from cost and different fiddly things. This second time, where my friend who was the lead engineer was replaced with myself and the plucky assistant being my dad, a fan caused trouble in that I’d neglected to get one, not reading properly that the case I’d selected for my parents didn’t come with one, like mine. So there’s another hint; you should read things, because, yeah, reading’s well good.

And then while building it I cut my finger on the case and it started bleeding.

It came together relatively quickly though, even if it was spread out over a few days. What I was scared about was when I was attempting to install Windows and unlike my PC, the installation wasn’t automatic. I had to run a few sub-routines to access the main-frame of the mobo on the platform that would enable me to configure the installation of the file macro…wait, sorry, I’m not a CSI writer. You know that weird series of white-on-black text screens when you load up the PC?  Well if hit certain buttons at this point, you access the BIOS, which enables you to manually interact with the individual components of the PC. I thought it’d be really complicated, but it turns out some common sense guided me to the disc drive, which I then set as the primary installation device and after exiting out of BIOS, I was on my way to installing Windows.

That’s pretty much it, I suppose. It’s all very common sense. Yes, you need to know what you’re doing, but the problems are easily over-come by a bit of thinking about the logical. I actually had a lot of fun and have an itch now to build more. It doesn’t take long, its fun and…yes. That’s it.

In constructing the two PCs, I used the website Overclockers for the majority of parts. (Monitors and speakers are perhaps best found elsewhere. Don’t forget your operating system either!) There’s also a handy forum, which contains a great and simple guide on how to build your PC.

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