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Expert guide: build a PC in seven steps

Simple tips from motherboard to graphics and Blu-ray drive

Putting together an entire PC isn't as scary as it sounds - and it's well worth the hassle. We've put together a simple guide to assembling a PC in seven steps.

Steps 4 to 7

4. The graphics, sound and network cards come next. You'll need to fit your graphics card into a PCI Express slot, first removing the corresponding blanking plate on the side of the case. The ‘tail' of the card needs to line up with the screw holes on the side. Once the card is in place, secure it in place with the screws. The same principle applies to fitting the other internal media cards.

Things are slightly more complex if you're installing SLI or Crossfire dual graphics cards. Check the manual for these.

build your own pc

Step 4: Install the graphics card

5. We've chosen to install our hard-disk drive next. Simply ensure you slide it into its 3.5in bay the right way up before attaching its cables to the motherboard.

If you want to add multiple disks, you'll need to assign one as the master drive and the other(s) as slaves. To do this, adjust the ‘jumper' settings on the end of the drives. Jumpers are simply protruding prongs to one side of the drive connectors. Instructions for the necessary settings will be shown in your drive's manual.

6. Next, you'll probably want to fit the optical drive or drives. Blu-ray Disc drives have the same sort of chassis as a DVD or CD writer. These all slot into an available 3.5in bay. You may need to remove a panel from the front of the case to make your drives accessible. These clip into place and are easy to remove.

build your own pc

Step 6: Add an optical drive

7. The CPU is the largest of all the components in the PC. Check you've got it the right way round and that it's sufficiently powerful to provide a constant amount of power to the processor, graphics card and internal drives. It will come with more than enough cables and connectors for your needs. The FSP one we've used here is a 500W model with a 20+4 pin connection setup. This refers to the fact that there's a solid block of 20 pins, with a separate four-pin block next to it that plugs in to the motherboard.

Related articles:

PC Advisor's comprehensive PC-building masterclass.

Read PC Advisor's expert reviews of the latest components.

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