Tools You'll Need

Tools_01

SCREW DRIVER

Tools_02

ZIP TIES

Tools_03

NON-CONDUCTIVE SURFACE

(SUCH AS WOOD OR CARDBOARD)

Tools_04

WIRE CLIPPER

Planning Your Build

Step 1

PCPartPicker Tool

PCPartPicker_logoSurprisingly, the hardest part about building a computer is deciding which parts to use and purchase. Luckily, there are several great resources out there to make things easier for you. PCPartpicker.com is our favorite.
HTBAPC-02

Choose Parts

HTBAPC-03

Choose Parts

PCPartpicker allows you to create a “virtual” version of your build with easy to follow information such as price comparisons, required parts, compatibility, and important specifications.

Save, Share, Buy

HTBAPC-04

Save, Share, Buy 

When you’re finished selecting your parts, you can view a summary with the total cost. This summary is easily sharable via the PCPartpicker Partlist URL. Share your build with your friends or the helpful community at reddit.com/r/buildapc for advice and recommendations.

Motherboard Installation

Step 2

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I/O Shield
I/O SHIELD
Motherboard
MOTHERBOARD
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I/O Shield Installation
I/O Shield Installation

Remove the rear I/O shield from the motherboard packaging. Find the proper orientation and install it into the back of the computer case. Place the motherboard inside the case as reference to ensure the I/O shield is correctly installed.

Motherboard Installation
Motherboard Installation

Carefully place the motherboard inside the case, pushing gently against the I/O shield. Double check to make sure the ports are accessible through the I/O shield and begin screwing the motherboard in using the screws provided with the computer case. There will typically be 4-9 screw holes present depending on the size of your motherboard.

NZXT How to build a PC, Motherboard Installation

CPU & CPU Cooler Installation

Step 3

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CPU
CPU
Stock Air Cooler
STOCK AIR COOLER
After Market Air Cooler
AFTER MARKET AIR COOLER
All-in-One Liquid Cooler
ALL-IN-ONE LIQUID COOLER
All-in-One Liquid Cooler
CUSTOM LIQUID COOLING LOOP
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CPU Installation

CPU Installation
CPU Installation
Step 1 of 1

Remove the CPU slot cover on the motherboard and open the tension lever to access the socket. Carefully place the CPU into the socket using the grooves and arrow on the CPU to identify the proper orientation. Be careful not to touch or bend the pins located in the socket. Once the CPU is installed, lock it into place using the tension lever.

CPU Cooler Installation: Step 1 to 4

CPU Cooler Installation Step 1
CPU Cooler Installation
Step 1 of 5

There’re several options out there to choose for CPU cooling (listed above). Our preferred method is the all-in-one liquid cooler which offers the best bang for your buck. (instructions below)

 

Prepare the backplate according to the instructions of your CPU cooler. For example, positioning the sliders into the proper position based on your motherboard socket.

 

Attach the backplate to the rear of the motherboard using the four holes located around the CPU socket.

CPU Cooler Installation Step 2
CPU Cooler Installation
Step 2 of 5

From the front side of the motherboard, install the standoffs onto the backplate to secure it into place.

CPU Cooler Installation Step 3
CPU Cooler Installation
Step 3 of 5

Make sure the cooling plate on the pump has thermal paste installed. (It should come pre-installed if it’s a brand new cooler) Align the pump onto the standoffs and use the provided thumbscrews to secure the pump to the motherboard.

CPU Cooler Installation Step 4
CPU Cooler Installation
Step 4 of 5

Install the fan or fans onto the radiator (sticker end facing the direction you want air to blow) using the 28mm fan screws included with the cooler. Optimal fan orientation varies depending on your situation. We prefer to have the fans exhaust air through the radiator and out of the case.

CPU Cooler Installation: Step 5 & 6

CPU Cooler Installation Step 5
CPU Cooler Installation
Step 5 of 5

Position the radiator into the case and use the supplied screws to mount it. Use the shorter screws for a single set of fans (push or pull) or use the longer screws for a double set of fans (push and pull).

CPU Cooler Installation Step 6
CPU Cooler Installation
Additional Information

The final step is to attach all of the cables such as the fans, USB header and SATA power. We like to hold off at this step and install all of our cables at the same time. (See Step 8).

NZXT How to build a PC, CPU & CPU Cooler Installation

Memory Installation

Step 4

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Memory Card
MEMORY
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Memory RAM Installation Step 1
Memory Installation
Step 1 of 2

Release the clips located on the sides of the memory (RAM) slots.

Memory RAM Installation Step 2
Memory Installation
Step 2 of 2

Using the grooves located on the memory module, position the memory into the proper orientation and gently press it into the slot. The clips should automatically lock the memory into place once enough pressure is applied.

 

HINT: Keep in mind that the proper slot or slots to use vary depending on the number of modules you will install. Consult the motherboard manual for the proper configuration.

NZXT How to build a PC, Memory Installation

Graphics Card Installation

Step 5

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Graphics Card
GRAPHICS CARD
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Graphics Card Installation Step 1
Graphics Card Installation
Step 1 of 2

Consult the motherboard manual to locate the appropriate PCI slot for the graphics card. (Typically the one closest to the CPU) Remove the corresponding expansion slot cover on the back side of case.

 

If necessary, release the clip on the end of the PCI slot. Carefully align the graphics card and gently push it into the slot. The clip on the PCI slot will automatically lock once enough pressure is applied.

Graphics Card Installation Step 2
Graphics Card Installation
Step 2 of 2

Secure the graphics card to the case using the screws from the expansion slot cover. Ensure that it is properly seated and that all of the gold pins on the board are not exposed.

NZXT How to build a PC, Graphics Card Installation

Storage Installation

Step 6

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Hard Drive
HARD DRIVE
Solid State Drive
SOLID STATE DRIVE
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Storage  Installation Step 1
Storage Installation
Step 1 of 2

Remove the 3.5” hard drive tray from the side of the case and attach the hard drive disk (HDD) to the tray. Re-attach the tray to the case.

Storage Installation Step 2
Storage Installation
Step 2 of 2

Remove SSD tray from the case. Secure the SSD to the tray using the four screw holes located on the backside. Return the tray back to the case and screw into place.

Storage Installation Cables
Storage Installation
Additional Information

Finally, we connect the SATA data and power cables. We usually save this step and connect all cables at once. (See Step 8).

NZXT How to build a PC, Storage Installation

Accessories Installation

Step 7

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Sentry 3 Controller
SENTRY 3
Stock Air Cooler
APERTURE M CARD READER
Hue
HUE
Grid+
GRID+
Optical Disk Drive
OPTICAL DISK DRIVE
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Optical Bay Accessory Installation

Accessories Installation Step 1
Accessories Installation
Step 1 of 4

Remove cover from optical drive bay

Accessories Installation Step 2
Accessories Installation
Step 2 of 4

Place the 5.25” accessory into the optical drive bay.

Accessories Installation Step 3
Accessories Installation
Step 3 of 4

Use the tool-less latch system to easily lock the 5.25” accessory into place.

 

Hint: Insert accessory from the front or back depending on your case

Accessories Installation Step 4
Accessories Installation
Step 4 of 4

Connect the cables. Connect any cables such as USB headers, SATA data, SATA or MOLEX power. We typically reserve this step to connect all cables at the same time.(See Step 8).

Internal Accessory Installation

Grid+ Installation Step 1
GRID+ Installation
Step 1 of 2

For a discreet accessory such as the GRID+, use the included adhesive to mount the device in a hidden location.

 

The Grid+ can be installed almost anywhere inside the case. We like to install it in an empty hard drive tray that is hidden from view.

Grid+ Installation Step 2
GRID+ Installation
Step 2 of 2

Connect any appropriate cables such as FAN cables, USB headers and MOLEX power.(See Step 8).

NZXT How to build a PC, Accessories Installation

Power Supply Installation

Step 8

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Modular Power Supply
MODULAR POWER SUPPLY
Semi-Modular Power Supply
SEMI-MODULAR POWER SUPPLY
Non-Modular Power Supply
NON-MODULAR POWER SUPPLY
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Power Supply Installation Step 1 to 4

Power Supply Installation Step 1
Power Supply Installation
Step 1 of 9

Place the power supply into the case and secure it using the four power supply screws provided with your case.

 

Hint: Slide in power supply from back of the case.

Power Supply Installation Step 2
Power Supply Installation
Step 2 of 9

Connect your power supply cables beginning with the 24-Pin Motherboard connector.

Power Supply Installation Step 3
Power Supply Installation
Step 3 of 9

Next, connect the 8-Pin CPU/ Motherboard cable. Some motherboards will only require a 4-Pin connector.

Power Supply Installation Step 4
Power Supply Installation
Step 4 of 9

Next, connect the 6 or 8-Pin PCI power cable to your video card. Some video cards do not require additional power from the power supply. Some video cards will require two 6 or 8-Pin PCI power cables.

Power Supply Installation Step 5 to 9

Power Supply Installation Step 5
Connecting Storage
Step 5 of 9

Next, connect your storage or disk device such as your HDD, SSD, or DVD Drive. Connect the SATA data cables that were included with your motherboard. Connect one end to the hard drive or disk drive and the other end into the appropriate SATA slot on your motherboard. Consult the manual for additional instructions on which slot to use.

Power Supply Installation Step 6
Connecting Storage
Step 6 of 9

Connect the SATA power cable from the power supply to the drives.

Power Supply Installation Step 7
Grid+ Installation
Step 7 of 9

Connect any USB headers from your accessories such as the GRID+ or Aperture M Card Reader.

Power Supply Installation Step 8
Grid+ Installation
Step 8 of 9

Connect the SATA or MOLEX power for any of your accessories or coolers such as the SATA power connector in the Kraken™ liquid cooler.

Power Supply Installation Step 9
Connect Case Front Panel
Step 9 of 9

Connect the USB 3.0 connector to enable the USB 3.0 slots on the outside of your case. (If there are any)

 

Connect the HD Audio and USB headers to enable the USB 2.0 and Headset / Mic ports on the outside of your case.

 

Connect the Power SW, Reset SW and LED indicator headers into the motherboard to enable the activity LEDs and power / reset buttons on your case.

NZXT How to build a PC, Power Supply Installation

Cable Management

Step 9

Cable Management Step 1
Cable Management
Step 1 of 4

Pull any excess cabling through the rubber grommets to ensure the PC is nice and clean from the front. Organize the remaining bundles of cables and begin zip tying them to the case using the zip-tie points.

Cable Management Step 2
Cable Management
Step 2 of 4

Arrange your cables into a group without overlapping or tangling them. Zip tie them together to the back of the case to create a neat and slim profile.

Cable Management Step 1
Cable Management
Step 3 of 4

Gather excess cabling together and tuck them away in an empty space such as an unused hard drive mount in front of the power supply.

Cable Management Step 2
Cable Management
Step 4 of 4

Continue arranging cables and zip tying them to the case until you are happy with your result. Close the side panel and make sure any excess cables are out of view from the front of the case.

NZXT How to build a PC, Cable Management

Final Overview

Step 10

Final Overview Step 2
Final Overview
Step 2 of 6

Check to make sure BOTH 24-pin motherboard power and 8-pin (or 4-pin) CPU power are plugged in.

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Final Overview Step 3
Final Overview
Step 3 of 6

Check to make sure power and reset buttons are properly connected (consult motherboard manual to make sure they are in their proper places.)

Final Overview Step 4
Final Overview
Step 4 of 6

Ensure all components that are plugged into the motherboard are connected and secure: CPU, Memory, Video Card, etc.

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Final Overview Step 5 & 6

Final Overview Step 5
Final Overview
Step 5 of 6

Ensure all cable connections are plugged in and snug. Check to see if there are any loose cables that didn't get plugged in. (Such as a USB connector or SATA accessory power connector)

Final Overview Step 6
Final Overview
Step 6 of 6

Now you can turn on the computer and install the operating system!

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NZXT How to build a PC, Final Overview

Learn More

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