Tweak3D - Your Freakin' Tweakin' Source!
How to Build a Computer [Part 2 of 3] (Page 1/4)

Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Posted: February 17, 2000
Click here for Part 1 of this guide

Click here for Part 2 of this guide

Click here for Part 3 of this guide

Installing your Motherboard

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! (wicked evil grin) Some people say that the CPU is the heart of the computer - and that may be so, but if it is, then the motherboard is the spinal cord. A good, solid motherboard can mean the difference between an average system and a power rig. And installing it properly can make or break a system.

So what constitutes a proper install of a motherboard? Well, here's a rundown on the basics:

- Don't skimp on screws. Big system builders may only use 3 or 4 of the board connectors, but that's not an excuse for you not to take the time and use all of them.
- Don't be in a hurry or rough with your board - I know from personal experience, taking your time has its own rewards.
- When attaching your cables, processor, etc, don't be afraid to use a little bit of pressure to get them in. But you still need to be careful not to warp the board (this happens if you don't attach it properly or if you simply apply too much pressure), because that can break the tiny connections within the PCB.

Now that I've gone through all of that hoopla, let's go over the whole installation together. First, begin by removing the motherboard tray from your case. If your case doesn't have a motherboard tray, simply lay your case on its side. Then carefully insert the motherboard and attach it to the case properly. The board should be parallel from the side of the case and about a millimeter of space should between it and the side of the case or tray. Also make sure that your ISA/PCI/AGP slots are properly aligned with the slots on the case. You may have to move or add some of the tray risers (the little plastic or metal things that pop out of the tray) so that there are ones everywhere that there is a screw hole on the motherboard and nowhere else (this is very important). You should put a screw in each of the screw holes in the motherboard.

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