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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:26 pm 
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I didn't really know if I should post this here or in 'How Do I...? '. Since many think it is hard I figured that here was probably best. I don't know if any will like this but I was told in a PM that it would be a good idea.

In this post I will only be showing how to put together the motherboard components. I will not be mounting in the case.

So let's get started...

First lay everything out. Make sure to give yourself plenty of room. The following image shows where things are on my motherboard. With different boards things will likely be in different locations.
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build1.JPG
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First we will plug in the memory. Do not force the sticks in the slots. If they don't pop in they are backward, flip them around. If you have four or more slots use every other slot on most motherboards. This allows the memory sticks to work in tandem resulting in better performance. On one or both ends of each slot there will be a locking clip. To insert the memory open the clip(s) so they are at about a 45 degree angle. When the memory is inserted properly they will pop back up in place locking in the sticks.
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build2.JPG
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Now we are going to mount the M.2 Drive. An M.2 drive is like an Solid State Drive but much faster. Again, like the memory sticks, it will only go in one way. You may or may not have an M.2 drive but, since I do, I figured that I would show. The socket is spring loaded and will be sticking up at an angle. Insert the drive and lock down flat with the mounting screw that would come with either the drive or motherboard. This can be a bit irritating as the screw will be very small and you have to hold down the drive at the same time. A strip of tape across the drive to hold it down will help a lot.

The following image also points out the SATA ports for other hard and optical drives. On this board they are nicely grouped all together. On many boards they will be scattered around.
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build3.JPG
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Now let's pop in the CPU. Once again it will probably only go in one way but be careful. One corner of the CPU will have an arrow. Some CPU sockets will have a matching arrow to indicate the proper alignment but some will not. If not, the manual for the motherboard should include a diagram showing the proper orientation.

Note the silver colored bar along the near side of the CPU socket in the following image. In the position shown the CPU is locked in. The bar is hinged and will lift up to unlock the CPU. The bar must be in the upright position to insert the CPU.

Also note the CPU cooler brackets shown. In most cases you will use these but I will not as I am not using a normal cooler. The cooler just mounts on this type of bracket with spring clips.
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build4.JPG
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Shown below is the bracket that will hold my CPU cooler. It is much sturdier as the type of cooler I use is pretty heavy. You just remove the original brackets by removing two screws on each. They screw into a support plate on the bottom of the board. Replace the support plate with the one that comes with the bigger cooler and mount the mounting bracket with included screws. The total process took less than ten minutes.
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build5.JPG
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Now we will prepare the actual CPU cooler. To do this you must apply what is called thermal compound. This stuff is messy if you are sloppy applying. The following image shows how to not apply the stuff. Even though it looks like a nice smooth coating it is way too much. This is a case where less is more. You want as thin a layer as possible while still getting a complete coating. Take your time. I suggest using the edge of a credit card to spread.
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build6.JPG
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Last we mount the cooler. If you are using a standard cooler it just clips on with spring clips. The type of cooler I use mounts with screws. The type of cooler I use is called a tube cooler as it has copper tubes that go through the heat sink to better distribute heat. Unless you are hyper about cooling as am I a normal clip on cooler is fine as long as it is properly rated for the CPU.
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build7.JPG
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That's it, the board is assembled and ready to go in the case. Of course, if you wish you can do most of the above after mounting the board in the case but I find it easier to assemble the board first.

Mount the power supply in the case first. Just takes four screws.

The mother board will have mounting holes and the board will have matching mounting holes. Do not just place the board and screw down. First you must put what are called risers in the case's mounting holes. These risers lift up the board so the bottom does not contact the case.

Once the board is mounted in the case you need to connect a bunch of cables. There will be two or three power cables to attach along with other cables for such things as the cooling fans, power button, front panel USB and audio. You will also need to connect your hard drives. The cables can be a bit tedious but everything should be labeled and a cable just will refuse to connect to a wrong socket. The only exception is the front panel power button, reset button and activity lights but these will be labeled.

Last comes the video card. It just plugs into a slot. Make sure that you also use a screw to lock the bracket on the video card to the case.

That is pretty much it.

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Very nice and clear tutorial Jay, I can see people who want to build their own finding it very useful. The photo's with your labelling of the parts are really clear and easy to follow. :-)

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:55 pm 
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Thanks Joan. :)

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:15 pm 
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Very interesting Jay, thanks for posting :D

The M.2 drive socket was fascinating, I'd heard talk of such a drive but had no idea how much it resembled a memory stick, never mind that you needed to screw one into place.

Your Sata connections on the motherboard are equally fascinating... I presume the cables plug in from the side as opposed to from above as on most boards... from above your pic looks like there are only five ports, my guess is that from the side they are 5 x 2?


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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:43 pm 
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Yes, the 10 SATA ports are 2 banks of 5. And, yes, they are in-line with the board. It would be better if the ports were 90 degrees from the board (pointing up) but this is a minor issue as I just connected 5 SATA cables before putting the board in the case. I connected the cables to the 'bottom' row. The top row is doable with the board in the case but the bottom row would be a real pain.

Yep, the M.2 drive is pretty amazing! The one I have actually has a sequential read rate of 3.2 GB/sec. To make that real my SSD drive has a sequential read rate of 550 MB/sec. Yes, by top level standards, my SSD is slow but still...... To be honest you don't have to use the lock-down screw for the M.2 drive to work. I would not advise but you could just plug it in and go.

As to the M.2 drive looking like memory that is only due to the fact that it is memory. Well, sort of... The M.2 port is based on PCIe, not SATA, if I understand my research properly. Let's face it, video memory tends to be faster than system memory. My 3200 MHz. system memory is DDR4 while my video card used DDR5. Since the M.2 drive uses PCIe as the interface I must assume that it is using a form of DDR memory but have no idea as to the DDRx factor. I just know that the thing is fast!

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:04 pm 
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jaylach wrote:
Yes, the 10 SATA ports are 2 banks of 5. And, yes, they are in-line with the board. It would be better if the ports were 90 degrees from the board (pointing up) but this is a minor issue as I just connected 5 SATA cables before putting the board in the case. I connected the cables to the 'bottom' row. The top row is doable with the board in the case but the bottom row would be a real pain.

I was trying to mentally visualise your board in my tower to see how much room I'd have to get to your sata ports but i think my head will explode if i don't stop! LOL

My current Gigabyte motherboard came with two sata cables that had 90 degree connectors on them, i never understood why but perhaps the latest motherboards (like yours) might require them when the motherboard connections are offset from the motherboard?


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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:33 pm 
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Nope, you figured wrong. My motherboard came with 4 SATA cables two of which have the 90 degree connection on one end. While you could use the 90 degree cable connections on the top row of SATA ports you could not do so on the bottom set as the 90 degree aspect of the cable would cover the top row of ports.

As a side note on a build... I have an external drive that works just as fast as an internal SATA3 drive. Actually I have a couple that work as fast. The following is a simple trick but works quite well on a desktop system.

OK, I have several SATA power leads from my power supply and, also, several SATA data ports that are not in use on my system. I use this surplus of connections to have an external connection that is just as fast as an internal SATA3 connection.

My power supply has more SATA power connections than I need. I also have more SATA data ports than I need. I threw a SATA power and data cable out of the back of my case from the internal setup. This means that I can shut down and connect a bare drive and then have an external that works just as fast as an internal. As far as the system knows it is an internal drive. It just works! :mrgreen:

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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:40 pm 
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jaylach wrote:
Nope, you figured wrong. My motherboard came with 4 SATA cables two of which have the 90 degree connection on one end. While you could use the 90 degree cable connections on the top row of SATA ports you could not do so on the bottom set as the 90 degree aspect of the cable would cover the top row of ports.

That makes sense and also explains why I'm just a mere mortal :dance2: :rofl2:


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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:47 am 
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Hey, at least your 'mortal'. Often I'm more like 'mortar'! :mrgreen:

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:45 pm 
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jaylach wrote:
Hey, at least your 'mortal'. Often I'm more like 'mortar'! :mrgreen:

:rofl2: Yes but look how good you are fixing things together. :lol:

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