What's In Part 2?
In Part 1, I showed you how to install the motherboard in the case, how to install the processor and how to go about connecting the drives. In Part 2, I will finish up the basic hardware installation by showing you how to install the video card and installing the RAM, I will also give you a checklist to go by to make sure you didn't leave anything out as far as powering up the system, and I will take you through the first "test" bootup.
As before, I have to mention this again. Please understand that this is to be done at your own risk and that I am not responsible for anything that may, or could happen to your machine. This is just to show people how to build their own computer who are willing to accept the risks and understand the consequences, if any, that go along with building their own.
Installing The Video Card
The video card is one of the key areas of any system, and for that reason it has to be installed before the first "test" bootup can be done. There are two types of slots that video cards are made for nowadays, PCI and AGP slots. PCI has been around a while and AGP has just come on the scene in the last 1 to 2 years, and AGP is designed only for video cards. They both have the same installation procedure, only difference is in the performance, supposedly.
First off, find an empty PCI or AGP slot on your motherboard. Once you've found it, take the video card out of the anti-static bag and place it on your work area. Next, check inside your case for the expansion slot covers. Some cases have them in a punch out design, and some of them are come out by unscrewing the screw. Remove the expansion slot cover that lines up with the PCI or AGP slot you have chosen. Take the card and push it into the slot, but be careful and don't force the card into the slot. If your card comes with screws to screw the end of the video card where the expansion slot cover would go, screw in this screw. Take a look at my RIVA TNT 16 MB PCI Video Card plug-in below as an example.
This will complete the physical installation of the video card. Make sure to check all connections before continuing to the next section.
Installation Of RAM
This is the easiest part of the whole building process. RAM that is used in today's machines are called DIMM's. I'm sure they're are other types of newer RAM but I'll be using DIMM's to explain the installation process. Below is a picture of what a DIMM looks like.
Depending on the amount of RAM you've bought, you may have from 1 up to 4 seperate DIMM's. Find the DIMM slots on your motherboard, once you've found them, insert the DIMM(s) in the slot(s) and push down on them (not forcing them) until the levers on both sides come in to lock the DIMM(s) in place. And shazam, that's all there is to it! This will complete the installation of the RAM. Make sure to check all connections before continuing to the next section.