Hooking up the power:
Today's case, power supply and motherboards are what's known as the ATX form factor.
I only mention this in case some on finds a really good buy on a part from a supplier that's getting rid of old AT form factor parts.
AT and ATX are not interchangeable.
If you see a really great buy and it says AT form factor don't buy it unless your replacing parts in a old AT style computer.
The motherboard, power supply and case are the only parts affected by this.
With the power supply in and the motherboard assembly snugly in place.
Separate the power cords that are coming from the power supply.
Or if you bought a modular power supply then locate the power lines that connect the main power to the motherboard.
There are a few variants on power connectors for motherboards.
Some older ones will have only one connector to the board,
Others that are built for a more powerful CPU will have an extra four pin connector that powers the CPU.
Newer boards will have four more connectors in the power strip than older ones had plus the extra four pin power line for the CPU.
Newer power supplies usually have the longer power connectors but the last four usually can be pulled up and out of the arrangement just in case your using it in an older motherboard that doesn't have the extra four pins.
Refer to the owners manual that came with the motherboard and power supply to make sure all connectors are properly in place.
When plugging in the main power strip to the mainboard assembly or any other component for that matter be careful.
Some of these can be a tight fit and you don't want to apply too much pressure.
If you bend the motherboard while pressing on any component you can cause hairline cracks that will cause problems later if it starts up at all.
This was the main reason I had you put the CPU and the memory sticks in while the motherboard was resting on foam. plastic and a cardboard box.
This softly yet firmly reinforced the bottom of the motherboard so that there would be less of a chance of bending it and causing it to crack or fracture.
A slow firm pressure and maybe a gentle rocking motion back and forth while seating the connector is better and safer than a quick sharp push.
If your motherboard has the four pin CPU connector mentioned earlier, then connect it now.
After all connections to the motherboard has been made hook up the case fans to the power supply connectors.
On most newer motherboards you will see connectors that look very much like the CPU fan connector usually labeled fan or case fan.
If your fans came with the connectors that allow you to connect these then connect each to the nearest fan connector if your board has them.
This allows the smart motherboards to control the fans if needed.
If you don't have the proper connectors for it or the cords don't reach it's not a problem.
Connecting fans to the motherboard is nice but not critical to it's proper operation. More like an added benefit.
Connect all fans not connected to the mainboard assembly to power supply connectors.
Insuring as much air flow as you can get into the case
The hard drive assembly that I use.
In computer assemblys where I'll be installing two or more hard drives I'll put the first one in the out of the way place.
Leaving the more easily accessible bays for additional drives.
I do this for two main reasons.
This is usually my smallest capacity drive. Any where from 180 to 350 gig drives is what I'll use for my operating system drives.
Also 40 and 80 gig drives can also be used.
My operating system drives will only have the operating system and the software needed to do the work that that particular system is designed to handle.
So the drive doesn't have to be very big.
180gigs is usually plenty for most systems.
More about this in the hard drive section.
This drive will stay there and never be replaced unless it goes bad or I can upgrade to a faster model.
The rest of the drives will be storage drives that I will often add additional ones or replace with a larger one so I want them easily accessible for replacing.
Hard drive bays are usually the ones near the bottom front of the case.
If you are building a gamming machine and your not using a full sized tower case be particularly careful about hard drive placement.
Video cards are quite long and may take up the space that could house a hard drive.
Modern PCie video cards have to go into the special slots made for them and in proper order.
So the hard drives are the ones that have to be situated to accommodate the video cards.
Don't connect any wires yet.
See Additional drives assembly first.