Best online guide to building a box?

OK, so I have never actually assembled a system from scratch. My last PC was a GamePC. I swapped out CPU, RAM, power supply, graphics, hard disks, etc., on that system through the years, so I’m pretty confident I can handle it. But still I’ve never put a mobo in a case or put a heatsink on a CPU.

So what’s the best online guide to building out a PC from parts? Here’s the PC I’ll be building (plus a 6800 GT):

PC Gamer had a good blow-by-blow a while back – hope I saved it! I’m looking for the kind of advice like “don’t tighten all the screws at one end of the motherboard at once” or “make sure you remove the plastic heatsink bracket before mounting your heatsink” or “only use THIS much thermal paste” or “be sure you have a floppy for the SATA WinXP drivers” etc., etc., etc. You know, the “painful experience” type lessons that are so much easier to learn from someone else than on your own!

Thanks for all pointers,

I hate hate hate putting heatsinks on CPUs. Some models are a lot less painful than others, but I still dread accidentally crushing the CPU core or not getting proper contact to with the heatsink.

Mounting a motherboard in a case is stupid easy though…just line it up and screw it on.

Great. Well, NOW I’m scared! :shock:

So how do you put on a heatsink WITHOUT permanently fux0ring your system???


The athlon64 has a heatspreader on top like a pentium4, the core isn’t exposed like a athlonxp. Don’t worry about it.