Lets build a better gaming pc. Yes my friends, it’s 2020, which means it is time for an all new gaming PC build tutorial. So as you guys will probably be aware, building a gaming PC is not that difficult. I like to compare it to something like doing adult legos. Now I will be giving a full tutorial on the Photon 4.0 today, so if you guys want information about the actual parts that I’m using, as well as the performance, you guys can go check out that video. The idea here is that pretty much anyone with an afternoon can build yourself a computer. Before we get started, let me give you a quick tour of the parts that we’re going to be using for the build. So any computer is going to need a processor, in this case a Ryzen 5 2400G.
Now what’s cool about this, is that not only does it handle the processor, but this also has integrated graphics inside. So even though I will be showing you what it’s like to install a graphics card, with this build you don’t actually need one. Next we have the motherboard. So the idea here is that you put the processor in here, the memory in here, you connect the SSD, pretty much everything in the build will connect with this in some way. Next we have RAM, so you can think of this as the short term memory of your computer. Every time you open up an application, it lives in this. This build is also using an SSD. So this is basically the same thing as a hard drive, it’s where you store files and programs and all that kind of stuff. The difference is is that SSDs, while a bit more expensive, are much, much faster. And this one specifically is in the smaller M2 form factor. Like I said earlier,
this build doesn’t actually need a graphics card, but especially if you’re building a higher end gaming PC or you’re doing anything that’s really heavily reliant on 3D applications, having a graphics card is going to be a big help. The literal heart of any computer is the power supply. So this is what takes the power from the wall and provides it to all of the different components inside your system. Last but not least, we have the case. Now cases are actually pretty much dependent on your style, so every computer will need a certain size of a case depending on how many hard drives you’re putting in, what size motherboard, but a lot of this does come down to your personal preference and with this one, we’re going a little bit stylized. Now anytime you’re building a computer,
you do need to come prepared with a wide variety of tools depending on what situation comes up, or not. Actually, the only thing you really need is a Phillips screwdriver. I’m not kidding, you can build an entire computer with just a single screwdriver. So now that we’ve got all that stuff out of the way, the last thing to do is find your workspace. So generally speaking I like to find a decently sized table, you’re gonna have parts and cables and stuff kind of all strewn out. And make sure that you don’t build on carpet if you can avoid it, static electricity is the enemy of a computer part, believe me. Hey whoa, whoa, don’t show that, don’t show that, Ken. I’m an expert, it’s fine. Just you at home, don’t build on carpet, unless you’re an expert or Ken sells you out. The first step is to get the case out of the box. Now even though we’re actually not going to be putting everything inside the case as we go, that’ll happen a little bit later, I still like getting the case out of the box and ready to go. So this is a little bit of an unusual case, it is the Thermaltake Core P1.
The idea is that because it has a giant tempered glass window, we’re actually using it to show off the build. I will say that this might not be the most beginner friendly case in the world, considering that we actually have to put the case together, and usually it just comes fully assembled out of a box. But let’s see how it actually is to build. (upbeat music) One quick case change later, we have the BitFenix Phenom, a case that thankfully does not require 17 steps to put it together. So we’re going to be using this for the tutorial, even though the main build I will eventually have to rebuild into the other case. But especially just because I’ve got to actually show you guys how to do it, things are going to be much, much more common in this case, versus the other one, where you’re going to be doing a lot of weird mounting and whatnot. This is just going to make everything a lot easier. The first step is to remove the four thumbscrews on the back of the case, which will allow us to remove both the left as well as the right side panels. Now we mostly need to do this to actually be able to get a little more access to the case. But with that open, we can see that there’s actually a fair bit of room inside this. Generally speaking, bigger cases are easier to work on and as you get smaller and more sort of custom, it gets a little bit more challenging. But the good thing is, pretty much all of them do have a very similar layouts. Usually you’ll find a box full of hardware, so we can open this guy up later,
but should have some screws and some random bits and pieces that we’ll need a little bit later on. If you come around back, we’ll see where the power supply is installed. Now cases will put this in different locations, sometimes it’s gonna be up top, but with this one it’s going to be in the bottom. All we need to do here, is just remove the four thumbscrews that keep this little bracket in place. So, going back to my analogy about this being the heart of the system, it really does sort of provide power to basically all of our components. Now power supplies will come in different sizes, they will be more or less powerful, but at the end of the day, they are very simple. There are two major types of power supplies, modular and non-modular. So this is a standard non-modular supply,
which means that all of our cables that we’re going to need come pre-attached. However, higher end power supplies typically do come modular, which will allow you to actually plug in each cable that you want. Basically making it a little bit cleaner inside your build, so you don’t have a bunch of extra cables hanging around. Before installing this guy, take note of where the fan is. So depending on your case, this will either be facing up or it will be facing down. So with this guy, it’s going to be facing down because we have this little mesh here. The important thing is, always make sure there’s some ventilation. You can’t put this sort of like face down on like a table or face down on like a flat piece of metal, otherwise it will overheat and bad things will happen. Inside the power supply box, you should find four screws. Now this is how we’re going to mount the power supply to the bracket, which will then go attach to the chassis. Now not all cases will actually do this, so sometimes you can completely ignore the bracket and cases will have you mount this directly onto the case.
One thing to keep in mind, is that when you’re tightening things down, start on one corner and then move to the opposite corner to make sure that you’re applying even pressure. So I’ll do this screw, then I’ll do the one on this corner, and then I’ll do the final two. So with the power supply installed, the next step is set this guy off to the side and grab our motherboard. Like I was saying earlier, the motherboard is pretty much what everything in the computer connects to. So there are a few things that you need to keep in mind, obviously pick a motherboard that is going to be compatible with your processor, but the size is also important. So as you guys can see here, this guy is pretty small, this is what’s known as a mini ITX board. Now this happens to be a mini ITX case, which all works out. You can go with a smaller motherboard and a bigger case, but obviously not the reverse. So something like a micro ATX or a full size ATX motherboard would not fit in your case. So you’re going to go pick one of these out, make sure it supports the correct processor and make sure that your case will actually be able to fit it. Now anytime you see an exposed circuit board like this, you wanna be a little bit careful, especially of static electricity. So it comes in this anti-static bag and when you grab it, try not to grab onto the actual board, so something like one of the metal pieces should be fine. And once you pull it out, I like to actually set it on top of the motherboard box. So even a small motherboard like this is going to have a ton of different sockets and cables and connectors all over the place, but you only need to pay attention to a few of them that you’re actually going to use in the system.
So one of the most important things is where you install your processor. So Intel and AMD do this slightly differently but it’s pretty much always going to be a gray socket in the middle. The next thing you’ll find are your DIMM slots. So every motherboard is going to be a little bit different here, this board has two, however some have four, or even eight. This is where you’re going to install your memory and the only thing to really watch out for here is to make sure that you do have the correct RAM. So this, like most modern motherboards, are going to support DDR4. However, older systems will use something called DDR3 or even all the way back to DDR2. It’s all very similar to install, just make sure you get the right kind. Below the processor is going to be your PCI Express slot. So since this is such a small motherboard, we only have the one. However, a lot of motherboard will have four or even seven. Now this is going to be where you’re going to install various different add-in cards. Typically speaking, it’s going to be a graphics card, but sometimes you might install an SSD here, maybe like a video card, maybe an ethernet adapter, I don’t know, depends on what you’re doing. But that is going to be where you’re going to install a lot of different add-in cards.
Move down to these small rectangular connectors and this is what is called a SATA port. Now SATA ports can be used for a couple different things, typically speaking it’s going to be either for an SSD or for a hard drive. But if you’re still old school and rocking an optical drive, that will also plug in to the SATA port. Right beside that is our 20 plus four pin power connector. Now this is what supplies the main power to the motherboard, as well as a lot of it to the processor, to the graphics, all that kind of stuff. This is going to be the biggest cable that you’re going to plug in from the power supply and usually it’s going to be mounted on one of the sides of the board for easy access. Now in the top corner here, you’re going to find our four plus four pin CPU power.
Now motherboards can be a little bit different here, some only have four pins, whereas this one does have eight. It’s basically the same thing, because pretty much all power supplies are gonna have a lead that will either do four or eight, but this is what supplies power to your processor. Something a little bit unusual on this board is where the M2 slot is. So this is where you’re going to install higher end SSDs, like we’re using for this build, and typically you’re going to find it somewhere on the actual board itself. However on this guy, it’s actually going to be here on the back. Spin the whole thing around, and this is where the rear IO lives. Now these are all going to be all the ports that are going to be sticking out the back of your case. So once you install your IO shield, you’re going to pretty much see it’s something a little bit like this. Speaking of, now is as good a time as any to actually install this guy. So it’s just a little piece of metal. Now the only thing you need to do is make sure that you’re going to be doing it in the correct orientation.
So for this guy, we’re going to be putting it in on this side, right? This guy’s pretty easy to install, so all you need to do is line it up and press it pretty firmly until it clicks into place. Now you wanna make sure this is all the way into place, as if it’s slightly not quite correct, what’s going to happen is your motherboard is not going to line up correctly and that’s just going to be a huge hassle. So if you ever have any problems with that, just make sure that this guy is fully in. Also, as we’ll talk about in a minute, you see all these little metal pins that are all over the place? Make sure these are pulled back when you install the board. The next step is to install our processor. So in this case we’re going with the Ryzen 5 2400G, but generally speaking it’s going to be very similar, regardless of whether you’re using AMD or Intel. So like I was saying with the motherboard, you want to be very careful when you’re handling stuff like this, and especially so when you’re talking about a processor. So on the back here, if I open it up, you’ll be able to see that there are lots of little tiny gold pins. Do not touch these, if any of them get bent, you’re gonna be in serious trouble. The best way to handle this guy is just to grab it form the sides and hold it by the edges. Actually installing the CPU is pretty straightforward.
So if you come down to the socket, what you’re going to see is there’s a little metal arm here that’s going to be the retention arm. So we pull that back and all the way forward, we’re good to install the processor. Now there’s going to be a little metal notch that’s going to be on every single processor, which will tell you which side to line it up with. So once you do, just set it gently down into the socket, pull the arm all the way down, and that is all ready to go. The next step is to install our CPU cooler. Now this is an area where pretty much every single one is going to mount in a different way. So unfortunately, you will probably have to dive into your instruction manual to see exactly how to mount yours. Thankfully though, if you’re using a stock Intel or AMD cooler, they’re not too difficult to install. The main thing to keep in mind is that there’s going to be pre-applied thermal paste here. You do not want to touch this, as this is what’s going to make a solid contact between the heat sink and your processor. When it comes to the AM4 socket, which is what Ryzen uses, you’re going to wanna remove these two brackets that hold the little plastic pieces into place. And once we undo that, we’re free to install the heat sink. So there are going to be four little screws here that you’re going to want to line up. And when you do this, make sure that you actually set it down it smoothly. So you basically want all of that thermal paste to make solid contact with the processor. Don’t try to like, you know, put it off to one side or the other, just try to get it down as smoothly and evenly as possible. Making sure that all of your screws are lined up, then you just want to tighten them down.
And the main thing here is just like I was saying earlier, you want to do it in a cross pattern, so tighten that one a little bit, then come to the opposite corner, tighten that one down just a little bit. Come over here, and do this process until you get this guy all the way locked down. Alright, so with that we should be able to pick up the entire motherboard by the cooler, and it looks like everything went in pretty well. Now the next step is to actually plug in the fan. So this is going to be using a four pin fan header. So you’ll see that there are going to be two little tiny notches there, basically that just means that you can’t plug it in the wrong way. So on this board, we have our fan header right here, and it’s as simple as lining it up and plugging it all the way in.
Next up, it’s time to install our memory. So RAM is actually very straightforward to install, so the only thing you need to do is, like I was saying earlier, make sure that if you’re using a DDR4 system, use DDR4. If you’re using DDR3, make sure that you’re using DDR3. The easiest way to make sure that you’re using the correct memory, is that there’s a little notch that’s going to be about 2/3 of the way down. So on DDR4, that’s going to line up with the correct slot on the motherboard. If it doesn’t line up, you’re probably using the wrong kind of memory. All you need to do is line it up, slide it in, and then with equal pressure on both sides, just press it down until you get the click. Then we just repeat that with the other DIMM and we’re gonna be good to go. And so with that, our motherboard is actually pretty much good to go. So the next step is going to be installing this entire contraption inside of our case. Depending on your case, the motherboard is going to be installed in a couple different ways. So most of the time, it’s going to live in this sort of vertical section here. However with this guy, we’re going to place it right down here. So if we dig through the little box of hardware that comes with our case, we should see a bag of screws. Now we’re going to need four of these to mount the motherboard inside. Now sometimes the case will actually require you to install the standoffs.
So you can see that these are already going to be here. If so, make sure that you just screw them all the way into place. With this guy, we just need to drop the motherboard into place, screw it in, and we’re going to be good to go. Because this case is so small, it’s actually not that hard to get the motherboard lined up. So we just need to get it sort of roughly in the right position right here, and then if we move it around to this side, we’re going to make sure that all these ports are actually going to come through the IO shield. So this is going to require a little bit of wiggling to make sure that it’s going to line up correctly. But as long as it’s on all four of the standoffs, which it pretty much is, we’re good to screw it into place. It’s a little hard to see it on camera, but there are four screw holes on each corner of the motherboard that we’re going to use to tighten it into place. Now something that you should definitely keep in mind is that before you tighten everything down, make sure that everything is lined up correctly. Remember that whole thing about make sure that you line up the motherboard correctly so you don’t have to accidentally undo everything? Well you should also make sure that if there’s any weird parts on the bottom of the motherboard, that you have those installed before everything is screwed into place. So normally the next step will be to install a standard SATA SSD, however this time we’re going to go with an M2 drive. Now especially with this specific WD Blue drive, there’s really no major difference in performance. The main difference is, this is a much, much smaller drive, which makes it easier to install, especially because it takes up less room in your case. Installing the drive is pretty straightforward, you just need to line it up with the connectors here, making sure that it rests all the way in there and then we take that little screw that we pulled out of it and that is going to be the retention mechanism to make sure that this SSD doesn’t go flying out of your system. If you’re installing a standard hard drive, SSD, or optical drive in your system, then it’s also pretty simple to install. So if you look over here, there are going to be two connectors.
The smaller one is going to be for data and the bigger one is going to be for power. So every case will do this a little bit differently, so you can see they have these little drive rails that you can install not only a big 3 1/2 inch desktop hard drive in, but also something smaller like this laptop hard drive. So you’re gonna want to mount it to there and then for actual cabling, it’s very straightforward. So you dig through the mess of power supply cables, you’re going to find this long flat guy. There’s a little notch on one end, so it’s only going to go in one way. All we need to do is just connect this to our hard drive. Once that’s into place, it doesn’t really click or anything, it just slides right in, we’re going to want to find one of these SATA data cables that come with your motherboard. Again, this guy’s notched, it’s only going to go in one way.
And if we line that notch up, it will click into place, and then you just plug this in into your motherboard and you have your fully up and running hard drive or SSD. For this video though, no more of this, we’re going with our upside down M2 drive that I totally remembered to install now. Something else that most gaming builds do, although we actually don’t need it for this system, is installing a graphics card. So this is going to be pretty straightforward. What we’re going to be doing is using the PC Express slot that’s going to be on the bottom of the board. This one’s metal, most of them are plastic, but it doesn’t really make a difference. And then what you wanna do is look around to the back of the case, and this is where we’re going to get our video outs.
So essentially, just like the IO shield protects all those little ports on the motherboard, this is going to be where you’re going to get your video outs, such as display port and HDMI. So if we remove the thumbscrews, we should get this little bracket out of the way. We’re gonna hold on to that for right now, but what we don’t need are these two little metal pieces right here. So this is just a cover to keep your PCI covers from getting dirty or anything getting inside your system. If you’re installing a graphics card, you get those out of the way. And now we install the actual graphics card itself. Ordinarily, when you’re installing a graphics card, you measure to see will it actually fit in your case or not. With this particular case, it doesn’t quite fit. Which is fine, because we’re not using a graphics card in this system, but if we were, it would go in, right about here. What this really means is I just need to remove these drives, so it doesn’t matter because we’re not using them anyway. But that’s going to free up the space to install a graphics card. Which, if we just line it up with the slot, is going to go in a little bit something like this. Now all you do is press it down until it slams into place, that was a little bit more violent than I expected. However, that is pretty much all we need to do to get it plugged in, now we actually need to use the power cables to make sure that it has plenty of juice to run all of the crispy, crispy 4K games that we’re going to throw at it.
If I wasn’t going to take it out immediately after I show you guys how to do this. Some graphics cards, especially lower end ones, don’t require any additional power, it’s gonna pull everything it needs from the motherboard. But most higher end ones, this Radeon Vega 56 included, need a couple of these six plus two pin connectors. So all you need to do is just line up the connectors and plug them in, and then we’re gonna be good to get this guy up and running. It might look pretty bare bones, that’s because it is very, very simple and clean inside. However, this is all the components that we need to make our system work. The next step is the fun one, connecting all these wonderful cables and wires all over the place to get this guy actually operational. So we actually only need two sets of cables from our system. So we need the four plus four CPU power connector, which will go straight into the motherboard. And we’re also going to need our 20 plus four pin connector, which also will go into the motherboard. And this is going to be the big fat guy, and usually I like to start with it because it’s sort of the most unwieldy cable to actually connect. All you need to do is line it up and make sure that it clicks all the way into place and that’s going to be it for the 20 plus four pin.
Now the next step is the CPU power cable, which is also going to be pretty easy, if I can find where it went. This one’s going to be hard to see, but all you need to do is line it up with the little four plus four pin connector on the motherboard corner, plug it all the way in, and you’re gonna be good. Now it’s time to install the fan. So this guy has a fan right back here and it uses a three pin fan header, very similar to what we used for the CPU cooler. Again, this guy has notches, so it’s going to plug in to the fan header on the motherboard only one way. Now for most cases, you’re going to find a ton of different front panel connectors dangling somewhere from the front. However, on the BitFenix case, we actually have all of them attached to the side panel. Now this makes things a little bit cleaner because you can have the buttons on the side but it makes it a little bit more annoying when you’re building the computer because that way you have to kind of hold the side panel in place while you run all of your cables. So this might look like a lot but it’s actually not too crazy.
So the big guy is going to be our USB 3.0 header. So the only thing you have watch out for is that there’s a little notch on this guy, when you plug it in, make sure it’s all the way in. I’ve definitely pulled these guys out and had this entire plastic piece come with it. Now beside that, we’re going to get all of our front panel connectors, I’ll explain how to do these in a second, but essentially that’s what we need this manual for, a lot of little fiddly stuff. And then we have our audio. So these are going to be our audio connectors to make sure that the headphone and the microphone jack work up front. This guy is going to be really straightforward, we’re just going to plug it in here. One of the only things that this case doesn’t have is a USB 2.0 header. So that’s going to look very similar to something like this. You can tell that how the audio and the USB headers are installed because out of all 10 pins, they’re each going to have one knocked out, so again, you can’t install it the wrong way. Last but not least, you wanna grab all of these little tiny front panel connectors.
So this is where it’s going to be very important to take a look at that manual to figure out the diagram of where each thing gets plugged in, as every motherboard does it a little bit differently. So something important to note is if you look on the bottom here, there are little tiny arrows that denote the positive versus the negative. That is very important as when you go to say, I don’t know, plug your power button in, and you put it backwards, you’re gonna hit it and nothing is gonna happen. Just make sure that all of these connectors are put in the correct way. Now this might not look like a completed system but before we start doing cable management and close the case up and make sure that everything is ready to go, first we need to do a test boot to make sure that we didn’t make a horrible, horrible mistake along the way.
So once you have your monitor, mouse, and keyboard ready, all you need to do is hit the power button and hope everything works. We have fans spinning, the rear fan is spinning. Now, will we actually get it to post? USB is up, and yes! Alright, so that means that we’ve pretty much done everything correctly. The next step is to actually get in the BIOS and make sure that all of our memory, SSD, all of that kind of stuff is showing up correctly. Alright, and it looks like everything is showing up. So it shows AMD Ryzen 5 2400G, shows our 16 gigabytes of memory. We also do see that our 500 gigabyte SSD is showing up. So from this point, all that’s left to do is to turn off the computer, unplug everything, and then we just need to do a little bit more cable management to, you know, make sure that the side panel will go on the case. But once we’ve done that, we have a fully operational computer. Throw a copy of Windows on this guy, install your drivers, and you’re gonna have a fully operational gaming PC. Now if you guys wanna see how the Photon 4.0 performs and what the original case was supposed to look like,