Build a Better PC - Assembly
Article:  Andy Collinson
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Assembly:
For general assembly, it is a good idea to start with the heaviest items first like the PSU, once secured there can be no danger of it falling and crushing the motherboard. However sometimes, due to confined spaces, you may have to start with the motherboard, then insert the power supply. The order of other items is not important, but bear in mind that some connectors may be hidden behind components, so they may have to be connected first.
I've seen older style cases, where you have to remove a complete CD or DVD drive before removing memory banks or the hard drive. Above all, take your time and use an anti-static wristband when assembling any computer.

Tower Case
I wanted a quiet PC and searching for a quiet case with good ventilation, I came across the Nexus range of cases. I decided on the Nexus Clodius1 case, shown right. This case incorporates two extremely quiet 120mm fans in the front and back and also has an integral temperature controller. In addition, it has removable air filters, built-in front USB ports and adequate expansion slots.

The centre on/off button illuminates in blue and also doubles as a temperature sensor, turning violet when internal case temperature reaches 45 ° Celcius and Red about 65° Celcius. The outer wheel rotates and controls fan speed. This case provides adequate ventilation even at lowest fan speeds and I have not yet seen the colour change.

More detail about the case can be seen on the Nexus Homepage.


Stripping the Case

The first step involves stripping the case down.

After removing the back quick release screws, the case should slide forward. Being new, mine was a tight fit and I eased it forward using a couple of wooden cocktail sticks, see left (click to zoom).

With both side cases removed, the front cover is removed. The front cover just pulls straight off being held in by plastic expandable fasteners. The right picture is zoom-able and shows case with front cover removed and the rear 120mm fan.


Top Cover


The top cover is removable and facilitates the assembly. There is always one recalcitrant screw and should you find any case screws that prefer to spin then inserting the edge of a toothpick may help (shown left). The case with cover removed is shown right. Both images will zoom for a clearer view.

DVD Slots
There is a top preset space for a single DVD/CD/BlueRay optical drive. This can be seen above right. Should you decide to add a second optical drive in the future then three more bays are present, as seen in this photograph. The lowest panel contains extra case screws, Nexus think of everything! The bays are prorected by mild steel templates, which can be pushed out by hand, but there can be a lot of pressure and vibration required. If you think you may add more than one drive in any of the bays, then it would be a good idea to remove the steel covers now, before any delicate components are added.

Rear I/O Sheild

The rear of the case has a mild steel template covering the space for input and output connections (I/O) to the motherboard, shown left. The template will be an incorrect fit for most motherboards and needs to be removed by pushing and twisting. Inside the Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 is a new motherboard I/O shield. This pushes from the inside of the case and becomes the new shield, shown right.

The next step is to add the motherboard and components, the page can be accessed here or from the fixed sub-menu on the left.

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