Ten frequent errors during the assembly of a PC

You have decided, you are going to mount a new PC and you want to do it for yourself. You have already chosen the components, and you only have to start assembling them. If you have doubts and want to have a reference that will help you, I remind you of this guide that we published a few years ago, where we saw the process of assembling a PC. The base remains the same today for any team, so it's still perfectly valid.

In general, setting up a PC is not complicated if you have a clear basis, that is, if you know what you have to do. To choose the components with the best price-performance value It is, in fact, a greater challenge than proceeding to assemble them. In MuyComputer we are aware of this, and that is why we share with you numerous guides and articles that will help you choose the pieces that offer the best value at all times.

With this article we want, however, to break the routine and get out of the usual tonic. In it we will delve into the ten mistakes that are made most frequently during the process of mounting a PC, that is, we are going to focus on a more practical plane associated with the installation of each component and not in the stage of their selection.

As always, this guide will help you expand your knowledge, and above all, that is useful to you. If you have any questions you can leave it in the comments and will be happy to help you. Without further ado, we begin.

Common mistakes when mounting a PC

1.-Incompatible hardware

PC components

It remains, without doubt, one of the most common and one of the most annoying. Get in a situation, you have bought everything you need to assemble your equipment and just when you get to work you realize that there is something that does not fit, or, even worse, you have finished the assembly and have connected the equipment but Is there something that does not work.

It is true that thanks to the support offered by some stores and the introduction of the configurators that warn of possible incompatibilities This problem is not as serious as it was a few years ago. but it still has a big impact and remains one of the most important.

We can find different types of incompatibilities at the hardware level, and therefore its consequences can be very different. It is no longer usual to find situations of classic incompatibility in terms of socket (processor incompatible with a specific motherboard), RAM or connectivity between different components, but in regards to formats, measurements and food.

Indeed, everything we have advanced in reducing errors due to incompatible hardware in its most classical sense has extended to the incompatibilities that occur when purchasing components with an incorrect format, fans with an erroneous size, graphics cards that do not fit in the chassis and power supplies that do not meet the minimum recommended to maintain the equipment we want to mount, either by connectors or power and intensity (watts and amperage).

Some cases may have a solution, but in most of them we will have no choice but to process a return.

Advice: Before buying the components make sure that they are compatible, and also that they have the appropriate measures and the necessary connectors.

2.-Orient the processor badly

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For users who have mounted at least one PC before or who have changed their computer's processor this is not a problem, but for newcomers It can end up becoming a real nightmare.

The processor is one of the most important components when it comes to mounting a PC, and is usually also one of the most expensive. Its fragility is also something that we must take into account, that is, it will not break easily, but if we make a serious mistake We could end up rendering it useless.

In the case of Intel its processors use a type connection LGA (Land Grid Array), which means that they have a matrix of gold-plated conductive surfaces They make contact with the motherboard through the socket. By cons, AMD uses a type connection PGA (Pin Grid Array), in which we have a lot of pins that are inserted directly on the motherboard socket.

Despite its differences, each processor must be oriented in a specific way, that is, It must be inserted in a specific position. To identify this position, just look at the little triangle that Intel and AMD place in one of the corners of the IHS, so we just have to make it match the socket drawing. It is very easy, but if we are not aware of it we can make a huge mess.

If we have placed the processor properly we will not have to press, this will fall by its own weight. Once we finish we adjust the safety lock and go.

Advice: Look carefully at the orientation of the drawing and never force the processor, it must enter by its own weight. If you are not sure, we show you how to mount a processor step by step.

3.-Apply an inadequate amount of thermal paste

PC thermal paste

It is another of the most important and frequent problems when setting up a PC. Thermal paste is a fundamental element for the proper functioning of the refrigeration system which is mounted on the CPU, as it serves as a contact between the two and allows optimal heat transfer.

More and more users are aware of this, but unfortunately the effect that greater awareness has had has not always been positive. We tend to think that more is always better, but in this case not only it is not, but also that we may end up getting the totally opposite effect, that is, that instead of improving the cooling we make it worse in a significative way.

This has also given rise to certain myths that have no justification, and has moved some users to think that they only have to apply a very small amount of thermal paste on the processor's IHS. It is also not a good idea, since if the quantity is insufficient to completely cover the thermal diffuser of the processor we may have higher temperatures than expected, since in those areas that we have not covered the heat transfer will not be optimal.

Ideally, generally, apply at the IHS center a quantity of thermal paste the size of a pea. Once we have finished, it will be enough to place the contact base of the refrigeration system that we are going to use and ready, the pressure exerted on the assembly will crush our «thermal paste pea» and spread said material throughout the thermal diffuser.

In case you have doubts about whether you have applied an insufficient amount of thermal paste I remind you that It is better to spend a little than to fall short.

Advice: use the pea technique to the center that we have indicated and do not become obsessed with this issue, it is not necessary to use an exaggerated amount of thermal paste.

4.-Use a compatible but insufficient cooling system

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You have invested a lot of money in the processor that you will use to mount your PC, but have you taken into account the heat that will generate And what will you need to keep it under control? In most cases the answer is yes, but then, in reality, we find cooling solutions that They do not reach the level required by your CPU.

Many users recognize that they try to reduce spending by buying refrigeration systems that they know may be a little fair. They are not aware of the problems that this can cause in the medium and long term. On other occasions the dissipation system may be sufficient for standard use, but insufficient when overclocking.

If you use an insufficient cooling system to keep a processor's temperatures under control, you may not notice problems in the short term, you will end up having them sooner or later. Remember that Excess heat greatly reduces the life of semiconductors, and that your processor could end up suffering a premature death.

Advice: Think about what use you will give to the processor. In the case of processors with a low TDP (65 watts for example) if we are not going to overclock a fan of 30 euros may be enough, but if it is a high-end model, such as the Core i9 9900K or the Ryzen 9 3900X, and on top of that we plan to overclock we should opt for an all-in-one liquid cooling solution, such as the Corsair Hydro H100i RGB Platinum.

5.-Do not connect the power cable of the dissipation system

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It is more common than it may seem. You install the fan or the liquid cooling kit, continue with the assembly of the rest of the PC, and when you get to turn it on you realize that the fan (or fans) of the cooling system they do not work.

Surely your first reaction is to run to shut down the PC in case the processor suffers any damage. Quiet, its working temperatures are not going to fire in a few seconds, You have nothing to fear. Open the chassis again and connect the fan power cable to the motherboard.

In some all-in-one cooling kits, especially those with RGB LED lighting, we may have to plug in another additional connector for the feeding or management of such lighting, so keep that in mind.

Advice: I know you will be looking forward to finishing the assembly of your PC, but take your time and check that all the connectors you need are properly plugged in before closing and connecting.

6.-Incorrectly install the RAM in your new PC

PC motherboard

Maybe one of our readers has made a surprise face, but yes, it is possible to install RAM memory incorrectly. If we plan to use two modules we will want to take advantage of the dual channel mode. Those who have never set up a PC may think that it is enough to simply place them, but this is not true.

If our motherboard has four RAM slots, we must place the two modules in the corresponding slots to take advantage of the double channel. This is indicated in the motherboard manual, but most current models differentiate them using two different colors.

For example, on the motherboard of the image we see two slots in gray and two slots in black. If we install a RAM module in a gray slot and another in a black slot we will have installed the memory incorrectly. The two modules will work, that is, if we mount for example 16 GB divided into two 8 GB modules we will have that amount available, but We will not have access to the double channel.

Advice: the modules must be placed in the slots of the same color. If your motherboard does not differ in colors, do not worry, install a module in slot A1 and another module in slot B1 and that's it (it would be worth doing the same in slots A2 and B2).

7.-Fans and air flow on a PC

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It is another of the most important problems that I have encountered in many configurations of people who said "know a lot about the subject". The fans have a clear function, help cool the equipment to prevent heat from becoming a problem.

Its importance is enormous. If the fan configuration we have is not capable of create a good air flow We may end up having a significant excess heat inside the chassis. This will raise the temperature inside the equipment, and will affect the dedicated cooling systems that work on the processor, graphics card, RAM and other components, such as storage units in that area.

That is why it is so important that the fans that move the air in and out of the box are well placed and that they are capable of generating a good air flow. If we mount a high performance equipment with a single fan blowing cold air we will have An important problem.

Also remember that the air flow inside the chassis is essential for cool components that use passive cooling systems, such as the chipset and the VRM of the motherboard, RAM memories and M.2 SSDs.

Advice: Keep in mind the equipment that you are going to assemble and the cooling that you will need to create a good air flow, take care of the choice of chassis and fans. In most cases with two 120mm front fans blowing air and a 120mm rear one that takes out the hot air is enough.

8.-Not having the necessary connectors

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Another frequent mistake that affects, above all, the power supplies. If you bought a graphics card that requires an additional power connector and you have not taken it into account when buying the power supply you will take an important dislike, since you will not be able to use it.

Luckily this case has a solution, since there are 6 to 8 pin molex to PCIE adapters at very cheap prices, but we may also find other scenarios that do not have such a simple solution (cases in which we are directly missing connectors and can not "get them out of nowhere").

It is also common to find errors in external connectors, that is, in which we use for certain accessories, the monitor being one of the main affected. In those cases in which the signal is digital in both directions the solution is simple and economical, since it will be enough to buy an adapter without more, but in those in which a signal is analog and another digital we will have to buy an adapter with converter integrated signal, whose price is considerably higher.

Advice: Think about all the connections you are going to need and the peripherals you are going to use. Make sure your new PC has all the ones you are going to use, and the type you need.

9.-Mount an insufficient power supply

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We have already said that many users try to save by reducing spending on such important things as the cooling system and fans. The chassis is also usually another of the great forgotten when it comes to mounting a balanced PC, and The power supply is not released either, unfortunately.

I've seen 2,000 euros equipment with 40 euros power supplies, a real madness. These configurations may work, and they will do so without apparent problems for a while, but we are playing Russian roulette, and sooner or later "we will find the bullet."

Mounting a PC with a very tight power supply can give us long-term problems, and if it is unable to cover the minimum necessary for a given configuration we will have stability issues which can lead us, in the end, to the death of the source, which can end up dragging such fateful end to other components.

Advice: assess the total consumption of the PC components that you are going to mount and buy a power supply that is a little above your real needs. Look for quality models, with 80 Plus certifications and recognized brands. You have doubts? Well check out this guide to power supplies.

10.-Neglect the management and arrangement of the wiring

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Many times the rush leads us to ignore important details, and the management and proper arrangement of cables is usually one of the most damaged tasks. Leaving an assembly with poorly arranged cables, hanging and in sight is not a serious error in itself, but may end up giving problems and nothing aesthetic remains.

First of all we must bear in mind that can reduce air flow, and that all these cables will also act as a magnet for the dust that enters and leaves the interior of the chassis daily. To all this we must add another question, which is that they can get in the way of doing basic maintenance or changing components.

Carrying out a good wiring management of a PC can be tedious and requires a little effort, but in the end it is very worthwhile. Even if we are not going to show the inside of the PC it will have beneficial effects on the air flow, and it will prevent us from having to swim between cables when we want to touch the inside of the device to update the PC.

Advice: Use only the wiring you need and hide the rest in the space of the chassis reserved for it. Use flanges to reduce the impact of the cables that you have to connect to different components.

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