VideoGamer.com has teamed up with EA to offer readers a guide to building a Star Wars: The Old Republic PC. Every reader who follows the guide through to completion and builds their own PC will receive a copy of BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic. In addition, one lucky PC builder will win a Radeon HD 7850 graphics card.
The following guide has been produced by a freelancer commissioned by EA.
Building your own PC sounds like a formidable task, but as a gamer few things are more rewarding than creating the machine you're going to play on with your own hands. Aside from the ability to customise, tweak and get the components you really want, it's also an opportunity to save a fortune over an off-the-shelf system.
Over the last two weeks, we've been showing you how to put together a PC that's capable of running massively multiplayer game Star Wars: The Old Republic for less than £370. You can find the component list in part one, and the first part of the build instructions in part two.
This week, we're going to finish putting the PC together and leave it ready to install Windows and your games.
1. We left our PC last week with the motherboard in place but little else around it. Now it's time to add the other components. Let's start as we left off – with the case laying on its right hand side (preferably on something soft, like an old towel) and the left hand panel removed.
2. The first thing we'll do is insert the hard drive. Standard 3.5inch drives fit into the cage of trays at the bottom from of the case. All you have to do is turn the hard drive so that the silvered side points to the top, and slide it in a free cage. When you're done, the narrow edge with the connectors on should be pointing backwards.
3. Now screw it into place with two of the small screws with hexagonal heads that came with the case. Don't overtighten the screws or you'll damage the threads.
4. Next, connect the hard drive to the motherboard using one of the thin SATA cables. You'll see where it attaches to the hard drive – there's a small L-shaped plastic notch to line it up with. Next, plug it into a free SATA port on the motherboard too. For this PC, it doesn't matter which one, although it's a good idea to fill them in order (we'll use SATA 0, at the bottom left of the block of four ports facing away from the board).
5. Now you'll want to attach the rear system fan, before it gets too cluttered in here. This has a cable leading off of it with a connector that hooks over a three pin port behind the CPU cooler. It's fiddly, so be careful you don't knock the cooler out of place.
6. Next we can insert the graphics card. Look at the motherboard. Below the CPU socket, you'll see a set of long plastic ports – the graphics card goes into the top blue one, but before you can put it in you'll need to remove the rear shield that lines up with this port and the one below it. This case has an unusual design, which involves removing a lock above the ports and twisting out the two protectors covering the GPU port. Keep hold of the screw and the lock.
7. Now insert the graphics card by pushing the edge with the gold contacts on into the blue port, so that the monitor ports are pointing out of the back of the case. Lock it into position with two screws from the packet that came with the case, and then refit the lock that you saved from step six.
8. That's all the important bits in place – now you just need to power them up. Look at your power supply. At the back, you'll see four holes for screw fittings that will hold it in place. Now look at the bottom of you case for the big space that the PSU will sit in. Slide it into place, lining up those four screw holes with the mount holes (note the power supply in these pictures isn't the one we recommended in the buyer's guide, it's just one that was lying around the office. Don't panic, though, yours will operate in exactly the same way.
9. Use the large thumbscrews to fix the power supply into place.
10. Now you need to attach the power cables to the various components. The largest 24-pin connector goes into the similarly sized block on the motherboard. It'll only fit one way round, so don't force it.
11. Now plug in the eight pin connector beside the CPU socket.
12. Finally, take one of the long flat connectors for the hard drive and attach it in the same way. It should slide firmly into place. Try and keep the other cables tidy and out of the way – they will actually tuck behind the motherboard tray into the space between that and the right hand side panel.
13. We're almost there, all you need to do now is connect up the front panel for the case. At the base of the motherboard, you'll see several sets of pins sticking up in groups. Some of these are for the internal USB connectors for the front panel, and one is for the sound jacks. Look in the manual if you're not sure which one is which.
14. The last job is the fiddliest – the power and reset buttons and the hard drive and power LED lights connect to another group of pins. You'll need to attach them individually, though, following the layout in the manual. Each of the connectors is clearly labelled, but getting them into place can be tricky.
And that's it – your PC is built and ready for a keyboard, mouse, monitor and – most importantly – games. We'll show you how to finish it off with those final steps next week.
When you've completed this week's build take a snap and send it over together with your name and address to [email protected]. Remember that you'll need to send in pictures after each weekly guide in order to win a copy of the game and be in the running for the graphics card.
1. No employees of VideoGamer.com or this competition's partner(s) may enter this competition.
2. Only one entry is allowed per person.
3. Valid details must be provided - we will contact you if you win via e-mail.
4. This competition is open to UK residents only.
5. Proof of purchase required.
6. The closing date for this competition is June 7.