OpenLab 2014/11 | PC hardware session

  • Date: 28. 11. 2014
  • Workshop by: Lukáš Němec, Karel Kubíček
  • Cake: almost a lie, evidence here
  • Cake by: Jirka Novotný

We will look inside of desktop PC (lab PCs will be used). We will briefly explain basic components and how to assemble your own PC, if you do not know how to do so.

Main focus will be on reaplying CPU thermal paste and hopefully solving overheating problems with some of computers in lab.

Some motivation first, this is not the way you do it:

  1. First you want to clean CPU and heatsink
    • ideally with technical purpose alcohol and some cloth (one which will not leave fibers)
    • make sure, that contact points are really clean, without any dust etc.
    • Also if you buy new components, make sure, that there is nothing left (protecting plastic etc.)
  2. Then check fan mounting brackets and make sure, you know, how they work.
  3. Apply thermal paste
    • No need to get fancy, dot in the middle is enough
    • Recomended size is about a grain of rice.
  4. Place fan and secure it in place
  5. Run some tests …

<note warning>Some thermal paste brands can be conductive, so take care when applying it. And even if it is not, it's generally bad idea to mess up your motherboard with it.</note>

As scary as it may sound, there is nothing difficult in this. There are some basic rules, you will have to read manual that comes with every motherboard etc, but if you are able to solve puzzle on picture, then you should be able to asseble your own PC. Every connector is differrent, and fits only one way (without extensive amount of force, which you should not use anyway).

There is no need to go into details, because every PC will be little different. Most important is probbably choice of right components, so that they are compatible, but again, you do not need to be an expert to acomplish this, probabbly best way to go (if you get easily lost in all that parameters) is to find some reliable forum of magazine (if they still exist) and there you will find plenty of “ready to go” builds. Also they are usually sorted by budget and power, so that you can choose anything to suit your needs.