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The following system was built from parts purchased at [SWS Electronics and Computers ] a local computer parts store in Tucson, Arizona (USA).

Assembling the Parts Together

"computer parts" Here are the parts purchased.

I had purchased two extra red SATA cables, but then learned that one was already included with the Barebones PC. Also, had to go back to the store for an extra EIDE-to-SATA (white to black) power cable adapter. The phillips screwdriver #2 (shown with red handle) is all that you need for tools.

"USA voltage 115" Slide voltage to 115.

"USA voltage 115" Remove side and front panels.

"Installing the CPU" Install the CPU.

Since this motherboard has an AM2 socket, we could have gone with either an AMD Sempron or Athlon64 X2. I chose the Athlon64 X2 which was more expensive, but runs faster.

Installation was tricky, and I watched some YouTube videos to see how others had done this. Remember to always hold the processor by the edges, and never let the gold pins touch your skin or anything else because you will leave small amounts of oil or sweat that might ruin it.

To install, raise the shiny lever (shown in the up position above), align the corner with the triangle on the chip with the triangle on the motherboard (it is the corner nearest the power supply in the picture above). Line up all the pins, and push down into place. If it didn't work, lift the CPU up, and try again. Once in place, move the shiny lever back down to snap everything in place. If you fail to do this step correctly, you might end up buying another CPU.

"Installing the fan" Install the heatsink fan.

The fan was also a bit tricky. There are two silver brackets. Align the fan so that the blue-purple level is away from the power supply. Put the fan on the processor, and snap in the bracket that is nearest the power supply. Turn the lever all the way to the left, push down on the fan, and attach the other bracket. This second bracket is then made tighter by turning the blue-purple lever clockwise until it is snug against the processor.

"Memory" Install the DIMM.

There are four slots for memory, two yellow and two black. Starting near the CPU, they are:

  • DIMM_A1 (yellow)
  • DIMM B1 (yellow)
  • DIMM A2 (black)
  • DIMM B2 (black)

Channel A is A1,A2 and Channel B is B1,B2. If you are going to have DIMMS in both channels, then A1+A2 amount must match B1+B2. All of them need to be the same speed, either 533, 667 or 800. I could have gotten two 1GB DIMMs in A1 and B1 to get dual-channel, but it was cheaper to get one 2GB DIMM and put it only in A1. (Read the [[ | ASUS Manual ]] if you need more details on this.

To install, push the white tabs down on both sides of the yellow slot. Insert the DIMM, there is a notch with 112 connections on one side, and 128 connections on the other side, so there is no way to put it in backwards. As before, don't let the connections touch your skin or anything else.

"Metal Bracket" Removing the metal plates.

Before you can install the two PCI-based NIC cards, you have to remove the back plates and this holding bracket. Using your screwdriver, twist off the two metal plates for the two PCI slots. You have to slide this bracket out (shown here in my hand) and it was not obvious which way to push, pull or squeeze to get it. It is "left and up" as shown in this picture.

"Network Interface Cards" Install the NICs.

Don't let the connections touch your skin or anything else. Firmly push each one into place, then put the bracket back using "down and right" to hold the cards in place.