Getting Started with Your Build:
Rule Zero. This is so important, it’s not even number one. It’s zero.
BUILD OUTSIDE THE CASE
The hands on part of the build is oft the most fun as you get to physically get all the pieces put together. However, it has its own challenges. Here’s a general help guide to avoid some of the common issues.
Make sure you place your board on a non-conductive surface like a nice clean piece of cardboard, or something similar.
CPUs and Heatsinks
Install your CPU(s), and heatsinks. You only need a small amount of thermal paste. Basically you are trying to put a paper thin layer between the CPU and the heatsink, just enough to help conduct the heat, too much and it actually acts as an insulator. If you’re unsure, there are many tabletop build guides available on YouTube like the ones embedded here.
How you put it on there is a debated topic (lines, Xs, and others), but the generally accepted method is a small drop or two in the middle and it will squish out to cover the CPU when installing the heatsink. If you mess up and put too much, do not worry, you can clean it all off with a high-percentage rubbing alcohol, and a lint-free cloth. No biggie.
Make sure that if you are using active coolers that you have the fans oriented the correct way. Easy way to tell is the open side (without the plastic bars across), is the intake. Also, most fans will have tiny arrows imprinted on the side showing the airflow direction. On this same topic, you want your air to flow from the front of the case to the back, not up, down, or sideways. Front to back.
Install a single stick of RAM for each (you can add more later). It is important to start with the minimum amount of RAM to help negate any initial issues, and to keep testing of the hardware simple. Make sure you add in all your RAM and test before you place the build inside your chassis.
Hook up your PSU.
Plug in your USB/OS Drive and boot!
This is server hardware so it takes it longer to boot than your typical desktop machine. This is normal. Pretend like you have dial up and are trying to get on to check your email. Go make some toast.
Run through all your setup processes, then double-check it is all functional. Now you can add in the rest of your RAM, addon cards, and the like. Test again outside the case. Success? Great!
Putting the build in your chassis:
You are ready to transfer the build into your chassis, awesome! Double-check and make sure all the standoffs are lined up, and there is not a rogue one hiding on a desert planet… Rather, where it is going to cause an issue. Drop it in, boot it up, no issues? Phenomenal! Add in your drives and you are off to the races!
As always, if you get stuck, hit us up on Discord or Reddit for help.
- The ServerBuilds.net Team -