How to Build Your Own
Pentium III Computer
Setup the Motherboard
Last updated: 4/14/99
Many people don't realize that computer components
can be damaged by static electricity and a problem may not appear for
months later when a power surge completes the damage. With the
non-parity memory used in most recent computers, a damaged transistor
in a memory chip can start corrupting files and you will not be alerted
by an error message and not know about it until you see widespread damage
Ideally, you should wear a grounded anti-static wrist
strap when working on computer equipment, especially when handling memory
and CPUs. Also, the use of grounded anti-static mats on the floor
and on the workbench is a good practice. However, these items can
be too expensive if you are building just one computer. As a minimum,
my advise is to make sure your body is touching the metal on the computer
case when handling the CPU and the memory anytime between the time they
are in their anti-static bag or container and installed on the motherboard,
and any time when directly touching them. It would also be a good
idea to work with bare feet during this critical time. Try to avoid
touching drives, boards, memory, etc. with your clothes. Clothing
can quite often be charged with static electricity, especially during
cold-dry, Winter days.
the motherboard from its box and take it out of the padded antistatic bag. Place
the antistatic bag on the workbench and set the motherboard on top of it.
the cardboard packing from the CPU box, set it aside, and put the power cord
and the HX45 Assembly Instructions in the box.
the SECC2 mounts at each end of the CPU slot with the screws provided.
This motherboard came with a universal CPU retention
mechanism. The CPU comes in two flavors: Single Edge Contact Cartridge
(SECC) and Single Edge Contact Cartridge 2 (SECC2). Our CPU had
an SECC2 form factor. We found that the Universal retention device,
which came with the motherboard, would not adequately support the CPU,
but were "saved" by an SECC2 retention mechanism we had on
hand from a previous version of the motherboard. You can learn
more about retention mechanisms at Intel's
SECC2 retention mechanisms vary. Some attach
with screws, such as this one, and others attach with plastic fasteners.
Refer to my article on "How
to Build Your Own Pentium II Computer" for details on
installing SECC form factor CPU's.
the CPU fan so it's power cable is on the bottom. There are four pins
protruding from the heat sink. Carefully insert these pins into the
corresponding holes on the CPU.
the metal clip that came with the CPU fan. Slide the slots on one side
of the clip onto the pins sticking out of the back of CPU until the holes
on the other side of the clip are aligned with the two pins on the CPU. Push
down on side of the clip with the holes and slide outward to the side to
lock the clip in place and secure the heat sink to the CPU.
the processor into the retention mechanism and press it evenly and firmly
into it's slot on the motherboard until it clicks in place on both sides
of the retention mechanism.
One thing is for sure: UPS isn't going to jar this
CPU loose during shipment... without destroying the computer...
memory module has two notches on the bottom: one in the middle and another
one near it's sides. Orient the module so the notch on the side is
to the left. Hold the memory module with both hands and evenly and
firmly insert it into the DIMM socket labeled "DIMM1," the one
furthest back, and make sure it is fully seated. The leavers
at the ends of the socket will come up when the module is inserted. Push
inward on them to be sure they are fully in place.
the CPU fan wire along the bottom of the heat sink and plug it into the motherboard
connector labeled "FAN1" to the rear of the right side of the CPU.
The CPU fan has three wires. Two are for power
and third one is used by the motherboard to sense fan speed and may be
used by system monitoring software to sound an alarm if the fan fails. That
is why you should use a 3-wire fan that connects to the motherboard instead
of a fan which connects to one of the power-supply connectors.
coil-up the excess CPU fan wire and zip-tie it to keep the wire out of the
CPU fan. It is easier to do this now while the motherboard is out of
If you have a motherboard with jumpers, now is the
time to set them and double check them.
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