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Build It. Fix It. Own It: A Beginner's Guide to Building and Upgrading a PC [NOOK Book]

Overview

BUILD IT. FIX it. OWN IT.

A Beginner’s Guide to Building and Upgrading a PC

Build It. Fix It. Own It. is the ultimate beginner’s guide to building and fixing your own PC. With a friendly, knowledgeable tone, this book shows the beginning PC builder everything he or she needs to know to build a computer or upgrade an existing one.

We step you through the parts that lurk inside a PC, from the motherboard and ...

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Build It. Fix It. Own It: A Beginner's Guide to Building and Upgrading a PC

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Overview

BUILD IT. FIX it. OWN IT.

A Beginner’s Guide to Building and Upgrading a PC

Build It. Fix It. Own It. is the ultimate beginner’s guide to building and fixing your own PC. With a friendly, knowledgeable tone, this book shows the beginning PC builder everything he or she needs to know to build a computer or upgrade an existing one.

We step you through the parts that lurk inside a PC, from the motherboard and power supply to the CPU, memory, hard drive, video card, sound card, and networking hardware. In each case, you will learn how the hardware works, what it does, what types of hardware are available, and what to look for when buying the hardware.

Then we walk you step-by-step though a series of PC building projects. We show you how to build five different types of PC: a basic business PC, a home theater PC, a high-performance PC, a killer gaming PC, and a budget PC. And if building a new PC from scratch isn’t in your budget, we show you how to resurrect an old PC by swapping out a few key components.

When you have your PC built and running, we show you how to set up a wireless network and the BIOS and maintain your new rig.

Build It. Fix It. Own It. is the ultimate PC builder’s guide, even if you’ve never ventured inside a PC case before!

Author Bio

Paul McFedries is one of the industry’s most well known and respected technical writers and is a passionate computer tinkerer. He is the author of more than 70 computer books that have sold more than three million copies worldwide. His recent titles include the Sams Publishing books Windows Vista Unleashed and Windows Home Server Unleashed and the Que Publishing books Networking with Microsoft Windows Vista, Formulas and Functions with Microsoft Excel 2007, Tricks of the Microsoft Office 2007 Gurus, and Microsoft Access 2007 Forms, Reports, and Queries. Paul also is the proprietor of Word Spy (wordspy.com), a website devoted to tracking new words and phrases as they enter the English language.

Category Hardware

Covers PC Hardware

User Level Beginner—Intermediate

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132713573
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 6/2/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 607,546
  • File size: 24 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Paul McFedriesis a full-time technical writer and passionate computer tinkerer. He is the author of more than 70 computer books that have sold more than three million copies worldwide. His recent titles include the Sams Publishing books Windows Vista Unleashed and Windows Home Server Unleashed and the Que Publishing books Networking with Windows Vista; Formulas and Functions with Microsoft Excel 2007; Tricks of the Microsoft Office 2007 Gurus; and Microsoft Access 2007 Forms, Reports, and Queries. Paul also is the proprietor of Word Spy (wordspy.com), a website devoted to tracking new words and phrases as they enter the English language.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I: Getting to Know Your PC

Chapter 1The Barebones: The Motherboard, Case, and Power Supply

Mobo Mojo: Understanding the Motherboard

A Tour of a Typical Motherboard

Understanding Expansion Slot Types

Sizing Up Motherboard Form Factors

Buying a Motherboard

The Case Is Your Base

Buttons, Bezels, and Bays: A Case Parts List

That’s About the Size of It: Case Form Factors

Case Designs: From Boring to Beautiful

Going with the Flow: Case Fans

Buying a Case

Power to the PC: The Power Supply Unit

Getting to Know the Power Supply

Buying a Power Supply

From Here

Chapter 2 The Brains: The Central Processing Unit

Intel or AMD?

Clocks, Cores, and More: Understanding CPU Specs

The Processor Family

The Processor Cores

The Processor Name

The Processor Clock Speed

The Processor Socket

The Processor Bus Speed

The Processor L2 Cache Size

The Processor Manufacturing Process

The Processor Core Type

The Processor Market: What’s Available

Keeping It Cool: Fans and Heatsinks

Buying a CPU

From Here

Chapter 3The Work Area: Memory

What Is RAM?

Combining Memory Chips Into Memory Modules

DDR, DIMM, and More: Understanding Memory Specs

The Memory Module Standard

The Memory Type and Speed

Dual Channel Mode

The Memory Module Capacity

The Memory Latency and Timings

The Memory Module Configuration and Pins

Windows and RAM: The 4GB Conundrum

Buying Memory

From Here

Chapter 4Hard Drives and Other Storage Devices

Drive Time: How a Hard Drive Works

Capacity, Cache, and More: Understanding Hard Drive Specs

The Hard Drive Interface and Throughput

The Hard Drive Form Factor

The Hard Drive Capacity

The Hard Drive Speed

The Hard Drive Cache

The Hard Drive Seek Time

Buying a Hard Drive

Disc Driving: Choosing an Optical Drive

The Data’s the Things: Optical Disc Capacities

A Tour of Optical Drive Types

Speed Is All: Understanding Optical Drive Speeds

Buying an Optical Drive

More Storage Devices

From Here

Chapter 5Eyes to See and Ears to Hear: Video and Audio Hardware

Assessing Your Video Card Needs

GPU, GDDR, SLI, and More: Understanding Video Card Specs

The GPU Chipset

Video Memory

Dual-GPU Support

Video Card Connectors

Buying a Video Card

Bits, Channels, and More: Understanding Sound Card Specs

The Sampling Frequency

The Sample Depth

The Number of Channels

Sound Card Connectors

Buying a Sound Card

From Here

Chapter 6Getting Connected: Networking Hardware

Getting Wired: Understanding Ethernet Networks

10BASE-T

100BASE-T (Fast Ethernet)

1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet)

Beyond Gigabit Ethernet

Learning about Network Interface Cards

The Wired Connection: Network Cables

Twisted-Pair Cable

Crossover Cable

A Connection Point for Your Network: The Switch

Adding the Internet into the Mix with a Router

Understanding IP Addresses

The Router and Dynamic IP Addressing

The Router as Firewall

The Router as Switch

A Buyer’s Guide to Ethernet Hardware

Purchasing a NIC

Purchasing Cables

Purchasing a Switch

Purchasing a Router

Going Wireless: Understanding Wi-Fi Networks

Understanding Wi-Fi

Understanding Wireless Hot Spots

Learning About Wireless NICs

Putting It All Together with a Wireless Access Point

Expanding Your Wi-Fi Empire with a Wireless Range Extender

A Buyer’s Guide to Wireless Networking Hardware

Purchasing a Wireless NIC

Purchasing a Wireless AP

From Here

Chapter 7Buying PC Parts

Researching Parts Online

Checking Out Product Reviews

Performing Price Comparisons

Researching Retailers Online

Buying Parts Online

Returning Parts Online

Buying Parts Offline

Buying Non–Shrink-Wrapped Parts

From Here

Chapter 8Basic Skills for PC Building and Upgrading

What Tools Do You Need?

What Software Do You Need?

Setting Up Your Work Area

Playing It Safe

Keeping Yourself Safe

Keeping Your Components Safe

Opening the Computer Case

Making Cable Connections

Installing Memory Modules

Installing an Expansion Card

Installing a Processor

Installing an Intel CPU in a Socket 775 Board

Installing an AMD CPU in a Socket AM2 Board

From Here

Chapter 9Scavenging an Old PC for Parts

Removing an Internal Expansion Card

Taking Out a Hard Drive

Prying Out a CPU

Pulling Out Memory Modules

Releasing the Power Supply

Removing the Motherboard

From Here

Part II: PC Building and Upgrading Projects

Chapter 10Building a Basic Business PC

Design Goals for a Basic Business PC

Choosing Parts for the Basic Business PC

Selecting a Case for the Basic Business PC

Choosing a Motherboard for the Basic Business PC

Selecting a Power Supply for the Basic Business PC

Picking Out a CPU for the Basic Business PC

How Much Memory Does the Basic Business PC Need?

Storage Options for the Basic Business PC

Determining the Video Needs of the Basic Business PC

Selecting Audio Equipment for the Basic Business PC

Choosing Networking Hardware for the Basic Business PC

Pricing the Basic Business PC

Putting Together the Basic Business PC

Removing the Generic I/O Shield

Installing the Motherboard Standoffs

Getting the Motherboard Ready for Action

Installing the Motherboard

Installing the Hard Drive

Installing the Optical Drive

Inserting the Video Card

Final Steps

Powering Up

Final Thoughts

From Here

Chapter 11Building a Home Theater PC

Design Goals for a Home Theater PC

Choosing Parts for the Home Theater PC

Selecting a Case for the Home Theater PC

Choosing a Motherboard for the Home Theater PC

Selecting a Power Supply for the Home Theater PC

Picking a CPU for the Home Theater PC

How Much Memory Does the Home Theater PC Need?

Storage Options for the Home Theater PC

Determining the Video Needs of the Home Theater PC

Selecting Audio Equipment for the Home Theater PC

Choosing Networking Hardware for the Home Theater PC

Pricing the Home Theater PC

Putting Together the Home Theater PC

Getting the Case Ready

Installing the Motherboard Standoffs

Getting the Motherboard Ready for Action

Installing the Motherboard

Installing the 5.25-inch Drives

Installing the Expansion Cards

Installing the Sound Card

Installing the Hard Drive

Final Steps

Powering Up

Final Thoughts

From Here

Chapter 12Building a High-Performance PC

Design Goals for a High-Performance PC

Choosing Parts for the High-Performance PC

Selecting a Case for the High-Performance PC

Choosing a Motherboard for the High-Performance PC

Selecting a Power Supply for the High-Performance PC

Picking Out a CPU for the High-Performance PC

How Much Memory Does the High-Performance PC Need?

Storage Options for the High-Performance PC

Determining the Video Needs of the High-Performance PC

Selecting Audio Equipment for the High-Performance PC

Choosing Networking Hardware for the High-Performance PC

Pricing the High-Performance PC

Putting Together the High-Performance PC

Getting the Case Ready

Installing the Motherboard Standoffs

Getting the Motherboard Ready for Action

Installing the Motherboard

Installing the Hard Drive

Installing the Optical Drive

Installing the Card Reader

Inserting the Video Cards

Final Steps

Powering Up

Final Thoughts

From Here

Chapter 13Building a Killer Gaming PC

Design Goals for a Killer Gaming PC

Choosing Parts for the Killer Gaming PC

Selecting a Case for the Killer Gaming PC

Choosing a Motherboard for the Killer Gaming PC

Determining the Video Needs of the Killer Gaming PC

Storage Options for the Killer Gaming PC

Selecting a Power Supply for the Killer Gaming PC

Picking Out a CPU for the Killer Gaming PC

How Much Memory Does the Killer Gaming PC Need?

Selecting Audio Equipment for the Killer Gaming PC

Choosing Networking Hardware for the Killer Gaming PC

Pricing the Killer Gaming PC

Putting Together the Killer Gaming PC

Getting the Case Ready

Installing the Motherboard Standoffs

Getting the Motherboard Ready for Action

Installing the Motherboard

Installing the Hard Drive

Installing the Optical Drive

Inserting the Sound Card

Inserting the Video Cards

Installing the Power Supply and Power Cables

Final Steps

Powering Up

Configuring the RAID Array

Installing the Operating System

Final Thoughts

From Here

Chapter 14Building a Budget PC

Design Goals for a Budget PC

Choosing Parts for the Budget PC

Selecting a Case for the Budget PC

Choosing a Motherboard for the Budget PC

Selecting a Power Supply for the Budget PC

Picking Out a CPU for the Budget PC

How Much Memory Does the Budget PC Need?

Storage Options for the Budget PC

Determining the Video Needs of the Budget PC

Selecting Audio Equipment for the Budget PC

Choosing Networking Hardware for the Budget PC

Pricing the Budget PC

Putting Together the Budget PC

Getting the Case Ready

Installing the Motherboard Standoffs

Getting the Motherboard Ready for Action

Installing the Motherboard

Installing the Hard Drive

Installing the Optical Drive

Inserting the HDMI Card

Installing the Case Intake Fan

Connecting the Power Cables

Final Steps

Powering Up

Final Thoughts

From Here

Chapter 15This Old PC: Renovating a Computer

Getting Started: Researching the Upgrade

Looking Inside the Computer

Accessing the System BIOS Configuration Program

Running the Device Manager and System Information Utilities

Searching for the System Manual Online

Using Third-Party Tools to Research Components

Before: Benchmarking the Old PC

Making the Old PC Run Faster

The Chipset Is All

Adding More Memory

Upgrading the Video Card

Beefing Up the Hard Drive

Dropping in a Faster CPU

After: Benchmarking the Upgraded PC

From Here

Chapter 16Putting Your Network Together

Configuring Your Router

Connecting the Router for Configuration

Displaying the Router’s Setup Pages

Changing the Router’s IP Address

Updating the Firmware

Setting Up Your Broadband Connection

Enabling UPnP

Enabling the DHCP Server

Modifying Wireless Settings

Checking the Router Status

Connecting the Broadband Modem

Attaching the Internet Connection Cable

Registering the Modem

Connecting the Router

Connecting the Switch

Laying the Network Cable

Changing the Computer and Workgroup Name

Making Wireless Network Connections

Connecting to a Wireless Network

Disconnecting from a Wireless Network

From Here

Chapter 17Maintaining Your Computer Hardware

Cleaning the Computer

Dust: Your PC’s Worst Nightmare

Cleaning the Screen, Keyboard, and Mouse

Cleaning the Front and Back of the PC

Cleaning the Power Supply

Cleaning the Interior

Updating the Motherboard BIOS

Updating the BIOS for the Intel D975XBX2

Updating the BIOS for the Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H

Updating the BIOS for the ASUS P5K3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP

Updating the BIOS for the ASUS Striker Extreme

Updating the BIOS for the ASUS M2A-VM HDMI

Updating Device Drivers

Creating a System Image Backup

Checking Your Hard Drive for Errors

Defragmenting Your Hard Drive

From Here

0789738279 TOC 4/30/2008

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 17, 2009

    A good book

    This book is a good way to learn how to build or maintain your PC. It tells step by step how to build a Business, Home Theater, High-Performance and I quote the book ¿a killer gaming¿ PC. If you¿re a Beginner or Intermediate at building PCs this book is for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Very useful book

    I bought this book for my husband and he found it to be incredibly useful and easy to read for a beginner in computer terminology

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2008

    wonderful book

    a great book 4 everyone that wants to learn how to build and fix a pc.also how take parts frompc to another pc. buy the book it will be the best thing you do 4 your self.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 18, 2011

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    Posted December 16, 2009

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    Posted June 26, 2010

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