Build Your Own PC Pocket Reference

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Overview

From Stephen Bigelow,the #1 author in PC hardware,comes a handy,step-by-step pocket reference to building your own customized PC. He explains in easy-to-follow detail how to choose your components,assemble them quickly and efficiently,test the system,troubleshoot,take advantage of upgrades,and install your operating system.

The Ultimate Quick Reference for Building Your Dream PC.

Learn to build a complete,economical IBM-compatible PC from the ...

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Overview

From Stephen Bigelow,the #1 author in PC hardware,comes a handy,step-by-step pocket reference to building your own customized PC. He explains in easy-to-follow detail how to choose your components,assemble them quickly and efficiently,test the system,troubleshoot,take advantage of upgrades,and install your operating system.

The Ultimate Quick Reference for Building Your Dream PC.

Learn to build a complete,economical IBM-compatible PC from the ground up. Building your own PC is the best way to get exactly the system you want,save money - and enjoy yourself in the process. Stephen Bigelow has taught thousands of online students - including rank beginners - to construct the customized PC of their dreams. All his expert tips,tricks,and techniques are right here in this handy,step-by-step guide. You'll learn to choose your components,assemble them quickly and efficiently,test the system,troubleshoot,take advantage of upgrades,and install your operating system.

Learn to:

  • Choose the right parts for your dream machine
  • Assemble components quickly and efficiently
  • Install the motherboard,key components,and peripherals
  • Recognize troublesome components during assembly
  • Examine and troubleshoot CMOS at setup
  • Install and optimize your operating system
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072129441
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 9/21/2000
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 4.70 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Choosing the Parts

The most vital part of any new construction or upgrade project is the planning phase. You can choose any parts you want for your new computer, but choosing the right parts to fit your particular needs can sometimes be a real headache. This first part of this book outlines the many diverse subassemblies involved in a typical PC and is designed to help you select the devices that will satisfy your needs.

So You Want to Build Your Own PC

Should I buy it, or should I build it myself? That's a question I hear all too often; and it's probably the best way to start this chapter. The PC industry is cutthroat and relentlessly competitive, so prices for premanufactured PCs are very low. As a result, a home-built PC is rarely cheaper than a comparable store-bought model, but before you rush out and start buying components, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages.

Disadvantages

Before you warm up that credit card and run right out to buy components, PC building is not for the faint of heart. Home-built PCs often can cost several hundred dollars more than a store-bought system. This is because PC makers buy parts in quantities of tens of thousands; you just can't touch their volume discounts. PC building also requires patience and a commitment of time and effort. If you need a PC now for some specific purpose, building it yourself may not be the right choice.

Advantages

On the other hand, building your own system offers some compelling advantages. The biggest advantages are practical education and personal satisfaction. There's nothing quite like watching your own PC come together from the ground up andknowing that you've done the work yourself. You also get the chance to learn your PC inside and out, which can pay dividends later when the PC needs to be upgraded or repaired. Because you already know your system, you are uniquely qualified to perform the upgrade or tackle the repair, which can be a huge cost savings over having someone else do it. Another advantage is customization; that is, you can tailor your system for your own unique needs and avoid the prepackaged deals offered by PC vendors.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, you'll spend a little more to build your own PC, but the educational value and personal satisfaction you'll receive are often well worth it. If you still need help making your decision about whether or not to build, answer the builder's checklist that follows:

  • Do you enjoy a new learning challenge?
  • Do you want to understand how a PC is assembled?
  • Do you want a PC to have particular features but can't find those features in prepackaged systems?
  • Do you enjoy working your way through some possi- ble problems during a new PC construction?
  • Do you want to interact with a variety of vendors and distributors?
  • Have you ever thought of custom PC building as a sideline or small business?
  • Is education worth spending a few extra dollars?
  • Are you comfortable working with wiring and mechanical assemblies?
If you answered "yes" to six or more questions, then you're probably ready to build your own PC.

Deciding to Upgrade

Although the economics of building your own PC from scratch may not always be appealing, the economics of upgrading are often much clearer-especially for systems that are only a few years old. Once again, you should consider some advantages and disadvantages before you walk into a store.

Disadvantages

The most apparent issue with upgrades is compatibility With PC technology advancing so fast (PCs tend to double their capacity every 18-24 months), it is sometimes difficult to upgrade an older PC with current parts. If you've ever struggled with configuring an EIDE hard drive in an older IDE system or tried to find more memory modules for your proprietary PC, you already get the picture. Forget about finding older parts for your upgrade; only the latest and greatest is available off the shelf. You might get lucky visiting a PC auction, swap meet, or yard sale, but that's about it...

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Table of Contents

Section I: Choosing the Parts.
Section II: Starting the Assembly.
Section III: Finishing the Assembly.
Section IV: Installing the Operating System.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2004

    Don't buy this book

    This book may have once been useful but not anymore, all of the information is out dated. It does cover some of the basics of pc building but it¿s not much help. If you are building a 486-66 pc feel free to buy this book, all others keep away.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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