PC Hardware Buyer's Guide

( 3 )

Overview

If you're one of the many who has decided to build your own personal computer system, you know that doing so can be quite a challenge. The information can be overwhelming—and so can the number of choices.It's true, whether you're perusing online sites, or wandering the aisles of your favorite retail store, shopping for PC components is no easy task. Until now. Thanks to PC Hardware Buyer's Guide, the experience of building your own PC system has never been easier.This handy pocket guide is the ideal shopping ...

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Overview

If you're one of the many who has decided to build your own personal computer system, you know that doing so can be quite a challenge. The information can be overwhelming—and so can the number of choices.It's true, whether you're perusing online sites, or wandering the aisles of your favorite retail store, shopping for PC components is no easy task. Until now. Thanks to PC Hardware Buyer's Guide, the experience of building your own PC system has never been easier.This handy pocket guide is the ideal shopping companion for do-it-yourself types. Loaded with valuable information, it starts off by providing a piece-by-piece overview of all the components that comprise a standard desktop computer. Then it sinks its teeth into the crux of the issue: how to choose the right parts for you, based on your particular profile (gamer, mainstream user, etc.). It does so by helping you identify which parts are:

  • Compatible to each other
  • Regarded as the best performing
  • Closest in line with your budget
For quick-lookup purposes, the PC Hardware Buyer's Guide even includes a simple reference chart with recommended brands and models. Just refer to the chart and the guesswork is gone. And don't worry about the shelf-life of the information, either. The PC Hardware Buyer's Guide features several rules of thumb for choosing components that endure past the latest models, so you don't need to buy a new guide with each passing year.In a market where very little written information exists, this is the only pocket guide that covers PC hardware.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596009380
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/11/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 902,845
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Bruce Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC, Astronomy Hacks, and the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders. Thompson built his first computer in 1976 from discrete chips. It had 256 bytes of memory, used toggle switches and LEDs for I/O, ran at less than 1MHz, and had no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Thompson reads mysteries and nonfiction for relaxation, but only on cloudy nights. He spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, hunting down faint fuzzies, and is currently designing a larger truss-tube Dobsonian (computerized, of course) that he plans to build.

Barbara Fritchman Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC and PC Hardware in a Nutshell. Barbara worked for 20 years as a librarian before starting her own home-based consulting practice, Research Solutions, and is also a researcher for the law firm Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge, & Rice, PLLC. During her leisure hours, Barbara reads, works out, plays golf, and, like Robert, is an avid amateur astronomer.

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Table of Contents

Choosing components 1
Case 2
Power supply 8
Processor 18
Heatsink/fan unit (CPU cooler) 32
Motherboard 37
Memory 45
Floppy drive 48
Hard drive 50
Optical drive 54
Video adapter 61
Display 69
Audio adapter 84
Speakers 87
Keyboard 89
Mouse 92
Network adapter 94
Modem 103
Buying components 109
Buying guidelines 109
Recommended sources 117
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2005

    concise and up to date

    The authors give you a concise and up to date (2005) synopsis of how to choose PC hardware. There's a fair amount of detail, including all the inevitable acronyms that computing folks so delight in. But it's unavoidable if you're going to make any rational choices. The book does help in showing who the main vendors are of each product type like disk drives or monitors. Accompanied by crisp suggestions of the key performance features that you should look for. Be aware that there are indeed far more voluminous books on this subject. That give more comprehensive coverage of vendors' products. But often these books are for hardware professionals. If you just want something simpler that is reliable, then maybe this book might be for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2005

    The missing chapter

    I bought Building the Perfect PC a while back, and greatly enjoyed it. But he component section really seemed to focus on the configurations built in the book. Fine, but left me wanting. This book ought to be called 'the missing chapter' or something. It covers all the important component choices you have to make when building your own PC with real-world, experience-based advice the Thompsons have gathered. How much to spend for a processor? And which processor to buy? This book will tell you what the trade-offs are and where the sweet-spot is. For lots more than just processors, of course, they cover all the major components. They name names and call it like they see it in a straight-forward writing style I found easy to keep up and stay engaged with. And the back cover folds out to be a two page buyer's guide you can take down to your favorite computer store, or keep open as you look at the Internet site. Great, condensed, advice. Recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2005

    Excellent Guide To Choosing Components For Your PC

    This book provides solid advice for choosing the components to build your own PC. It provides a lot of info I wish I had before I built my first PC. For example, the case selection advice would have saved me a lot of annoying nicks and cuts from a case with sharp edges. I have built several PCs, and I plan on using the information in this book the next time I select components to build or upgrade a PC. I am confident the information in this book will help me build a better PC for less money.

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