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suggested reading for building a pc

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by m2hmghb, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. m2hmghb

    m2hmghb

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    title says it all guys, what would you suggest reading if you were thinking of building a pc and knew little on the hardware side.
     
  2. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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  3. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Just an added thought.....

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by knowing, "a little" on hardware side, but pretty much if you can even install a video card, and have the mental capacity to operate a screwdriver, you can build a PC. It really is easy.

    Best of luck...

    IGF
     
  4. glock19_fan

    glock19_fan ... --- ...

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    Building a PC can be easy, but if you only know a little, then you should be prepared to do a LOT of research.

    If you are doing it for a hobby, fine. If you just need a PC, then I suggest you just buy one that is built already.
     
  5. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Blasphemy! :), I couldn't disagree more.

    Store boughts almost always use inferior parts, etc, as profit margins have become razor thin. They are often loaded with 20gigs worth of software you'll never use/want.

    There's a reason there are so many threads here regarding building your own PC. Its a rewarding experience, not to mention you get a much better PC for the buck.

    IGF
     
  6. SanduneCC

    SanduneCC Senior Member

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  7. glock19_fan

    glock19_fan ... --- ...

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    We'll agree to disagree then.

    I've built computers blind-folded before, but it's definitely not a task for the timid.

    With the ever-changing technology, what I've learned 6 months ago with regards to motherboards, CPUs, memory, is obsolete. It takes days of research just to catch back up to a level where I feel comfortable with selecting the best components. It then takes time to comparison shop and figure out the best prices. After you've got it built, you've got to buy software (unless you don't mind using pirated software).

    Sure OEM PCs may not always use the best components, but unless you're a gamer or graphics designer it doesn't really matter. 95% of the PC users out there will never notice a difference.

    So bottom line is it's not that hard to put together a PC, but it takes a lot of time to research, shop, and put together the components. When you add software cost on top of that, often it's not much of a bargain, compared to OEM PCs, which come with warranties and service.
     
  8. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    I learned by reading reviews at newegg.com - then googling stuff that didn't make sense.
     
  9. Nyper

    Nyper

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    +1
     
  10. Nyper

    Nyper

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    m2hmghb,

    There are SO many different types of hardware & technologies (& brands) out there that it will be hard to find all of that information in one place/book/magazine.

    Most everyone will agree that building a computer is very easy. The hard part, however, is knowing exactly what parts to buy. If you buy parts that aren't compatible with each other then it simply won't work.

    Here is a little bit of information to get you on your way.

    Here are the necessary basic parts you will need when building a computer:
    - Motherboard (also called a main board, system board, or board)
    - Processor (CPU - central processing unit)
    - Memory (RAM - Random Access Memory, or system memory)
    - Video Card
    - HardDrive
    - Case & Power Supply

    Here are some optional components:
    - Sound card
    - Optical Storage (CD or DVD ROMs)
    - Magnetic Storage (floppy/zip drives, etc)
    - Network Card
    - Modem

    ---------

    Motherboard
    This is the main, big circuit board-like thing with lots of adapters and plugs on it. This is what all of your other components will plug into. This will determine what kind of components you can have. For instance: you cannot put an Intel processor on a motherboard designed for an AMD64 processor - you cannot put a PCI Express video card on a motherboard that only has an AGP adapter. It is usually best to plan out your other components, then find a motherboard that fits your needs.

    Processor
    This is the engine/powerhouse of the computer. Intel & AMD are the most popular and both are reliable brands. There are many differnet models amongst each. You will simply have to research (or ask) what will work best for you. Each CPU has a particular 'socket'. This is the form of the processor, or how it fits into the motherboard. For instance, an AMD64 is a Socket 939. This means the motherboard will also have to be Socket 939 to use this processor.

    Memory
    RAM is temporary storage for programs. RAM stores information that is going to be used very quickly and doesn't need to be written to the harddrive. There are many different types of RAM. The most popular for today's desktops is probably DDR memory. This is most likely what you will want. You will have to see what is compatible for your motherboard. For instance, if your motherboard accepts PC3200 DDR, that is what you would want to buy. You will have to research to see how much and it what forms (one stick or two?), etc...

    Video Card
    This is what you plug your monitor into. Video cards can be overwhelming. There are a ton of them out there. They can cost anywhere from below $100 to well over $500! If you do not plan to be doing alot of gaming or video stuff on your desktop, then it doesn't make sense to spend a lot of money on these. They can also come with TV tuners and several other outputs (such as HDTV, etc). Again, these must be compatible with your motherboard. If you get a popular PCI Express video card, you cannot put it in an old motherboard that only has an AGP slot. -- Sometimes, however, you can find motherboards that have 'integrated' video. This means you do not need a seperate video card. The video card is built into the motherboard. These are rather simple, but you won't get nearly as good performance from them as you will a normal video card.

    HardDrive
    This is your primary storage medium for all of your programs, pictures, etc. Today, the most popular type in desktops is probably SATA (or Serial ATA as you will often see it). Buy a harddrive is pretty straight forward. Go with a dependable brand like Wester Digital, Seagate, etc. Each drive has a particular "RPM". This is the rate at which the platters spin. The faster they spin, the faster the drive will usually work. However, faster RPMs can also lead to increased noise or heat. 7200 RPM is most common in today's computers. Don't go below that for a desktop. 10,000 RPM is available, but at a premium price.

    Case & Power Supply
    The case has to fit your motherboard. Each motherboard has a "form factor", and each case is made for specific form factors. Many motherboards are ATX - so you would need a case that is also ATX. Be careful not to get an ATX motherboard and a case that is only Mini ATX. You usually get what you pay for in a case. Some are made of very cheap materials and extremely aggravating to work with. Others are spacious and well made and are very easy to work with. Others are simply overpriced - there is a fine line.
    Power supplies aren't that hard either. You probably want to shoot for something around 400w for today's computers. If you plan to do alot of gaming or high performance stuff, you could look into something more powerful. You can always buy a case with a power supply already instead.

    Sound Card
    If you want a computer, you probably want sound. Many motherboards have integrated sound cards. If you don't play games or care about surround sound, etc then this will likely work fine for you. Don't spend alot of money on a sound card if sound isn't overly important to you. Then again, don't go spend $300 on an awesome surround speaker system and expect to get the best performance with an integrated sound card.

    Optical Storage
    I said this was optional, but really it isn't. If you want to install Windows & most other programs then you will need a CD-ROM. These are very straightforward. I recommend Plextor as a brand that I've never had trouble with. Others may give you differing opinions. Just find one that has a speed & price that suits you.
     
  11. Tom34

    Tom34 Obama Must Go!

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  12. paulk003

    paulk003

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    A Dummies guide to building a P.C.