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

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

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Description

  • Copyright 2008
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-3827-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3827-1

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 (www.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

Extras

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Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Building a Budget PC

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages

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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