The retail market on electronics is quite interesting. Prices go up and down everyday. Nowadays, manufacturers can buy all the raw materials at very cheap prices. Once the product is made and a profit is soon to be made. I, myself, am an IT guy. I do my best in keeping up with the market prices and values of products.
Computers for example, the prices of the parts are quite inexpensive nowadays, you ” re basically paying for the labor. That’s why I like to do things on my own. All the parts can be purchased at your local computer store. By doing this, you can fully customize a computer to suit your needs at an affordable price. Now the fun part, you are going to compile a list of parts to purchase. The main parts needed are: case & power supply (usually come together), diskette drive with cable, motherboard & processor, memory, hard drive with cable, video card, sound card, CD-ROM, and an operating system.
Parts that aren’t necessary but nice to have include: CD-Writer, modem, and any other component that you like can be added later on. Before you go to the store and say I have a list of parts, it would be a good idea to learn what each part does to combine them together to make a computer. To begin, we start with the case. The case is the body of the computer. You must make sure the case you get will have a power supply big enough to power all the components that you have bought.
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If you plan on upgrading later down the road, do yourself a favor and get a good power supply. It is very important because without enough power, the parts will fail. Also, make sure your case is the right size and form factor for the motherboard that you plan on using. Form factor is a fancy way of saying type. Most common are AT and ATX. You cannot mix AT cases with ATX motherboards and vice versa because it will not fit.
Heat is also another consideration. It is good to get a case that had good air flow design where you can add additional fans. A cheap case will have poor ventilation and no room for extra fans. The CPU (or processor) is the brains behind everything that you do on the computer. You have to choose one for your motherboard. A lot of people are Intel fans but like myself, I am a supporter of AMD.
There is not really too much to talk about except get a processor of your desired speed and get a compatible motherboard. The motherboard is the heart of the computer. There are so many choices in motherboards; it would be a lot of endless detail for me talking about them. The biggest breakdown is the two major brands, Intel and AMD. After that, it’s just what pieces you plan to add and get a coordinating board. After you decide on the board, choose a form factor that is compatible with your case.
They come in AT or ATX. Personally, I think ATX is better not because it’s newer but because of the accessibility of locations to set jumpers and other plugs. Next is memory. RAM is defined as random access memory.
What that means is when you start a program, it uses the RAM to boot it up faster. There are many different types of RAM. It depends on the motherboard that you purchase. Older computers use PC-133 while the new and faster computers use DDR. I prefer DDR because it’s faster but your motherboard has to support it. The hard drive is the storage of data.
If you want to add additional computers to your network in the future, all you need are more Network Interface Cards and 10 BaseT cables. Simply plug the new network cards (s) into your computer an run a cable form the card to one of the hub's open ports. For even greater expandability, the hub can be joined, or up linked, to other hubs. If you look closely at the front of the hub, you will see a ...
Basically, as cheap as they are, get a big one, 80 gigabytes or larger. I say that because of programs and games that take up a lot more space than the ones in the past. For the normal home user, get a standard IDE hard drive. The fancy ones would be a waste of money.
Now we move on to the display part of the computer, the video card. The two major types are PCI and AGP. AGP is newer and I recommend it to anyone who does graphics or plays games. Basically 64 MB is a good size to start with.
With video, you would also want sound. Sound cards are fairly cheap so I’d recommend a 5. 1 surround sound card with good speakers. You will need a CD-ROM and diskette drive.
Nowadays, anyone you buy will work. If you want, you can go ahead and buy a CD-Writer and a USB diskette drive if you ” re interested in one. Last, you will need a Windows operating system. Currently, you can get anything from Windows 98 SE to Windows XP Professional. Now that you have bought all the pieces, it’s time to put everything together and get it up and running.
Make sure you have an anti-static wristband to prevent static electricity damaging your parts. First, we have to mount the motherboard. Take it out of the box and place in it the case and line it up. Screw it in to the mounting points indicated to you in the manual. Next, you install the CPU. When you install it, make sure you line up the notch in the chip to the notch in the motherboard.
If you don’t do it correctly, you risk the chance of bending the pins on the CPU. After you place the chip properly, lower the latch to lock the chip in. When completed, install the RAM. If you bought DDR-RAM, put it in the blue memory slot. But if you bought SD-RAM, it goes in the black memory slot. After that, we mount the video card and sound card.
The video card goes into the AGP a. k. a. brown slot on the motherboard. Push it down and put the screw in. Place the sound card into the PCI a.
k. a. white slot and put the screw in also. Now we mount the drives. You should put your hard drives, floppy drive and CD-ROM in now. Make sure that you set the jumpers correctly.
The hard drive should be set as master and the CD-ROM should be set as slave. Refer to your manual on which is the correct jumper. The diskette drive goes in without any jumpers. Take the power cables coming from the power supply and plug them into each drive. Make sure you plug one end of the IDE cable to the hard drive and CD-ROM to the motherboard and plug in the diskette drive cable to the motherboard. The CD-ROM should have a sound input cable; you take that cable and plug it directly into the sound card.
In order to build a computer you need to have a computer case where all the components of the computer will be stored. There are tow types of computer cases. The first type is called AT case which is used for the older computers, and the second one is called ATX case which is used for resent computers. Cases also come in different sizes, colors and styles. The next part you need is a Motherboard: ...
Last, connect the keyboard, mouse and monitor and we are ready to power up! When you turn on your computer, you should hear one beep to tell you that you did everything correctly and make sure you quickly put in the operating system CD in so the computer can get set up. Once the computer starts to load and read the CD, it will go through a series of steps getting you set up and configured. During the install, it will ask you for some information like CD Product Key which you can find on the back of the CD case, your name, date and time. Go through all the steps and it then will automatically reboot itself, then configure a few other things, reboot again and then load Windows. After all the hard work, you will have a fully functional computer that you put together yourself. Take your time, and configure the settings to your liking and you are set.
You can change everything from your background to your mouse and even the way your computer boots up. Go ahead, play with it, you deserved it!