How to Build a Computer Essay

How to Build a Custom Desktop Computer Most people believe that building a desktop computer is difficult or complicated, even though that is not really the case. It takes a basic understanding of how to use a screw driver, read manuals, and know a little about basic hardware and software. Building your own computer has its ups and downs. Building a computer one’s self can save money, because then you do not have to pay someone else to do it. Also, when building the computer, you need one hundred percent control over what is inside the computer hardware and software-wise.

While building a Personal Computer (PC) is somewhat easy, building a MAC is not because Apple usually controls parts and software too much. First, it is important to get the right parts together; you cannot simply put random parts together and expect them to work. Building a computer requires some research into the types of hardware and software that are needed. Selecting the right configuration, whether your computer will be a gaming machine, internet surfer, work computer or used for graphics design, you should design your computer to fit your needs.

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Gaming machines and graphics design computers tend to need more hardware than internet and work computers because they run programs that use a lot of the hardware. Next, think about processor type. Intel’s processors are usually the better built processors, but cost more; whereas AMD’s cost less, but are considered the “Fords” of PCs because of the fact that most PC experts believe AMD processors to be weak compared to Intel Processors. Now, think about what type of graphics you desire, onboard or a graphics card. Onboard graphics have less capacity than graphics cards do, but are cheaper because it is a part of the motherboard.

This brings you to motherboards; determine if you need performance or not. Motherboard prices range from $70. 00 to $400. 00. Power supplies can be the easiest component. Most new systems need 450 watts or more, while gaming systems need 600 watts or more. Next, you should decide on which drives you need, CD, DVD or BRD. You must consider if you need or want to be able to burn or read the disks. You need to decide which drive connections you will use for your drives, SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) or PATA (Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment).

SATA is newer than PATA, and faster. Afterwards, you should choose a hard drive which is the disk that stores all of your data in the machine. You should consider what size of hard drive is needed and what operating system will be used. Standard hard drives can range from 250 gigabytes or $70. 00, up to 2 terabyte or $250. 00. Last, on hardware, is the tower. You should buy this last so you can build it to fit the needs of the hardware you have just bought. There are a few operating systems to choose from; Windows costs $200. 00 to $400. 00, UNIX costs from $250. 00 to $2,200. 0, and Linux is a $20. 00 to $100. 00 OS based off of UNIX, although it can be found for free. Now, to begin, you will need to touch something metallic attached to the ground to discharge any build up of static electricity in your body as you can damage PC parts by not doing so. Next, you will prepare the tower for the motherboard. Do this by lining the screw mounts with the holes on the motherboard. Then, you place the motherboard access plate into the case. Next, place the motherboard carefully into the case and screw down the motherboard with the screws provided by the case.

After that, place the processer into the slot. Read instructions carefully so you will not mess this up. The slot can only go one way correctly, but you can break it enough to insert it the wrong way. Next, place the heat sink (cooling device) over the processer to keep it from overheating. You may need some thermal conduction paste, but the heat sink may have it already on the bottom. Tighten the heat sink down and plug the fan power wire into the motherboard. Next, you will begin to install the power supply. Place it into the top of the case and screw it into the holes (they will be marked).

Begin to put the power supply connections into the motherboard by starting with the 20-24 pin connector. Then, move on to the 4-8 pin processer connector. Next, begin to install the drives. It is best to start with the CD/DVD/BRD drives first, as they belong in the to, toward the front. Place them into the correct slots and screw them in by lining them up with the holes in the tower. Afterwards, you will install the hard drive or hard drives by inserting them into the space at the bottom front and screwing them in as well, making sure to line it up with the holes in the tower.

After this, plug the cables into the motherboard followed by the drives’ power cables. The cable will be different based on the types of drives you buy (SATA, PATA). And lastly, on assembly, plug the front power/reset switches and power/HDD usage LEDs into their jumper spots. Be sure to refer to the motherboard manual because the locations of these slots are different for each board. Close the door on the tower and place it upright. Set up your area, monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers, and plug these items into a power strip or surge protector.

Finally, plug these items into the back of the case, power on the system, and wait for the POST (Power-On Self-Test). After assembling and turning the machine on for the first time, you need to install the chosen operating system. For this, Windows7 64-bit edition will be chosen. To begin, place the Win7 DVD into the top drive and follow your motherboard instructions to access the bootable Win7 DVD. Windows 7 will then boot-up and begin the installation process, which should take from ten to thirty minutes.

Next, you will get to a “begin setup” screen where you will follow the instructions, make a partition, and start. The last leg of the installation process should take forty to ninety minutes. Finally, you will get to another “start up” screen and the windows setup will be complete. When building your computer, remember that this is yours. Make it the way you want, or need it. Building is not as complex or challenging as some computer technicians would lead you to believe. This is why you should not have to buy a computer at Best Buy and be stuck with the Geek Squad.


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