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Building Your Own Computer - Part 1

Building Your Own Computer - Part 2

Building Your Own Computer - Part 3

Building Your Own Computer - Part 4

Building Your Own Computer - Part 5

Building Your Own Computer - Part 6

Building Your Own Computer - Part 7

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CPU

Components

Computer Accessories Part 1

Computer Accessories Part 2

Hard Drives - Part 1

Hard Drives - Part 2

Memory

Motherboard - Part 1

Motherboard - Part 2

Sound Cards

Video Cards

Computer Accessories Part 1

 

Hard Drives - Part 1
When we talk about computer memory we usually think of RAM (Random Access Memory). Computer memory is not just .....
In addition to the essential parts of the computer like the motherboard, the CPU and the hard drive, there are many useful peripherals you can add. These two articles will take a look at some of the extra components you can buy to make your computer more useful and productive.

Computer Case

Though the computer case is not really an accessory, as it is an integral part of the computer that supports the motherboard and the internal drives and also protects the delicate circuitry and provides airflow to cool the internal components, they do come in various shapes and sizes from which to choose and you will need certain cases to house other accessories of your choice. Cases are designed to hold motherboards of a particular 'form factor,' which means the size and layout of the motherboard. The most popular form factor is ATX, and ATX cases are available in a variety of sizes. Upright ATX cases are available as full towers, mid towers, and mini towers. Smaller micro ATX cases are also available.

The size of the case plays a large part in determining how your computer can be upgraded. Small cases have a limited number of bays which hold components like hard drives and CD drives. If there are no extra bays available in the case, your only upgrade option is to replace existing components.

Cases vary widely in prices -- anywhere from $20 to over $1,000.

Power Supply

Another essential part of your computer is the power supply, which is housed in a small box that fits inside the case and provides power for all other internal components and some of the external components of the computer. A high-quality power supply is essential for supplying stable current to the sensitive electronic components that make up a computer system.

Building Your Own Computer - Part 6
It is now time to install the expansion cards. There are three basic types of slots .....
Some power supplies are designed to provide extra airflow through the case, because the heat build-up is a major problem in modern computers and anything that can aid in cooling the inside of the case is welcome.

Cooling Fans

Build Or Buy
Many people might be intimidated about what's inside a computer case. At first glance all those wires and components look confusing and .....
Cooling fans are not an option -- without them the CPU would quickly burn out. Modern CPUs generate a tremendous amount of heat, so it is essential that they have a heatsink and cooling fan in direct contact with them. They usually come integrated with a heat sink a finned metal block that comes into contact with the CPU and has a large surface area to dissipate heat quickly and the fan is attached to the top of it. The fan blows cool air down through the heat sink to maximize the cooling effect.

Cooling fans are also available for graphic cards and computer cases. Cooling solutions are becoming increasingly sophisticated. The latest generation of computer coolers are water cooling kits designed to provide cooling to all the internal components of the computer case.

USB Ports

Many modern peripherals use USB (Universal Serial Bus) to connect to the computer. USB devices include printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, as well as external storage devices such as hard drives, CD-ROMs, and memory cards.

Building Your Own Computer - Part 2
After purchasing all the components for your new computer, you can start putting it all together. .....
It's also a very good idea to have plenty of USB ports installed in your computer. More and more accessories are using USB as connections. There is nothing more annoying than running out of ports and having to juggle between accessories. Try to have at least two on the back of the computer and four on the front panel. If you find yourself running short you can add a USB mini hub that gives you extra connections.

Network Adapters and Modems

Almost everybody with a computer wants to use the Internet. In order to connect to the World Wide Web you must have a modem. There are two basic types -- dial-up and broadband. Dial-up modems are much slower than broadband and also tie up the phone line while you are on the Internet.

Broadband modems are connected to the computer through a network adapter. This is an add-on card that goes in one of your PCI slots. Broadband connections give you speed advantages and also allow you to use the phone as you are surfing the net.

Network adapters are useful even if you don't use broadband. They can be used to set up a home network by connecting 2 or more computers through the network cards. The connections can be either physical (with wires) or wireless.

A home network allows computers to share peripherals such as printers and modems, and also allows files to be shared and transferred from computer to computer. Home networks are easy to set up. All that is required is a network card in each computer and a router or hub to connect all the computers together.


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