Drug testing

Get Ahead When You Build Your Own Computer

If you've been kicking around the idea of building your own computer, it actually isn't a bad idea. It's easier than you might think, and you can probably come out with a system that gives you more kick for your money, than you'd see in retail, or those made-to-order places. There are mainly two ways you're going to see the benefits here:

1. You can see the money you're going to save on this right up front. Just do a search on Cnet.com under "Compare Prices" for any random PC component you see in the stores, and you'll know what I'm talking about. In most cases, you'll cut out the full-retail markup, and then some. You'll find brand new, sealed, in-box items lower online than you'll ever find in any store.

2. The quality of the parts you're getting is much better than what they put in pre-assembled, store-bought computers. You'll know which brands mean quality. You could have a Creative sound card and a video card made by ATI or nVidia; the price difference is negligible, and we're dealing with quality and performance standards that dwarf any no-name components they put in store bought systems, so they can keep their costs down. Many times, computer manufacturers like just use a cheap motherboard that has everything, your sound, video, etc., integrated into it; you get a third-rate version of everything.

Here are the main parts, or the basic building blocks for what you'll need when you build your own computer.

1. A Motherboard. I talked about this a little earlier. All computers have one, but a good motherboard is just a fast connector that'll hold lots of memory and extra slots for expansion components. Steer clear of motherboards that have "built-in" this or "integrated" that, because they're almost always of lousy quality. It does help to have all your USB ports, keyboard plugs etc., on your motherboard, however. I have an onboard LAN that works pretty well, since a LAN is a LAN, but there were some driver issues with it when I put it together.

2. The Processor, or CPU. This is the "brain" of your computer. The kind of CPU that you can get depends on the kind of board that you picked out. The market is pretty much Intel Pentium 4 or AMD. Most people who are interested in higher power and long-term use tend to opt for the Intel.

3. Video Card. This is easy. Your motherboard either has a PCI Express video slot (newer and faster, but no real benefit yet) or an AGP 8X slot. Are you a hardcore gamer or someone who just uses a PC for a little email and word processing every now and then? This is the major question that'll tell you the video card you need. Obviously the more intense and rigorous your video and graphics demands, the more video memory your card will need.

4. Memory. Memory or RAM (Random Access Memory) is easy too. The main size ram you'll find that goes with what's still the most common new computer motherboard size (the Pentium compatible, socket 478) is the standard DDR 184 pin memory stick. Whether you need DDR 333, DDR 400, or DDR 533 (mhz, frequency and speed really) depends on the board you chose. Some handle all of them, some handle just a few, so be sure to read that part of the box, (or online description).

5. Sound Card. This is probably one of the easiest parts to pick out and add. Most standalone sound cards you'll see out there (the best way to go) are pretty good in the digital sound that they'll give you. I would go with Creative Labs, who I mentioned earlier, because they've been around since the mid 80's; they've got this right. Almost every one sold and made today is the PCI slot, the most common motherboard slot, so it's pretty hard to pick a sound card that won't work.

6. Hard Drive. This is your main storage on your PC. It holds all of your files, games, pictures, operating system, everything. I would make sure I had at least 160 gigs of space, even if I weren't a power user. This sounds like a lot but you'll find that just in everyday PC use, that space gets eaten up fast. There are a few quality names out there that most people know, like Western Digital and Seagate.

7. Chassis / Computer Case. It's good idea to get a case that comes with the power supply already in it, so you won't have to deal with the annoyance of buying one separately and fitting it in. Plus, the power supply warranty (and they do go out sometimes) is by the same people who made your case, so they're easy to track down. The only big consideration is that you need to get a case that supports the new generation boards (socket 478 and 775 for power users) because the power supply has this special 4-pin plug that any motherboard made in the past 5 years needs or it won't even boot up. But still, the biggest part of your computer case selection is going to be cosmetics and personal style, so pick one you like!

8. Other Drives. Once the main parts are together and your system's up and running, you can pick and choose what extras you like or need ? everything from CD or DVD burners to MP3 hubs and advanced audio hookups. With a little smart shopping, and little close attention to quality brands, you can build one affordable, high-performance PC in a snap!

Phil Moyers, owner of Build Your Own Computer Plan shows computer novices how to save a ton of money by putting together fast, high performance PC's of their own with handpicked, quality parts.

In The News:

Skygazers will be treated to the “super snow moon,” on Feb. 19, the largest supermoon of 2019.
In November 2016, astronomers watched a young star some 1,500 light-years away from Earth belch out an explosion of plasma and radiation that was roughly 10 billion times more powerful than any flare ever seen leaving Earth's sun. This sudden stellar eruption may be the most luminous known flare ever released by a young star — and it could help scientists better understand the still-murky process of star formation.
An audacious attempt to find explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance has been called off after the expedition team lost an undersea drone beneath Antarctic ice.
“Our wish is to fly this year,” NASA official Thomas Zurbuchen said at the surprise announcement of a new Moon mission overnight. “We want to incentive speed … We want to start taking shots on goal.”
Bones recently found in a Siberian cave have given researchers a new glimpse into the timeline of an extinct human species. The species – known as Denisovans – at one time lived alongside Neanderthals in the same cave, the evidence showed.
NASA's Opportunity Rover has died on Mars.
A rare 12th-century triple toilet seat will be going on display at a London museum later this year.
Ex-baseball player Jose Canseco has officially joined the group that believes "the truth is out there" and is on the hunt for UFOs and Bigfoot. 
MILAN (AP) — Archaeologists have discovered a fresco in an ancient Pompeii residence that portrays the mythological hunter Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection.
It’s a river unlike any in Australia — and a fortnight ago it barely existed.

Cisco CCNA / CCNP Certification: OSPF ASBRs Explained And Illustrated

When I first started studying for my CCNP, some of... Read More

404 Error Pages: What Are They And How Do You Create One?

We've all seen them, you've been browsing a website and... Read More

Basic Computer Thermodynamics

That desk in front of you and everything else around... Read More

Basic Diagnosis Guidelines for Your PC

Simone is exasperated. She has to work on her university... Read More

Cisco Certification: Building Your Home Lab, Part II

In the first part of this home lab tutorial, CCNA... Read More

Anti-Skip Protection on Mp3 Players

There have been some questions on anti-skip protection on mp3... Read More

Protect Your PC from Viruses, Worms & Trojans

Each of the items in the checklist below is part... Read More

Buying A PC Flat Screen Monitor

For six years, my Samsung PC 13.8 inch SyncMaster conventional... Read More

Linux Power Tools - Great Tools to Make System Administration Easy

World War II - Germany decided to attack Poland. Poland... Read More

Your Computer Cant Keep Time

A computer needs a certain amount of information to operate;... Read More

FTP - File Transfer Protocol Explained

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a protocol that is part... Read More

Help, I Need a New HDTV! (Part 2 of 5)

Feeling overwhelmed in selecting a new TV? With all the... Read More

How to Protect your PC from Spyware in the Cyber Age

Wouldn't you be shocked to find that your personal sensitive... Read More

D2X Digital SLRCoolpix 8800 Actually Refers to Two Nikon Cameras

Addressing a D2X Digital SLRCoolpix 8800 search, this article provides... Read More

How to Use SQLXML to Retrieve Data from SQL Server Database?

Using SQL Server 2000 and above versions you can retrieve... Read More

Email Management

If you utilize a computer at home or work it... Read More

Bios Term

BIOS - Basic Input Output SystemThe central processing unit of... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Dexterity Customizations

Microsoft Business Solutions is on the way to popularize it's... Read More

Are You Putting Off Productivity?

I recently took a good look at what was keeping... Read More

Password Nightmares

Good Morning Mr. Sampson. Please type in you Personal Identification... Read More

15 Good Programming Habits

1. Before sitting down for coding, you must have formal... Read More

Review of Rio MP3 Players

Below you will find some useful information and comments about... Read More

The Benefits of Open Source

If you are a building a website or a forum,... Read More

Things You Can Do To Speed Up Your Computer

Upgrading your processor will always speed up your computer, but... Read More

Flash Memory, Part I: MMC and SD

MMC and SDFlash memory is available in so many formats... Read More

energy efficient led lights induction street light project Pete's produce ..