Larry Nguyen ENG 099 M

Larry Nguyen
ENG 099 M, W: 12:45 – 2:50
Prof. Zamora
Essay 1
How to Build a Computer
Nowadays, computer is one of the most important devices that everyone need to have in order to support their needs. A computer is a great invention of the modern technology. It is an electronic device, operating under the control of instructions stored in its own memory that can accept data (input), process the data according to specified rules, produce information (output), and store the information for future use. Many people know how to use it, but not many of them know what inside of the computer and how to build it themselves. Mouse, keyboard, monitor are very common and easy things to handle, but the components inside might be complicated to by the look of it. Some of you might already know that self-building a computer is cheaper than buying directly from the store; additionally, you can also customize the computer for your own purpose. Follow my guide to successfully build a desktop computer in your own; you have to know the computer’s basic components, what you need it for, and how to finish the build.

A basic computer contains at least six parts, which are described by Tim Fisher on as below:
– Computer case: The computer case serves mainly as a way to physically mount and contain all of the actual components inside of a computer.

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– The motherboard serves to connect all of the parts of a computer together. That can be thought of as the “backbone” of the PC, or more appropriately as the “mother” that holds all the pieces together.

– The central processing unit (CPU) is the computer component that’s responsible for interpreting and executing most of the commands from the computer’s other hardware. A processor’s speed is measured in megahertz (MHz), or millions of instructions per second; and gigahertz (GHz), or billions of instructions per second. A faster processor can execute instructions more quickly. You may see many different names used to describe the CPU, including processor, computer processor, microprocessor, central processor, and “the brains of the computer”
– Random Access Memory, or RAM, is the physical hardware inside a computer that temporarily stores data, serving as the computer’s “working” memory. RAM is measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). The more RAM you have, the more things your computer can do at the same time. Additional RAM allows a computer to work with more information at the same time, which usually has a dramatic effect on total system performance
– The hard drive is where your software, documents, and other files are stored. The hard drive is long-term storage, which means the data is still saved even if you turn the computer off or unplug it. When you run a program or open a file, the computer copies some of the data from the hard drive onto the RAM. When you save a file, the data is copied back to the hard drive. The faster the hard drive, the faster your computer can start up and load programs.

– The power supply unit (PSU) in a computer converts the power from the wall outlet to the type of power needed by the computer. It sends power through cables to the motherboard and other components.

Depends on the purpose of the computer, you can choose different components that fit your needs. For instant, if you’re just looking for a basic computer to use for taking notes in class or doing basic office tasks, you only need to buy some basic parts that can support enough your demand. In this case, price range is just about $500 or less. However, if you have special needs like gamers or designers, both of which demand high capacity computers. Generally, these computers have almost same parts with a basic one but much stronger. For gamers, a good cooling system and graphic card are needed in order to support the minimum requirements for most of the current games on market. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that game players have to buy very expensive parts for their computers to experience good performance in the games. Graphic designers, on the other hand, don’t have many options. In order to do their jobs efficiently, it is a requirement to invest in top geared computers with high-end technologies components especially for the CPU and graphic card. These parts need a strong system to support them; as a result, they will have to spend more. Typically, you can build decent gaming computer with about $1,200 while a designing computer may price up to $10,000. Base on your budget, you can choose the parts that are compatible and then let them get ready to build.

After choosing all parts you need, the job now is to assemble them together. First, ground yourself using grounding strap because static electricity can ruin components, gather the tools you need for the project such as screwdriver, pliers, adjustable wrench, etc. Second, carefully open the computer case by removing the side panels. Third, install I/O bezel plate and motherboard. To prevent damage to the motherboard, it must only contact the standoffs and screws. All of the standoffs and screws must be installed. Fourth, find the corresponding marking on the CPU socket and insert the CPU so that the markings are lined up. Fifth, press firmly on both ends of the RAM to set it into the socket. Sixth, place thermal compound to the CPU following the instructions provided with the compound, and then install the CPU FAN. Next, Install Power supply and Hard Drive into the designated place. With all of the components installed in the case, the jungle of wires can be daunting. It is important to consult the motherboard manual in order to make sure proper connections are made. Now that the components are completely installed, the last thing to do is to reinstall the side panels on the case. The computer is now ready to be turned on and to have software loaded on it. If the computer has problems starting up, check all component connections and mounting to make sure that you have hooked everything up correctly. Consult individual component manuals for specific troubleshooting information if problems persist.

Based on my experience, these steps are the most correct way to build a personal computer. I believe that building a computer yourself is not something you need professional skills to do. However, if you are a beginner, I strongly recommend you to do a more thorough research and if possible, have an expert to supervise and guide you through the process. No matter what your purpose is, to save money or just for hobby, I assure you that you will be greatly satisfied after successfully building your very own computer. It’s a rewarding experience, and it’s usually more cost-efficient than buying pre-built computers. Good luck!

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