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Build Your Own Computer: The Complete Step-by-step Guide to Constructing a PC That's Right for You [Hardcover]

Gary Marshall , Kyle MacRae
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
Build Your Own Computer: The Complete Step-by-step Manual to Constructing a PC That's Right for You Build Your Own Computer: The Complete Step-by-step Manual to Constructing a PC That's Right for You 4.6 out of 5 stars (46)
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Book Description

20 Sep 2007
Building on the success of the original manual, this fully revised, updated and expanded third edition brings the reader right up to date with ever changing technology. The aim remains the same - why buy an off-the-shelf beige box when you can custom-design and construct a PC that perfectly fits your needs and your budget? Ease of understanding is emphasised as we steer the enthusiast through all the jargon, from motherboard to monitor. For this edition, new hardware is used and the software side is based on Windows Vista.

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Build Your Own Computer: The Complete Step-by-step Guide to Constructing a PC That's Right for You + Computer Manual: The Step-by-step Guide to Upgrading, Repairing and Maintaining a PC
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: J H Haynes & Co Ltd; 3rd Revised edition edition (20 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844254577
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844254576
  • Product Dimensions: 27.2 x 21 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi there. My name's Gary, I'm in my late thirties, and I live just outside Glasgow with my wife, my daughter and a black labrador. I'm a freelance journalist, columnist, author, copywriter, scriptwriter and radio talking head, and I write features, news stories and tutorials about technology, the Internet and pop culture for lots of magazines and websites.

My debut novel Coffin Dodgers hit the Kindle in June 2011, and I've written lots of non-fiction books too: several books for young musicians, one on working from home and one about laptops. I've also co-authored lots of computing and music books, some of which I can talk about and some of which I can't. Before getting into journalism I played in various bands, some of which I like to talk about and some of which I don't.

I blog at and tweet at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for noobies like me! 12 Dec 2007
I'd been thinking vaguely about building a computer for some time, but had never done it before. Which bit plugs into there? Where does this connect to? Will this bit work with that bit? I picked up this book and found it extremely easy to understand. All the jargon and standards were explained, and it did not overcomplicate things like some books of this type can. It even has a couple of step-by-step guides on building a couple of example computers.

It became my main book of reference when I started ordering parts and putting bits together. Now, the result is that I have a brand spanking new computer that works without a single glitch. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone thinking of building their first computer.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great start to understanding of pc 16 July 2008
Pretty new to pcs and how they work and wished to gain an insight to it all as many use a language still alien to some of us.After my machine died on me I decided instead of keep paying for expensive repairs to have a try,after all what did I have to lose?so purchased this book and was very surprised how easy it is to understand,the photos and easy to follow advice was easy to grasp and after just a few weeks have identified the problem and changed the psu.and upgraded trhe ram,so in a very short space of time I have save money and gained knoledge and some experience along with can google for the answers,but I prefer to have it all in front of me.great value and would recommend this to the novice.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything in one place........ 19 Jun 2008
By Harry
I disagree with the previous reviewer (Az).
Having upgraded several components with increasing confidence I had yet to make the "leap" to a full build. This book gave me that reassurance that it could be done. It is true that the various manuals give part of the story and the internet can solve particular problems but none of this sets it out in a clear, simplified form excluding nothing and including the trickier points. For example getting the push pins in place on the heatsink cooler and the connections to the front panel.........both normally glossed over but surmountable with the explanations and patience.
Having successfully assembled your hardware the author then gives a shortened (as opposed to the motherboard manual) guide to setting up the bios and operating system which most first builders will surely want having done the hard part.
In all an excellent book that I would thoroughly recommend.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 11 Sep 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'd upgraded a couple of PCs after buying the 'Computer Manual' and decided to make the leap and have a go at knocking up my own PC. Between the two of them they give you more than enough confidence to build the PC you want for a fraction of the cost that a store would charge. I'm now on my third home build, I've made two as gifts you can make them that cheaply.
To say that it just tells you what the motherboard manual says is far too simplistic, the information is presented in an easy to follow style and not only shows you what goes where on the board but how to plan your 'dream' PC as well. Naturally it cant say 'buy this chip/power supply ect' so you do need to do your own research, but it does point you in the direction of retailers whos sites you can use to do your research but now the nonsense in the technical specifications makes sense.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners 7 Jan 2009
I purchased this book recently after finding out my current PC was completely hopeless at handling the current crop of software on the market. At the time of purchasing the book the thought of the technical side of computers scared the hell out of me. This book is suitable for absolute beginners though, as it explains simpily and accuratley what all the tech terms mean. Like BIOS, RAID, DDRSDRAM etc.
The book is very well laid out with a clear contents page at the front so you can flick the relevent pages for the task your undertaking. It also gives you the power to purchase parts with confidence, as you will know what the specs mean and how they relate to each other. The book also has clear photographs of all the parts and proccesses of the computer build.
Between buying this book and now I have firstly upgraded what was my current pc without any problems and now I have built myself a new one from scratch and I feel very satisfied.
I would highly recommend this book to people looking to start playing around with the inside of thier computer. Since reading this book the tech terms of computing now seem simple to me, and playing around with the inside of computers has given me a thurst for knowledge and I am now buying much more advanced computing books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cant put it down 25 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This hard back, Build Your Own Computer, third edition book is an amazing read if your planning on building your own PC, or if you just want to know how your PC works(what everything inside your PC is & does), i havent been able to put it down since it arrived.

Basically the book starts off with the reasons for & against building your own PC, with what & what not to buy, where & where not to buy. generally helpful advice to make you more savvy to get the best parts that you want, for what you intend to build and for the cheapest price but with high quality components.

The book is presented well, with crisp clear writing & highly detailed pictures of the main important components inside your PC(Motherboard/Processor chip/PSU/CD-DVDdrives/sound etc). One thing that put my mind at rest, personaly, was the Power supply information. i was worried about not knowing what PSU wires went where, but here(as with each component) there is a detailed picture of each wire and what it is & where it is supposed to go, superb.

After all this, it helps you decide on what components you will need, depending on what type of PC you want to build for example a Gaming PC or a PC for video editing etc. then it gets down to the knitty gritty, telling you what tools your going to need, then offers a step by step guide(with fantastic pictures) on how to install/combine components & build the PC. after the hard stuff is done, it helps you understand BIOS, installing Windows and any other pieces you want, like sound cards.

In conclusion, for a beginner like me i cannot praise this book enough. It has helped me undertsand my PC better, and everything i need to know to build my own PC, and put my mind to rest on allot of issues.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not sure if this is the most up to date version.
Published 1 month ago by Adam David George Wrigley
5.0 out of 5 stars A usefull book when replacing various parts.
I found this usefull when altering the fans, [ to keep things cool. ]
also usefull when replacing the dvd drive
would recommend to any one. Read more
Published 10 months ago by JJ'S workshop
4.0 out of 5 stars Haynes manual
Bought to build my own computer in 2008. Easy to follow guide. I already had my planned components mostly made up from magazine articles and reviews. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mr Philip Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
We haven't got around to building a pc yet but when we do this book is going to be very useful.
Published 18 months ago by Review Buddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Workshop manual for computers
Can't wait to get into the ins and outs of how to build my own computer using the Haynes manual. If they are as good as the car manuals I will not have anything to worry about.
Published 19 months ago by William Graham Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Build your own Computet:The complete step by step guild to building...
This really is the Best book I have come across for this subject.
Starts with basic introduction to computers, leading into types of cases, Internal parts required assembly,... Read more
Published on 20 May 2012 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars build your own computer
received in good order and good time. yet to have feed back from recipient ( gift). proberbly not had time to put instructions in to action !
Published on 4 Jan 2010 by Mrs. Juie J. Lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect reference for building your own PC
I have avoided building my own PC for some time, thinking it is something of a black art. In reality there is not much you can do wrong! Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2009 by PD
5.0 out of 5 stars P erfect-C ompanion
Great book.well written and easy to understand.Some technical stuff did go above my head but the basic "How to do it" was pretty good. Read more
Published on 1 Oct 2009 by Dennis Keane
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice for the novice
This is an informative, appropriately detailed book that guides you in your selection of components and in the construction process. Read more
Published on 13 July 2009 by NewStudent
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