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Build Your Own PC (ExtremeTech) [Paperback]

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes , Kathie Kingsley-Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Dec 2005 0471760994 978-0471760993
Take control of your PC! Why do they load up a PC with stuff you don′t need and leave off the things you really want? Don′t take it anymore! Grab a screwdriver and let these two experts show you how to build the PC of your dreams, even if you′ve never cracked a case before. You′ll learn to choose the right components, install them safely, test your system, find the best prices on parts, and even trick out your new machine with some cool tweaks and mods. Plenty of illustrations and step–by–step directions make it easy, and you just might make your wallet happy, too. How to build what you want Oh, the things you′ll learn! ∗ Safety first––it′s Chapter 1 ∗ Choose your tools ∗ Powering this puppy ∗ Motherboard knows best ∗ RAM it into drive(s) ∗ Video and sound are in the cards ∗ Bringing your PC to life ∗ Testing! Testing! ∗ Operate on Windows? XP ∗ Warranties––in English


Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (2 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471760994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471760993
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 18.8 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 605,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Take control of your PC! Why do they load up a PC with stuff you don′t need and leave off the things you really want? Don′t take it anymore! Grab a screwdriver and let these two experts show you how to build the PC of your dreams, even if you′ve never cracked a case before. You′ll learn to choose the right components, install them safely, test your system, find the best prices on parts, and even trick out your new machine with some cool tweaks and mods. Plenty of illustrations and step–by–step directions make it easy, and you just might make your wallet happy, too. How to build what you want Oh, the things you′ll learn! Safety first—it′s Chapter 1 Choose your tools Powering this puppy Motherboard knows best RAM it into drive(s) Video and sound are in the cards Bringing your PC to life Testing! Testing! Operate on Windows® XP Warranties—in English

About the Author

Adrian Kingsley–Hughes is technical director and consultant for a UK computer company. He also produces course materials for companies and universities, and teaches online classes. Kathie Kingsley–Hughes is known for her ability to present complex topics in a friendly, easy–to–understand manner. She has written several programming books as well as Hacking GPS, another in the ExtremeTech series.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Whenever we poll people who want to build a PC for the reasons why they haven't gone ahead and researched the topic more or even taken the plunge and actually built a PC, the top response is always "Safety." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative.. 21 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very useful although a few years out of date, it is still informative.
Explains many of the buzz words found in computing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good 10 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought ths as a gift and It was very much appreciated. It helped with college work and learning about fixing computers. Would recommend
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I could actually *do* this! 14 Dec 2005
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After reading Build the Ultimate Custom PC by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes and Kathie Kingsley-Hughes, I'm pretty convinced that my next desktop PC will be built by me instead of purchased at a store. I think I could actually do this...

Contents:

Part 1 - Choosing Components for Your PC: Staying Safe; Choosing the Tools You Need; Choosing a Suitable Case and Power Supply; Choosing a CPU and Motherboard; Choosing the Right RAM; Choosing Hard Drives and Floppy Drives; Choosing CD/DVD Drives; Choosing Video Adaptors and Monitors; Choosing Sound Capability; A Tour of Cables and Fittings; Checking and Testing Components

Part 2 - Building Your PC: Top 10 Things You Don't Want to Forget before You Begin the Build!; Assembling the Case and Fitting the PSU; Fitting the Basic Parts; Adding Storage

Part 3 - Starting and Testing Your PC: Fire Up and Burn In; Final Tweaks and Installing Windows XP; Check and Test, Check and Test Again!; Everything You Need to Know about Warranties and Beyond

Part 4 - Appendices: Useful Websites; Checklist; Hardware Manufacturers; Glossary

Index

The authors work from the assumption that you've never done this before (which I haven't) and that you will need guidance from choosing the parts clear through the assembly and start-up. They do a very nice job in covering all the basic components, what things need to be known about them (specs, details, etc.), and what you'll need to look for in terms of making good choices based on your requirements. This would even be good material if you're looking to upgrade something (like a CD unit) and you need to better understand what to look for. Once you have all your parts together, they show you how to assemble it all into a working computer, along with things you must know during the assembly process, like how to diffuse static electricity. You don't want a simple spark to fry your expensive CPU, do you? I was impressed with their coverage of testing tips, too. My biggest fear (short of having left-over parts) is pushing the power button and having nothing happen. With the testing steps shown here, you should be able to quickly get past that point should it occur. Honestly, seeing the quality of the information presented, I'd say there's a very good chance that you won't have that happen unless you have a faulty part to begin with...

Bottom line, this is a book I'd definitely recommend to a first-time computer builder who wants the experience of "rolling their own". As much as it surprises me to say it, I think I might just be that person for the next upgrade...
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Success--Worth Every Penny... 14 Aug 2006
By Derek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Well, I did it.

I should have my own "quote" on the back of the book, because after reading "Build the Ultimate Custom PC," I actually built a freakin' computer!

Like others have said, currently this book is still one of the newest you can buy about building your own PC--I was a little skeptical at first--because if you're into technology fiddle-faddle, you know that parts and things change so fast that in another few years, this book could be about as useless as they come--the innovation is always topping itself. (If you want a more modern PC, or even a cheaper, "budget" one--than this book is perfect. If you want the newest $3,000 gaming rig, than I might recommend checking out the other "sister" book)

Thankfully, instead of taking the easy route and ordering a PC from "Dell" or buying one at Best Buy, I decided I wanted to build one myself. Building your own PC is still a special accomplishment these days--I mean, unless you consider yourself a nerdy kind of guy or gal, how many people do you know that built the computer they own in their living room themselves? See what I mean?

This book was written, solely, absolutely without question, for the person who has never done this sort of thing before. Even if he or she has never even seen the inside of a computer case. If that's you, then you're in luck, because guess what, it's surprisingly easy. Basically, the only tool I needed was a Phillips screwdriver. I'm completely serious, it's nothing like what you initially think.

But not only is it a lot easier than you think--it's fun. I actually had a blast building my PC, and since the book was so informative and gave me plenty of foreshadowing and "heads-up" kind of tips, I was very prepared--and it didn't take me long at all. And if you're worried about safety--don't be. It makes me laugh just to think about how nervous I was that I was going to electrocute myself or something--it's just rediculous.

This book will hold your hand the whole way through. It's very apparent that the couple who wrote this have plenty of experience with the insides of computers, but the refreshing thing is--they know exactly how to explain it in just plain, simple English.

It will help you plan your budget, choose the right parts, and then put it all together. If you have a credit card and a screwdriver, then you can do it. It may not teach you how to "tweak out" your new system, or overclock your CPU--you won't know everything there is to know--but the cool thing is, you don't have to, and everything works out great.

One thing to remember--besides taking the time to read this book, set aside time to do some shopping and online research. When shopping for computer parts, you'll want to see other people's opinions about certain things, and if you're a tad unclear about something specific in the book, set aside time to Google it and research it a little further. There's so much information about the topic that it's quite easy to find specific answers online.

All in all, after reading this book (and doing just a little extra research and shopping), I built my first computer. And I can't wait to build my next one!

Don't do Dell, do it yourself.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars time/technology marches on 31 Aug 2007
By Eric Furst - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's nearly impossible to write a book like this that isn't dated a few months after it's published, and this book is no exception. This would be fine if the book were a little more technical or specific, but it's really just a broad overview of the basics of building a computer in 2005. I would have rated it higher back then. Perhaps a new edition with an inclusion of more up to date technology, speculation on impending technology's impact, or treatment of more advanced concepts such as overclocking/temperature management/bios tinkering is in order.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book 24 Mar 2006
By H. Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Good book. It really helped me in my first PC build. Thorough description of building a PC. Good description of component selection. I especially liked their overview of cabling. They also did a good job in explaining how to test your components. My only complaint here is their attempt to describe how to test a PSU and the rails on the PSU, using a multimeter. They lost me half way through, which was frustrating because it was a skill I really wanted to learn. It would have been helpful if they had used more pictures and diagrams to describe this procedure.
The book also included a good step by step guide to the PC build, as well as an excellent overview of installing Windows.
I also read their companion book, Build the Ultimate Gaming PC. Although that book didn't have a thorough overview of Installing Windows, it did have a very good overview of other post build procedures including: creating floppy boot discs, setting up Raid and partitions, installing and setting up drivers, optimizing performance, maintenance, benchmarking, etc.
To be honest, it would have been better if they had written just one book. I think the book on Build the Ultimate Gaming PC would have been perfect if they had added the Windows Installation guide they had in this book. Then they could have added a section on component selection for Build the Ultimate Custom PC, or Home Theater PC. They could have called it Build the Ultimate PC. But I guess they'll make more money splitting it up into a few books.
If I had to recommend one book, it would be the other one, Build the Ultimate Gaming PC. It's a more thorough book on the build process, no matter what kind of PC you're building. You can always find online descriptions of Installing Windows. There's an excellent DIY Guide to Building an AMD Socket 939 PC at HardwareZone.com, that includes an excellent description of installing Windows. It was written July 2004 but it's thorough, well written and free.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for First Time Builder 9 Jan 2007
By Gary Francis Zyriek Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am a software developer but have never built my own computer. I decided to do it as a fun project.

In addition, I also find that "store bought" computers in my price range ($800 - $1000 for CPU) are nearly impossible to upgrade since they use such cheap components.

Even if you know a bit about computers (I knew an average amount) I would suggest reading the entire book as you pick up great tidbits of information along the way.

This book gave me the ability to make very smart decisions in buying and building. For instance, I ended up spending more money on my motherboard so I'd have the ability to upgrade substantially in the future.

The book is very good about helping you weigh your options regarding whether you want to build an inexpensive computer or building a box for the future; that is, one that will still have current components in the future and is easy to upgrade.

Not sure if the advanced builder would get much out of this book-- definitely targeted towards the novice.

This book made my first build as easy as pie. I can't wait for the next upgrade/build I get to do.
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