Presentation on theme: "Building Your Own PC David Stillion CS 147 - Computer Architecture Fall, 2004."— Presentation transcript:
Building Your Own PC David Stillion CS 147 - Computer Architecture Fall, 2004
The Hardest Part… n Choosing your components n The Case – This choice will driven by two factors n The form factor of your motherboard n Your overall computing needs
Form Factor n AT vs ATX – AT is the old standard that has been around since the 1980’s. More importantly these boards are 12’ wide and are too big to fit in a case designed for an ATX board.
Form Factor continued – AT vs. ATX continued: – Released in 1995 by Intel, ATX is pretty much the standard today and most cases are designed around this form factor. n Some of its advantages – Integrated I/O ports - serial, parallel, keyboard and mouse. – Better cooling conditions. – User friendly power connection to motherboard. – ATX motherboard design to accept 3.3 volts directly from power supply negating need for regulator on motherboard.
ATX - Flex Form Factor n These were developed to make the mini pc’s possible.
Cases to choose from... n Cases come in all sizes - mini pc, desktop, mini-tower and tower primarily. n n Make sure it comes with a power supply.
Some Recommendations n Choose a case that is – Easy to open preferably one with a removable side panel that exposes the entire interior. – One with lots of slots for additional drives and quick release hard drive cages. – Make sure each drive cage will accommodate a fan of its own. – Make sure quick release struts for cdrom, dvd drives, etc.
Some Recommendations cont. – Has a design that allows you to place fans at good cooling points. – Make sure drive cages are near the data connectors on the motherboard. ATA100 hard drive cables are just 18” long. – Buy good fans. Cheap fans are noisy and make your pc will sound like a vacuum cleaner. – Make sure your power supply is set to 110v and not 220v.
Some Recommendations cont. – Make sure the case is ventilated well or this will only enhance the vacuum cleaner sound produced by the cheap fans. – Get a 300 watt power supply or better. If you are running lots of devices with lesser wattage you will get lots of smoke and the smell of burning insulation.
The Motherboard n The motherboard will determine pretty much everything else on your computer.
The Motherboard cont. n Intel vs. AMD - best and different manufacturers for each. – Asus is very popular and seems stable as a company. n For video, make sure you have an AGP slot. If you don’t plan to use an AGP video card then all you need is a pci slot.
The Motherboard cont. n Get as much of the standard hardware - serial, parallel, keyboard, mouse, network, sound - onboard. You can turn it off later if you decide to upgrade to something better or more to your liking. n Board layout - this is for easy accessibility. With a tower case this is not an issue. n Slots - with PCI 4 or 5. Note all PCI slots are on the same bus regardless of number.
The Motherboard cont. n Chipset - Make sure it will support your hardware - AGP, Sound, etc. n Get the manual for the board. n Search the internet for reviews of your motherboard. n Check out the Usenet forums. A lot of people are willing to talk fairly about their experience.
The Processor n Everybody focuses here. Bigger is not necessarily better. Cooling may be an issue.
The Processor cont. n Evaluate your needs. Don’t need much to do word processing and surfing. n For CPU intensive apps like CAD or heavy calculations faster is better. n The real performance gains are usually elsewhere.
Memory n Here more is often better. n SDRAM - Synchronous DRAM n RDRAM - Rambus DRAM(very fast)
Memory n Here more is often better. n Newer OS’s(Mac and Windows) require a lot of ram. XP needs 128 minimum. n A good rule of thumb - at least double the minimum requirement(I use 4x). n Determine the ram type for your motherboard and chipset (SDRAM, RDRAM, etc).
Video n Select a card that suits your needs. n Many cards today do great 2D and pretty good 3D. n Get the best graphics performance and avoid the bells and whistles. n Match the performance to your monitor. n Some manufacturers - ATI, Matrox, nVidia.
Hard Drives n (S)ATA vs. SCSI n Biggest performance bottleneck is the disk subsystem n Best performance - SCSI, high transfer rates on disk subsystem (320 Mb/sec), can put many drives(up to 7 internally) on one bus and another 7 externally.
Hard Drives continued n SCSI very expensive because you need a special controller. Drives are expensive as well(73 gb > $275.00 or higher). n ATA transfer rates - 33, 66, 100, 133 and 150(SATA only) Mb/sec. n Check the controller on your motherboard for support of (S)ATA.
Hard Drives continued n For (S)ATA limited to two drives per controller. Usually two controllers per motherboard. n Can’t mix transfer rates on one bus. All drives will run at transfer rate of slowest drive. n (S)ATA Drives are cheap.(250 gb SATA < $200.00).
Other Devices n Sound - if you want more than the onboard sound delivers look at Creative.com or other manufacturers for a quality sound card. Do get 4-channel support and the speaker system to match for better sound. n CD-Rom/DVD - These are very cheap now. Plextor drives have finally gotten reasonably priced. But look around.
Other Devices continued n Mouse and keyboard are your choice. Logitech makes a pretty good optical mouse. n Almost any keyboard will do. I use an ergonomic keyboard from M$. These are actually pretty cheap now.
References n PC Mechanic Online n http://www.pcmech.com/build.htm n Hardware Central n http://www.hardwarecentral.com/hardwarec entral/tutorials/109/1/ n Robert Austin Computer Shows n http://www.robertaustin.com/