Presentation on theme: "PC Construction and Maintenance Week 9 Review of PC concepts Key Points."— Presentation transcript:
PC Construction and Maintenance Week 9 Review of PC concepts Key Points
Components of a computer To build a computer we need the following core components Motherboard, RAM, CPU + fan, Video card or chipset, Hard disk, Floppy drive, case, monitor, keyboard and mouse Motherboard, RAM and CPU determine the power of the system. More money spent = better system CD or DVD drive, sound card, network card, modem, printers and scanners can all be added later
Type of computer Most computers in use are Intel compatible – they have an Intel compatible processor The two most popular Intel-compatible CPU manufacturers at the present time are AMD and Intel Faster chips provide better performance, and at the present time, AMD are selling their fast (1GHz or above) chips for a lot less money than Intel
CPU standards CPUs are either of the socket or slot variety The size,shape and pin count of the CPU is collectively known as the form factor The CPU can generally only be used in a board that matches its form factor Adapters are available, to overcome this, but are rarely used. Electrical compatibility is also a requirement. When buying a board, the documentation specifies exactly which make, model and speed of chips it is compatible with Expect your CPU to be obsolete after 3-5 years Always purchase a CPU fan with the CPU
Motherboard Standards Most motherboards comply with the ATX standard – they will fit in an ATX case All motherboards have PCI slots – the industry standard for internal peripheral cards Most new boards should support AGP for high performance graphics ISA is the old standard for internal peripherals and is rapidly becoming obsolete Expect your motherboard to become obsolete after 3-5 years
Hard disks Most hard disks are IDE devices All motherboards support 4 IDE devices, via 2 IDE channels, with 2 devices per channel Hard disk capacity is specified in Gigabytes (Gb) Always purchase the biggest drive you can afford Hard disk size doubles every 18 months Different drives have different performance properties (access time, rotational speed, interface speed) etc. Faster is more expensive Expect new drives to support the UDMA 66 or UDMA 100 standards, allowing for fast operation
Video cards An AGP card is strongly recommended New cards conform to the AGPx4 high-speed standard Expect your card to be lagging in performance behind the leaders after 6-12 months This is irrelevant if you don’t play games and don’t use high performance multimedia applications Many motherboards have on-board graphics chipsets. It is recommended to avoid these inflexible systems, as they often lack an AGP slot
Cases Not much to choose between different cases Always expect the PSU to be supplied with the case Power users will want a 300W power supply For ordinary users, the Rating of the PSU will not be too important Choosing a case is often just a matter of personal preference Ensure that the case is ATX compatible New cases should conform to CE regulations
RAM RAM technology changes every 3 years or so Price of RAM fluctuates on weekly basis AMD Athlon and Pentium 3 processors use DIMM memory Pentium 4 uses more expensive RIMM modules (a.k.a RAMBUS modules) At the present time 128Mb is acceptable for a new system, with 256Mb recommended for power users. Buy the fastest memory that your motherboard can benefit from.
Monitors All PC monitors are 15-pin SVGA compatible Bigger screen is better Cathode ray tube becoming replaced with gas- plasma and TFT technologies Parameters to look for are supported resolutions, dot-pitch Some monitors are clearer than others, try before you buy
Keyboards and mice Most mice and keyboards are PS/2 compatible USB keyboards and mice are also often used Expect to pay around 10 pounds for mouse & keyboard Not critically important to buy a “good” brand – if it breaks, buy another one.
Sound Cards Sound cards are found in 99% of machines Can pay 5 pounds – 200 pounds Most cards are PCI Creative is a leading brand Always buy a card that is compatible with Direct-X Speakers and microphones usually sold seperately
Operating system 87% of the worlds computers run a Microsoft windows product Use Windows ME for home use, entertainment, games, multimedia hardware etc.. Use Windows 2000 for business/serious work (good security and robustness) Add Linux later if required, onto a second disk. The next version of windows is XP (one for home, and one for business)
Internet/Networking Modem is essential, internal or external are available. Both are O.K. Obtain flat rate ISP service ADSL will become essential over the next few years, but is currently expensive If working with more that one computer, a small LAN is essential In that case, build a small 100Mb UTP based LAN with a hub. Use the LAN to share your printers and your Internet connection across machines
Printers/Scanners Inkjet/DeskJet the currently dominant technology in the home Business will require a laser printer Big players are Hewlett-Packard and Epson The cost of the printer isn’t too important, as the cost of the consumables can soon dwarf that Can buy a USB flatbed scanner for less than 40 pounds