Product: Building a Computer

Building a computer, Zach Clark, October 18, 2013

I did my product on building and constructing your own personal computer. It relates to the research paper I did which was comparing the differences between buying a computer already built and building one yourself. The product was challenging because I don't have any background in building computers. It took me around 25 hours to complete the finished product.

The website I used to select parts and learn about what was needed to build the computer was PCPartPicker.com. They have the parts that you need split into categories and allow you to view the price from other stores on their website. Using this website lets you view things such as price change over the last few months. It was essential to my product.

There are 6 main parts to the computer.

CPU, motherboard, memory & storage, video card, power supply, and the case

This is the CPU or the brain of the computer. It is important when choosing the CPU to choose a brand that is compatible with brand of other parts, such as the motherboard. The two main brands are AMD and Intel. I chose an AMD CPU.

There are two types of memory needed when building a computer. One is RAM (in the blue box) the other is HDD. The HDD (clear wrapper) saves permanent things such as your favorite songs. The RAM stores short term memory for your computer such as processing information for a application.

The case is important because it holds all of your parts and secures them into place. It is good to manage your excess cables with zip ties to reduce clutter. A case with good fan circulation and wire management with plenty of room is ideal. A good case could be used for multiple computers.

The motherboard is used as something to connect all the parts together. Everything inside the case connects to the motherboard somehow. This is why it is important to make sure your motherboard is compatible with your other parts.

This is a picture of the graphics card being mounted on the motherboard. The graphics card is what displays your graphics for your computer. Some computers have these already installed onto the motherboard. A graphics card is not technically needed for your computer to run but is recommended.

The power source does not have many restrictions on it. The power supplys are rated on a scale usually of gold, platinum, etc. They are also rated by wattage so you would want to select the one that matches your needs. Mine was 500 watts.

After gathering the parts, the only thing left to do is build the computer. For the most part I learned from Youtube videos and articles on the internet.

This is how the computer looked right before putting the cover back on.

Part of product was finding ways to salvage parts to reduce cost. Things such as the mouse and keyboard were taken from other computers to use for this one. I also used the case from a previous computer and the software Windows 7, was used from a family pack. Usually a monitor is purchased when building a new computer, but for this I just used a 22" TV with a HDMI port.

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