PC Hardware: A Beginner's Guide. RON GILSTER. Osborne/McGraw-Hill. New York. Chicago. San Francisco. Lisbon. London. Madrid. Mexico City. Milan. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Walker, Jearl. Fundamentals of physics / Jearl Walker, David Hallid. PC Hardware: A Beginner's Guide by Ron Gilster. Read online, or download in secure PDF format.

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Dummies, Edition; Troubleshooting Your PC For Dummies, 2nd Edition;. Power Excel & Word; and site Photos That Sell. He also maintains the vast. Though this chapter is intended for beginners, advanced users . handbook when you bought your PC, you should have a look at this handbook first to find out. Computers are an integral part of today's society. It's virtually impossible to get through the day without using some type of computer in either your personal or.

Some people keep the tower on an actual desktop, but it can also sit on a bookshelf or even on the floor.

The motherboard might also be called the main board. The motherboard is the primary circuit board of a computer. The motherboard supplies power to the central processing unit and every other hardware component installed on a computer.

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Through the motherboard, these components work together to perform processes. The processor of a computer is often called the CPU, or the central processing unit. Think of the processor as the brains of the unit. This is the internal part of the computer responsible for computing and calculating information. The processor may be an integral part of the computer, but it is quite small in size. The CPU fits snugly into its corresponding socket on the motherboard.

RAM enables a computer to execute processes.

IT For Beginners: Guide to Desktop Computer Parts

Therefore, the more RAM a computer has, the more processes it can complete at one time and the faster it can complete them. Any information contained in the RAM disappears when the computer is turned off. The hard drive of a computer is the place where the system stores all programs installed on the computer and all data entered into it. Hard drives vary in capacity and the speed at which they retrieve information.

A video card might also be called a graphics card. The video card on a computer makes it possible for images to display on the screen.

The video card plugs into the motherboard. Once installed, it generates images for display. Video cards come with different specifications and capabilities.

An inexpensive video card may not produce high-quality graphics on a computer, while a more expensive video card should make it possible to view images at a higher level.

Anyone who uses a computer to work with photographs or for gaming will need a high-quality video card. Most desktop computers come equipped with at least one optical drive.

Optical drives perform this function with a special device that spins very fast. Some optical drives spin faster than others: Slower-speed optical drives are less expensive than higher-speed drives, though they do not work as well. The monitor consists of a screen that makes it possible to see data or programs being executed on a computer.

The resolution of a monitor refers to the clarity and sharpness of the images it displays. Lower tier builds, particularly if you're not going to overclock, can get by with far less cooling. Check the cooler for size and clearance before adding the fans, as you might run into orientation issues or simply not have enough space. This is where places like PCPartPicker.

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As noted above, the Kraken X62 we're using blocks access to the EPS12V connector on the motherboard, so we had to connect that before installing the radiator. It's generally best practice to configure your cooling to provide positive air pressure—meaning, more fans pulling air into the case than fans exhausting from the case.

As such, we oriented the two fans on the radiator to be intake fans, then passed the fan cables and waterblock cables out one of the top routing locations to keep things clean. Depending on your CPU cooler, it may already come with thermal paste applied, but if you want to use a different thermal paste, you should remove any pre-applied paste. The Kraken X62 comes with a circle of thermal paste already in place, and we've found it works fine. If you're using a different cooler and need to apply paste, a small pea-sized blob in the center of the CPU works well.

You can also use an 'X' or a line about the size of a grain of rice. In general, how you apply the thermal paste isn't usually critical—use enough but not too much, and let the pressure from the heatsink or waterblock spread out the paste.

The result you're looking for is a thin, even layer between the cooler and the CPU, not a big gloopy mess. Installing the waterblock is pretty easy once you've got the mounting bracket and fans in place: just place it over the CPU and tighten the four thumbscrews.

The Kraken X62 has multiple connections: two for the fans that we've routed behind the motherboard, one for the motherboard's CPU fan header so that your motherboard knows the CPU is being cooled , one USB 2. It's less complex than it sounds. Image 1 of 2 9. Slot in the RAM Parts used: motherboard, RAM This step is super easy, and it can be done now, much earlier in the build eg, before installing the motherboard into the case , or even later.

Take your RAM sticks you probably have two, or perhaps four if you're going for a high-end X or X build out of their packaging. Before installing, refer to your motherboard manual's page about the RAM slots.

This page will tell you which RAM slots are the ideal slots to use based on how many sticks you have. The slots are sometimes color coordinated, but on most modern boards you'll want to install two sticks into slots 2 and 4. Once you know where you're putting the RAM, unlock the slots by pushing down on the hinged tabs on one or both ends.

Orient your RAM so that the notch on the stick matches with the notch on the slot. Then press the RAM sticks firmly into the slots. Don't worry about pressing too hard—it takes some pressure. The tabs will click into place when the sticks are fully inserted.

One of the most common reasons a new PC won't boot is that the RAM is unseated, so double check to make sure they've clicked in properly. If in any doubt, here's the best RAM for gaming right now.There are multiple processors in each line, generally going from least to most expensive and least to most powerful. Plus, Surface Pen has tilt for shading and virtually no lag—just like drawing on a sheet of paper. Nearly all video cards use a dual-slot design, which means you need to remove the cover plate directly left of the PCIe slot, and the one below it.

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Here's how to tweak it to your liking. What Size? Right-click on the toolbar to customize Finder. Lower tier builds, particularly if you're not going to overclock, can get by with far less cooling.

Depending on your CPU cooler, it may already come with thermal paste applied, but if you want to use a different thermal paste, you should remove any pre-applied paste. CPU cooler—all but the most expensive CPUs come with a heatsink and fan inside the box—this is essential to keeping it from overheating.