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Once you know what you are looking at, you can recognize the components on any motherboard layout.
ATX 12V 2X and 4 Pin Power Connection Power Connection - This is one of two power connections that supply power to the motherboard. Southbridge - This is the controller for components such as the PCI slots, onboard audio, and USB connections.
External USB Connections - This is where you will plug in external USB connections for your case or USB bracket. The Mono chassis comes with a single ultra-thin pane of glass protecting a Full HD screen and a black plastic cover for the back to "hide" the hardware. If the price was a little more reasonable, it would be a lot more popular, but this is new so it will take some time for that to happen. I have no idea how it can provide structural integrity to that, but if it can, that's a pretty cool option!
My only complaint (Aside from wanting a 1440p or 120Hz option as well as a Matte screen option) is that it only has one DVI and one VGA. Give me at least one other port, preferably a displayport, so that I can use this as a second monitor and then swing it around for when guests come over. Hmm, I looked again ( at the pics on Mono's own site, ) and it does look like it's got the hole spacing, but like you said, I don't know how plastic mesh could support the weight. One of the things that annoys me is when the little legs that prop up the keyboard are missing. Today, I will be showing you how to make a password protected file that is created and accessed using a Batch (.bat) file.
Have you forgotten the password to your Windows 7 machine and don't have a Windows Recovery Disk?This instructable will teach you a step-by-step way to reset the password to your account in roughly 20 minutes.
Printers are one of the most popular tools in the world, because they are inexpensive, yet highly versatile. This Is an easy tutorial for a harmless virus message prank for April Fools or just for your friend and if your lazy use my pre-made one. Here is the easiest tutorial you will find on the web teaching you how to downgrade your Minecraft version! If you have a standard LCD type monitor, I will show you a cool little DIY hack to turn that baby transparent!
Have you ever wanted to start your computer while you are away from home to access some files?
This instructable will teach you how to write a simple yet proper lab report for a college level General Chemistry lab course. Earth batteries have been used for centuries, but it more recent times they were used in the 1800's to power telegraph stations.
Have you ever wanted to use a Xbox360 Controller on your PC and not have to buy a $15 receiver? Hello, in this instructable, I will show you how to create, and execute a program that you created in java using notepad. Have you ever wanted to watch YouTube and Netflix on your TV, but you don’t have a internet connected TV?
Before building any computer you should decide what you want the computer to be able to do. Have lots of storage space for recorded TV and digital copies of your movie library (you could alternatively have most of your storage space in a different computer or ideally on a server, but that will be discussed in other articles). From these needs you can interpret what the specs of the primary components of the system needs to be. Storage is critical if you don’t have a home server on your network so filling the HTPC case up with 2 TB hard drives is not a bad idea, especially when you realize that a one hourTV episode in HD is almost 7 GB. A home theater PC build should be expected to handle multiple tasks at once, the higher end digital TV tuners will record multiple shows at once, but you also need a mutlithreaded processor is a must for doing everything at the same time. Silence is achieved by simply removing as many fans as possible or using large fans that spin slower over small fans that need to spin faster. With this list of specs in mind lets dig into the buyer’s guide to building a home theater PC.
Because a HTPC is something that will be seen by everyone in your entertainmentroom you want a case that looks good and fits with the design of the room. Now that the case and processor are set we know that we have to find a motherboard that will fit in the Micro ATX space in the case and has an AMD APU socket. The next main component we need to decide on is the digital TV tuner card with cableCARD support. The last key part that is needed to build a home theater PC a large hard drive or multiple large hard drives.
To finish up the computer we still need to get some memory (at least 4 GB, but memory is so cheap now I’d suggest 8 GB), a power supply, and an optical drive.
Now that we have all the pieces of the home theater pc it is time to actually put it together.
The home theater computer needs to have large hard drives to store all of the recorded TV and movies, ideally in excess of 4 TB but you could start the build with 2 TB with the option to expand later. The only other thing a HTPC needs is a graphics card cable of at least 1080p output, however this is pretty standard so it shouldn’t unnecessarily increase the price of the build.
If you truly want to build the cheapest desktop possible then you are going to want to combine as many components as possible. The first step to build a desktop computer from scratch is to choose the primary piece of hardware and then make sure everything else is compatible with it. The main component that my future computer is going to be based on is a Samsung MD230X6, which as the image shows is a 3 by 2 array of 23″ HD monitors that have thin bezels. No you’ve purchased all the right parts (computer building checklist) it is time to put the computer together. Install the CPU, ensure that the markings on the socket and CPU line up so no pins are bent. With so many manufacturers and so many different parts you are going to have to refer to either the motherboard manual or the case manual on how exactly to connect each component. After powering on the desktop for the first time you need to install an operating system (OS). I’ve built a few computers over the years and the components you need for each build varies depending on your budget and purpose of the computer. The essentials list will be only the absolutely required parts, this is also known as a bare bones build. Even though the operating system, or OS, is required to use a desktop computer you don’t have to purchase it. Another way to get an operating system is to get the product key from an old machine, say the computer you are replacing. The main difference between a bare bones computer and a basic computer is that you getting a discreet graphics card and a better processor.
While everything in this build is expensive, the majority of the cost comes from the dual top of the line graphics cards and the 6 core extreme edition of the Intel i7 processor.
The differences between the essentials only, basic, and gamer’s list of computer components are huge. If you are on a budget and you want to own a decent gaming desktop computer then you have to build your own.
The last reason you should build your own gaming computer is that you get to customize it and make it exactly like you want. My friend wanted a cheap computer so I built him just that, with the added bonus of being able to use it as a gaming computer. The simple answer is that you just need to follow this computer building checklist below and follow the instructions the motherboard gives for how to put everything together.
The long answer however,find the perfect components for what you want and need at a good price, is everything you find below. Intel has four main processor families: the Intel Core (i3,i5,and i7), Core 2, Pentium, and Celeron (a full list of Intel Processors can be found here). AMD also has four processor families: the A-series APUs, Phenom II, Athlon II, and Sempron CPUs. Cache is memory that is stored on the processor, thus accessing that memory is much faster having to go to the slower ram or super slow hard drive.
This number is typically given in nanometers (nm), it refers to how small things are inside of the processor. The choice of processor will determine the type of motherboard you must buy, Intel vs AMD, and then refined by socket type. If you choose the AMD APU then you may not need to get a graphics card and still be able to watch HD movies and play video games. The motherboard is part that connects the different pieces of your computer so they can work together. This is the PCI Express controller and on board graphics processor (if there is one) for the motherboard. I personally would choose a board that supports Hybrid CrossfireX and get an AMD video card.
The south bridge controls most of the peripherals including PCI, USB, SATA, network, and audio. This section also includes how much memory the board can handle, low end boards will max at 8GB while extreme boards will be over 24GB.
The layout of the motherboard can also make long video cards not fit or be difficult to reach SATA connectors or the DIMM slots. I just barely helped a friend choose the cheapest motherboard we could fins that would work with the new AMD APU and it only cost him $64. Not shown in the photo above are #5, the power supply (because it was already in my case) and #6 the hard drive. The first thing to building any PC is to prepare the motherboard by populating it with the various components that make up the heart and central nervous system of the computer. Notice that most motherboards have most components clearly marked for you- you should see CPU Fan clearly labeled. I suppose somewhere on earth there are motherboards that match the stock backplates included with any PC case, but I’ve never come across one. Next, you need to realize your motherboard will not rest directly on the metal surface at the bottom of the case, but sit slightly above it on a set of risers. In the photos above, you can see my case already has several standard risers built-in- these will correspond to any ATX motherboard.

Be VERY CAREFUL to place risers in the case in every hole where the board requires one, but NEVER in a hole that doesn’t match the motherboard. Use the computer motherboard diagram to familiarize yourself with motherboard components, terms and locations.
All boards will be slightly different as far as which components they have, and the locations of those components may differ, but they are pretty close. A computer motherboard diagram is very useful for when you need to replace motherboard, do motherboard upgrades, troubleshoot motherboard, or build your own computer. This case allows system builders to use desktop components instead of the typical laptop components used in most AIO desktops sold today.
The company provides an audio cable that connects the two 3-watt stereo speakers to the user's motherboard. I really wish the 27" one was even 1440p, TN, just so that it would match the size and resolution of my main monitor. Since replacement legs are near-impossible to source, I had to find a replacement and found that a small binder clip (known as bulldog clips here in the UK) is perfect for the job. The thing that surprises me the most, is that people rarely have their power adapters wrapped properly.
The system and space requirements are ridiculously small for this stripped-down version of FreeBSD. If you have a PC (even without moviemaker installed), then here's a quick and easy way to utilize a low-budget version. Or maybe you wanted to start a download of a new game, so that it would be done when you got home.
In order to complete this lab, you will need access to a Microsoft Word program; any versions will work. You can't even watch some Big Bang Theory on TVShack anymore without hundreds of adverts popping up all over the place, and don't even get me started with adverts for streamed programs now.
Picklecircumflexficklesteinmoneybags will be showing you how to break the expensive hardware from which you are currently reading this from. You also want a case that has the large diameter fans and room for at least 4 hard drives if you aren’t going to be using a server to hold all your recorded TV and movies.
Remember that we wanted it to be multithreaded to handle multiple recordings and streamings at the same time. The motherboard we also want to make sure it has at least 5 SATA ports so we can attach the optical drive and the four hard drives. These can be chosen based on cost because they aren’t critical to the performance of the HTPC. The only difference in building a HTPC and a standard desktop is the case, every other component is the same. Is it a gaming PC, a DVR replacement computer, glorified typewriter, or just a multimedia creation computer?
They need fast processors, fast video cards, and the extreme gamer’s even have super fast solid state hard drives.
There are many TV capture cards out there, but with cable and satellite providers encrypting their channels you need a tuner card that is capable of decrypting them.
This applies especially if you are building around a specific processor or motherboard because they are connected by the socket requirement of the processor.
It should fall into place with almost zero resistance, don’t force the CPU into place.
Therefore, the list of parts that you need to build a computer depends on what type of computer you are trying to build. The basic list will be a good computer, like the one I built for myself and something you wouldn’t be ashamed to own, and would serve as a low budget gaming computer. It is as simple as finding a free product key finding program and running on the computer you are getting the operating system from. A motherboard upgrade is also included, but that doesn’t improve your machine on the same scale the graphics card and processor will. That is because it uses one of the new AMD accelerated processing units (APUs) which gives you the performance similar to a high end video card with just the processor.
It has the fastest processor, the fastest GPUs, the fastest hard drives, and best of everything else.
By adding two, three, or even four video cards to your system you are ensured that you can run the most visually demanding game on the highest settings without a drop in your fps, frames per second. By going solid state your load times will be vastly improved and you won’t be left waiting for practically anything. But if performance is top priority and price is of no importance, then a build very similar to this would be top choice.
It came in a combo with the RAM making it a steal at only $64.99 (after mail in rebate), but it is definitely the entry level motherboard for the FM1 socket type. I think that going on to Newegg and finding all the parts that you want in your new computer is one of the funnest things you can do.
We had one minor hiccup with the Windows install that was fixed after 30 seconds of Googling. Intel is the current market leader with the fastest and most advanced processors, while AMD has integrated its graphics processing unit (GPU) into its CPU to create an APU (accelerated processing unit) that provides significantly better CPU based graphics performance than Intel. In addition to these families Intel uses code names to denote different steps in the evolution of the processor.
AMD also uses code names but they don’t necessarily mean that a processor is newer just different, for example the Phenom II has dual cores (X2) code named Callisto, tri cores (X3) named Heka, quad cores (X4) as Deneb, X4s with Turbo Core code named Zosma, and six cored (X6) processors with Turbo Core code named Thuban. Without getting too technical the smaller it is the faster, but the larger it is the more that can be stored in it instead of in RAM. The smaller things are more cores, cache, and other parts of the processor can be fit into the same space.
Not all CPUs, not even from the same manufacturer, are interchangeable on a motherboard so make sure you get a motherboard with the same socket as your processor.
Not having to buy a video card could save $30-$125 off the total price of the system (if you were to get an equivalent card, but you could spend much much more on a premium high end card). The motherboard often comes with some functionality built into it like Ethernet, sound, and sometimes even graphics capabilities. Gamers will want to choose which north bridge they want based on how it supports multiple video cards and what type of video cards it supports.
I say this because with the Hybrid CrossfireX you don’t have to have two identical cards to get the increase in performance.
You usually don’t have a choice to which southbridge you want because the northbridge more or less dictates which southbridge will be used on the board.
If you want to use multiple GPUs you will need a board that supports Xfire or SLI (depending on the brand of GPU you choose). If you want a gaming motherboard capable of having four video cards at once then you are $500+ price range. You may also want some tweezers for fetching stray screws that may get away from you and into the recesses of your case. Unlatch the small metal lever on the side of the CPU socket and lift until it stands straight up. Find the corner of the CPU with a small arrow (outlined above) and match it to the same corner on the socket. A wrongly-placed riser underneath the board could scrape against a solder connection or short a board component.
At this stage, if you’re going to be installing any PCI cards, take note of their general position and remove the corresponding PCI slot covers from the rear of the case. One by one, screw the board into the case using the screws you previously checked that match the risers properly. A second, independent 4-pin power cable should plug in near the CPU to another white slot with 4 holes. You’ll need to consult the manual that came with your motherboard for a chart labeling the exact case panel headers. If you need to install a graphic or PCI card at this point, carefully line it up and push it firmly into the slot until it clicks into place. Push the DVD drive through from the front, and screw it in place from the side (you should notice how the holes align).
The drawback is that most of the hardware will noticeably stick out of the back, including the power supply and the graphics card. Also provided is a DVI cable that connects from the case's PCB to the graphics card, or to the motherboard's on-board DVI port if a graphics card isn't used.
More specifically, the chassis can accommodate a power supply that is 150 x 140 x 86 mm in size, and a graphics card up to 245 mm in length.
If it were, I would buy it in a second and move my media PC into it just to not have to worry about constantly moving a computer that currently isn't in a case. Just thought it would be good info to share and may the instructables crew would actually want to make a Chrome app available in the web store. It's got all manner of features accessible through it's clean web GUI, more than most will ever need.
Connect to your PC and use as a simple mouse, or even wire to an Arduino for a unique interface for your project. Or maybe you want to watch or listen to your pictures, music, and movies from laptop or desktop on your TV? With these requirements in mind I would choose the SILVERSTONE Black Grandia Series GD06B ATX HTPC Case. But we also want it to be low power so it doesn’t require a huge heat sink and noisy fan to keep cool.
Because satellite and cable providers now encrypt their signal you must get a cableCARD from them that decrypts the signal. 3 TB drives are still new and not every system is compatible yet, so make sure your motherboard has an EFI or UEFI BIOS and your using a 64 bit version of Windows 7.
It shouldn’t be any more difficult to assemble, hard drives and optical drives are just in different places than in a normal tower. Of course you can substitute pieces in or out to save money or upgrade as desired, and probably drop the price below $500 without too much effot. Deciding on the purpose before you build will help you get the components you need and make your desktop truly be customized for your tasks. The HD Homerun Prime or the Ceton Inifinity 4 are currently the only two cards in production.

If you want a computer than can actually use all of these monitors then you have to get a AMD Eyefinity capable graphics card and a AMD Xfire motherboard for a future addition of a 2nd graphics card. Just last month I was able to help my friend assemble his first AMD APU gaming desktop over Skype by basically relaying the instructions I listed above. Whichever OS you choose you will need to burn it to a DVD and then insert it into the optical drive. Because giving you a list for a super computer will do you no good if you only have a couple hundred dollars I’m going to provide a couple different lists. The gamer’s list of computer components will be top of the line and built for graphics and speed. You also get to pick a power supply independent of the case, but that doesn’t really affect performance that much. There are two main configuration differences with this custom gaming rig and the two other builds I’ve shown, first is multiple video cards and second is multiple solid state hard drives as well as a traditional hard drive. This is a must, especially if you want to use multiple monitors to give you a truly immersive experience. Of course you still have a giant standard hard drive for storing all your music and movies on.
I considered his needs, which were basically a reasonably fast computer that was reasonably future proof–not outdated by the end of the week.
I’ve used it before upgrading from Vista or XP, even using the custom install (clean or fresh install) option, and it worked just fine. If you look at the chart below you can see a comparison between a Dell Inspiron 620 and the custom built budget gaming desktop shown above. We saved about $200 and got a better and more future proof machine that was a ton of fun to build. Both companies have their different strengths that you should be aware of to make the best purchase for your needs. Take the Core i7 for example, when it was introduced in 2008 it was code named Bloomfield, then in 2009 the next iteration was code named Lynnfield, in 2010 came Gulftown, then January 2011 out came Sandy Bridge. Check these links for a list of all AMD CPUs and APUs or this Wikipedia list that includes future processors. There is a trade off, but that being said if the processor has the same frequency but different cache sizes, the one the biggest cache size will, in most instances, be faster.
If you want a quite computer then getting a lower power CPU will decrease the need for noisy cooling fans. There is no upgrading your socket, if you change your processor and it needs a different socket, you have to change your motherboard.
For example, if you want to have multiple NVIDIA video cards you need a northbridge that supports SLI and for multiple AMD video cards you need CrossfireX support.
AMD also allows the use of more than two monitors, which I haven’t put to use yet but am planning to in the future. Keep this maximum clock speed in mind when choosing the ram, you could end up paying for memory with a higher frequency only to have your motherboard down clock it.
The parts aren’t exactly the same as the list I outlined for the NAS box, but close enough for our purposes. It needs a big slab of aluminum or copper with fin patterns and a fan on top to keep it cool. Push the two levers outward (see photo), line up your RAM with the slot- one side of the slot is slightly longer than the other- and firmly, yet gently push evenly down until the RAM is firmly in place and the two levers snap back into locked position. Any symbols or lettering should face outward, and generally the two round holes (mouse and keyboard) are toward the top of the case.
You want to mount the fan so it pulls air INTO the case, over the lower hard drive cage, so mount with the arrow facing in. You don’t need to do this at this stage, as you can remove slot covers with the board in place. For our NAS build, your motherboard should already have the graphics you need built-in.Install your drives. Attach the flat ATA ribbon cable to the first ATA connector on the motherboard (usually blue).
Find one of the molex connectors stemming from your power supply, and connect it to the molex connector on the DVD drive.
Attach a SATA power cable from your PSU, and the other end of the SATA cable from your motherboard. With this AIO form factor, most of the cables are crammed inside the chassis, leaving just the power cord and perhaps those from the mouse and keyboard. I've been told that the gunk you can see in the pictures is dead skin cells, but whatever it is, it ain't pretty. The way to accomplish all of these and create the best home theater in the world is to build yourself a home theater PC (HTPC). The AMD A6-3500 triple core APU (accelerated processing unit, like a CPU but better) fits the bill quite nicely. For instructions on how to put a computer together piece by piece read my post on how to build a custom desktop computer.
And don’t forget because we made sure we had a case and motherboard that could handle an optical drive and 4 additional hard drives, as well as an external drive or even multiple drives the expandable storage space is as good as unlimited.
Its not like you can just go down to your local retailer and just pick one up, that’s missing the point of building a custom desktop. Building a computer from scratch allows you to not waste money on stuff that doesn’t matter to you. Both can handle recording multiple channels at once which saves you from needing to buy a second card. This way you can choose which list suits you best, get all the components you need, and build yourself an awesome machine. Now he didn’t specifically say he wanted to build a cheap gaming desktop, but when we looked at the price and performance of the AMD A8-3850 we figured he could build a cheap desktop that just happened to be a medium range gaming desktop.
If it were solely up to me, I would spend a little bit more and get a less restrictive motherboard, but for building a gaming PC on a budget then this not a bad choice. The Inspiron 620 has an i5-2310 which ranks closely with the A8 APU and a graphics card that will deliver similar performance to the A8’s video processing. The heat sync and fan are built into the case in most cases so you can’t upgrade that very easily either.
This means that you may think you’ve found a fantastic deal on a Core i7 processor when in actuality you are looking at a processor that is already a few years old. Because memory always needs to be done in pairs with dual channel and have multiples of three sticks for triple channel memory. Note: many 24 pin PSU connectors are 20+ 4 pin- the last 4 pins may be unattached from the block of 20. Note how I’ve done what I can to keep the cables and wires routed neatly through the case. Otherwise, it’s just plain bad luck to put the case cover on before you’ve tested the machine! Its three cores allows it to multitask nicely, only draws 65 watts, and can output 1080p video without the help of an additional graphics card. My recommendation for a 3 TB drive is the Hitachi Deskstar 3 TB 5K3000 and the Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB for the 2 TB drive. Anyone can get a cookie cutter PC, but how do you make one that does exactly what you want it to? Personally I couldn’t afford the high prices so I bought a used ATI TV Wonder HD 600 for only $99.
I’ve built a nice desktop for $500, so a super cheap desktop should be in the area of $300 or so. If that doesn’t happen automatically look in your motherboard manual for how to access the boot menu, once your in then choose the optical drive.
Only an extreme gamer will be able to afford the high end gamer’s build, but he will have a machine in the top echelon of all custom built PCs for his efforts. The other components, upgrading where necessary, are as close to the same as I could make them. To make sure you are getting the newest processors check out this full list of code names for the Core type processors on this Wikipedia page. In most cases, your heatsink will have a pad of thermal material on the bottom (see photo).
Make sure the connecting wire is free inside the case- later you’ll plug it into a fan header on your motherboard. You may at first have to hold the board in place, pushing the ports slightly through the backplate, in order to get the first screws in place. Attach a SATA cable (should have come with your motherboard or hard drive) being careful to line up the L-shape correctly. You want to keep wiring away from all fan blades, and allowing as much airflow as possible through the case.
By using an APU and not needing an additional video card we also save on the power it takes to run one and the noise another cooling fan would cause.
Right now the best card out there is the Ceton InfiniTV 4 Digital Cable Quad-tuner Card, which can record four channels at the same time with a single cableCARD. The last thing you need is Windows 7 64bit, because this comes with Windows Media Center which is a very good program for recording and watching TV as well as movies. If you want to save around $100 on the most basic of computers then Ubuntu is very good choice. You can’t customize the video output connection types (2x DVI and 1x HDMI, or 1x VGA and 2x DVI). If your ATA cable is long enough, bring it up through the opening and attach it to your optical drive. If you don’t want to spend money on the top of the line tuner you can check out this post on a run down of all available cableCARD digital TV tuners.

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