Whether you're upgrading your machine or building one from scratch, we show you how to choose the right parts and put them all together. Eric Dahl From the September 2004 issue of PC World magazine PC BuildingWith PCs you can get what you want at any time by upgrading your current PC or by building one from scratch. A few simple upgrades can make the system you already have more productive and more pleasurable to use. Short on hard-disk space? Add a new drive. Getting creamed in the latest games because they run so slowly? Time for a new graphics board. But maybe you need a whole new system. With just a little more technical know-how than a typical upgrade requires, you can build a PC yourself from hand-picked parts. And you might even save a little money along the way. Choosing the right components is critical to ensuring that you end up with the perfect PC. To get you started on the right track, we've assembled a guide to the main components in a PC, including recommendations for each part (based on what you intend to do with your machine), along with shopping tips and advice on installing or upgrading each piece. Build It Yourself If you'd like to assemble your own, our step-by-step guide shows you how to put everything together. We made four special-purpose PCs for this article: a loaded power system, a mainstream system built for maximum value, a computer designed to operate as silently as possible, and a media PC that can serve as a living-room entertainment hub. We include complete lists of components and prices for these four systems. read more...
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