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Build Your Own PC Do-It-Yourself For Dummies Paperback – February 3, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0470196113 ISBN-10: 0470196114 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470196114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470196113
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


Build the custom PC you want — just the way you want it — and have fun doing it!

Are you frustrated because you can't buy the PC you want? Have you ever wanted to create your own custom PC but were unfamiliar with all of the parts and terminology? This book is your new best friend!

This illustrated, hands-on guide will help you choose the best components for the PC that's right for you. Inside the book, we walk you through the assembly process in simple, can-do language. Plus, you get a bonus DVD containing 45 minutes of step-by-step video instructions that show you how to build your own PC. It's like having an expert right beside you all the way!

About the Author

Mark L. Chambers has been building, customizing, and repairing PCs for over 20 years for himself and clients. As a consultant, he helps everyday folks update, maintain, and troubleshoot PCs.

More About the Author

Mark L. Chambers is an author, tech editor, and unabashed Mac fan. He is the author of more than 30 computer books including Mac OS X Leopard All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies and AppleTV For Dummies.

Customer Reviews

He was very excited to receive the book.
Gail Packer
After reading this book I was able to build my first computer with additional help from the case and motherboard manuals that came with my computer parts.
For anyone interested in building a PC, but hasn't the slightest idea of where to begin, as I did, this book is an excellent resource.
C. Powell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By J. B Kraft VINE VOICE on April 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Imagine all of those beautiful, expensive parts on your work table, and a trusted friend shows up to walk you through the process of building your first computer. He's there to look over your should and help when you need. You are confident and empowered.

This is an excellent book, with very clear logic about laying out and building three different levels of computer systems. While I have been a PC user since 1981, I never tried to build one until now, and I was worried about how the big bucks I was plunking down would translate.

Now that you have all these parts, where do you start? What should your concerns be? in 28 years of PC fiddling and replacing parts, for example, I never had anybody tell me that it was okay (and useful) to use a magnetic screwdriver.

While it is, technologically speaking, a step behind the latest state of the art, it covers the fundamental order and process of assembly and test in clear, concise and memorable prose. Couple this with the "bad english" instructions that will come with your components, and you should get through this fine.

The author is good enough to inspire confidence. I guess the only things I saw that were lacking is I would like to have seen him write about building a laptop and about liquid cooling. Other than that, I could not think of an idea that was missed.

There is also a CD with it. Oddly enough, this book lacks a "troubleshooting" chapter or section, but that's the only flaw I've found.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Drew on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was excited to find this book when I decided to build my own gaming was up to date and full of good reviews. This is 6 months down the road and I'm typing this on the very computer it helped me build. I hadn't ever built a computer before and I didn't have any experts in person who I could call over to help in tough moments. I do owe quite a bit to this book and I don't want to overlook that, however there are flaws. I'm pretty sure that this book alone wouldn't be enough for everybody.

My biggest complaint is that the book tries to not alienate people with "techno babble". Granted, I bought a "for dummies" book...I knew it wasn't going to read like a motherboard manual, but come on...we're talking about building a freaking computer here, you'd be foolish not to expect some "techno babble". You're better off having to google some technical terms than being left in the dark entirely!

One moment that had me freaked out was connecting the buttons and lights of the case to the motherboard. The wires are all tiny and only are marked by random letters and maybe a + or - symbol...its the kind of thing thats a breeze after you've done it once or twice, but when you are figuring it out on your own with no help at all (the book provided *no* help with this at all...I just reread the section to make sure I didn't miss it the first time around).

The other thing which I can't imagine other people having an easy time with is deciding exactly what to buy. What I did (and anybody interested in buying this book could do) is go to a well populated, well-informed forum and ask what people there would recommend in a certain price range. It would be nice though if the book would get a bit more in depth with this.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Kiki on May 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've worked with PCs for over twenty years, but it's been ten-plus years since I had a need to look inside one other than to add the occasional RAM chip. I decided its time to replace my PC and was disappointed at the configuration options available from Dell,HP, and Sony, so I decided to consider building one with my specific wants in mind.

Mark does a wonderful job explaining the basics of what you need to know, what's important and what's not important. I read the book in one day and felt completely comfortable specifying my a PC to meet my needs. I've already decided what I want in my new PC. I went back and figured out what I would have to add to the HP and Dell configurations to match my own design. Doing it myself looks like I'll save 20% to 25% ($1,400 vs $1,750-$1,900). Not bad for a day of reading and day of assembly. An added bonus will be the lack of bloat-ware (a/k/a/ useless software) usually installed by HP and Dell.

Not surprising, Amazon sells 90% of the components I want so I'll be making good use my Amazon Prime shipping plan. My UPS guy already thinks I own stock in Amazon, so what's a few more boxes!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan VINE VOICE on November 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Build Your Own PC for Dummies," written by Mark Chambers, takes you through the entire process of building a PC from the ground up, from "Why would I build my own PC anyway?" to determining what kind of machine you should build to what components you will need to actual assembly to maintenance and upkeep.

The book is arranged sequentially, so by following it from beginning to end you will be led through each and every step, all with the trademark Dummies sense of humor and Chambers' vast insight. Each chapter is also self-contained, so if you only need help with, say, installing a new video card, you can skip right to that part (and if he references anything from another chapter, Chambers will tell you what chapter you should refer to).

As the book progresses, Chambers builds a top-of-the-line computer using the outlined steps, giving exact parts and the rationale behind why he chose them. A companion DVD to the book shows the actual assembly process for those who are more visual-oriented.

I was pleasantly surprised at the rather unbiased comparison of Linux, Vista and XP in the operating system chapter - rather than becoming a fanboy of either side, Chambers lists the strengths of all the systems and makes recommendations based on what you have in mind for your PC.

A handy section at the end of the guide is a collection of "Top Ten" lists, such as biggest assembly pitfalls and tips to maintain your hard drive.

This book is a fun read, conveys great information, is easy to digest and is generously illustrated. I give it my highest recommendation, and am using it to build a PC that will save me about 35% off retail and will last longer.
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