Archive for December, 2014

I’m trying to learn how you make a PC. Specifically a gaming PC. I am currently reading  about the tech and trying to learn everything I can about the basics. I pulled apart my old PC and then realised I didn’t really understand what I was looking at… nor how to put it back together again. So I decided I had better learn this properly, from the foundation upwards, and know exactly what I’m dealing with.

Very proud of being one!

I’m very proud to be one!

 

Techno-Limitations

I never did get a chance to study IT at school or college. They’re not really big on showing you anything half-decent, anyway. I never learned much about the tech side of computers, though I did learn the basics so I could know how software and games worked. I was always more interested in the software than the stuff that ran it… but then I began to realise more and more that knowing how it ran was just as important. Especially when it came to games. The more I began to appreciate the back end of gaming, the development, hardware required to run it, getting the best out of them – the best graphics, best frame-rate, best power, the best games in general. The more I loved games, the more I wanted to be able to play them on a high-end PC with the best graphics, instead of just on a console that was essentially simply plug-n-play.

I have a MacBook, but it’s a 2012 Retina edition and therefore has limitations. Not the least the fact that it’s a Mac… It also has everything soldered into it, which means I can’t upgrade it to get the newer, cooler games that are available for it, and a the end of the day games are not particularly well-ported to OS X, anyhow. I did, however, have an old and incapable PC, and thought it would be cool to research and – eventually – rebuild it. It was feasible, but I didn’t know just what state it was in, so I got it down and dug around its insides.

The old PC had potential, but it was never used. It was a bit of a weakling… To put it mildly. I realised the entire thing would really have to be ripped apart and have everything replaced… Except I didn’t know how. What I did know, however, was that it was useless in its current state and too old to have any of its parts saved.

This poor thing was put together by an idiot. Not the person who actually made it – the idiot is whoever thought these specs were a good idea. But then Jo Public doesn’t really know enough about computer specs to know they’re being duped into getting a rubbish machine with ancient tech.

Old PC Specs

Packard Bell built it, then sold it at a reduced price, hyped it up, and then dumped in a ridiculous processor (a glorified hamster wheel, if you will) and a graphics card that just about manages to show you stuff. None of it any good for doing anything other than sending emails and browsing the internet. What really shocked me was that when I looked up the processes, I realised they were practically antique, given the PC was built in September 2010…

It is (or was… before I dismantled its insides) a Packard Bell iMedia with 64-bit Windows 7 (good) and 3GB DDR3 RAM (medium… but no good anymore). Which isn’t too bad. But then they went and dumped in a Pentium E5700 (awful) and a GMA X4500 for graphics (useless). Not even an Intel Dual Core 2. Games were certainly out of the question, even for back in the day. The motherboard, an Acer N15235 with 775 socket, is also now rendered obsolete by the newer Intel processors, which right now prefer the more popular 1150 sockets for the “Haswell” Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. Even the PSU (the power unit inside) is too low to run anything useful. I know it’s been 4 years since the PC was built, but still… Even for back then, this is pretty rubbish. They say they’re “low end”  of PCs… Well, can’t get much lower than this.

So I am looking into how to fix it; essentially make a new one out of it. The only problem being I know nothing about hardware, chipboard, chipsets, and wires, and what you’re supposed to do with them. I can use a screwdriver… and that’s about as far as it goes. I pulled everything in there apart, before knowing whatever any of it really was (I worked out a couple of things, though…), and now I don’t know how to put it back together again, and nor do I know how to change it. So I’m learning. I’m going to teach myself what all this means, and then I’m going to somehow get new stuff and make a shiny cool new PC out of it.

Somehow…

 

Techno-Learning

OTech Supportnce I’ve worked out how to rebuild it, I will then have to work out if I can fit it all into the shell of the old PC tower (I think with what they call a “micro ATX” motherboard). If it doesn’t all fit into the original tower case, then I will have to end end up building one from scratch, I suppose. New tower case, HDD, disk drives, etc, included. So far, I’m learning about motherboards – it’s what I know the least about, and apparently it’s pretty complicated. It’s the heart of it all, the thing that drives it. The right motherboard with all the right cool stuff will run the PC really well, and let you have all the cool extras to play all the cool games – the right motherboard will run the best processor, graphics card, RAM, power unit (the PSU)… everything.

It also won’t fit into my tower if I get the wrong one. There’s 4 different kinds. I think know which one will fit… of course, that’s doesn’t necessarily mean it will go with the other hardware that I hope I don’t need to upgrade– the HDD, disk drives, possibly the power unit (PSU), mainly. There is probably more than those involved… but I’m still learning.

I love the intersqueb!