PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition
By Robert Bruce Thompson, Barbara Fritchman Thompson
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: July 2003
Pages: 878

PC Hardware in a Nutshell is the practical guide to buying, building, upgrading, and repairing Intel-based PCs. A longtime favorite among PC users, the third edition of the book now contains useful information for people running either Windows or Linux operating systems. Written for novices and seasoned professionals alike, the book is packed with useful and unbiased information, including how-to advice for specific components, ample reference material, and a comprehensive case study on building a PC.

In addition to coverage of the fundamentals and general tips about working on PCs, the book includes chapters focusing on motherboards, processors, memory, floppies, hard drives, optical drives, tape devices, video devices, input devices, audio components, communications, power supplies, and maintenance. Special emphasis is given to upgrading and troubleshooting existing equipment so you can get the most from your existing investments.

This new edition is expanded to include:

  • Detailed information about the latest motherboards and chipsets from AMD, Intel, SiS, and VIA
  • Extensive coverage of the Pentium 4 and the latest AMD processors, including the Athlon XP/MP
  • Full details about new hard drive standards, including the latest SCSI standards, ATA/133, Serial ATA, and the new 48-bit "Big Drive" ATA interface
  • Extended coverage of DVD drives, including DVD-RAM, DVD-R/RW, and DVD+R/RW
  • Details about Flat Panel Displays, including how to choose one (and why you might not want to)
  • New chapters on serial communications, parallel communications, and USB communications (including USB 2.0)
  • Enhanced troubleshooting coverage
PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition provides independent, useful and practical information in a no-nonsense manner with specific recommendations on components. Based on real-world testing over time, it will help you make intelligent, informed decisions about buying, building, upgrading, and repairing PCs in a cost effective manner that will help you maximize new or existing computer hardware systems. It's loaded with real-world advice presented in a concise style that clearly delivers just the information you want, without your having to hunt for it.
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oreillyPC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition
 
3.5

(based on 4 reviews)

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Now out of date

By Loren

from Rising Sun, IN

About Me Build my own computer

Pros

  • A good book - in its day
  • Easy to understand
  • Well-written

Cons

  • Out of date
  • Too old

Best Uses

  • Computer historian

Comments about oreilly PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition:

In 2003, when I bought this book, I would have given it five stars. This book helped me make decisions about hardware to install in a PC that I was building. It was particularly useful because the authors weren't trying to sell me any particular item or brand.

Having said that, this is the kind of book that absolutely MUST be updated at least annually. Today, in 2012, it is so far out of date as to be useless.

I wish the authors would write a new edition, because I want to build another PC.

 
5.0

Excellent Resource

By D.K. Easton

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition:

This is one of the most comprehensive books I have ever used concerning PC hardware. A must have for any office!

 
5.0

PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition Review

By Scott

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition:

What a joy to use! Having used the Macintosh platform for 17 years, I really needed to become PC savvy , and in a hurry, for a client project I agreed to work through. This is THE DEFINITIVE reference work to learn the ins and outs of PC bits and pieces. After reading this book (cover to cover) I purchased another guide to PC Upgrade and Repair, twice as thick, but with not even half as much useful info as the O'Reilly guide offered. This one is all you need!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition Review

By Marvin

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition:

Shouldn't there be mention of networks & modems in here?

I hate to harp on this because otherwise it looks like a marvelous book.... I ordered it from Amazon thinking that being a brand-new edition and from O'Reilly this will almost certainly be the most up-to-date general reference for PC hardware I'm likely to find.

But I'm a bit dismayed at the fact that, after looking at the index and table of contents and flipping through the text, I can't seem to find a reference to network cards or modems at all. I see on page 5 there's a note saying that LAN is one of the less commonly available integrated functions on motherboards, which (having spent the last month shopping for components) strikes me as incorrect. 10/100 Ethernet or Gigabit LAN are available on many motherboards these days. Shouldn't there be a chapter explaining the difference between the two? I wouldn't expect a guide on installing home networks or anything, but maybe something addressing the differences between NIC, 56k modem, DSL, cable modem, and so on. And maybe some common configuration and troubleshooting issues? One doesn't build a computer without a networking component of some kind, these days.

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