Building the Perfect PC
The complete guide to customizing, upgrading, and creating your own machine
By Robert Bruce Thompson, Barbara Fritchman Thompson
Publisher: Maker Media, Inc
Final Release Date: August 2004
Pages: 352

With off-the-shelf computer systems to fit any budget or requirement, some people might wonder why you'd want to build your own. They don't understand that for many computer users, a ready-made system is about as satisfying as popping a frozen dinner in the microwave when you'd rather have real food instead. Sure, it works, but it's not exactly what you need or want.

There's a lot to be said for a computer that has exactly the quality components you choose, by the manufacturers you choose, rather than the conveniently bundled assortment made for your price point. But perhaps you've stopped short of building your own because you're inexperienced or you're concerned it won't come out right. After all, you want your computer to be perfect. Hesitate no longer: Building the Perfect PC delivers end-to-end instructions (that even inexperienced PC-builders can follow) for creating your ideal machine.

Written by hardware experts Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson, this book covers it all, beginning with the various reasons why you'd want to build your own PC, planning and picking out the components, and putting it all together. The book outlines a variety of complete systems and all of their components, including a small form factor PC; a middle-of-the-road "sweet spot" system with top-notch components; and a top-end gaming PC with high-end video, a fast processor, and enough RAM to make your palms sweat just thinking about it.

Straightforward language, clear directions, and extensive illustrations make this guide a breeze for computer builders of any level to follow--even those with little or no experience. If you've yearned for a quality machine with high-end components that suit your needs, then Building the Perfect PC will put you where you want to be: in control of your computer system.

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oreillyBuilding the Perfect PC
 
4.1

(based on 7 reviews)

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5.0

Superb, Excellent, Fantastic

By faton4paws

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Building the Perfect PC:

This is the book you want if you know virtually nothing about computer hardware and want to make the big step to building your own. It is absolutely superlative for complete novices. The authors know their stuff to a level rarely seen, are funny and witty and not in the least condescending (a problem with many "how-to" books, I've noticed), and they attempt -- and in my opinion -- succeed admirably in making a terrifying experience so easy that we're doing it again. I've read many criticisms of this book, but I don't think any of them are relevant. Yes, you'll have to do a little of your own research on current products (obviously the computer industry does not stand still), and yes, you'll probably have to make a few minor adjustments between their recommendations and what you'll actually need to do, but this is still a book without peer, in my opinion. We used it to build our first computer last September, 2005, and it has worked beautifully and perfectly since then. I can honestly say that you will not find a better, more honest, and truer evaluation of the process and the products than this book. By all means, buy it!!!

 
2.0

Careful

By Scott

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Building the Perfect PC:

Be careful if you are a novice. I followed the instructions for a mainstream PC. The hardware went together well. I got in over my head and needed to send the machine out for professional help when trying to load games on XP.

 
3.0

Very Thorough but a Little Biased

By rhumbliner

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Building the Perfect PC:

I've built several PC's including a couple of Shuttle boxes so I was intrigued to learn about the new microATX form factor.

The book is very thorough going thru even the mundane details that tend to trip me up when I forget to tend to those minor details.

The authors are obviously biased towards Antec and against Shuttle, however. They fault Shuttle for it's propietary mainboard and power supply. A valid complaint. However, Antec's microATX box also sports a propietary power supply but the authors excuse this by stating "... we expect Antec to provide replacement units at reasonable prices". Indeed.

I recommend you read this book if you have any interest in building your own system because of the wealth of useful information it provides. However, treat the specific recommendations of the authors as if they work for Antec.

 
4.0

It Works, I'm A Novice

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Building the Perfect PC:

This was a very good book. I've never built a PC before until I bought this book. I replaced memory, but never built a PC from the ground up.

The book's recommendations are high quality and can be trusted. I built a home PC and it works great. I have had no problems with it.

One warning! This book leaves out a few things you may need to know. When I was building the PC, I got frustrated at points where information or gotchas were left out. This may have been because I did not build a PC exactly as they described. I think if you build and use exactly what is in the book you should have no problems.

If you're a novice and want to build a PC similar to but not exactly what the books offers, I recommend finding someone with experience to help you over the rough spots.

Overall, the book is very helpful and thorough. The pictures are great.

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

It does rock...

By mindmerge

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Building the Perfect PC:

As others have mentioned this book 'does' rock.

At first I was skeptical (because we all know everything) however when I started to thumb through the book and saw all of the crisp full color pictures I was intrigued.

This book will not put systems builders out of business, though with the information in the book it could! Realistically this book is for the enthusiast that already knows how to put a computer together hardware and all.

What this book offers for those of us who have built countless machines is to back-up (in print) what we already regard as true. For the more experienced systems builder the individual projects are fantastic.

I have my eyes on the Antec Aria case, I can see so many uses for it. I currently have 3 Antec cases and know first hand the quality of these cases/power supplies.

This 'is' a good book. I'll probably give a couple for Christmas this year... not mine (my precious) I may need to thum through it once I have my Aria.

 
5.0

Building a Perfect PC

By Jeff

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Building the Perfect PC:

This is a terrific book, 5 stars plus, all instructions are in language that people can understand. The advise on purchasing computer parts is first rate.

The books purpose is to enable a first time computer builder confidence in purchasing and assembling a high quality computer. Its the best "how to" available.

 
5.0

If you buy it, you will build it

By Larry

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Building the Perfect PC:

I've been fiddling with the innards of PCs for about 10 years, but have never built one from the ground up. That's about to change, thanks to this MARVELOUS book. The first 80 pages or so of the book are devoted to justifying why you OUGHT to build your own PC, how to design the PC and how to choose the various components. I've never seen this approach before and it is extremely well done. Don't skip over these pages! Then the authors go into the details of building a "mainstream" PC, a server, a "LAN Party" PC, a home theater PC, and finally, a small form factor PC. There is something here for everbody. Everything about this book is a pleasure to behold, from the color photographs, the clear and lucid prose, and the layout and typography. This book has given me the confidence that I can, indeed, build my own PC, and I am going to do exactly that. You should, too.

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