General PC hardware information
- BABEL: A Glossary of Computer Oriented Abbreviations and Acronyms Rate this link
- Dictionary of PC Hardware and Data Communications Terms Rate this link
- PC Webopaedia - glossary of common PC terms with links to good descriptions of what they mean Rate this link
- whatis.com - high tech terms described Rate this link
- Choosing a Computer: FAQ - Read the questions and answers on this page to select the best computer for your needs. Rate this link
- comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.* FAQ - answer to most common PC questions Rate this link
- PC Hardware FAQ on Answerbag - PC Hardware FAQ and glossary that allows visitors to add new questions and answers. Rate this link
- COMPUTERS.COM - computer equipment buyer's guide, extensive product directory with reviews Rate this link
- Computer TechAdvice - source of computer information on the internet, hardware and software section contains product information, links to the companies making the products, links to drivers, and price checks Rate this link
- Hardware Systems - detailed look at computer components Rate this link
- PC 2001 System Design Guide - PC 2001 System Design Guide provides a guide for engineers who build personal computers, expansion cards, and peripheral devices that will be used with the Microsoft? Windows? 32-bit operating systems and that incorporate legacy components. Rate this link
- PC System Design Guide Downloads - Intel Corporation and Microsoft Corporation are sponsoring this site to provide information for engineers, managers and others in the PC and hardware peripheral industry who are interested in the PC design guideline projects Rate this link
- Phil Storrs PC Hardware book - This is a collection of lecture material on PC hardware. This was last updated December 1998. Rate this link
- The Hand-Me-Down PC Introduction to PC Parts - on-line version of The Hand-Me-Down PC and The Midnight Question book Rate this link
- Computer Information Center (CompInfo) - access to computer knowledge bases, manufacturers and support, news, events, magazines Rate this link
- Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell - well organized PC hardware information link site, includes also Rate this link
- Tutorialfind Computer Hardware Tutorials Rate this link
- Dangers and problems of ungrounded PC - why PCs should be always connected to grounded power outlet Rate this link
- PC Programming Page - lots of links to programming material Rate this link
- Solving the Riddle of Worldwide Computer and Modem Use Rate this link
- Technology for disabled users: lessons learned - Technology for disabled users: lessons learned Vendors building devices for disabled users have solved many interface challenges for electronic devices. So why aren't these technologies available in the consumer market? Too often, the people asking "Why reinvent the wheel?" are the very people reinventing it. Rate this link
- The ACPI advantage for powering future-generation computers - The ACPI specification is a platform-independent, industry-standard approach to OS-based power management. ACPI allows inexpensive power-management hardware to support very elaborate power- state transitions, maximizing the computer?s power consumption and resource-utilization efficiencies. Rate this link
- The PC Platform - technologies that make personal computers easier to use and more environmentally friendly Rate this link
- The Printed Circuit Board Primer - A fine printed circuit board (PCB) is a mixture if high art, and solid engineering. Here is a short primer on what goes into the making of a PCB, the terminology, and the features that enhance reliabity, and lower cost. Rate this link
- Puget Custom Computers Discussion Forum - Perhaps you have a computer related question you have always been begging to have a place to ask it. Well, now you have that place. This forum plans to become THE PLACE to get information about custom built computers. Rate this link
- Desktop PC system block diagram - check also Rate this link
- Duane's Hardware Homepage - mirrored at Rate this link
- PC-INFo - lots of PC hardware information on-line Rate this link
- ReviewFinder - for finding product reviews on the web Rate this link
- The PC Guide - detailed PC reference information Rate this link
- The PC Technology Guide Rate this link
- Aberdeen Motherboards - web shop which lists lots of information on PC motherboards currently on the market Rate this link
- ATX Motherboard Specification - Intel ATX page, ATX specification can be downloaded here Rate this link
- ATX Platform Developer - information about the ATX form factor and vendors offering ATX products Rate this link
- Flex ATX Specifications and Design Guides - FlexATX Addendum Version 1.0 to the microATX Specification Rate this link
- Design Guidelines for PCs - The design guidelines listed here provide information for engineers and system designers who are creating systems and components that run new versions of the Microsoft? Windows? operating systems. Rate this link
- PC 98 System Design Guide Rate this link
- PC 99 System Design Guide Review - check also Rate this link
Special hardware topics
System design guides
The information on those guides is a little bit old-fashioned, but can be still useful in some cases.
- Build-PCs.com - Build-PCs.com is a source for learning how to build cheap reliable computers. The website is directed towards beginners who need a step by step help from buying to building. Rate this link
- Building the Ultimate Gaming PC - If money was not a factor, how would you design the Ultimate Gaming PC? Rate this link
- Building a Value Gaming PC - Building a Value Gaming PC on a tight budget requires some difficult decisions. Unfortunately, most of us do not have the luxury of a high budget, so in this article, we will take a look at current technology, and explore what the best choices would be for building a great gaming PC for under $1500. Rate this link
- Case Noise Reduction - If your computer cabinet makes a lot of noise because of the fans on the CPU heatsink and the SMPS ( switched mode power supply ) then there are a very easy solution for the problem. Rate this link
- Computercraft - PC installing and repair notes Rate this link
- Hardware Mania - In this site you will find links to a few good computer harware sites which mainly deal with overclocking and supercooling of your desktop computer. There is also a project on CPU cooling on this site which gives you in detail the making of a water cooler for the Athlon XP series processor. Rate this link
- How to Install an AMD Athlon or Duron Socket A Processor - This article tells how to put the processor in place and how to correctly install a heatsink to it. Rate this link
- InfoGOLD Technical Support Site - basic info how to setup, upgrade and troubeshoot your PC Rate this link
- My Super PC: Build A Computer - You can build your own computer that's affordable, high-quality, and with eye-popping performance. If you're thinking of building your own PC and you'd like to see specific recommendations for components, actual costs, tutorials on how to assemble, help with BIOS and driver settings, and what performance results you should expect - then you're at the right site! This site is dedicated to help you in building your own computer! Rate this link
- PC Mechanic - PC hardware installing information Rate this link
- Power Supply Wattage - This article has table of some power consumption values (in watts) for common items in a personal computer. Rate this link
- Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart - a 1 meter square poster for diagnosing PC boot failures Rate this link
- Computer Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts - This page offers links to flowcharts for diagnosing and repairing PCs, extracted from Computer Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts book. About half of the published book is online there, including a 1 meter square poster for diagnosing boot failures Rate this link
- PC diagnostics programs to download Rate this link
- Intel Motherboard and BIOS Manuals Rate this link
- Motherboard HomeWorld - for descriptions of motherboard chipsets and other PC motherboard information Rate this link
- The Computer Hardware Performance Site Rate this link
- Upgrading & Repairing PCs Eighth Edition - This book is for people who want to upgrade, repair, maintain, and troubleshoot computers. It covers the full range of PC-compatible systems from the oldest 8-bit machines to the latest in high-end 64-bit workstations. Rate this link
Fault diagnosing and system testing
Performance testing and tuning
BIOS settings optimization
Computers can have many different kind of effects to our environment where we are. Computers generate noise. Even though we grow accustomed to the constant noise, it can still be distracting. Most of the noise from a PC comes from fans. In addition to this the hard disks and other drives can generate noise in a normal PC. Fans play a vital role in cooling the components that give PCs their performance. There is a challenge to provide even higher-cooling capacity to deal with increasing power dissipation from new processors, graphics and memory products. With suitable arrangements, the noise can be reduced. If the PC cooling system is to undergo changes in reducing fan noise it must be done carefully so as not to throw the cooling out with the noise. Yes, one way to reduce fan noise is to slow the fan down. If fan speed (RPM) could be controlled in such a way that an adequate level of cooling is provided, even as conditions vary, it may be possible to minimize acoustic noise by slowing down RPM when a lower cooling level is OK: And increase RPM and cooling capacity only when needed -- i.e. worst-case conditions. Many quiet PCs use this technology in addition to special case constructions. The heat was mentioned on the last chapter. When a PC system operates, generally most (almost all) the power it takes from the mains outlet is converted eventually to heat. When a normal typical PC system with a large monitor can consume something like 200-400 watts of power, thus means that the PC system can heat your room. In cold enviroments where room heating is neeeded this is not usually a problem, because the PC generated heat can substitute other heating. But on hotter places, the introduction of PCs have generally increased the need for an air condition system. A typical office in many countries needs to be cooled more than heated because the amount of heat generated the PCs and people using them. Cooling systems are vital parts of any large computer server rooms, because the large amounts of heats generared in them. PCs consume a considerable amount of power that costs money and generate it's own enviromental problems (generating electricity has it's own environmental side-effects). The equipment power ratings should be written on the manufacturers labels at the back of your PC andmonitor/screen. The power drawn (W) will be approximately the voltage (V) x Current (I) in typical fixed load like a kettle. But not as accurate for a PC. What you will be reading is the maximum rating, probably of the power supply.If the goal is to size a supply circuit or UPS, then the nameplaterating is OK to use. If one is trying to determine actual consumption toestimate relative power costs of various units (for example) more detail may be needed.The actual consumption will depend on usage patterns, the type of motherboard, processor and peripherals and power management settings in the BIOS and software.Power management of personal computers (PCs) and monitors has the potential to save significant amounts of electricity as well as deliver other economic and environmental benefits. The Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program has transformed the PC market so that equipment capable of power management is now widely available. However, previous studies have found that many Energy Star compliant computer systems are not accomplishing energy savings. Computers can cause interference to radio and TV reception. Nearly any computer system has the potential for causing interference. Computers are classified as unintentional radiators under Part 15 of FCC regulations. Part 15 limits the amount of interference that will be caused by a computer system, but the regulations protect a neighboring home from having television interference when you operate your computer, for example. They are not usually sufficient to ensure that your computer will not interfere with sensitive reception in the same room. This same applies to European countries where the European EMC regulations apply to computers. In USA FCC has two classes of computing devices: Class B for home use and Class A for industrial environments. The Class B devices are quite a bit less noisy than their industrial counterparts. Make sure you use only Class B devices at home. Computer systems and monitors generate electric and magnetic fields around them. The PC system CRT monitor is generally considered as the largest source of those. In the late 1980s concern over possible health issues related to monitor use were raised. In Sweden this resulted a standard MPR1 to be developed. This was amended in 1990 to the internationally adopted MPR2 standard, which called for the reduction of electrostatic emissions with a conductive coating on the monitor screen. In 1992 a further stricter standard, entitled TCO (TCO92), was introduced by the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees. Other relevant monitor safety standards include: ISO 9241 part 3 (the international standard for monitor ergonomics), EN60950 (the European standard for the electrical safety of IT equipment) and the German TUV/EG mark (monitor has been tested to ISO 9241 part 3, EN60950, MPR2 and German standard for basic ergonomics ZH/618). With electronics it is very difficult to be green. We leave our computer waste in the recyle bin lest dangerous chemicals like lead and mercury seep into our landfills. The more dedicated environmentalists make a trip to the local recyling center where they may be asked around to pay around $15-$30 to recycle their old PCs. Using too much computer can cause healtjh problems to the user. Computing can sometimes be a real "pain-in-the-neck" ... but more particularly in the hands, wrists, and arms! From the heavy-duty professional user at work, to the happy "gamer" at home, constant, repetitive use of a computer keyboard can lead directly to a severe case of "RSI", or Repetitive Strain Injury. Many of us work for hours each day in front of displays. It is very important to establish viewing conditions that minimize stress to our eyes.
- Have enough elecricity to power everything reliably. Have multiple circuits coming to the room. Maybe not one for every socket, but at least two for a small room and more on larger room. If there is a short electrical outa, there is a huge demand surge as all the computers try to turn back on at the same time. Be sure that your computer room has grounded elecrical outlets.
- UPSes are great so that short electrical power problems will not crash your computers.
- Be prepared that you computer room will need air-conditioning because the computers generate lots of heat. Be sure that your computer has it's own air conditioner, because the needs for computer room air conditioning are different than in normal office or home room.
- A KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) is an useful accesory that allows you to easily manage many computers using just one set of monitor, keyboard and mouse. Nothing like being able to sit in one place and control multiple PC's. This will greatly reduce the amount of space needed also.
- Have good enough telecom and LAN wirign to your computer room.
- Take out the carpet. Carpet and linoleum create static that can damage computer when you touch them. Use material that does not generate lots of static electricity.
- If you have computer repair place on your room, get a grounded workbench pad (a rubbery pad that covers the workbench). Get also a grounded wrist strap as well.
Here are few tips to build a good computer room:
General PC hardware document sites
- 80x86 index - programming, articles, books, bugs, hardware Rate this link
- Intelligent Firmware - information about memory access performance flaw in 80x86 processors Rate this link
- Intel on-line documentation Rate this link
- Intel Secrets - what Intel does not want to tell you Rate this link
- MMX Technology Architecture Overview Rate this link
- Pentium steppings - info on different Pentium version Rate this link
- How sychronous memory (SDRAM) will impact top-level IS planning - white paper Rate this link
- SIMM pinouts - 30 and 72 pin Rate this link
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