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Monday, February 14, 2011

My Review of Building the Perfect PC

Originally submitted at O'Reilly

Even if you’re not a total geek, you can build your own PC -- and it’s worth it. You'll discover that the quality is better and the cost is much lower than any comparable off-the-shelf PC you can buy. Written by hardware experts, this book delivers complete instructions for build...

Budget and build an inexpensive PC
By Eder Andres Avila from Paipa, Colombia on 2/14/2011

4out of 5
Pros: Easy to understand, Concise, Well-written, Helpful examples
Best Uses: Student, Novice, Intermediate
Describe Yourself: University Student
I recommend this book but with the following advice. This book is a valuable resource for two kinds of readers: one are the low to mid level technicians, and another are the "project executives", not for pure beginners trying to build their own PC. If you want to build your own PC you need some hardware knowledge background to understand the technical speeches like DIMM, sockets, and SATA to some degree, and the motivation to handle wires, screws and little tools, of course. But wait!

If you are the "project executive" for hardware acquisition, you may be interested in knowing what to buy, why to buy, how much it cost and how to deploy it. These "project executives" can be family parents, shop owners and enterprise leaders who need an information technology for their home or business. After reading this book, you will not go blindly to a mall trusting what the ticket or the seller says about a computer, instead you will have more criteria for choosing an appropriate PC.

With the help of a computer science student, for example, you can save some money if you decide to build the computer at your own by choosing only the hardware capabilities and software you really need and your budget imposes. So, despite you are not interested in the process of building, this book gives directions for choosing reliable, inexpensive hardware.

The benefits for low to mid level technicians, like computer science students, are evident because it helps to build a complete PC depending if it is for home, development or more intensive tasks. I like that this book explains the physical components of a computer without going to deep inside computer architecture theory. Of course, you need some knowledge about the different characteristics of memory, main board, hard drives, and buses, among others, but you can build a suitable PC without getting lost in a very technical discussion.

Moreover, if you are an open source developer you can save money by not buying the Windows operating system which comes by default on PC sold at a shopping mall. For instance, in Colombia major computer manufactures, like Hewlett–Packard, sold their computers with pre-installed Windows, thus increasing about 20% to 30% the final cost.
In conclusion, Building the Perfect PC is a good book for technical and non–technical users looking for an alternative, affordable, reliable, inexpensive computer in practicable, understandable, illustrative, quick manner.

Note: This review was in exchange of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program (

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