The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M fans react after The Aggies win the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 9, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
The mad dash to Omaha
June 21, 2024
Some international students at Texas A&M have been struggling to pick up groceries because of limited transportation options from campus to H-E-B and Walmart on Texas Avenue.
Former A&M employee sentenced to 5 years for hiding restroom camera
The employee, who worked for Transportation Services, was sentenced Friday
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • June 24, 2024
Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) shoots the ball during Texas A&Ms game against Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024 at Reed Arena.(Ishka Samant/The Battalion)
Projected Top 5 picks of the 2024 NBA Draft
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • June 25, 2024

In the 2024 NBA draft, there is an incredible amount of talent available for teams to pick. We have players from college basketball, G-League...

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
United they fall
June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Winner-take-all
June 23, 2024
Eats & Beats at Lake Walk features live music and food trucks for the perfect outdoor concert.
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin Chen June 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
United they fall
June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Winner-take-all
June 23, 2024

Computers a la carte

Ever feel the need to make a sandwich while waiting for your computer to bring up a document you want? If the answer is yes, it’s time for an upgrade.
As spring cleaning nears and students dust off their computers, they will most likely discover that their machines are out of date. The rate at which technology is rendered obsolete is mind-boggling, making computers bought two years ago or two months ago out dated.
Once computer owners determine that they need to replace their aging desktop PC, they must decide where to buy it. Many large companies such as Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and Dell offer pre-built systems featuring new technology and helpful warranties to cover problems. At first glance, these may appear to be the best — and only — solutions. But that might not be the case.
To keep their computers stocked with the newest and fastest processors, hard drives and other technologies, buyers are typically forced to purchase a new computer at full price from these companies. A more economical approach would be to replace individual components as they become outdated.
Yet replacement of these parts requires opening the computer case, which violates the warranty conditions on most pre-built computers. This does not bother some users, who wouldn’t mind if they never had to do more than plug the machine in and let it run. For others — video game junkies and those who fancy themselves tech savvy — a home-built machine would be more efficient.
While building a computer might be too technical and out of reach for some, those daring enough to take on the task can follow a few simple steps and be on their way to digital freedom in no time.
The first step is to determine the individual parts that are needed. A typical PC includes a computer case with power supply, video card, sound card, motherboard, processor, memory and storage devices such as hard drives or DVD-ROM drives.
Using a cost-comparison Web site such as Pricewatch.com to find the lowest prices available online for each component, buyers will be able to save hundreds of dollars in lieu of expensive pre-built computers. For example, a computer built to match the hardware specifications of a Dimension Desktop 8250, one of Dell’s best-selling computer systems, costs almost $400 less than Dell’s base price of $1,459 when using Pricewatch — including the cost of shipping.
The list of needed parts has recently become much shorter with the introduction of multi-featured motherboards such as NVIDIA’s nForce or Intel’s i845G chipset. These reasonably-priced units have onboard or integrated video, sound and networking devices, saving the buyer money and the trouble of installing the three extra components.
Step two, the building process, is reduced significantly with a feature-rich motherboard such as the nForce. The builder can effortlessly fasten the motherboard to the case with a few small screws and then snap the processor and memory into clearly-labeled slots. CD-ROM drives and other mass storage devices are then connected with IDE cables, and the computer case is put back on.
While this process may seem oversimplified, computer assembly has become less complicated during past years. As the number of amateur computer builders has continued to increase, hardware manufacturers have provided instruction manuals with detailed pictures and a straightforward language that is easy to understand, even for novice builders.
Third-party guides dealing with amateur computer work, from purchase to assembly, can be found with a simple Google search for the phrase “build your own PC.” Two recommended sites from this list are AnandTech (www.anandtech.com) and PC Mechanic (www.pcmech.com/byopc).
Computer building is not for everyone and there is some risk involved. However, this risk is comparable to the danger of cooking dinner rather than letting a restaurant do the work. The recipe and ingredients are available to everyone; the determining factor is often whether the money saved is worth the time. With just a little work, a computer can last its owner a lifetime, without costing a life’s savings.

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