My interest in computer technology began when I started to troubleshoot my Pentium III computer, which was built by a leading computer company. As the company outsourced their tech support to India, I found that there was a significant communication barrier; the level of technical competence had also declined sharply. As my experiences with tech support often left computer problems unsolved or worse than before the call, I began to tackle computer problems on my own. Eventually, the performance of my computer started to falter as it was being outpaced by the latest hardware and software developments. It was time for a new computer, and my past experiences with a manufactured PC left me determined to build my own. After conducting research on building computers, I decided to assemble my own PC. Pictured below is the computer that I built at various assembly stages. The computer was built with an MSI RS480M2-IL (ATI chipset) motherboard, AMD Athlon 64 3000+ processor, 1 gigabyte of Corsair Value Select RAM (2 x 512 MB), 420 watt Enermax Noisetaker power supply, Rosewill DVD/CD burner, 80 gigabyte Western Digital SATA hard drive, and Mitsumi digital card reader/floppy drive. Pictured from left to right, top to bottom: (1) Computer Case with power supply, hard drive, DVD/CD burner, and card reader/floppy drive (2) close-up of motherboard in case with RAM installed (3) motherboard in case with other components (4) motherboard with wiring attached (5) front of case with DVD/CD burner and card reader/floppy drive (6) front of case with cover closed.
After eight months had passed, I began to encounter difficulties with the motherboard pictured in the above section (Computer Build at Various Stages). The speed of my computer had bogged down considerably, and after a great deal of troubleshooting, it was apparent that the motherboard needed to be replaced. The photos below show the stages involved in replacing the motherboard. I replaced the motherboard with an MSI K8NGM2-FID and a new heatsink that offered better processor cooling, the Thermalright XP-90. Pictured from left to right, top to bottom: (1) New motherboard with the processor transferred from defective motherboard (2) Ceramique (thermal interface material) that rests between the processor and the heatsink (3) new heatsink prior to installation on new motherboard (4) the new heatsink installed on the new motherboard (5) computer case minus motherboard (6) new motherboard installed in the case.
While the onboard graphics chip supplied with the MSI K8NGM2-FID was an adequate video solution, I desired a more robust graphics card that would allow video to be played at high frame rates and optimal resolution. The photos below show various views of the new EVGA e-GeForce 6800 NVIDIA graphics card installed in the MSI K8NGM2-FID motherboard. As a result of the new video card installation, video performance has improved dramatically.