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    The Piece-by-Piece Guide to Upgrading Your Computer
    Section A: Motherboards, Processors, and Cases
    By: Michael Larson

    A general rule in the computer world is that no matter how much money you have, or how much 24-7 technical staff you have, your computer is always going to become out dated. There is no such thing as the computer that is always "state of the art". There are three types of computers out there today, those that are updated regularly and stay in the leading edge of technology, those that linger somewhere in the gray area, keeping the owner happy, and those on the bleeding edge just screaming for update or replacement. Of course, thereís almost always an owner behind that computer, expert or novice, who is going to want to fiddle with this or replace that. With computers advancing every day, parts can get far behind, and users can quickly be forced to learn new techniques, computer lingo, or technologies just to stay on the critical point between technician and wannabe. Sadly, not enough people have the time and ambition to stay on that point, and fall behind the times, only to be awoken when the next game they buy crashes the computer after a few minutes of runtime. The truth is, no matter how much you try, there is always going to be something that you donít understand, and if that something happens to be hardware, this guide is for you.

    The first, most important part to upgrading is understanding your current computer. If you have a really old computer, youíre going to need more extensive changes than others do, but even if your computer is on top, you will have to know more about your components than any guide can cover. In other words, what Iím trying to say is a general rule of all computers, RTFM, Read the Frickiní Manual! All motherboards no matter what chipset they follow are going to have different styles, connections, and compatibilities. To save yourself the expense of incompatible parts and restocking fees or whatnot, make absolutely sure you understand that this part will fit in this connector of the motherboard and the voltage and front side bus are compatible.

    >Reader note: Front side bus is the megahertz rating that information travel to and from components on your motherboard; this is very different from the megahertz (mhz) rating of your processor. RTFM!

    To save your confusion, youíve noticed that Iíve included the "reader note", this is something that youíre going to want to pay attention to, meaning possible problems, or something youíre going to want to pay special attention to when upgrading your computer.

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