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Table Of Contents  How to Build Your Own PC - Save A Buck And Learn A Lot
 9  Chapter 1: Purchasing Components

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Choosing Video Cards and Other Parts
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Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
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Upgrade Considerations

What happens if you wish to upgrade or repair a slightly older system? Consider the CD-RW drive. On my older 200 MHz Pentium, the Hewlett Packard CD-Writer recently failed. (Searching online I found many complained about failures of similarly-aged HP CD-RWs.)

Going online and to the store and reading the system requirements for newer CD-RW drives tells us that they all required 300 GHz systems or faster. So the solution would seem be to look for a component that would work in the older system. Many CD-RWs were on eBay.com, but I didn’t see any that I felt were reasonably-priced. When purchasing smaller components on eBay.com, don’t overlook the cost of the shipping.

A trip to a computer show might turn up some CD-RWs. But, I didn’t really want to spend the time noodling around for parts either. I could also experiment with newer CD-RWs operating at slower write speeds or using older versions of the software that the CD-RWs came with. But, I didn’t want to monkey around with that either, because I didn’t want to spend the time.

Eventually, I just decided I’d backup that system over a home network using another PC I had with a fast CD-RW!

The lesson is that as you upgrade older systems, at a certain point, you might just decide that it no longer makes sense to upgrade the system. It’s easier and more effective to just get a new system. Or, you might find other solutions, such as not using the CD-RW and backing up the system over a network. Just choose whichever upgrade, replacement, or workaround option seems best for you and you’ll make the right choice!

Hint: Don’t worry about making a wrong choice when selecting components. You’ll do a great job! There seldom is a “wrong” choice.


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Choosing Video Cards and Other Parts
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Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
Next Topic/Section

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Version 1.0 - Version Date: May 4, 2005

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