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Table Of Contents  How to Build Your Own PC - Save A Buck And Learn A Lot
 9  Chapter 8: Testing the System and Completing Assembly

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Preparing to Test the System
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Adjusting BIOS Settings
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Powering Up the System for the First Time

The big moment has arrived. We’re set to test our new system. We push the power button and... nothing happens. Hmpf. We take off the front bezel to be sure it hits the power switch. We test the switch directly without the bezel. The system doesn’t respond. At a point like this, it’s smart to check the basics. For example, does the wall socket have power? You could purchase a fancy gizmo to test an outlet, but a hair dryer, radio, or a lamp works just as well.

Examining the back of the PC case, we see that there is a switch with two positions, 0 and 1. Zero often means off, and one often means on in the computer world. We turn the switch from 0 to 1 and push the power button again. The system boots up. Older AT power supplies seldom had power switches at the back and if you’re used to an AT system, it’s easy to miss the switch at the back of the case.

The system powers up. We see the CPU fan is spinning, and BIOS recognizes that it’s the first time the system has been started. It asks us to confirm the CPU speed setting. Our system is built on an Athlon 2000+ chip, and the menu offers 1.67 GHz and 2.08 GHz as options. Neither of those corresponds to 2.0 GHz which is what we might expect a 2000+ chip to run at. We usually don’t want to run a chip faster than it’s rated, so the higher value is out.

AMD has an “effective” measure of CPU performance. That’s what the plus sign means after the 2000. 2000+ means it’s comparable to a 2.0 GHz Pentium. The 2000+ Athlon actually runs at 1.67 GHz. However, the Athlon is more efficient because it can do more during each clock cycle than can a Pentium. So, the correct setting is 1.67 GHz.


Previous Topic/Section
Preparing to Test the System
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Pages in Current Topic/Section
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Next Page
Adjusting BIOS Settings
Next Topic/Section

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How to Build Your Own PC (http://www.PCGuide.com/byop/) on PCGuide.com
Version 1.0 - Version Date: May 4, 2005

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