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PC Hardware and Computer Basics

Information about the basic operation, technology and functionality of personal computer hardware. The links on this page will be a general overview of PC hardware and how to use that information when buying computer parts or systems.
  1. PC Hardware Glossary (106)

Best PC Technologies of 2010
2010 may not have been the best year for the computer industry. With the economy still slumping, computer technology innovations were not as plentiful as some other years. What did get released this year had some significant impacts on what computer will be like in the coming years. Here are some of the new computer technologies I think were the...

Worst PC Technology of 2010
2010 was a year of innovations in portable computers and performance but there were a number of mistakes along the way. Some of the items of this list could and may still become great but missed out in terms of adoption this year. Here are some of the items that I think ended up being some of the worst technology of the year.

Best Of CES 2010
This year's CES featured a large number of computer product launches announced at CES. Many of these products were announced because of the latest laptop processor release from Intel. This meant that many of the product launches were merely updates to existing products and not necessarily radically new ideas. Here are some of the product announcements that I think may really change the personal c…

Worst PC Blunders From 2009
2009 was a slow year in terms of computer technology releases. Probably the biggest blunder would be the large number of technologies that were pushed back until 2010 after the economy hopefully improves. That doesn't mean that products weren't launched that didn't get very far or made the computing environment a little worse for consumers. Here are some of they most notable blunders when it come…

Best PC Technologies From 2009
2009 was a slow year overall for computer technologies. Much of this can be attributed to the economy and manufacturers either canceling or pushing back products until 2010 in the hopes that things pick up. That doesn't mean that there were some major advancements. Here are some of the most influential technologies from 2009 that I feel are noteworthy.

Apple Mac OS X vs. Windows XP Performance Comparison
A detailed look at performance between Windows XP and Mac OS X running similiar applications on an Intel Mac Mini by the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide. (4/3/06)

BIOS Settings
Article about how to setup the BIOS properly for a newly built computer from components from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

Building vs. Buying a Personal Computer
Article discussing the advantages and disadvantages of building a desktop personal computer system from components versus buying a prebuilt system. Also has link to a signup for a 5-day e-mail course on building a personal computer system by the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

Computer Recycling
An article discussing the options consumers have for disposing of old computer components and electronics from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

Desktop PC Parts Checklist
A quick checklist of the core components required to build a desktop computer system from scratch. Includes a brief description of the components as well as links to more details on selecting the components.

Energy Star and the PC
Article from the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews Guide looking at what it really means for a personal computer to receive the Energy Star lable.

ExpressCard
Article from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide talking about the ExpressCard interface designed to replace the old PC Card technology for notebook computer systems.

High Definition Paradox
An article that looks into the problems facing PCs and the playback of high definition video from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

Intel's Centrino Duo Notebook Technology
Article from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide that looks into what a notebook with the Intel Centrino Duo badge really means in terms of its features, performance and battery life.

Is Apple Now a PC?
An editorial from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide looking at the announcement from Apple that it will begin using Intel hardware and processors beginning in 2006.

Multimedia, Media Center and Home Theater PCs
An article from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide that takes a look at three common marketing terms describing PC computer systems and what they really mean in terms of the multimedia features they may actually have.

OEM Products
An article from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide that takes a look at what OEM versions of products are and whether they are items to consider over retail version.

PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition
Book review by the About PC Hardare / Reviews Guide of O'Reilly & Associates "PC Hardware in a Nutshell" 2nd Edition quick reference book.

PC Tech Blunders of 2008
2008 featured a major shift in the computing world with the introduction of low cost ultraportable netbooks. Was this for the best? What about other technology that was introduced this year that failed to really catch on? Let's take a look at some of the products and technologies that in 2008 that I feel either failed to change the market or hurt the market as a whole.

PC Technologies of 2008
2008 saw some dramatic changes in the computing world. Whether it was with portable computers or desktops, a few new technologies are set to make computing very different in coming years. Desktops are gaining new functions and features while portables are becoming even more portable. Here are some of the most influential technologies from 2008 that I feel are noteworthy.

PCI Express Primer
Article that looks at some of the benefits of the new PCI Express interface over the previous PCI standards.

Personal Computer Tool Kit
Article detailing the most important tools that one should have when working on a personal computer. It is formatted as a checklist with the name of the item to have in the kit, how it is used and why it is important.

Post Holiday Computer Problems
Article discussing some of the common problems with new computer gifts over the holidays and how to get them to properly work. Written by the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

Pre-Installed PC Software - The Good and The Bad
Article that examines the trends, both good and bad, with software installed on new laptop and desktop PCs from the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

R.I.P. Floppy Drives
Article from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide looking back at the life and times of the old floppy diskette drives and to the new technologies designed to replace it.

RoHS Directive: Greener PCs
An article that looks at the European RoHS directive and its impact on making electronics more environmentally friendly by the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

Top PC Tech Blunders of 2006
A look back at some of the products and ideas of the 2006 PC market that failed to catch on or make a difference in the computing world from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

Top PC Tech Blunders of 2007
A look back at some of the products and ideas of the 2007 PC market that failed to catch on or make a difference in the computing world from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

Top PC Technology of 2006
A look at the top technology advancements in PC computers from 2006 by the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

Top PC Technology of 2007
A look back at some of the products and ideas of the 2007 PC market that took off or made an big impact on the computing world from the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

Upgrade or Replace a Desktop PC?
Article from the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide examining the options available to people with older computers by either upgrading the parts of the computer or through replacement. It also examines what to do with old parts that are no longer used.

Upgrade or Replace a Notebook PC?
Article from the About.com PC Hardare / Reviews Guide that takes a look into what options users have for upgrading their notebook PCs or whether it might be more useful to replace it instead.

What is a Hackintosh?
Answer to a frequently asked question at the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews site about what exactly is a hackintosh computer.

What Is USB 3.0?
An article that looks into the new SuperSpeed USB specification and how it will change computer peripherals from the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

What PC Do I Use
Article describing the components that make up the PC used by the About PC Hardware / Reviews Guide everyday.

Why is Apple Not Covered on This Site?
This is an FAQ about why the PC Hardware / Reviews site does not have any reviews or coverage on the Apple Macintosh hardware and software.

Light Peak - The New Optical PC Interconnect
An article from the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews Guide that takes a closer look at the new Light Peak optical interconnect technology and what implications it has for computers against more traditional means such as USB.

Reader Best PC Technology of 2010
2010 will probably be remembered as the year of the iPad. Outside of this, there weren't a large number of watershed technologies to be released. So, do you think Apple deserves to be recognized for this product? Find out what the readers of About.com feel were the best personal computer technologies for 2010 and share your opinion.

Worst PC Technology of 2011
A look back at some of the computer technology and products from 2011 that failed to catch on in the market or with consumers as picked by the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

Best PC Technologies of 2011
Selection of the best computer related products, technology or events through 2011 from the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

What Is NFC?
A look at a new type of shrot range data transmission being introduced to mobile computers from the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews Guide.

What Is Thunderbolt?
An article that looks at the new Thunderbolt interface technology from Intel and how it is looking to change how we think of computer peripheral interfaces.

Selling An Older Computer
An article from the About.com PC hardware / Reviews Guide that looks into the viability of selling an oldering computer, how to estimate the value of a PC and where to potentially sell it.

Is The Desktop PC Dead?
An editorial from the About.com PC Hardware / Reviews Guide that looks into the falling desktop PC market to see if desktops are really on their way out of the computer market or not.

Corsair Graphite Series 600T PC Gaming Case
Product review of the Corsair Graphite Series 600T mid-tower desktop computer case by About.com PC Hardware / Reviews contributing writer Christine McKee. (Nov 30 2010)

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