How to build a computer
MY SUPER PC
How To Build A PC - A Computer Building Guide
Rob Williams - contact via the forums
Last Updated: 9/14/2014
How to build a computer
Making PCWorld's "Best Free Stuff On The Web Guide - 101 Great Sites" as the favorite Build A PC site!



Build A Computer Like My Super PC

FAQ: How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?

How can I tell what form factor my motherboard is? Can I tell how many RAM slots I have in my computer without opening it? I get questions like these all the time. And I can understand why. You may need to know such things if you are looking to do an upgrade or track down a problem. Yet Windows does not make it obvious, easy or even possible to find out what you need to know about some of the components in your own computer. EVEREST Ultimate Edition is a system information utility that's easy to use that will do this job.

On bringing up EVEREST Home Edition, you'll see a window that looks something like this. The rest of the screenshots on this page step you through the components of greatest interest, but don't touch on everything you can learn. I've circled items in blue when I thought it might be helpful to find what I was referring to quickly.
How To Assemble A Computer - PC Assembly Guide, How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?


Clicking on the "+" next to Motherboard and highlighting the entry for "CPUID" shows the processor in this computer, namely the Athlon XP 3200+.
How To Assemble A Computer - PC Assembly Guide, How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?


The next entry on the menu identifies the motherboard name as the EPoX 8RDA+. There's actually a great deal of information that could be of interest here. The section for Motherboard Physical Info shows the number of PCI and AGP expansion slots, and the number of available RAM slots for system memory modules. Functions that are built into the motherboard are listed under Integrated Devices, audio and LAN. The Form Factor of the motherboard is identified as ATX. And the Motherboard Manufacturer is given as EPoX Computer Company.
How To Assemble A Computer - PC Assembly Guide, How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?


The "Chipset" entry also has a lot of useful information. The Memory Slots section shows how many slots are actually in use and how much memory is installed in each slot. Further down in the AGP Controller section it shows the AGP Status (Enabled), the type of video card installed (ATI All-In-Wonder X800 listed next to AGP Device), the Supported AGP Speeds and the Current AGP Speed. It also has a Chipset Manufacturer section so you know who to contact for the latest motherboard chipset drivers.
How To Assemble A Computer - PC Assembly Guide, How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?


The entry for Operating System tells you a lot about your OS, such as whether it is Windows XP Home Edition (versus, say, Windows XP Professional Edition) and the Service Pack level that is installed (Service Pack 2). Near the bottom of the page this entry lists which version of DirectX is on the computer (DirectX 9.0c).
How To Assemble A Computer - PC Assembly Guide, How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?


The "Monitor" entry is useful for seeing what maximum refresh rate (Hz) the computer will support for various screen resolutions.
How To Assemble A Computer - PC Assembly Guide, How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?


"Physical Drives" shows the hard drives installed in the computer, including the model number (WDC 1200JB for Western Digital Corporation model 1200JB), and how they are partitioned.
How To Assemble A Computer - PC Assembly Guide, How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?


Selecting "Optical Drives" and highlighting each optical drive provides the specifics regarding the read/write speeds of the drive, as well as the make and model of the drive. First the DVD RW drive...
How To Assemble A Computer - PC Assembly Guide, How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?


...and then the CD-RW drive.
How To Assemble A Computer - PC Assembly Guide, How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?
Next: Build A Computer Like My Super PC - Back To The Beginning!



Skip Ahead
  Introduction/Cost To Build A Computer
  Computer Building Price Considerations
  faq: OEM Definition
  Case And Power Supply
  Processor
  Motherboard
  BIOS Settings
  RAM
  Video Card
  Sound Card
  SSD - Solid State Drive
  Hard Drive
  faq: Can I Use My Old Hard Drive With A New Computer?
  CD-ROM And CD-RW
  DVD
  Change The Front Panel On The DVD RW
  Flat Panel LCD Monitor
  Other Computer Hardware
  Windows Operating System
  Firewall
  Sharing Cable Modem or DSL
  CPU Cooler And Case Fans
  Overclocking
  How Fast Is It?
  Assemble
  What Problems Were There?
  More About How To Get A Cheap Computer With Top Quality And High Performance
  Changes For A Game Computer And Enjoying Computer Games
  Changes For A Computer With MP3 Music As A Priority
  Media Center PC
  Help And Support
  faq: How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?

© 2001-2014, Rob Williams, all rights reserved.