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MYP Personal Project:

Building a Computer
A Research Paper written by Andrew Moy
Bethesda Chevy-Chase !
Class o" #$%&
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Essay and Overview
!elected !ources*****************************************************************************************************************(
Analysis o" +oal Attainment**********************************************************************************************,
Bibliographies and Appendices
)0ve always been interested in computers1 both how they wor2 in the programs and how
they are built on the outside* ) had always wondered when ) was in middle school what it must
have been li2e to been a computer genius who built computers "or a living*
3hat0s why ) chose to build a computer both "or hosting servers "or my "riends and
"amily* My goal was to use it to host various websites that my "amily had re4uested o" me in
the past1 as well as use the computer "or my own personal use* )nitially this was the goal1 but
the cost restraints that hosting many web servers came with was too much1 and ) had to drop
the e5pectation "rom three to "ive web servers down to one or two* ) connected my project to
uman )ngenuity because ) would learn how much selecting the parts matter1 as well as how a
computer goes about "unctioning and achieving tas2s "or the user* ) would also have to be
creative with choosing my computer parts1 customi6ing it to my desire to both be e""icient and
"ashionable* ) decided that in order to consider my project as a success1 ) would have to have a
"ully "unctioning computer that would be able to host1 at the absolute minimum1 one web server
as well as server as a personal computer "or me at the same time 7while maintaining appropriate
temperatures and processing speed8* ) would also have to meet my current budget o"
appro5imately 9.$$*
3o create a "unctioning computer with the most e""iciently operating parts1 ) consulted
many sources almost e5clusively on the internet1 probably the most common use "or a
computer today* 3o begin the process o" "irst selecting the parts1 ) consulted :i"eac2er0s ;3he
<irst-3imer0s +uide to Building a Computer "rom !cratch1= written by +ina 3rapani1 which
covered the basic ideas o" why to build a computer1 what to e5pect when physically building
the computer1 and how to start researching the parts to use in said building* 3his article made
me a lot more prepared "or the wor2 and decision that ) would have to ma2e along the way o"
this project1 as it provided in"ormation on common issues and mista2es* 3his was the most
basic article that ) used1 and probably the overall most use"ul*
Another website that ) used that was very use"ul not only supplying both basic and
comple5 in"ormation on building a computer1 but also provided a basis to store my part
selections was www*PCPartPic2er*com* 3his website lists all o" the available parts to order "or
building a computer1 with the bonus o" being able to sort them by either name1 speed1
per"ormance1 rating1 or price* 3his website created an easy view on my current progress into the
project1 as it listed the parts that ) had chosen and the current cost o" said parts*
Many other guides on the internet proved to be 4uite use"ul to my 2nowledge about
building computers1 some notable mentions include the >ewegg3? guide ;ow 3o Build a
Computer @ a 3hree Part +uide1= as well as www*2itchentablecomputers*com0s guide to
building a computer* 3hese guides re"ined my 2nowledge on how the computer "unctions1 as
well as the parts needed and the care"ul practice o" constructing the actual build*
) care"ully chose my parts according to what was considered very e""icient "or hosting
website servers1 as well as the ones that were very price-e""icient* Aven though hosting servers
does not ta2e much processing power than it does memory1 ) still bought some o" the better
considered computer parts such as the !apphire Radeon -.,$ %+B graphics card1 and the )ntel
i, (&-$B processing unit* 3hese cards would not only slightly impact strength o" the web
servers 7ability to handle stress1 etc*81 but it would also enable me to use the computer "or my
own "ree time or schoolwor2*
A"ter ) care"ully selected and ordered my parts1 the overall price was e5actly 9.'.*'.
3he "ull part list can be accessed here: http:CCgoo*glC.DR+3 7+raphics card does not have
price because it was removed "rom the o""icial list8* Ence they had all arrived1 the last one
arriving on Danuary %%
* 3he construction o" the computer was une5pectedly easy1 being able to
access the guides and videos e5plaining how to construct it properly* owever1 the computer
build had une5pected problems* Fhen ) attempted to start the computer1 the P!G1 or power
supply unit1 "ailed to start and spin* Because o" this1 my computer was not able to receive
electricity1 and there"ore1 not "unctional* ) had to send the power supply unit bac2 to the
company that had sent me the unit1 !uperBii61 and wait "or a new copy to be sent* En Danuary
1 the new unit arrived* Ence ) had installed the new P!G1 the computer success"ully started1
and ) had o""icially built my own computer*
3he only major problems that ) had run into while building this computer was the price
budget1 as well as the P!G issue and time restraints* Eriginally1 the price "or all o" the parts was
to be appro5imately 9/%$*$$1 however ) did not have enough money to pay "or all o" the parts* )
revised my choice on the RAM 7Random Access Memory81 reducing it to .+B "rom %&+B1 and
also changed the storage device "rom a much "aster %#$+B !olid !tate Hrive to a %3B regular
internal hard drive* 3he time restraints that ) had was probably the least important issue1 but
still a major issue nonetheless* ) still had the goal to meet the my sel"-de"ined deadline o"
having the computer completely "unctional by around <ebruary #$
* Because o" the P!G issue1
the P!G replacement did not come until the date when ) was supposed to have the complete
computer built1 so ) tried to "ind a time to start building the computer* )t was 4uite di""icult to
"ind a time to build the computer1 as my busy schedule both during the wee2 and on the
wee2ends le"t almost no time to begin the building* owever1 a"ter some procrastination and
scheduling1 ) had the complete computer "unctioning by <ebruary %,
owever1 the process o" the MYP Personal Project is sometimes hard to continue on*
Most o" my classmates stated that the project does not help you1 nor is it a re4uirement "or the
school* !ome o" them had decided not to do an MYP Project1 while others were stopping
because o" the di""iculty with time or something else* 3he reason that ) persevered through my
MYP Project was because ) had chosen something that ) both loved to do1 and could use "or
years into the "uture* ) had built something practical1 instead o" something that would become
obsolete and "orgotten within the ne5t year* <or the "uture sophomores at B-CC: )" you are
going to do an MYP Project1 pic2 something you love doing and will persevere through to the
Everall1 ) thin2 the MYP Personal Project has been an e5tremely "ul"illing e5perience
"or me* ) am e5tremely proud to go home every day and use my computer that ) had built
mysel"* )t is an e5tremely satis"ying "eeling 2nowing that you 2now how the computer wor2s
on the inside1 and that you can "i5 it i" something goes wrong 4uite easily* ) learned that
building @ especially a computer or any other huge project @ ta2es both immerse research into
the subject and an e5treme amount o" planning* 3his 2ind o" project also re4uires a degree o"
creativity: choosing the parts that will both ma2e the computer "unction properly and loo2 good
"or the user* You as a person customi6e the computer to your li2ing1 instead o" anyone telling
you what parts to get or how it should loo2*
) thin2 most o" all1 )0ve learned that in order to achieve something that you really love
doing1 or something that you maybe don0t love doing so much1 it re4uires a degree o" genuine
passion* )t0s the same idea "or any jobI i" you want to wor2 hard and put your heart into your
wor2 "or #$ to '$ years1 you have to love what you do* You might go through jobs1 but
eventually you0ll "ind something that you love doing1 and stic2 with it "or the rest o" your li"e*
My parents always tell me that to do something you need dedication and you need to "ind
genuine interest in what you do to do it well* )0ve never completely understood it until )
completed this project* ) hope in the "uture that ) will be able to wor2 with more computer-
related jobs1 and ) hope"ully1 one day1 )0ll "ind something that ) will love enough to put my heart
into the rest o" the my li"e*
3rapani1 +ina* J3he <irst-3imer0s +uide to Building a Computer "rom !cratch*J Lifehacker*
:i"ehac2er1 %% !ept* #$%%* Feb* '% <eb* #$%(* Khttp:CCli"ehac2er*comC,%,%'&/Cthe-"irst-
timers-guide-to-building-a-computer- "rom-scratch*L
>ewegg*com* ;ow to Build a Computer "rom !cratch*= Newegg. >ewegg1 %' May #$%%*
Feb* '% <eb* #$%( Khttps:CCwww*youtube*comCwatchMvNlP)OAt>++Cw*L
Brain1 Marshall1 and Donathan !tric2land* Jow to Build a ComputerJ %% Ectober #$$-*
ow!tu""For2s*com* Khttp:CCelectronics*howstu""wor2s*comChow-to-techCbuild-a-
computer*htmL '% <eb* #$%(*
+ordon Mah Gng1 Havid Murphy1 and >athan Adwards* ;Assential PC Building 3ips= #(
!ept* #$%'* Ma5imumPC*com*
Khttp:CCwww*ma5imumpc*comCarticleC"eaturesCpcPbuildersPbibleP#$%'L '% <eb* #$%(*