For the course project, I wanted to build a strong


For the course project, I wanted to build a strong CAD workhorse, as  well as a nice gaming setup.  With the focus on what the PC will be used  for, I would start by setting up the case on a solid workstation and  use ESD protective equipment.

Case:  The case is where the party is happening.  Most of the  components will be housed within the case.  I like the look of the full  tower cases that have a glass side panel. I chose the Dark Base Pro 900  made by be quiet! for these reasons.

Motherboard:  If the case is where the party is happening, the  motherboard would be the host of the party.  The motherboard has the  sockets, expansion slots, ports, and connectors that most of the  components will be installed to. It also holds the CMOS. The I/O shield  would be where most of the input and output devices would be connected.  The motherboard should be installed within the case using the  appropriate standoffs, so the motherboard isn’t in direct contact with  the side of the case.

CPU:  The central processing unit would be the life of the party.  It  handles the core processing tasks given to it by the user.  The CPU  will be placed in the CPU socket of the motherboard.

CPU Cooling Unit:  The CPU’s cooling unit will utilize a heat sink  that will transfer heat from the CPU and away from other components on  the motherboard.  The CPU cooling unit will be placed on top of the CPU  with thermal paste and will most likely be connected to the appropriate  fan pin slot on the motherboard.

RAM: These components will handle the volatile memory and the higher  the GB capacity the smoother the operating experience should be.  RAM  modules should be seated in the appropriate saddles on the motherboard.   Multiple modules could be utilized for more memory as well as  configured in multi-channel modes, so each module communicates with the  CPU at the same time.

Storage:  The SDD, HDD, or both that are installed in the PC will  store the PC’s non-volatile memory.  These storage devices will retain  their data even when the PC is turned off.  I chose a Samsung 970 Evo  Plus SDD for the OS, and that will be plugged into one of the  motherboard’s M.2 slots as well as a SATA port.

OS: The operating system manages the PC and allows the user to input commands to the CPU or other components.

GPU:  The graphics processing unit takes the burden of the display  processing from the CPU and can process the display data much faster  than the CPU. The I/O shield would offer the display ports. Another  extension of this would be a sound card that would handle the audio  processes for the CPU.

Power Supply: The PSU is how the PC receives power.  Components will  either receive electricity from the motherboard or directly from the  PSU.

Monitor: An output device that will present the audio and more  importantly the visual information. The ports that are available on the  I/O shield of the GPU will help determine what cable to use when  connecting the monitor to the PC.

Keyboard and Mouse: These are input devices that would be plugged  into the appropriate port on the I/O shield of the motherboard on the  back of the PC.

 The AMD Radeon Pro GPU I selected for my build was by far the most  expensive component.  It was important to me to invest in a quality GPU  because of the design work I would want to do on this PC, and I wanted  to avoid a choppy display.

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