Evolution of a personal computer

How can I live without computers, smartphones and other gadgets today? Even more difficult to realize is that 50 years ago, these technologies could only be learned from science fiction books.

The first computers were created after the end of World War II. They were very large and expensive (they cost even more than the latest version of the modern MacBook). Therefore, only such employees of serious organizations, banks or leading universities could play such toys. But the development of home PCs (personal computers) was in the second half of the twentieth century. The first one is a PDP-8 mini-computer. It was released in March 1965, it was done by the corporation Digital Equipment Corporation.

It should be noted that when we call the PDP-8 a mini-computer, we mean that it did not occupy the entire room. PDP-8 was no more than a regular refrigerator, which for our time sounds pretty wild. Its price was $ 18500, but this did not prevent computer enthusiasts from buying this miracle of technology. Therefore PDP-8 became not only the first home PC, but also the first commercially successful computer.

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Altair 8800
The next “breakthrough” was made by the company MITS, when in 1975 it released the computer Altair 8800. It is considered one of the “revolutionaries” of home PCs, as well as the first step in the formation of companies manufacturing personal computers.

What is the secret of Altair 8800? It was compact, productive and inexpensive. For only $ 439 each person could purchase parts for the computer and collect it using the magazine Popular Electronics. For 621 $ it was possible to receive already ready model. Altair 8800 had an Intel 8080 microprocessor with a clock speed of 2 MHz, and also processed 8 and 16-bit numbers. By the way, Bill Gates started his career precisely thanks to Altair 8800!

Apple II
At the same time, two more computer enthusiasts – Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak – decided to create a company that would develop computer technology. Their truly revolutionary project can be called Apple II, which appeared in 1977. Jobs and Wozniak demonstrated how a general-purpose computer should be. Since that time, technicians could be used not only by enthusiasts or amateurs, but also by ordinary citizens.

IBM PC 5150
In 1981, IBM joined the mass excitement and released IBM PC 5150, which probably still can be found in some government agencies.

Commodore 64
The computer is considered one of the most successful home PCs in the world. In total, 20 million devices were sold. The PC was equipped with a MOS 6510 processor. It could also be connected to a TV and used as a game console.

Apple Macintosh
The next successful product of Apple was Macintosh, which finally determined the type of personal computer. The main innovations that the product sported were a mouse and a completely graphical interface. In fact, this is the great-grandfather of all modern iMacs and MacBooks. And this is the first computer that greeted its future users.

IBM PC Convertible
IBM PC Convertible is the first laptop in the world, which was introduced by IBM in 1986. It had an Intel 80S88 processor and 256 KB of RAM, which could be expanded to 512 KB. Also the laptop could boast of two disk drives and a modem. The PC was sold very poorly. It was heavy, not fast enough, and it was not easy to read from a liquid crystal monitor. IBM PC Convertible still remains the first laptop that was released in mass production and influenced the further development of the industry.

A little bit about the future
Technologies do not cease to develop. Now most companies are trying to create high-performance computers that would not take up much space. Leading is Apple, whose products over the past decade has gained immense popularity in all corners of the Earth.

Large personal computers are beginning to give way to ultra-thin laptops and tablets (although there are still enthusiasts who independently assemble and upgrade their PCs). According to forecasts of specialists, in 100 years the functions of a laptop or PC will be performed by smart watches, smartphones and holographphones, and powerful computers will be used to calculate large amounts of information.

Repair your video card yourself

Have you ever encountered the fact that your video card stopped working? God grant, of course, that this never happened, but still! What to do, for example, if you hear that the computer is being booted, but there is no image on the monitor (black screen)?

What we usually do in such cases: substituting a workable graphics card (or switching to an integrated video) and making sure that the problems are with the graphics adapter. But what to do in this case? Can we independently repair the video card?

The good news is that “yes”: repairing the video card with your own hands is quite possible! The bad thing is that after such a repair there is no guarantee that the video card thus restored will work for a long time. Also, the repair itself can fail if we do not follow certain rules. But let’s take everything in order!

So, we have a non-working video card from the company “Nvidia”, the model “GeForce 9500 GT”.

The problem is what? The video card worked for a long time under severe temperature conditions, which led to its overheating. As a result, there was a fairly typical (in such cases) thing: the “blade” of the BGA chip of the video card.

Do not be frightened by the word “dump”, nothing has fallen off there ๐Ÿ™‚ Just because people call the resulting, as a result of prolonged overheating, violation of the electrical contact of the array of BGA beads with the printed circuit board card. Typically, this phenomenon occurs as a result of the presence of a small area of โ€‹โ€‹cold soldering, which is subjected to prolonged and severe heating.

It can not be said that this is a 100% marriage of the manufacturer: there can be a lot of tin balls in the array and a violation (or oxidation) of contact of even one of them can lead to a complete (or partial) loss of the card’s performance. So overheating, whether it’s a video card or a CPU is a very unpleasant thing. Try to not allow it in all possible ways!

And in this situation, we have nothing to do but try to repair the video card with our own hands, on our own. So, first of all we need to take care of removing from the card all the plastic stubs on it, stickers (stickers) located on the back side. Everything that is in the area of โ€‹โ€‹the graphics chip and can melt.

Video card from the back
Yes Yes! You did not mishear: it is to melt. After all, we will repair the video card by heating it and all the “extra” you need, for every fireman, to remove. Of course, perhaps nothing like this will happen, but just take it into your habit – it will come in handy ๐Ÿ™‚

Also we need to remove the fan and the cooling system. We do this by what is more convenient for us. Remove the cooling system

As you can see, the cooling system requires thorough cleaning, and the fan itself needs to be prevented, since its efficiency has decreased because of the lime adhering to the blades and the dust that has accumulated in the bearing.

The next step is to remove the heat sink of the GPU cooling system. How to do this, you can see here: http://electronicsrepair.site/

It would seem: what is difficult? But, as one movie hero in the movie said about the different evil spirits: “everywhere there is a catch!” Here it consists that often (especially if the chip was operated in a rigid temperature mode), having dried, the thermal paste firmly glues together the crystal and the radiator.

Categorically it is not recommended, in this case, to use the power of heroic and pull this thing to oneself or, as the experience suggests, to cheat something! So you can damage the crystal! There is a simpler and more elegant solution: we take an ordinary household hair dryer and, slowly, warm up the clutch area.

After a while (seconds 5-10), we begin to slightly sway the radiator from side to side, as in the photo above. Thermal grease, softening under the influence of temperature, will allow us to do this. A little warming up this matter, we easily separate our radiator from the crystal:

Try to clean out as much as possible and as accurately as possible from the remains of the old dried thermopaste as the “soleplate” of the radiator, and the crystal itself. Try not to scratch the metal surface of the radiator (this will reduce the coefficient of its heat transfer). Do not scrape, better warm up separately and wipe off the old paste.

With the crystal is also very accurate: if you can not remove some of the paste (like me, for example), then leave it. All that is erased – always delete! Otherwise, thermal paste under the influence of temperature, as they say, “bake” and then it will be very difficult to remove without damaging (chipping) the core itself.

Why did I highlight some areas in the photo above? Look, the big area is the chip of the graphic card itself, and the smaller one is the GPU (graphics processing unit). On the perimeter of the crystal, we see a white sealant (compound), which performs several functions: protects the crystal from getting under it dust and fixes it to the substrate.

What is the “trick” here and why does the repair of the video card with its own hands could end unsuccessfully, no matter what efforts we make? The platform (array) of BGA solder balls is not only between the chip itself and the PCB textolite, but also between the crystal and the substrate of the graphic card!

The harsh reality is that we can repair the graphics card ourselves (if we are still lucky) only if there is a violation of the balls’ contact directly between the printed circuit board and the substrate. In the case if the “dump” occurred under the crystal, then there is hardly anything we can do. Even such an operation as reballing (complete replacement of the array of balls with a stencil) in this case will not save, because this procedure is performed only for the “sole” of the entire chip, but not the crystal!

So, I hope, we learned the necessary minimum of the theory? We move on! To repair the video card at home, we will need a flux and a disposable syringe. I use the usual GFR (spirtoknifolnym), which is called: “GFR-flux.”

The motherboard and its role in personal computers

One of the most important parts of your computer is the motherboard. However, its name speaks for itself. After all, it depends on it, what equipment you can install on your personal computer. The motherboard not only connects all other parts of the computer, but also coordinates their work and distributes the electricity that is fed to it from the power supply. Now a few words about what the motherboard consists of.

The first and most important component can definitely be called a chipset. It is a complex of microcircuits and determines the configuration of the computer as a whole. However, the chipset is present in any technique that uses electronics.

The chipset itself consists of the south and north bridges. The North Bridge is responsible for the operation of the processor, RAM and video card. For all other resources (hard disks, network card, USB ports, etc., etc.) is responsible for the south bridge. It directly depends on the chipset which processor the processor will be in, because if they are incompatible, the computer simply will not work. As a rule, the processor and chipset belonging to the same manufacturer firm are compatible, but there are relatively universal chipsets that can work with a large number of processors.

Thus, the technical parameters of the chipset affect the performance of the entire motherboard – performance, capacity and, accordingly, its price.

An equally important part of the motherboard is the RAM.

Over the years of the development of the computer industry, many different modifications of RAM have been replaced. Now in new assemblies use the DDR2 and DDR3 memory. To be more precise, either DDR2 or DDR3, depending on the configuration of the motherboard. At the same time they can not be used.

Do not forget about the video card. As the name implies, the video card is responsible for the quality of graphics on the computer. Therefore, users who need very good image quality (for example, those who professionally work with graphic editors or simply like beautiful computer games that require a good graphic resolution), often put themselves on the motherboard for another, an additional video card. Depending on the power, the video cards may differ in size.

This is due to the fact that large capacities require a more serious cooling system, so that the graphics card does not overheat. If you also want to put the second video card in the computer, first make sure that it fits your motherboard by its configuration and size (sometimes the video card slots are quite close to each other and the second card may not fit). There are also motherboards with an integrated (built-in) graphics card.

Sound and network cards are usually built-in motherboards originally. However, if they are not available or if you need to install a more powerful card, you can purchase them separately. Of course, guided by the configuration of the motherboard. These cards are responsible, respectively, for the reproduction of sound and for the operation of the computer with the network (access to the Internet, connection to other computers).

The dimensions and location of the various ports describes the form factor. This is the name of the standard, which gives an idea of โ€‹โ€‹the spatial configuration of equipment. The standard is recommendatory in nature, however, most companies try to follow it when assembling, as it represents the optimal solutions for the configuration of equipment. Thus, each form of the mother card must have a certain form-factor of the computer case, and this must also be taken into account.

Repair of motherboards

And finally, be sure to pay attention to the socket. A socket is a socket for connecting a processor. The connection occurs by inserting the socket feet into the holes on the processor. The number of legs and the size of the sockets of different models differ. Of course, certain models of sockets can serve to work with a limited number of kinds of processors.

In other words, if the processor to the socket does not fit, then you simply can not put it there, since the position of the legs will not correspond to the position of the holes on the processor. As an example, we can say that Intel processors work with LGA-type sockets (LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA1366, LGA775), and AMD processors, respectively, with AM (Socket AM3, Socket AM2 +) models.

Finally, I want to add that there are a lot of different configurations of motherboards. Their production is engaged in such brands as Intel, Gigabyte, Asus, Foxconn, MSI, Biostar. You do not have to single out any of them, they are all good in their own way. Because everyone chooses the computer (and accordingly, the motherboard) specifically for their needs. A properly selected motherboard will provide your computer with a long and reliable operation.