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Desktop Computer - What To Consider When Buying Your Own Desktop Computer?

Oct 12, 2007
Desktop computers are computers designed and made for use on a desk at your home or office, and are clearly distinguishable from mobile computers such as laptop notebooks and PDAs. Also known as microcomputers, desktop computers come in four types - home computers or personal computers, work stations, servers, and communications computers.

Desktop PCs are the most affordable computers in the market and are ever present in households, schools, and business offices. These computers are generally used for tasks such as organizing photos, editing videos, office work, and surfing the Internet. Coming in different case styles such as towers or smaller form factors, all desktop computers are built modularly, allowing for the replacement or upgrade of parts and components.

The main components that make up desktop computers are the display or screen - either LCD or CRT, the motherboard, CPU or microprocessor, memory or RAM, expansion cards, power supply, optical disc drives or ODD, hard disk drives or HDD, a keyboard, and mouse. Other components include the fan, CPU cooler, graphics card, speakers, sound cards, modem, floppy disk drive, and network card.

This type of computer is very common in the market, you can buy a ready-made computer or you can buy one using specifications you created. If you want to buy a desktop computer system, you will have to do a lot of research to make an informed decision. Here are a few items you can look into when buying desktop computers:

Processors or CPUs - when looking at processors, you will need to consider two things: the CPU's brand and its speed.

Memory or RAM - it is important to get the optimum RAM available to allow your system to run at its maximum capacity. The minimum amount of memory available is 512MB; 1GB provides better performance. When purchasing memory, opt to buy as few DIMMs as possible - this way, you can upgrade your memory whenever needed.

Hard Drive - consider the capacity and speed of the hard drive. A hard drive capacity of 80GB should be the minimum. As for hard drive performance, getting a 7200 rpm drive will be the best choice. You should also look for drives with 8MB or 16MB cache.

Optical drives - DVD/CD burners and readers have now become a basic part of all desktop computer systems. Getting a multiformat DVD writer that provides support for +R/RW and -R/RW formats is recommended. Recordable speed should be at 16x.

Video Card - new video cards come out every six months or so, so choosing the right one might be difficult. A card that supports DirectX 9 with a minimum of 128MB for memory can give you future capability.

External Connectors and Ports - upgrades and computer peripherals are connected through ports and other external interfaces. Systems with about six USB2.0 and one IEEE1394 should be a good buy.

Monitors - you can choose between CRT and LCD monitors. CRT monitors are relatively cheaper than LCD monitors. LCDs do not take up as much space as CRTs but they have limited capabilities. Aside from the type of monitor, you should also consider the size and resolution. A 17' monitor with a display resolution of 1280x1024 pixels is recommended.
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