Sunday, November 21, 2004

    Compute’n Holiday

    Some that might read here are considering a purchase of a computer system. When I need a new system I put my own together from the lowest priced, highest performance OEM components. If you don't and are on your own, here are some tips to alleviate your worries. Don't be fooled by numbers only!
    1. If the system comes with pre-installed software, make sure you are given the hardcopies (disks, CD-Rom, etc.) and any appropriate license keys the software might require to be installed!
    2. Opt for flat panel (tubeless) displays over older tube displays. If the monitor is a tube type be aware the actual viewing area is smaller than what the advertisement will say. For example, a 17" monitor might have a viewing area of 15.5". Stay away from a system that uses the term "shared memory" as applicable to their display specifications. Better display cards have their own dedicated memory.
    3. Do not get a system that has a disk drive with a speed of less than 7,200 rpm! Many companies are trying to unload cheap drives that might have lots of space but are the older 5,400 rpm - DON'T DO IT!
    4. System memory - get as much of it as you can. If you know someone that is comfortable installing memory then get the least on the purchased system and buy more real cheap individually (many good online sources) and have a knowledgeable person install it. Bottom line - system memory will have a direct affect on your system speed, especially if you memory hungry applications (meaning any Microsoft package).
    There are others I could go on and on. A fast processor is great as long as you don't slow down the overall performance with the add-ons - the key ones which I covered above. On the other hand if the intended purpose of this system is just to send/receive emails then the above probably won't make much difference.

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