Needs This computer would be used for mainly writing papers, surfing the Internet, a little desktop publishing, and playing some 3 d sports games. Software The software I would buy would have to include a word processor, and desktop publishing program. The standard programs for this are Microsoft’s. They are Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Publisher.
Using a student discount, I can get them both for under $200. (See web ) I also need to decide which operating system I want. The main choices are Windows ME/2000 or an Apple Macintosh OS. (OS 9. 1/X) All the important productivity software is available on both operating systems, but Windows machines have a lot more games.
I would probably use Windows ME instead of 2000 because it runs older software better. I can get Windows ME for about $80 using a student discount. Hardware Since I am using Windows ME, I cannot buy an Apple. Here are the parts I need to buy to build a machine that will run my software well. I need a motherboard, processor, video card, sound card, case, monitor, memory, hard drive, floppy drive, modem, and CD or DVD drive. Some of the choices I make will determine others.
For example, the processor (aka the CPU) I pick will determine what motherboard I will get. To begin-Processor There are three processors that make up the market, The Intel Pentium 4, Intel Pentium! ! ! , and the Amd Athlon. The Pentium is the newest, and has only been out for a few months, the Pentium! ! ! and Amd Athlon have been available for about two years. There are two criteria here for me. One is how fast the chip is for a given price (bang for the buck) and the second is. That is, whether I would easily be able to take out the current CPU, and easily slip something faster in when needed in a few years.
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The Pentium 4 will be changing to a slightly different configuration in a few months, that will not be compatible with the current motherboards. The Pentium! ! ! is pretty much at the end of its life, and not many upgrades are planned. This leaves the Athlon, which is expected to be selling compatible versions for at least another year or so. Current Athlon prices are AMD Athlon TM Processor for Desktop Price 1333 MHz (266 MHz Front-side Bus) $2531300 MHz (200 MHz Front-side Bus) $2301200 MHz (266 MHz Front-side Bus) $2191200 MHz (200 MHz Front-side Bus) $1991133 MHz (266 MHz Front-side Bus) $1971100 MHz (200 MHz Front-side Bus) $1791000 MHz (266 MHz Front-side Bus) $1761000 MHz (200 MHz Front-side Bus) $160950 MHz (200 MHz Front-side Bus) $149900 MHz (200 MHz Front-side Bus) $140 ( web ) since performance increases linearly with the clock rating, it’s easy to compare all of these. The best value seems to be the Athlon 900 MHz. This leaves plenty of room should I ever wish to upgrade, and still gives me a powerful computer.
Motherboard There are many motherboards available for this CPU, they are all basically the same for each type of processor, some are a little (5%) faster, some are a little more stable, etc. On the recommendation of this site (web ) I will pick the EPoX EP-8 KTA 3 – $130. Video card In order to play sports video games properly, I will need a a 3 d card that supports the latest standards, called DirectX (which is up to version 8).
The two cards most advanced in this respect are the Geforce 2 series of cards from Nvidia, and the Radeon series from Ati. Both are fine cards, however the Geforce 2 is slightly faster, so I’ll go with that. Price — $120 (web) Sound Card Most sounds cards are the same, the most popular is the Sound Blaster Live series, which is available for under $40 hard drive Hard drives now are available in sizes up to 80 gigabytes.
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This is clearly overkill for most purposes. 20-30 gigabytes is more than enough space for my purposes. Most hard drives come in two speeds, 5400 and 7200 rpm. The price difference is about $20 and the speed increase is substantial.
Cost — $100 Memory Memory prices have gone down tremendously over the past year, so now it makes sense to buy more memory than you need, for the few times when it comes in handy. 256 MB RAM — $66 (web ) Case, Power supply, and floppy drive Just make sure the power supply is at least 300 W, and the case has a few expansion bays. Cost — $50 Mode mAny 56 K Modem will do (check for V. 92 compliance) Cost-$20 Optical Drive can choose between a regular CD-ROM drive, a DVD drive (plays movies) A CD-R drive (can record up to 700 MB onto a CD or 80 minutes of music) or a combination DVD/CD-R drive.
All these drives can also act as a regular CD-ROM drive. Since playing movies on a computer is not important to me, but backing up my documents, and possibly making music mixes is, I will get a CD-R drive. They come in speeds up 16 X (i. e. 80/16 minutes to fill up a cd. ) I don’t need one that fast, 8 X is sufficient and should cost around $100) Printer decent color ink jet printer like the Epson Stylus 580 is enough for my needs.
Cost — $50 Monitor Since I still have about $350 left, I will buy the best monitor I can get at that price, which would be higher end 19 inch monitor. (19 inch monitors start at around $200).
Actually to take shipping into account for all these items, and the little things like blank disks, keyboard, mouse, surge protector, and speakers and I have about $250 left, which still gets me a nice 19 inch monitor. All prices can be checked at web Accompanying this is a quote from a PC manufacturer for this system (not including shipping, printer, and the productivity software. ) The subtotal for just that part was $1105.
Final Cost Rundown MS Word+MS Publisher+MS ME (software) $270900 MHz Amd Athlon (CPU) $140 EPoX EP-8 KTA 3 (motherboard) $130 Nvidia Geforce 2 (video card) $120 Sound Blaster Live (sound card) $40 Any brand 20-30 GB 7200 rpm hard drive $100256 MB Micron RAM $66 Case, power supply, and floppy drive (generic) $5056 Kb / s modem $208 X CD-R drive (any brand) $90 Epson Stylus 580 (color ink jet printer) $5019″ monitor $250 Surge protector, blank disks, cheap speakers, Cheap mouse and keyboard, shipping $100 Total $1426.
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