DO I LOOK FOR IN A NEW COMPUTER?
is a common question. The staff at Comsource Associates
provides you with the following items to consider
when purchasing a new computer.
The processing speed of a computer is important. With
continuing advances in computer technology, comes
greater dependency on the speed of your computer.
In order to maintain a solid and robust system for
years to come, it is important to purchase a system
with a processor that meets your needs now and into
the future. On a workstation, we recommend the Intel
Pentium 4 processor. Although the AMD Athlon is impressive,
the Intel Pentium 4 processor is an industry standard
and therefore supported by a wide variety of software
titles. The Intel Celeron on the other hand is a great
deal for a reasonable price, but is ultimately outpaced
by the Intel Pentium 4 processor. On a server, we
recommend an Intel Pentium 4 or Intel Xeon processor.
Pick: Intel Pentium 4 or Intel Xeon
Memory: The internal memory – also called RAM
– is directly related to the responsiveness of a computer.
When your computer boots up, Microsoft Windows loads
a large number of drivers, services, programs and
other modules into memory. If a computer is lacking
in memory, it will be slow to respond. On a workstation
running Windows XP, we recommend a minimum of 512MB
RAM. 1GB RAM is ideal. On a server running Windows
Server 2003, we recommend a minimum of 1GB RAM.
Memory: The memory on a video card is also related
to the responsiveness of a computer. In today’s office
environment, even the most basic functions such as
word processing can involve an incredible amount of
graphics. Because of this, when you are using a computer,
the video card is constantly redrawing the screen.
In order to avoid unnecessary delays, we recommend
a minimum of 64MB. 128MB is ideal.
Pick: Nvidia or PNY 128MB AGP Video Card
Architecture: When purchasing a video card for
your computer, we recommend a video card that utilizes
the AGP or PCI-Express architecture. AGP is far faster
than the original PCI architecture. With recent technological
innovations, however, PCI-Express has now been unveiled
which outpaces AGP. At the present time, this new
technology is not supported by all motherboards. Although
a PCI-Express video card can be installed in a PCI
slot, it does not utilize the full benefits of the
Pick: AGP Video Card or PCI-Express If Your Motherboard
On a workstation, the de facto standard for some time
has been a 40GB IDE hard drive. We are now seeing
this be replaced by 80GB IDE hard drives. The cache
as well has been increasing in size – the standard
2MB cache is now being replaced by an 8MB or higher
cache. Fortunately, the price has not been keeping
pace. On average, the cost difference between the
40GB IDE hard drive with a 2MB cache and the 80GB
IDE hard drive with an 8MB cache is only twenty to
a server, we recommend use of the SCSI Ultra320 architecture.
Compared to previous SCSI architectures, Ultra320
is much more affordable and offers significant improvements
in bus speed. Additionally, the Adaptec 29320ALP-R
SCSI controller makes upgrading to this improved platform
Pick: Seagate SCSI Ultra320 73.6GB Cheetah or Western
Digital 80GB IDE with 8MB Cache
When purchasing a computer monitor, you probably want
one that is at least 17” in size. You might even want
it to be a flat screen. However, there is one other
aspect you should pay special attention to – the dot
pitch or DPI. The smaller the number, the sharper
the image on the screen. The average computer monitor
used to be .28 DPI. The average new computer monitor
now is .264 DPI.
Pick: Dell E173FP 17-inch Flat Panel Color LCD Monitor
One of the greatest innovations of our time is the
computer mouse without any moving parts. The Optical
Mouse allows you to navigate Windows without dealing
with periodic pointer problems. If you thought it
couldn’t get any better than this, there is the Wireless
Pick: Dell Optical Mouse
a Dell Solution Provider, Comsource Associates would
be happy to help you with purchasing a new computer.
For health and government institutions, we can locate
considerable discounts. Give us a call at (541) 345-0408.
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