In our report we hope to provide a helpful and detailed guide to buying a personal computer. Our aim is to be able to meet our student’s needs without exceeding our budget. We will cover input, output and storage devices and provide a realistic and practical advice for the buyer. We have chosen to find two PC’s within our budget one of the PC’s is a bottom of the range inexpensive PC from PC World which may seem like you are getting a deal. However, when we have concluded our report you will see why it isn’t quite the bargain it appears to be.

The processor is a vital component it is in some way responsible for every single thing the PC does. The processor is also a major determinant of overall system cost: the newer and more powerful the processor, the more expensive the machine will be. The processors in both PCs are not Pentium however they are clones of the Pentium. As shown in the chart above (below) you can see that the PC from Computer Warehouse is faster as it is an AMD K6/2 500mhz processor compare to the Cyrix 400mhz in the other, the former is also a more recent design. The AMD K6/2 also offers Pentium Pro class performance. For a students basic computing needs it is not necessary to have the fastest most up to date processor. Since we have to stay within a budget it is necessary to maintain value for money, the AMD K6/2 offers us this.

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It is true in regards to hard drives you can never have too much storage. Buying lots of capacity is smart because data files tend to grow to fill the available space. More software fills up more space, on the grounds that with today's hard drives you can lose 100MB or so without noticing it. Again the Computer Warehouse PC is of much better value as it is 10.2gb compared to the 4.2gb of the other computer. The fact that the Computer Warehouse PC is also IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) also is a money saver. IDE is less expensive than SCSI for a workstation the IDE offers the same performance for a lot less money.

Too little memory can undermine a fast processor, forcing it to retrieve data from the much slower hard drive. The PC World computer offers us 32mb of RAM, this amount is fine for running a PC, however the PC from Computer Warehouse offers 64mb which is standard from running most computers. Having more than 64mb is not necessary.

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