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The Desktop Computer Revolution
Desktop computers that are easily housed on a desk are microcomputers that find use in offices and homes. The four types of computers widely used today are workstations, Internet servers, special communication computers, and personal or home computers. Since desktop computers are relatively cheaper, they are widely used in homes, schools and businesses.
Being generally modular, the components of desktop computers can be replaced or upgraded without too much difficulty and various stylish cases and styles are also there for the asking. They are needed for multiple tasks such as video editing, internet browsing, office work and digital photography.
The very first desktop computer system was introduced in 1975 by Micro Instrumentation Telemetry System (MITS) 8800. This offering prompted many other companies to take an interest in producing personal computers. Tandy Corporation (Radio Shack), came up with their first personal computer in 1977, complete with keyboard and CRT. Apple II and Commodore PET which are now market leaders also released their first models that same year.
Introduced in 1981, by IBM, the PC marked a turning point in the world of computing, since the device based on the Intel 8088 microprocessor became a smash hit. The introduction of the new 16-bit microprocessor paved the way for more powerful and faster devices. The fact that IBM PC was working on an operating system that could also be integrated into any other company’s computer made standardization possible. The Apple Mac PC, which ran on Motorola 68000, was another popular 32-bit PC brand launched by Apple Inc in 1984.
A contemporary computer would come with a processor, display motherboard, primary storage (RAM) and keyboard, mouse, power supply, optical disc drive, expansion cards, and secondary storage (HDD) .
There are ports in all desktop computers, for connecting various external devices such as keyboards, monitors, scanners and printers. Ports can be of several types. They can be for connecting power, headphones, modem, card reader, PS/2, VGA, universal serial bus, Firewire, Ethernet, serial and parallel.
Detailed guidelines are available on the net which one should consult before purchasing a desktop computer. Here are some points that can serve as a checklist to help you make an informed purchase decision:
Making a choice between an Intel and AMD processor is indeed very difficult. The relative speed and the number of cores in the processor make the main difference in this matter and therefore a detailed research on the net is necessary in order to make the right decision. At least 1 GB of memory is advised for the system and the old DDR memory standard is best avoided. Faster memories are essential for better performance and so future upgrades should be made possible.
These days, it’s better to have at least 250 GB or more of storage space. Usually in most drives the Serial ATA interface is used for easy installation. It’s best to stick with a multi-format DVD burner that supports both +R/RW and -R/RW with 16x recording speed.
Integrated graphics should suffice for those not into 3D graphics. The points to pay attention to are the memory capacity and performance of the card, the direct X version it supports and the output connectors. In order to run games smoothly, a direct x 10 card with 256MB of memory should be a good choice.
External interfaces are now preferred over internal cards, in order to perform upgrades and add peripherals to computers. Make sure IEEE 1394 or FireWire and USB 2.0 points are present on a desktop computer.
CRT monitors have been replaced by LCD screens these days due to the fact that LCD screens consume less power and are smaller in size. 4:3 aspect ratio screens have now been replaced by larger display screens and the lower prices for 20-22 inch models are also encouraging.
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