by January 2, 1999 0 comments

We’ve covered most of the main elements of
your PC, particularly the ones where you have a rather wide choice. Here are a few
remaining ones.

RAM:  As we said in “How much RAM do I need?” (page 42), you need a
minimum of 32 MB of RAM. 64 MB is better. Go in for 100 MHz, 60 ns SDRAM DIMMs. A single
32 MB DIMM should cost you around Rs 2,000.

Cabinet and SMPS: We saw in “Choosing your motherboard” (page 65) that the size of
the cabinet depends on the size of the motherboard. Cabinet are Rs 850 upward. ATX
cabinets cost more–above Rs 2,000. You get the SMPS along with the cabinet.

Ensure that you get the necessary
screws and the spacers. Spacers are plastic holders which are fixed on to the cabinet, and
the motherboard is mounted on them. The spacers insulate the motherboard from the cabinet.

Floppy drive: The floppy drive is one sub-system of the PC that has not changed. But
yes, prices have come down. Today you get a floppy drive at around Rs 700.

Keyboard: Again, there’s a variety of keyboards. Capacitive membrane keyboards
are cheaper (Intex Rs 400 and Samsung Rs 500) than mechanical keyboards (TVSE Gold Rs
1,100).

Mouse: Another
must-have. All operating systems today give you a graphical interface and use a mouse.
Mice start at about Rs 150. A Logitech mouse is Rs 550, and a Microsoft mouse Rs 900.
Invest in a good mouse. Look for one with a heavy roller ball.
Another
must-have. All operating systems today give you a graphical interface and use a mouse.
Mice start at about Rs 150. A Logitech mouse is Rs 550, and a Microsoft mouse Rs 900.
Invest in a good mouse. Look for one with a heavy roller ball.

Speakers:  Multimedia kits come with speakers. But if you buy each part separately,
go for externally powered, amplified speakers. These are Rs 500 upwards, depending on the
wattage.

Network card: If your computer is on a network (as most office computers are), you need
a network card. A 10/100 PCI card is easier to configure. Also, it saves you some money
later if you’re currently on a 10 Mbps network and are planning to move up to 100
Mbps soon. (Replacing all the 10 Mbps network cards with 100 Mbps ones in all PCs in your
office can be quite costly and time consuming.)

Operating system: Windows 98 is by far the preferred operating system on the desktop. Not
too many vendors now sell Windows 95.

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