The Desktop Computer Revolution

Desktop computers which are easily accommodated on a desk are micro computers that find usage in both offices and homes. The four kinds of computers that are widely used nowadays are workstations, internet servers, special communications computers and personal or home computers. Desktop computers being relatively cheaper are extensively used in homes, schools, and businesses.

Being usually modular, the components of desktop computers may be substituted or upgraded without much difficulty and various elegant cases and styles are also there for the asking. They are required 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 offer, made numerous other companies interested in the production of personal computers. Tandy Corporation (Radio Shack), came up with their first personal computer in 1977, with a keyboard and CRT. Apple II and Commodore PET which are now the market leaders also released their first models that very year.

Introduced in 1981, by IBM, the PC marked a turning point in the computer world, as the Intel 8088 microprocessor based device became a thundering success. The new 16 bit microprocessor introduction paved the way for more powerful and faster devices. The fact that IBM PC worked on an operating system that could be incorporated by any other company`s computer as well, made standardization possible. The Apple Mac PC, which ran on Motorola 68000, was another popular 32 bit PC brand that was launched by Apple Inc in 1984.

A contemporary computer would come with CPU, display motherboard, primary storage (RAM), and keyboard, mouse, power supply, optical disc drive, expansion cards and secondary storage (HDD).

There are ports in all the desktop computers, for plugging in various external devices like keyboards, monitors, scanners and printers. The ports can be of many kinds. They may be for power connection, headphone, modem, card reader, PS/2, VGA, universal serial bus, Firewire, ethernet, serial and parallel.

Detailed guidelines are available on the net that one should consult before going in to purchase a desktop. Here are a few points that may work as a checklist to help you make a well informed purchase decision:

Making a choice between an Intel processor and AMD is very difficult indeed. The relative speed and the number of cores in the processor, brings in the main difference in the matter and therefore detailed research on the net is needed in order to make the right decision.At least 1 GB of memory is advisable for the system and the older DDR memory standard is better eschewed. Faster memories are essential for better performance and so future upgrades should be made possible.

Nowadays, it is best to have at least 250 GB or more storage space. Usually, in most drives serial ATA interface is used for easy installation. It is best to keep a Multi format DVD burner which supports both R/RW and -R/RW with a 16x recordable speed.

Integrated graphics should suffice for those who are not into 3D graphics. The points which one should pay attention to are the memory capacity and performance of the card, the direct X version which it supports and the output connectors. In order to run games smoothly, a direct x 10 card with 256 MB memory should be a sound choice.

External interfaces are preferred to internal cards now, in order to make upgrades and add peripherals to computers. Make sure that both IEEE 1394 or FireWire points and USB 2.0, are present in a desktop computer.

CRTs monitors have been taken over by LCDs nowadays due to the fact that LCDs are less power consuming and smaller in size. The 4:3 ratio screens have now been taken over by larger display screens and the lowered prices of 20-22 inch models are also encouraging.

Roberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for PoloMercantil