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Most Popular Peripherals

When it comes to adding stuff to your PC, what are the most popular peripherals? Here's a list of hardware you can add to or upgrade on your system:

  • Video card— To display higher-resolution pictures and graphics, provide smoother playback with visually demanding PC games, or power a second monitor for some high-end programming or development activities.

  • Monitor— To upgrade to a larger viewing area or a space-saving flat-screen monitor.

  • Sound card— To improve the audio capabilities of your systems; this is particularly important if you're listening to CDs or MP3 files, watching surround-sound DVD movies, playing PC games, or mixing and recording your own digital audio.

  • Speakers— To upgrade the quality of your computer's sound system. (Speaker systems with subwoofers are particularly popular.)

  • Keyboard— To upgrade to a more ergonomic or wireless model.

  • Mouse— To upgrade to a different type of controller (such as a trackball), a more fully featured unit, or a wireless model.

  • Joystick or other game controller— To get better action with your favorite games.

  • Modem— In case your PC doesn't have one, or if you're upgrading to broadband DSL or cable service.

  • CD-ROM drive— In case your computer doesn't have one.

  • CD-R/RW drive (burner)— To add recordable/rewritable capabilities to your system.

  • DVD— To add DVD capability to your system.

  • DVD-R/RW (burner)— To let you burn your own DVD movies or to back up entire hard disks.

  • Hard drive— To add more storage capacity to your system. (Can be either external or internal.)

  • Removable drive— To add more removable storage capacity to your system. (The most popular removable drives today are the so-called “USB drives,” which pack a tremendous amount of storage into a keychain-sized device, using flash memory. These devices plug in to your PC's USB port.)

  • Memory card reader— So you can read data from devices (such as digital cameras) that use various types of flash memory cards.

  • Printer— To improve the quality of your printouts, to add color to your printouts, or to add photo-quality printing to your system.

  • Scanner— So that you can scan photographs and documents into a digital format to store on your computer's hard drive.

  • PC camera— So that you can send real-time video to friends and family or create your own Webcam on the Internet.

  • Network card— So that you can connect your computer to other computers in a small home network.

  • Wireless network adapter— So that you can connect your computer to a wireless network.

  • Digital media server— To connect your PC to your home audio system so that you can listen to digital audio files and Internet radio on your home system.



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