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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 playing state-of-the-art PC games, listening to CDs or MP3 files, watching surround-sound DVD movies, or mixing and recording your own digital audio.

  • Speakers— To upgrade the quality of your computer's sound system. (Surround-sound 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.

  • Broadband modem— To obtain high-speed DSL or cable Internet service.

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

  • DVD— To add DVD capability to your system. (DVD drives can also play CDs.)

  • DVD-R/RW (burner)— To let you burn your own DVD movies or to back up entire hard disks. (DVD burners can also be used to burn CDs, so you don't need two separate burners in your system.)

  • Hard drive— To add more storage capacity to your system, or to perform periodic backups from your main hard disk. (Can be either external or internal.)

  • 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 hub or router— So that you can create a wireless network in your home—and share your broadband Internet connection among multiple computers.

  • Wireless network adapter— So that you can connect your computer to any 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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