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Part 1: Getting Oriented > Choosing the Right Computer

Chapter 9. Choosing the Right Computer

Once you've made the choice between desktop and laptop, you still have a few more decisions to make, but they're pretty easy ones. Aside from peripheral devices such as the monitor, there are three major things that make one PC different from another. The first is the machine's central processing unit (CPU). The second is the hard disk. And the third is the amount of memory it has.

Once you've figured out what you need in these three areas, your selection will still be wide. That's when you start thinking about the “extras,” such as the number of expansion slots the system has, the type of keyboard and mouse, whether it has a FireWire port, and the quality of the components. Other considerations include the quality of the case and whether the controls and switches are in a convenient position. Does it fit into your work environment? Will it fit on (or under) your desk? Is it quiet? (Some PCs have very noisy fans.) You get the idea.


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