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   Different Systems for Different User (August 1999)

by
Roxanne Pierce
Moderator/Editor

  1. The Power User
  2. Corporate/Small Business User
  3. Home User

 

Performs demanding tasks that call for a robust system. This PC is one of the best that money can buy.

You Are. . .

  • a Web or multimedia developer working in an office environment.
  • a graphics arts professional involved with desktop publishing or image editing.
  • a corporate executive who needs a powerful machine for creating presentations, reports, and complex spreadsheets.
  • a technically savvy home user into digital photography, digital video, or Web authoring.
  • a technically savvy home user who wants a system that will do what’s asked of it for as long as possible

You Need. . .

  • Pentium III/500MHz or higher processor
  • 128MB or more RAM
  • 12GB to 25GB Ultra DMA/66 hard disk
  • 2-D/3-D graphics accelerator (ATI Rage 128, Matrox G400, or nVidia RIVA TNT-2 chip set recommended), 32MB video RAM
  • 19-inch monitor (0.26-mm mask pitch maximum; 1,280-by-1,024 resolution at 85-Hz refresh minimum) or 18-inch LCD (1,280-by-1,024 resolution at 60-Hz refresh minimum) 
  • cable or DSL modem (56.6K V.90 modem in areas where high-speed service is unavailable)
  • DVD-RAM drive, or a 6X DVD-ROM drive plus a CD-RW drive  hardware
  • DVD decoder
  • 3-D sound card
  • Three-piece surround-sound speaker set
  • Reliable and easy to operate backup system, if CD-RW drive is too slow for you
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 (office); Windows 98 (home)   
  • Superior warranty and technical support

Cost: $2,500 and up

You Are. . .

  • a small-business or home user looking for a cost-effective PC for typical computer chores: word processing, e-mail, spreadsheets, Web access.
  • an IT director charged with specifying machines for the company workforce.

You Need. . .

  • Pentium III/500 or Celeron/466 processor
  • 64MB to 128MB RAM (128MB minimum for a Windows NT system)
  • 6GB to 12GB Ultra DMA/33 hard disk
  • 4MB to 16MB 2-D/3-D graphics accelerator
  • 17-inch monitor (0.26-mm mask pitch maximum; 1,024-by-768 resolution at 85-Hz refresh minimum)
  • 10/100 Ethernet adapter or 56.6K V.90 modem in areas where high-speed service is unavailable)
  • easy-access chassis with slide-out components
  • 32X CD-ROM drive or 6X DVD-ROM drive with hardware decoder
  • Microsoft Windows 98 or NT
  • basic 16-bit audio with business-audio speakers
  • good warranty, one-year on-site service

    Cost: $1,800 and up

Home PCs come in a host of flavors and configurations, and prices vary widely. You have good options at several price levels.

Option #1

You are...

  • buying a primary PC for your family for a variety of tasks: Web surfing, game playing, home finance, graphics scanning, or working at home.

You need...

  • Pentium III/450, Celeron/466 or AMD K6-II/400 processor
  • 128MB RAM
  • 10GB Ultra DMA/33 hard disk
  • 16MB 2-D/3-D graphics accelerator
  • 17-inch monitor (0.28-mm mask pitch maximum; 1,024-by-768 resolution at 85-Hz refresh minimum)
  • 56.6K V.90 modem (or network card for cable or DSL modem where high-speed service is available)
  • 6X DVD-ROM drive
  • 100MB or 250MB Iomega Zip Drive (or other system backup device)
  • 3-D sound card

Cost:  $1,500 and up


Option #2

You Are. . .

  • putting together a killer game system.

You Need (For The Gamer). . .

  • Pentium III/450 processor
  • 128MB or more RAM
  • 10GB to 20GB Ultra DMA/66 hard disk
  • 32MB 2-D/3-D graphics accelerator (ATI Rage 128 or nVidia TNT-2 chip set recommended)
  • 19-inch monitor (0.28-mm mask pitch maximum; 1,024- by-768 resolution at 85-Hz refresh)
  • cable or DSL modem (where high-speed service is available)
  • 6X DVD-ROM drive
  • 3-D sound card
  • five-piece speaker system w/sub-woofer
  • force-feedback joystick
  • Microsoft Windows 98

Cost: $2,800 and up


Option #3

You are...

  • looking for a PC for a parent or grandparent so you can be in touch via e-mail with minor wordprocessing.
  • in the market for a bare-bones PC to get on the Internet and do wordprocessing for the lowest cost.

You need...

  • AMD or Celeron processor
  • 32MB RAM
  • 2GB to 4GB hard disk
  • 4MB video RAM
  • 15inch or 17inch monitor
  • 56.6K V.90 modem
  • available PCI slot for high-speed modem upgrade
  • 24X CD-ROM drive
  • stereo speakers

This is to be considered a "disposable" computer. Do not plan to upgrade or plan for multi-purpose use.

Cost: $700

 

Roxanne Pierce is the owner/operator of
R2Systems, a computer consulting business
in Southern California

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

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