- Microprocessor
- Motherboard
- Memory
- Card video
- Monitor
- Storage
- Printer
- Modem
- Multimedia
- Keyboard
- Mouse
- Casing

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Juan Herrerías Rey

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What components to buy for...


Microprocessor - Motherboard - Memory - Card video - Monitor

Storage - Printer - Modem - Multimedia - Keyboard - Mouse - Casing



It has two principal slopes: the favorite, in the shape of hard disk, and the transportable one, in the shape of super diskettes, removable hard disks, magneto-optic, optical devices...

For a use ofimático or servant, is enough with a hard disk EIDE with 8 GB and technology UltraDMA66; we go, the minimal thing that offers the market. For safety copies or to keep or to transport information, be enough with a super diskette by type Zip (100 MB) or SuperDisk (120 MB), by the classic units of tape of several GB (sales but very slow) or a retape recorder of CD-ROMs, preferably one that it records to 6x ó 8x.

For professional uses type servant, CAD, treatment of image or video, etc., needs at least a disc (or discs, more common in this segment) guy UltraDMA66 with speed of draft of 7.200 rpm, or SCSI (UltraWide SCSI, preferably), more trustworthy, slightly more rapid and with less it loads on the microprocessor. To store transportable information to the big thing, many options: Jaz, retape recorders of CD, magneto-optic devices, tapes DAT... that differ as for speed, durability and reliability, standardization and others. To know more on this topic, pulsate here.

In any case remember that on the hard disks the principal thing there is the speed of rotation of the disc, not if it is UltraDMA33 ó 66 (or, saving the distances and if it is not a question of very overloaded servants, enclosed SCSI). There will always be better a disc that turns to 10.000 ó 7.200 rpm that other to 5.400 rpm, although this enormous speed has his disadvantages: major generation of heat, major consumption and a valuable sound on having accelerated.



The typical domestic user must no have doubt: one of injection of ink with independent cartridges for black and color in format A4; the rest is a tastes question: HP DeskJet 610C, 720, 880C; Epson Stylus 460, 660, 760, 860; Canon BJC 2000, 4400, 6000; and many other. They differ in a little more or less from quality (and that, in general, only with role and/or special cartridges of ink) or in giving a pair of pages more or less per minute, but they all are very similar.

For office computerization, the question is if he needs (or he wants) to use color in his documents. If he can avoid it, go straight to the laser of white person and black: the highest quality, enormous speed, much cheaper in the long run that those of ink (even in 1 year he will pay the price difference in saving of cartridges of ink). If he needs color, one of injection of rather rapid ink.

For CAD, the expensive but inevitable plotters, or ink printers "of big format" (A2 and A3), that do not replace them but that serve to do the first tests, small planes or to avoid the buy of more than one plotter. As example of these printers, Canon BJC 5100 and 4650 and HP DeskJet 1200 for A3 (between 35.000 and 70.000 pts more VAT) and Canon BJC 5500 and Epson Stylus 1000 for A2 (between 100.000 and 150.000 pts).

Other needs can be those of:

  • Network printers: generally laser of white person and black prepared for network, between 100.000 pts and half million. Also they are color laser, but they overcome loosely the quarter of million (and they even approach the numbers of 6 zeros).
  • Multicopy and printed matter: the only stronghold for the matriciales. Extra rapid and versatile, with tractor for continuous role and up to 5 copies. Epson has a big catalog of them, from 25.000 pts.
  • Photos and images: printers of sublimation, of solid waxes... the highest quality but slow and expensive, specific for these uses.



First of all, the eternal doubt: intern or day pupil? If you want to save a little and have less possible pots on the table, then do not doubt it: I intern. If he prefers facility of installation and transport despite a slightly higher, external price.

As for the speed, undoubtedly 55.600 bauds (56K)... although in fact almost always the bottle neck will be his Internet provider. Make sure that fulfills the norm V90 (the current standard) or the K56flex (used enough in Spain), preferably both simultaneously simultaneously or at least the V.90.

The principal thing is that he buys a trustworthy modem, always of mark (US Robotics, Diamond, Sitre, Zoom, Motorola...) and not of unknown father, and never a modem HSP or Winmódem (those who use the computer to realize part of his functions), since it would save scarcely a pair of thousands of pesetas at the cost of an incredible descent in the yield, especially if it does other tasks while it is connected. It is not difficult to distinguish them: the modems HSP are, almost for definition, interns, PCI and suspiciously bargain sales.

If one can allow it, do not doubt it: RDSI=velocidad, but at the cost of big telephone invoices (for the type of line, the connection time is invoiced equally) and a bonus to his provider for using so much band. But the one that can pay it enjoys really Internet, the teleconferencing, one lowers files in almost half of time...

And finally, do not forget that the principal factor that limits the communication is the quality of the provider. If the connection is free or they give to him three years for 5.000 pts, do not hope that also it works well, please!



At present the sound cards can satisfy the fan of the most demanding music thanks to his technology of wave table and the use of the connector PCI, supporting a really low price. The most advisable thing is to choose a card PCI of well-known mark, for example a SoundBlaster 128.

If he is the whole fanatic of the sound, there exist more "professional" cards (more connectors, more channels, converters of major quality), which also usually incorporate support for 4 loudspeakers and even sub-woofer, something interesting also for fanatics of the games. Anyway, bear in mind that the quality of the loudspeakers influences very much, and of course "quality" is not equal to "potency"; a few cheap loudspeakers cannot give 240 real W and those that they give (probably 10 % of the stated ones) they will give them of metallic form.

Otherwise, the CD - ROM keeps on being the king of the market, despite all the forecasts in favor of the DVD-ROM. The case is that the DVD have a quite accessible price, but his enormous capacity scarcely is necessary and for the time being it is more comfortable to see the movies in the TV set, for not speaking about the trouble with the happy geographical areas "antipiracy"...

Anyway, well be CD or DVD, always of mark; it will not appreciate difference for a pair of "X less, and the quality will be much major: less vibrations, major resistance, better extraction of audio...



Although it usually costs less than 5.000 pts, it is a very important element, at least while the computers are not like HAL 9000 of the movie "2.001", which understood everything what the protagonists were saying... and even was reading the lips. 3 fundamental types of keyboards exist:

  • Of membrane: they are the cheapest. They turn out to be slightly vague, of soft tact, scarcely they do noise on having been doing very badly. Theoretically they are the worst, but there is who loves this gentleness and this silence; there are tastes for everything.
  • Mechanics: most balanced in quality / price (scarcely 1.000 ó 2.000 pts more than those of membrane). More precise, perhaps slightly scandalous.
  • Ergonomic: they have the keyboard split into two parts of different orientation. The dolls suffer less, but only I recommend it to him if it is going to use it very much or if it has never been doing very badly earlier; reacostumbrarse at this disposal it turns out to be almost impossible.

Summing up: pass for the shop and play with two or three keyboards until he likes one. In this case, the best keyboard is that one with which you are more to taste, are as it is and cost what it costs.



Since there use graphic environments type Windows, a fundamental tool. In this area, moreover than in that of the keyboard, all sound manias. There is the one who prefers very cheap mice (they are from 1.000 pts) and to throw it as soon as it fails; others want them super advanced, ergonomic and of mark; and also we are the madmen of the trackball (I in the same way have two different ones connected simultaneously to the computer; passa a little?).

The above mentioned, try and choose; if he is wrong, it will not also have spent very much, unless it is a question of a trackball (that is this mouse "mouth below" in that the ball moves with the hand). If the trackball intrigues his that thing about, prove it earlier in a shop or big store, there are the people who never gets accustomed; also, it is not the same to handle it with the thumb than with the palm, the index or the middle finger.

For the rarest, mice exist or trackballs wireless; or a surface size card of visit for which the finger slides to handle the cursor equal to that of portable some; or even "pens" of similar use, with or without need for a special surface where to support. We go, that exists for all the tastes.



Yes, even in that it is necessary to fix. They are of different qualities, with power supplies of major or minor capacity, and more or less extendable. The most common types are:

  • Minitower: the standard model of many shops of clonal. It turns out to be slightly extendable (typically, a pair of external devices and I intern one, for example to install a DVD, a Zip and another hard disk). Inside there are authentic jumble of cables, of scarce ventilation and with sources of approximately 200 W; in general only advisable for slightly ambitious uses as office computerization.
  • Semitower: standard in some shops, optional or with powerful teams in others. Little difference with the minitowers, but they add place for some device more, in addition to the internal trouble is minor. For almost all the publics, although it is advisable that the source performs more potency, approximately 230 W.
    On the potency of the source, bear in mind that almost all the AMD Athlon and the most rapid Pentium III complete enough, they need 250 W sources or more to work without problems, especially if they settle together with powerful graphic cards.
  • Supertowers: for not very ambitious servants, teams with peripheral enough, you present yourself sybarites and without complexes or those that prefer to have the computer rested on the soil. In general they are many major quality, although there is of everything, skylight. Powerful sources, even of 300 W and even with redundant sources (we go, with two if a flaw), in addition to fans extra to favor the ventilation.
  • For servant: the best thing in casings with difference; of diverse sizes, between semitower and supertower, with a perfect refrigeration (in some cases up to 10 fans!), redundant power supplies, accessibility "in warm" (with the team in functioning)... and a few highest prices.
  • Dessert: slightly advisable for being minimally extendable and of bad ventilation, in addition to raising the monitor up to slightly advisable heights for the neck and the back (unless a very high chair and a footrest is had). Nevertheless, the needs for space sometimes do not leave another remedy.

Other topics to be born in mind are the format (at present standard ATX, the outstanding figure Baby-AT and even rarer others), which it determines as well as the connector of the keyboard is a DOUGH or minidough (PS/2), and the special characteristics like button to leave the pendent computer temporarily (in stand - by, as with the TV sets) or it covers to protect from the dust to the CD and the disk drive.

In general, in the boxes of more quality the metallic rims are better finished off, the shielding before interferences is better obtained, the power supply is more silent and the ventilation is better, sometimes supported with fans extra.


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