Computer System Report/ Recommendation

Computer System Report/ Recommendation

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Computer System Report/ Recommendation

Subject:

The customer for this report, and recommendation for the purchase of a computer system, is a dedicated first-year computer science student at a technologically specialized institution. He is currently working on a degree that involves several courses in word processing, computer assisted design, and graphics technology. This student is also an avid gamer and has a particular interest in the latest audio and video production technology.

Requirements:

The computing system and peripheral devices purchased by this user must be the latest technology in order for him to be successful in his current classes and the courses that he will require in the future. The ideal computer and software package for this person would include a fast processor with new word processing and desktop publishing software, advanced audio and video editing capabilities, and an impressive audio/ visual display with one of the latest video cards available. Also, it is required that the system is fast, efficient, easy to work with, and cost effective.

Overall Recommendation/ Recommended System: Custom Built AthlonXP 1900

Hardware

Processor

· The computer processor is the brain of the system. Our client requires a heavy punch, multi tasking brain. Due to his low income and student status, he does not have a large budget to put towards his computer. The AMD AthlonXP 1900 was chosen because of it's low cost and it's higher performance rating than that of the higher priced equivalent Pentium 4. The AMD AthlonXP 1900's speed is 1.6GHz. This means 1600Hz, which is a very fast processor. Amazingly, the clock speed of this processor is faster, albeit barely, than the Pentium 4 2.0GHz processor, and is much cheaper as well. This is important, as, for less cash, our student can afford a better processor.

Motherboard

· Choosing which motherboard to use is important. It also is closely related to what processor is chosen. Because of cost saving factors, the AMD Athlon processor is the best choice. Therefore we can only provide a motherboard compatible with the AMD AthlonXP 1900. For our client, we decided on the motherboard Aopen K77-333. This motherboard is an excellent choice for our client because:


  1. This motherboard has Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0. This gives the advantage of high-speed transfer between external sources such as video cameras, digital cameras, scanners, audio recorders, and any other possible external components. USB 2.0 is faster than fire wire, which is currently the most widely used transfer hardware.

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Also, this motherboard possesses eight USB ports. This means that there is lots of room for expansion of additional components that can be used with the computer.
  • This motherboard has built in 5.1 channel audio technology. The motherboard uses the AC97 CODEC realtek ALC650 chip. This is very beneficial to our client, as it means that no additional sound card is required, saving him much needed money. Also, this built-in soundcard is of very high quality. This onboard soundcard contains a complete audio recording and playback system.
  • The Aopen K77-333 motherboard supports double data rate (DDR) SDRAM. The motherboard has three slots which RAM chips can be inserted into, and allows for an upgrade of up to three gigabytes. The DDR SDRAM comes standard with this particular model, and is a much better deal than regular SDRAM because it is much faster.
  • As our client becomes more advanced, he may wish to over clock his CPU (Central Processing Unit). This would allow the computer to run faster and more efficiently, but there is a risk of system failure. To counteract this possible risk the motherboard includes the Watchdog Timer function, which can automatically reset the system in 4.8 seconds when the system fails due to over clocking.
  • Also, there is an Aopen hardware monitoring utility. This allows for easy monitoring and control of the CPU's temperature, voltage, and the system fan status. This means that the client will not have to worry about overheating.


    Video Card

    · We recommended to our client the 64 Megabyte NVIDIA GeForce4 MX440 card with TV/O. We chose 64 Megabytes because this much power is required for an avid gamers graphics to run quickly and efficiently, and appear crisp and clean. As well this amount possess enough power to edit digital video well for his amateur needs. The NVIDIA card also has an s-video out which allows the computer to connect to an extra monitor or a television. This card is capable of clone-screening, horizontal split, and vertical split views. This provides upgrade options if our client wanted to purchase another monitor later on and give him more workspace. This video card allows up to a 2048x1536 pixel screen, but we recommend a 1280x1024 pixel range for great resolution, easy reading and best performance.

    NIC (Network Interface Card)

    · We recommended a NIC instead of a modem because a modem would not be sufficient to meet this gamer's high-speed online needs. Also a NIC allows for easy interfacing between other LANs (Local Area Network) and WANs (Wide Area Network). This means that if our client wanted to he could connect his computer to all of his friends' computers.

    Monitor

    · We recommended that our client invest in a :Hansol 720ED 17-inch CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) flat screen monitor. This monitor is cheap, has excellent resolution and picture quality. Also this monitor is much cheaper than the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitors, which are currently available.

    Mouse and Keyboard

    · We recommended a generic "no-name" brand keyboard, as there is no special needs required.

    · We recommended an optical Logitech mouse, which allows the mouse to respond on any surface and is more responsive than the regular roller-ball type mouse. Also the mouse should have a scroll wheel to allow for quick and easy surfing of the Internet and viewing of documents.

    Printer

    · As our client is on a very tight budget, we recommended that he delay on purchasing a computer until more funds were available for liquidation. Since he is attending the university, there are several printers available for use, at all hours of the day, and he can simply transport his documents on disk or else email them to himself and print them off at the university.

    CD-Rom Drive/CD Bruner

    · We recommended a JustLink 40x12x48x CD-Rom drive/CD burner. This allows for quick recording and fast game play. Also, although this burner is a little bit above the current CD-Rom drive speed average, we felt it was worth the small amount more it would cost to improve overall performance.

    DVD player

    · Nero Burning Rom 5.0 software is what we recommended to accompany the 16time DVD player that came with the computer. We recommended the DVD player, as in the long run it will save our client from having to purchase a separate DVD player down the road. Also since the video card has an s-video out, the computer can be hooked up directly to a television, so the DVD player is an excellent feature to include.

    Floppy Disk Drive

    · We recommended a simple floppy disk drive, which can contain 1.44 Megabytes of information to allow quick and easy transfer of simple documents.

    Software

    Operating System

    · Windows XP Home Edition allows for simple, yet important tasks to be completed quickly and efficiently. Also, the Home Edition is much cheaper than the Professional Edition and has everything that our client really needs. Once again

    Graphics Software

    · Some specialized graphics software would be useful in this case. Perhaps Adobe Photoshop ($600) for image production and editing, and some sort of computer assisted drawing program for design (ie: Auto CAD/ Auto CAD light or 3D- Home Architect if the client is interested in structural design.) More advanced video editing programs may be desire3d as well.

    Other Software

    Other programs in word processing (Microsoft Word <sup>TM</sup>, Microsoft Works <sup>TM</sup>), desktop publishing, spreadsheet production and analysis (Microsoft Excel <sup>TM</sup>), database analysis (Microsoft Access <sup>TM</sup>), and web page design (Microsoft Frontpage <sup>TM</sup> / Notepad <sup>TM</sup>) may be added in order to complete the requirements of this person's courses. Most, if not all, of these programs may be found in Microsoft Office <sup>TM</sup>.
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