CT10404E PC Technology Week 4 Specifying and buying a PC
What’s in store this week… <ul><li>(Brief) Review of Week 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Specifying a PC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs ...
(Brief) Review of Week 3 <ul><li>Memory </li></ul><ul><li>Hard Disks </li></ul><ul><li>Expansion cards </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Specifying a PC <ul><li>In the past weeks we have looked at some of the components that make up a PC. </li></ul><ul><li>Ma...
Specifying a PC - Needs Analysis <ul><li>The first thing to do before buying a PC is to analyse your needs. </li></ul><ul>...
Specifying a PC - Needs Analysis <ul><li>What are the requirements for the tasks we wish to do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3D A...
Specifying a PC - Needs Analysis <ul><ul><li>Word processing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does this need anything specia...
Specifying a PC - Needs Analysis <ul><li>We can break down the specification into the base components: </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Specifying a PC - Needs Analysis <ul><ul><li>Hard Disk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interface </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><u...
Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>When buying a PC there will always be a budget. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If money is n...
Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>The first choice to make is whether to buy a branded model or a generic one (or bui...
Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>The choice of a proprietary machine such as Apple’s Macintosh is an option. </li></...
Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>Whether building your own or buying a ready-made, there will be a choice for each c...
Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>Another rule-of-thumb is that whatever you buy today will invariably be cheaper tom...
Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>It may help to list the components and try to rank them in order of importance. </l...
Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Monitor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Options: CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) 14” - 21”+ </li></ul></...
Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Processor/Motherboard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of processors (typically 1 or 2) <...
Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Motherboard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Built-in peripherals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li...
Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Memory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Amount and type </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Almost ce...
Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Graphics Card </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Modern cards combine 2D with 3D acceleration. </l...
Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Sound Card </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher-end cards may offer Digital out, multiple cha...
Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Hard disk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You pay more for faster access times, more storage sp...
Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Removable Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DVD-Rom is the next step forward </li></ul></ul...
Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Input Devices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyboard and mouse are essential </li></ul></ul><...
Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Software </li></ul><ul><li>The software you need will depend completely on what you n...
Specifying a PC - Shopping Around <ul><li>Shopping around </li></ul><ul><li>Once you have an approximate specification, it...
Example <ul><li>Specification for a PC used mainly for cutting-edge computer games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Modern computer g...
Example <ul><li>Video Card: GeForce 4 Ti 4600 £223.25 </li></ul><ul><li>Sound Card: Soundblaster 5.1 Digital £52.87 </li><...
Example <ul><li>This computer will still need software. </li></ul><ul><li>Will £102.30 be enough? </li></ul><ul><li>If not...
Practical Work <ul><li>A number of specification exercises </li></ul><ul><li>Specifics can be found on the MSG at: </li></...
Next Week <ul><li>PC Networks and the Internet </li></ul>
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Lecture Notes

435 views

Published on

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
435
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
12
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Lecture Notes

  1. 1. CT10404E PC Technology Week 4 Specifying and buying a PC
  2. 2. What’s in store this week… <ul><li>(Brief) Review of Week 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Specifying a PC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prioritising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shopping around </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example </li></ul>
  3. 3. (Brief) Review of Week 3 <ul><li>Memory </li></ul><ul><li>Hard Disks </li></ul><ul><li>Expansion cards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphics cards </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Specifying a PC <ul><li>In the past weeks we have looked at some of the components that make up a PC. </li></ul><ul><li>Many companies will sell you assembled PCs </li></ul><ul><li>Alternatively you can build your own from components </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At your own risk! </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Specifying a PC - Needs Analysis <ul><li>The first thing to do before buying a PC is to analyse your needs. </li></ul><ul><li>What will be the uses for your PC? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3D animation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Image manipulation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Word processing/DTP? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web browsing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio processing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Games? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Specifying a PC - Needs Analysis <ul><li>What are the requirements for the tasks we wish to do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3D Animation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>processor and graphic intensive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>storage space required? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Memory? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Image Manipulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Memory-intensive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>processor? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Storage space? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Specifying a PC - Needs Analysis <ul><ul><li>Word processing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does this need anything special? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A big monitor? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web browsing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A fast internet connection, perhaps. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Anything else? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio processing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Memory </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Storage space </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Perhaps specialist equipment (professional audio I/O?) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Everything! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Specifying a PC - Needs Analysis <ul><li>We can break down the specification into the base components: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Processor/Motherboard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Memory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphics Card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sound Card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other I/O </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Modem, Network Card </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Specifying a PC - Needs Analysis <ul><ul><li>Hard Disk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interface </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Removable Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CD-Rom, DVD-Rom, CD-RW, Zip, Floppy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Input devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keyboard, Mouse, Games controllers, Graphics tablets </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support/warranty </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>When buying a PC there will always be a budget. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If money is no object, then why not get the very best of everything? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It will be necessary to make trade-offs between performance and price. </li></ul><ul><li>If the PC is for a private individual, then VAT will be payable (at 17.5%). </li></ul><ul><li>If buying from abroad, beware of customs charges and compatibility. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>The first choice to make is whether to buy a branded model or a generic one (or build your own) </li></ul><ul><li>A branded model will usually cost more than the equivalent specification of generic PC. </li></ul><ul><li>But on the flip side, they often come with generous warranties, perhaps including on-site repair. </li></ul><ul><li>They also often come with software pre-loaded. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>The choice of a proprietary machine such as Apple’s Macintosh is an option. </li></ul><ul><li>A laptop may be preferable over a desktop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laptop has mobility. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desktop tends to be significantly cheaper for similar specification. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desktop tends to have the option of higher-end components if needed. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>Whether building your own or buying a ready-made, there will be a choice for each component. </li></ul><ul><li>A general rule-of-thumb is that you pay a hefty premium to be at the cutting edge of technology. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The high-end consumer graphics card over the period 1998-2002 tended to be £300 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A mid-range card was approximately £80 </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>Another rule-of-thumb is that whatever you buy today will invariably be cheaper tomorrow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Today’s top-end card is next years’ mid-range. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The trick is to buy only as much as you need - and leave scope for upgrading later. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By buying a mid-range card this year, then upgrading next year you will have spent only £160 instead of the £300 buying the card new would have been. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Specifying a PC - Prioritising <ul><li>It may help to list the components and try to rank them in order of importance. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You could then spend more on the higher-ranked components and less on the lesser-ranked ones. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some components should be viewed as high priority in most cases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Monitor (if the computer is intended to be used for reasonable periods of time) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Monitor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Options: CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) 14” - 21”+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Like a TV </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consider refresh rate, visible display, type of tube (normal, FST, trinitron, diamondtron) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) 15”-18”+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A truly flat screen </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consider response time, viewing angle, type of display (DSTN or the newer TFT) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plasma screen/Projector </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Very large sizes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expensive! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Processor/Motherboard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of processors (typically 1 or 2) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you have an operating system that supports it (Windows 2000, Windows XP, Linux), having multiple processors is a cost-effective way of increasing performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Processor speeds and models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Typically three tiers of processors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>High-end server (Intel Pentium 4 Xeon) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>High-end consumer (Pentium 4, AMD Athlon) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Budget consumer (Intel Celeron, AMD Duron) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Motherboard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Built-in peripherals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Graphics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sound </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Network card/Modem </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disk adapters (IDE, SCSI, RAID) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I/O (Serial, Parallel, USB, Firewire) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power supply </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If building a powerful machine, you’ll need a power supply unit (PSU) powerful enough to run everything. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Memory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Amount and type </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Almost certainly be dictated by the motherboard. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modern machines have DDRRam and Rambus. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Heavy applications will need lots of Ram. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intensive graphics or 3D can use almost as much as you can afford to give it. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t go lower than 128MB Ram, in general. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows 98 cannot properly support more than 512MB of Ram (NT, 2000, XP and Linux can though). </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Graphics Card </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Modern cards combine 2D with 3D acceleration. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dedicated Video Ram on board. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May offer accelerated DVD decoding. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TV Out, Digital Out, multiple monitors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most modern cards can support very high resolutions and monitor refresh rates </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Sound Card </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher-end cards may offer Digital out, multiple channels of sound, surround sound, “real-time” digital effects. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Network Cards, Modems &c </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For connecting to networks (see next week) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modems - speed (in Baud), standards (V90, K56) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Network cards - speed (in Mbit/s), duplexing </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Hard disk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You pay more for faster access times, more storage space, faster data rates. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SCSI or IDE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider buying multiple smaller drives instead of one large drive (and perhaps RAID - Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Removable Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is almost essential to have a CD-Rom for most purposes </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Removable Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DVD-Rom is the next step forward </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Movies! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CD-RW to write your own CDs - 650MB of space on a single CD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For a price, you can get a combined CD-RW/DVD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zip disk drive? </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Input Devices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyboard and mouse are essential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ergonomic keyboard </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Optical Mouse </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trackball </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gaming controllers (if you are a gamer) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Arcade stick </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Joypad </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flight Stick </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Steering Wheel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Light gun </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Specifying a PC - Specifying <ul><li>Software </li></ul><ul><li>The software you need will depend completely on what you need to be able to do and what software you prefer to use </li></ul><ul><li>Software can often cost more than the hardware itself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Autocad 2002 - £675 inc VAT </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ensure you leave money for the software! Some companies have student licenses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Autocad 2002 Student - £111 inc VAT </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Specifying a PC - Shopping Around <ul><li>Shopping around </li></ul><ul><li>Once you have an approximate specification, its time to go shopping. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow commercial practice: Look for at least three quotes for similar specification. Weigh up the pros and cons of each. </li></ul><ul><li>Try online retailers - often sell cheaper than high-street companies due to lower running costs - Look in Computer Shopper for the web addresses, or do a web search </li></ul>
  27. 27. Example <ul><li>Specification for a PC used mainly for cutting-edge computer games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Modern computer games push the boundaries for consumer PCs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assume a budget of £1,250. </li></ul><ul><li>Priorities: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>High: Video Card. Sound Card Processor Gaming Controllers Keyboard/Mouse </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Medium: Monitor Memory DVD </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low: Hard Disk Modem </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Example <ul><li>Video Card: GeForce 4 Ti 4600 £223.25 </li></ul><ul><li>Sound Card: Soundblaster 5.1 Digital £52.87 </li></ul><ul><li>Processor: Athlon XP 2100+ £164.50 </li></ul><ul><li>Motherboard: Abit KG7 £81.07 </li></ul><ul><li>Gaming Controllers: Microsoft Sidewinder FF £52.87 </li></ul><ul><li>Keyboard/Mouse: Microsoft Optical mouse £17.62 Cherry non-click keyboard £29.37 </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor: Iiyama 1451 19” £186.82 </li></ul><ul><li>Memory: 256MB DDRRam £51.24 </li></ul><ul><li>DVD-Rom: Philips 16x £41.12 </li></ul><ul><li>Hard Disk: Maxtor 20GB IDE £55.22 </li></ul><ul><li>Modem: £11.75 </li></ul><ul><li>Miscellany (Case, FDD) £80.00 </li></ul><ul><li>TOTAL: £1047.70 </li></ul>
  29. 29. Example <ul><li>This computer will still need software. </li></ul><ul><li>Will £102.30 be enough? </li></ul><ul><li>If not, then perhaps we need to go back and re-evaluate our choices. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Practical Work <ul><li>A number of specification exercises </li></ul><ul><li>Specifics can be found on the MSG at: </li></ul><ul><li>http://mercury.tvu.ac.uk/pct/ </li></ul>
  31. 31. Next Week <ul><li>PC Networks and the Internet </li></ul>

×