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Content starts here
»  1 Introduction
»  2 Processor speed
»  3 Memory
»  4 Disc drives
»  5 Ports
»  6 Monitors
»  7 Keyboard & mouse
»  Learn more
A desktop computer

1 Introduction

Soon it will be time to replace your desktop computer. And knowing which components are necessary to meet your computing needs will help you get the most for your buying dollars.
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2 Processor speed

Two people using a computer at a desk The engine of a PC is its processor, known as the CPU (Central Processing Unit). It's the most important element of your system. The speed of a CPU is measured in gigahertz (GHz). Higher GHz speed equals faster processing speed.

· For word processing, e-mail, or surfing the Web, choose a slower processor that will cost less and deliver a greater value.
· To run computer games with lots of animation, choose a faster processor.
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3 Memory

RAM (Random Access Memory) is the memory your computer uses to run applications and programs. It's usually measured in megabytes (MB). Most PCs come standard with 256MB or 512MB RAM, with the option to add more for increased performance.

· To run more applications simultaneously and switch between programs quickly, choose a greater amount of RAM.
· CPU performance relies on the amount of RAM in your system—a high-speed CPU can be significantly slowed by insufficient RAM.
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4 Disc drives

A computer on the floor There are also many options for removable media drives.

· To install new software and play DVDs and audio CDs, you will need a CD/DVD-ROM drive.
· To create audio CDs from your digital music library, you’ll need a CD-R or CD-RW drive.
· To edit digital video and create DVDs, you’ll want to choose a CD-Double Layer/DVD+RW drive.
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5 Ports

The number and types of ports on your system determine which peripheral devices you can connect to your computer.

· To connect devices such as printers, scanners, and external disk drives and other accessories, you’ll want a minimum of two USB ports.
· To connect digital media devices such as audio players and cameras, look for USB 2.0 ports, which are designed to transfer large digital media files at high speed.
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6 Monitors

Monitors are available in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges depending on your needs.

· Choose a traditional CRT monitor if you want to save money and are not "space-challenged."
· For crisp visuals and less clutter, check out the latest in flat-panel LCD monitors (if your budget allows it).
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7 Keyboard & mouse

A mouse and keyboard Most computer systems include a keyboard and mouse, but you can still upgrade these components to maximize comfort and convenience. These are the everyday components you'll use to operate your system, so they can make a real difference when choosing between two comparable systems.

· For greater comfort while operating your system, choose an ergonomically designed keyboard and mouse.
· Reduce clutter and add the convenience of wireless with a wireless keyboard and mouse.
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Related links

»  Learn more about everyday computing from HP
»  Take free online classes to keep you PC safe and secure
»  Check out HP's full lineup of Desktop PCs


»  Get support 24/7 with award-winning HP Total Care
»  Prevent trouble later on with do-it-yourself PC tune-ups

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Whether you use your desktop PC for homework and finances or gaming and digital entertainment, HP's broad portfolio of products has you covered. Check out the latest products at the Home & Home Office Store.
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