Chapter 5 - Chapter 5 Considerations in Buying a Computer...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Considerations in Buying a Computer Questions to decide Microprocessor or CPU Two families: Intel x86 processors (PCs and compatibles) and Motorola 68000 (Apple Macintosh). Older x86 computers were 8086 and 8088 (original PC), 80286, 80386, 80486. Newer Intel computers use the Pentium processor. All software that runs on the older IBMs will run on the Pentium - however, the converse is not true - i.e. software designed for Pentium will not run on the older IBMs. Part is due to the fact that the machine code uses instructions not available on older processors - other reason is that the software uses more resources - memory - than was available on older machines. Software written for the Motorola 68000 will definitely not run on the x86 machines and vice- versa. The PowerPC microprocessor is an attempt to provide both computing platforms in one chip. It is used by IBM and Macintosh in their power computers. It cannot directly execute x86 or 68000 instructions, but you can use it with an emulator to run programs in either instruction set. An emulator is software or hardware that enables one mircroporcessor to behave as if it were another. If you buy a Mac PowerPC, it comes with the 68000 emulator and you can purchase the IBM emulator as an add-on. Today, if you buy an IBM compatible, you should buy a Pentium processor with a clock speed of 100 MHz or better. Some rivals to Intel market chips that work the same as Pentiums and are called 586 or 686 processors - generally less expensive. A good rule of thumb is not to buy the most expensive, latest computer because you are paying a premium price for it. If current processor speeds are 100 MHZ, 133 MHz and 166 MHz, buy the 100 MHz processor (2 grades down from the best). Also, if you are buying for a company, keep in mind that the computer will be effectively obsolete and need to be replaced in 2-3 years - even if you bought the best. For these reasons, buy a computer that is a couple of grades down from the best available and don't pay much attention to future expansion and upgrade capability - chances are it will be more cost- effective to replace it than to upgrade it. RAM cache - with today's faster processors it makes no sense to have the computer waiting to retrieve one value at a time from RAM memory. They can process data faster than it can be retreived from memory. For this reason, you need a RAM cache of at least 256 K bytes. This adds about $100 to the cost of a computer. Memory To run Windows '95, you should have at least 8 to 16 Megabytes of memory. Today's memory prices are the lowest they have ever been - about $50 for 4
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 5

Chapter 5 - Chapter 5 Considerations in Buying a Computer...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online