Update: Ultimate Links PC Tips - Essential look for an Assembled PC

Do note while all potential buyers will benefit from this piece, it is mainly targeted at individuals opting for an assembled PC.

An indicative price list at the end will help you budget accordingly.

Motherboard

The large circuit board into which the Central Processing Unit, memory boards and peripheral cards are plugged is referred to as the motherboard.

It is the most vital part of any computer as it holds and connects all your peripherals and add-ons to give you upgrade options and support for future technologies.

What you must know:

Check whether it comes with all the necessary options, support for upgradeability and extra slots for memory and other add-on cards.

Processor

Processor chips are primarily available in two brands -- INTEL and AMD.

The Intel chips range from the very basic Celeron chip to the Pentium series to the advanced Centrino processor.

AMD has a chip called Athlon, which is slightly cheaper than the higher end Intel chips.

Most users prefer Intel Pentium chips to Athlon as the latter heats up soon and isn't as efficient as a Pentium 4 chip. Also, the Athlon chip based systems need extra fans to cool the system.

The most preferred chip is the Pentium 4 2.4 GHz.

You might want to consider the Athlon chip with the motherboard would cost you about $70 less than its INTEL counterpart.

What you must know:

Though the processor speed plays a crucial role, you need not have the latest and fastest one available. If a processor with a slightly lesser core speed can do just as well for your demands, go for it.
Make sure the chips are box packed with a serial number to ensure they are original.

Random Access Memory

RAM is the amount of memory available for use by programmes on a computer.

The RAM chip comes in capacities of 128, 256, 512 MB, even 1 GB. Most computers function efficiently with 256 MB RAM, though a 512 MB RAM does offer you an edge.

As a thumb rule, always go in for a minimum of 256 MB RAM...

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