Desktop computers, a type of micro computer, fit on a desktop and are used broadly in offices and home. Personal computers or home computers, workstations, internet servers and special communications computers are four types of desktop computers used. Desktop computers are widely used in household, schools, business as these computers are very cheap.
The desktop computers are typically modular and its components can be easily upgraded or replaced. These are available in elegant case styles. They are used for carrying various tasks like organizing digital photos, office tasks, editing of video and accessing Internet.
Micro Instrumentation Telemetry System (MITS) 8800 introduced the first desktop type system in 1975. The launch of this variety of computer illustrated scores of other companies to produce personal computers. In 1977, Tandy Corporation (Radio Shack) launched its model of personal computers having a keyboard and CRT. In the same year the Commodore PET and Apple II were also released market and these are forerunners of today`s Desktop computers.
Introduction of IBM PC, in 1981 by IBM, was a milestone in the field of Personal Computer. Based on Intel`s 8088 microprocessor, it became a success overnight. The introduction of a 16 bit microprocessor paved way for more powerful and faster micros. Also standardization in computer industry could be made as IBM PC used an operating system which was available to all the computer manufacturers. Apple Mac PC using Motorola 68000 is another series of 32 bit popular personal computers launched by Apple in 1984.
A modern desktop computer consists of Display Motherboard, CPU, Primary storage (RAM), Expansion cards, Power supply, Optical disc drive, Secondary Storage (HDD), Keyboard, Mouse.
All the desktop computers come with ports which allow plugging different external devices into the computer viz, keyboards, monitors, scanners, printers.The different type of ports are Universal serial bus, Ethernet, Modem, Headphone, Serial, Parallel, PS / 2, VGA, Power connection, Fire wire, and Card reader.
You should surf the internet to check for detail guides available before purchasing a desktop computer. A few important points are listed here which may help you to have an informed purchasing decision:
Processors (CPUs): It is a very difficult choice to make between an Intel processor and an AMD. The main difference comes in the relative speed and number of cores in the processor. You should refer for the detail information on this in the internet sites.
Memory (RAM): It is best to have at least 1 GB memory system and older DDR memory standard should be avoided. For better performance, faster memories are required and ensure that future upgrades of memory are possible.
Hard Drives: 250 GB or more storage space is best to have in present days. Serial ATA interface is used in most drives now for ease of installation.
Optical Drives (CD / DVD): Multiformat DVD burner which can support both + R / RW and -R / RW with a 16x recordable speed are best to have in desktop computers.
Video Cards: Integrated graphics is sufficient if you are not doing 3D graphics. The important things which you should consider are the memory capacity of the card, version of Direct X supported, output connectors and the performance. For the purpose of games a Direct x 10 card with 256 MB memory should be considered.
External Connectors: Instead of internal cards, external interfaces are preferred now for various upgrades and peripherals to computers. IEEE 1394 or FireWire points and USB 2.0, both should be present in a desktop computer.
Monitors: These days LCDs are more popular than CRTs. This is because they have less power consumption and have reduced size. Also traditional aspect ratio of 4: 3 is being replaced by wider display screen and prices of 20-22 inch models are decreasing.