Expansion Cards & Peripherials
Standard Card Configuration is one video card, one sound card and maybe one network interface card. First of all you must locate and see if you have any onboard devices; such as on-board video, sound or network interface.
- VGA (Video Graphics Array): Is the
standard in display adapters. You can recognize a VGA video card
or monitor by the connector: 12 pin layed in 3 rows. If you already
have this connector at the rear of the motherboard, you don't need
an extra video card. Availability:
- ISA: these video cards can suport up to 255 colors and 800x600
- PCI: these video cards can suport up to 32 bit color depth
(16 bit means ~65000 colors) and screen resolutions up to 1024x768.
- AGP: Commonly known as graphics accelerators, these cards
support 32 bit color depth and the verry highest screen
resolutions plus high performance felt by gamers.
- Sound Card: You can recognize it by three
mother jack connectors at the rear. One is for "out", "line in"
and "microphone". Availability:
- NIC (Network Interface Card): If you want
to buy such a card, be sure to get an Ethernet 10BaseT or an
100BaseT card with TP (Twisted Pair) connector, for reasons of
highest possible compatibility. Availability:I may write
later on a document on small networks, for now, you must fend
- ISA: Usualy 10BaseT
- PCI: Almost all are 100BaseT
Installation of the cards is simple (provided you have
the slots). Insert the card in an vailable slot (don't force PCI
card into ISA slot and things like this), secure with a screw and
from the hardware point of view it is completed.
Choosing the peripherials
Now i presume you have everithing set in. Don't close
the case just yet, verify so that there are no shorts and it is
not a bad ideea to insulate loose power cords with duck tape.
- The monitor: If you have the VGA video card, select
the monitor that best suites your needs. If you will read or
type o'lot you need at least 15 inch (diagnonal) that works
with a 800x600 screen resolution at at least 75 Hz refresh
rate (so that you won't ruin your eyes like i did). If you
have a ISA card, then the sane thing to do is a 14 inch
640x480 screen resolution that runs at who-knows-what
refresh rate, anything better is a waste.
- The keyboard: select the model you like. Me, pesonaly
i like the older keyboards, the ones big and heavy (they last
longer). Be sure to get the keyboard with the propper connector
(so it fits to your motherboard), if not, there are adapters
- Mice: i like wheel mice becouse they are quite handy
(not that i use the mouse a whole lot). Again, be sure of
the connector; even so, there should be no problem as many
are sold with adapters included.
<-Back written by Nagy Andrei (27apr2003) www.yioth.3x.ro