Techno for Tanzania Choosing a computer Report By James Partridge

monkeybeetleSoftware and s/w Development

Dec 2, 2013 (3 years and 15 days ago)

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James Partridge


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1

Techno for Tanzania

Choosing a
compu
t
er


Report


By

James Partridge





James Partridge


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2

Contents

COMPUTER ONE: HP PAV
ILION P6203UK

___________

3

COMPUTER TWO: TOS
HIBA A500

_________________

5

COMPUTER THREE: APPL
E MB950B/A IMAC

________

6

CONCLUSION

________________________________
_

7

U
PGRADING COMPUTER SY
STEMS

________________

8

I
NTRODUCTION

________________________________
_

8

C
ENTRAL
P
ROCESSING
U
NIT

________________________

8

R
ANDOM
A
CCESS MEMORY

_________________________

8

H
ARD
D
RIVE

________________________________
___

9

G
RAPHICS CARDS
________________________________

9

M
ONITO
RS

________________________________
__

10

BIBLIOGRAPHY

_______________________________

11

James Partridge


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3

Introduction


Techno for Tanzania


has been given £2500 to spend on new computers which they
decided to spend on a new computer for their

British office. They require their
co
m
puter to be able to:



Use a word processor



Use a spreadsheet program



Use database programs



Use good quality desktop publishing programs



Use graphical

software



Use multimedia software



Be able to make leaflets and oth
er documents



Be able to read and write CDs and DVDs



Be able to scan documents



Access online e
-
mail



Set
-
up and maintain and a web page

I have been asked to find a selection of three computer systems that are capable of
all of

Techno for Tanzania’s requirem
ents. I should justify my choices and make sure
that they will have e
nough money left over to buy any extra

software

or hardware

for their needs.


Computer One:
HP Pavilion P6203UK

The first computer I have chosen is a HP
Pavilion P6203UK with included
H
P
2009v 20" Wide Flat Panel Monitor
.
The
Pavilion is £449.99 online through
PCWorld.co.uk but it is not available for
delivery and has to be picked up at a PC
World shop. If bought from a show the
Pavilion is £509.99. The basic specs of
the Pavilion are
: a

2.6 GHz Pentium
D
u
al Core
Processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM
memory, 320 GB hard drive, Intel GMA X4500 HD

integrated graphics, DVD rewriter
and built in 802.11b/g wireless. The Pavilion comes pre
-
installed with 64
-
Bit
Wi
n
dows 7 Home Premium and

includes

Norton 3
60 Version 3.0 All
-
in
-
one Security.


The HP Pavilion is a middle range
computer. It would be capable of running most
‘o
f
fice’ type programs such as word processors, spread sheet and database
programs.
However graphical, DTP or multimedia may suffer in per
formance due to
the use of integrated graphics instead of dedicated graphics. This is because
these
programs sometimes use the processing power of a GPU and if the power of the GPU
is

n
o
t very high, like an integrated graphics, the performance will be slow
er. Apart
from the programs that use GPU power, the HP Pavilion

will be capable of running
all
the
software that ‘Techno for Tanzania
’ requires.


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4

The monitor included is a

HP Pavilion 2009v. The 2009v has

a 20 inch screen
(44.27cm x 24.89
cm
)
. The 2009v ha
s a 16:9 screen aspect ratio and a native
resol
u
tion of 1600x900. An aspect ratio of 16:9 is the most widescreen of computer
mon
i
tors ava
ilable
.

As a result

there is little vertical space to work with which
may be
undesirable for some people. Apart from ha
ving a wide aspect ratio
,

the 2009v is

a
re
g
ular

mid
-
range

monitor
.


The relatively low price point for a full
y outfitted

computer (c
omputer, mouse,
ke
y
board

and monitor)
will allow
‘Techno for Tanzania‘
to buy more than one
of the
sy
s
tems,
upgrade of the

system components or buy extra peripherals or software.


The full details of the HP Pavilion are as follows:

Operating system



Genuine Windows (R) 7 Home Premium



Operating system mode


64
-
bit



Processor brand



Intel



Processor model



Pentiu
m Dual
-
Core



Processor Number



E5300



Processor clock speed


2.8GHz



Processor cache



2MB



RAM memory size



4GB



RAM memory type




DDR3




RAM memory clock speed


1066MHz



Hard drive capacity


320GB



Hard Drive Spin Speed


7200rpm




First hard drive interface


SATA



Optical drive type



DVD
-
Rewriter



Graphics card brand


Intel



Graphics card model


GMA X4500HD



Graphics card outputs


VGA



Soundcard type



Onboard



Number of audio channels


5.1



Outputs




3.5
mm



Media Card Reader


YES



TV tuner and type



No



Number of USB ports


6



Built
-
in WiFi and type


Yes
-

802.11b/g



Network LAN and type


Yes
-

10/100/1000 Ethernet



Bluetooth



NO



Keyboard and type




Yes
-

Wired



Mouse and Type



Yes
-

Wired



Monitor Brand



HP



Monitor Model



2009



Monitor display size


20 inches



Maximum Monitor Resolution

1600 x 900



Contrast Ratio



1000:1

(The higher the contrast ratio the better the picture quality)

Response rate



5 ms



Video inputs



VGA



Touch screen enabled


NO



Multitouch



NO



Warranty



1 year


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Computer Two:
Toshiba A500

My se
cond computer is a Toshiba A500.
The A500 is a laptop with a 16” screen
and is advertised for “Power and
Perfo
r
mance”.
The A500 is
sold for £700
on PCWorld.co.uk with free standard
deli
v
ery and the option for product
support at £9.49 per month.
The A500’s
specs

are: Intel core i3
-
330M 2.13 GH
z
Processor, 4GB of
DDR3 RAM, 500 GB of
hard drive space, Nvidia Geforce GT
330M with 1GB of o
n
-
board video
memory
DVD rewriter and

built
-
in
wireless and webcam. D
e
pending on
laptop use the Toshiba as up to 2.5 hours of battery

life. The A500 comes with
Windows

7 Home Premium and Norton 360 All
-
in
-
one S
ecurity.


The Toshiba A500 is a high mid
-
rang
e
laptop that has good laptop components.
The
A500 would be capable of running any of the programs that

Techno for Tanzania


wants to use. If i
n the future the laptop
is
no longer

sufficient
to run the desired
pr
o
grams it would have to be replaced.
Howeve
r

in a desktop computer the internal
components can be replaced wi
th more up
-
to
-
date components. For laptops usually
only the RAM can be added or replaced.


The main advantage of the Toshiba A500
is its
portability. To relocate a normal
co
m
puter one would

have to move the base unit, its monitor(s), keyboard, mouse
and all its cables.
A
n appropriate

area
is then needed
to place all the parts of the
computer
along with

sufficient

mains plugs for the base unit and the screens. Where
as
to rel
o
cate a laptop
on
e needs only to move the unit and the power supply
if the
laptop needs to be charged. However the downside of this is that the laptop needs
to run off
its own battery power
and can only be used for so long without recharging
its battery. For the
A500 the b
attery lasts up to 2.5 hours
which means that the
laptop
would have to be fairly frequently charged.


The Toshiba A500 is a good
laptop;

it has
components that

can fulfil

the needs of
‘T
echno for Tanzania

. The disadvantage of it is that
it cannot be upgr
aded in the
f
u
ture, costs more than a desktop computer of the same level and
has low battery
life.


The details of the Toshiba A500 are as follows:

Operating system


Genuine Windows (R) 7 Home Premium



Processor Type


Intel Core i3 330M



Processo
r speed


2130

The higher the number of Megahertz (MHZ) the faster the processor
should be

Memory Size


4096 MB



Memory Type


DDR3



Hard Drive Capacity

500 GB

The bigger the capacity the more you can store

Optical Drives


DVD RW



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6

CD
-
ROM Speed


24 x

Enabling access to CD ROM data. The higher the number the faster the
speed

CD
-
RW Speed.


4 x

Enabling you to access and store data on CD
-
RW disks. The higher the
number the faster the speed

DVD
-
ROM Speed


8 x

Enabling you access to data on DVD.
The higher the number the faster the
speed

DVD
-
RW Speed


6 x

Enabling you to store data on DVD. The higher the number the faster the
speed

Floppy Disk Drive


NO

Floppy disks are 3.5" square and store a small amount of data. CDs,DVDs
and memory sticks a
re now usually used instead

Screen Size/Type


16"



Graphics Card Type

Dedicated GeForce GT 330M

To enable images to be displayed on your monitor

Graphics Memory


1GB MB

The higher the memory the better quality images you are display

TV
-
out



YES

A
llowing you to plug your laptop into a TV to watch DVDs

Wireless Enabled


YES

Allows you to connect to an existing wireless network such as in a office
or a wireless hot spot

No. of USB Connections

3

The more connections the computer has the more equip
ment you can
connect to your computer e.g. a modem, printer, scanner, digital camera, PDA

Infrared Port Included

NO

Allowing you to connect to other devices with infrared such as an infrared
enabled mobile phone

Other Interfaces


5 in 1 card reader



B
attery Type


Li
-
ion



Battery life (up to)


2.50 hours



Software Titles Included

MS Office trial, Mcafee trial



Weight



2.76 kg

This is the weight of the appliance in KG

Height



41 mm



Width



259 mm



Depth



384 mm



Colour



Precious

Black




Computer Three:
Apple MB950B/A iMac

The last computer I have chosen is the Apple
iMac. The iMac is an all
-
in
-
one computer,
which is a cross between
a laptop and
des
k
top. An all
-
in
-
one

computer is designed to
stay in one area
but all the compone
nts are
kept in an enclosure that cannot be opened
and th
e components cannot be replaced.
The
Apple i
Mac is £969 on PCWorld.co.uk with
product support available for £9.99 per
month.
The Apple iMac comes with a 3.06GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor,

NVIDIA GeF
orce
9400M Graphics Card,

4 GB of RAM,
500 GB
hard drive

and DVD rewriter. The iMac comes with the Mac OSX Snow Leopard
(10.6) o
p
erating system

and comes installed with iLife 09. iLife is a software package
that has programs like iMovie, a movie editing ap
plication and iWeb for making web
pages.



The iMac is a computer
from Apple’s line of computers: Macs. Macs run the
operating system OSX
which run
s

a different type of program
from

Windows
operat
ing

sy
s
tems. This
means that a Mac is no
t

compatible with W
indows
programs.
However there
are
alternate versions of most windows sof
tware that will
work on Mac OSX.

Also

there are some solutions that allow Mac users to run
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Windows programs on a Mac computer. The official solution is a utility called
Bootcamp. Boot
camp allows a user to install Windows on a secondary hard drive or
a hard drive partition.
Doing this allows the user to start a Mac in the installed
Windows operating system which makes the Mac work the same as a Winodows
computer. The disadvantage of usi
ng an option like Bootcamp is that the user has to
buy a copy of Windows which can add considerable

cost
.

Aside from software
issues
,

the A
p
ple iMac is fully
capable

of running programs

wanted by

Techno for
Tanzania

.


As the iMac is

an all
-
in
-
one comput
er
,

the components inside cannot be r
e
placed
whic
h means

if

the computer becomes out
-
dated, it would have to be replaced
instead of upgraded.
Similarly a l
aptop
can also not be upgraded but it can be moved
around with little

effort which the iMac cannot be
. The appeal of an all in
-
one
computer is the simplicity of having a whole compu
ter contained within a screen and
some may find this

aesthetically pleasing.
There is also a disadvantage of using OSX,
which is that most people will be unfamiliar with how to

use it. This is because
Windows is largely more popular than
Mac OSX.


The iMac is a computer capable of running the required programs
for


Techno for
Tanzania
’. H
owever
,

it may be harder to find software that meets all the company’s
needs.


Details of th
e Apple iMac:

Processor Type



Intel Core 2 Duo



Processor speed



3.06GHz

The higher the number of Megahertz (MHZ) the
faster the processor should be

Hard Disk Capacity


500 GB



Combo Drive



YES



CD Rewriter



YES



Graphics type



NVIDIA
GeForce 9400M



Speakers Included


YES



No of USB connections


4

The more connections the computer has the more
equipment you can connect to your computer e.g. modem, printer, scanner, digital camera, PDA

Maximum Monitor Resolution

1920 x 1080


Conc
lusion

I would recommend the first computer: the
HP Pavilion P6203UK
. I believe
that the
Pavilion gives good value for money. The requirements that

Techno for Tanzania

has

do not require a high specification system
. I
t is

therefore not needed to spend

a

lot of money on a computer.
The Pavilion comes with a screen and all the required
software and p
e
ripherals to run out
of the box.


If

Techno for Tanzania


buys a
Pavilion they will have the majority of their money left for more computers,
upgrades
,

perip
herals and

software.
For these reasons I believe that the HP Pavilion
is a good choice of co
m
puter for

Techno for Tanzania

.





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Upgrading computer systems

Introduction

When a computer has been used for a long time it may start to become slower in
runni
ng programs than it once was. This can be due to the computer becoming
bogged down from lots of programs
running at the same time or the computer not
being cleaned using a cleaning utility. However if the computer was bought several
years ago the componen
ts may be becoming out of date and their power not being
enough to handle new programs. I will detail some components that can be
upgra
d
ed and the advantages of upgrading them.

Central Processing Unit

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the heart of a
co
mputer.
The CPU is what processes all the
calcul
a
tions that are needed to run programs on a
compu
t
er. Modern applications perform more
complicated actions than they used to, so they
require a proce
s
sor that can perform lots of
calculations. The unit of mea
surement for
calculations is hertz (Hz). One hertz would be one
calculation per second. Modern processors are measured in gigahertz (GHz) which is
equal to 1000000000 calcul
a
tions per second.
Newer CPUs also have more than one
core
, with high
-
end CPUs havi
ng up to 8 cores
. A core is the main part of the
processor where all the calcul
a
tions are done. Adding more than one core allows the
CPU to have two units working together on one program which speeds up how
quickly it processes. The two cores can also work

on different programs which speed
up multi
-
program use. However programs have to be designed to use multiple cores
at once so unless they have been programmed to do so

they will not be able to
utilise multi
-
core systems. This means that upgrading a CPU s
hould focus on the
number of hertz and limit the nu
m
ber of cores to no more than 4 cores. If

the

processor has less
than 1 or 2 Gigahertz with only one core it should be upgraded to
a model that has 2.5 Gigahertz or more and a dual core or a quad core if o
ne can be
found cheaply.

Random Access memory

Random Access memory (RAM) is a form of

te
m
porary, also known as volatile, storage. This
means that the RAM will store program d
ata for quick access until the
data is no
longer needed or the computer is
turne
d off
.
RAM has a quicker access time

than a
magnetic disk

drive
and
so
loading from RAM is quicker than loading data from the
hard drive. New sticks of RAM use a technology called DDR3 which is superior to its
predecessor DDR2. DDR3 has double the transfer

speed, data banks and
amount of
bits it can pre
-
fetch while using 1.5V. Overall DDR3 RAM is superior to DDR2 RAM
but it is also more expensive. When buying RAM it is important to note how many
bits the operating system on the computer is going to be upgra
ded has. If the
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9

ope
r
ating system is 32 bit (sometimes referred to as 84x) it could only use 3 GB of
RAM to its maximum because a 32 bit operating system can only utilise up to 4 GB of
RAM and some of that will be taken up by the RAM on the graphical proces
sing unit
and other small pieces of RAM on components. If an operating system is 64 bi
t it can
use over 100 GB of RAM. Having more RAM in a computer increases the speed of
using multiple programs

because more program data can be stored. Having faster
RAM i
ncreases the speed of using programs as the program data can be read
quicker.
If a computer has less than 2GB of memory that is DDR2 on a 32 bit system
it is

reco
m
mended to upgrade to DDR3. If a computer with a 64 bit operating system
has the same RAM the
ideal upgrade for it would be 4GB of DDR3 memory.

Hard Drive

The hard drive is the part of t
he computer which
permanently (a
lso known as non
-
volatile)

stores
data
. Hard drives come in two forms: Magnetic
disk drive and Solid State drive. A magnetic disk

drive
(p
ictured right) works by magnetising parts
of the platter directionally. Depending on which
direction the platter is magnetised it represents
either a 1 or a 0. The 1s and 0s represent the
data on the hard drive.
The hard drive can have
multiple pl
atters that store data increasing the
storage space. A solid state drive has no moving components inside and is similar to
RAM technology. In a solid state drive the data is access
ed

directly
which means a
solid state drive is a lot faster at accessing dat
a.
However solid state drives can have
a slower data writing speed. This is because a solid state drives store data in a
different way than magnetic disk drives. Solid state drives are also more expensive
per Gigabyte than magnetic disk drives and are

no
t
made to have as high capacity as
magnetic drives.
Some magnetic disk drives have a quicker RPM (Revolutions per
minute) than others which can increase read and write speed by a small amount.
Upgrading a hard drive depends on if a computer’s hard drive is r
egularly close to
being full up.
I
t would
then
be recommended to upgrade to a higher capacity hard
drive. Buying a Solid state drive is not recommended as it has a high cost compared
to a magnetic disk drive.

Graphics cards

A graphics card or graphical p
rocessing unit
(GPU) is the component of a computer that is
responsible for displaying any graphics on a
computer. Some graphics cards are far more

expensive. They
are intended to be used for
playing games

which require a lot of graphical
power
. The

two ma
in manufacturers of
graphics cards are NVIDIA and ATI. There is
little di
fference between the brands and
is mostly personal preference. The only true
differences are: ATI cards have marginally better price for performance and NVIDIA
cards have slightly bet
ter software and compatibility
. For office use and regular
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10

home use an upgraded
graphics card will not benefit computer performance as the
primary use of graphics cards are games and 3D graphical applications.

Monitors

Monitors are the visual display uni
t (VDU) for all
computers. Most monitors are based on Liquid Crystal
Display (LCD) technology and some newer screens are
made using Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED). LCD
screens need to be lit from the back however OLED
screens produce their own light
when powered. This
means that the screens can be thinner and use less power.
However OLED screens are not widespread and cost more
money than L
CD screens. Screens come in several aspect ratios
the main ones being 4:3, 16:10 and 16:9. The aspect ratio deter
mines what
resolution the screen will run. The

larger a screen’s resolution,

the more space there
will be to use.
Some users may not like to use screens with aspect ratios of 4:3 or
16:9 as they may feel constricted by the small amount of horizontal or ver
tical space.
The aspect ratio 16:10 gives a good compromise for horizontal and vertical space.
Larger screens often have bigger resolutions than smaller screens but

a

screen’s pixel
density

can affect the resolution
. Pixels are what are measured when talki
ng about
resolutions (a 1680 x 1080 resolution would b
e 1680 pixels by 1080 pixels). I
f the
pixels are sma
ller, a larger resolution can

fit on a smaller screen. The main reason to
upgrade a computer monitor would be to get more space to work on. However an

upgrade could also be buying a second monitor. Buying a second monitor could
double usable screen space but to use a second monitor the
computer will

need a
c
ompatible
graphics
card.

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11


Bibliography


HP Pavilion p6203uk

<
http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/store/pcw_page.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@174
0015284.1265983495@@
@@&BV_EngineID=ccecadejikkdlhgcflgceggdhhmdgml.0&page=Product&fm=null&sm=null&tm=null&sku=92174
9&category_oid
>

HP Pavilion p6203uk

<
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>

HP Pavilion 2009v Monitor

<
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01662792&tmp_track_link=ot_faqs/top_issues/
en_us/c01662792/loc:1&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&product=3884704
>

Toshiba A500 Laptop

<
http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/product/788578
>

Apple iMac

<
http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/store/pcw_page.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@0170192195.1266614276@
@@@&BV_EngineID=ccfkadejjihlhedcflgceggdhhmdgml.0&page=Product&fm=null&sm=null&tm=null&sku=76
7110&cate
gory_oid
=
>

CPU Image

<
http://www.repairitware.co.uk/images/cpu.jpg
>

RAM Image

<
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re/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=3E743F75A5CA7304
>

Hard Drive Image

<
http://atxmacservices.com/atxmacservicescart/images/HardDrive.jpg
>