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How to Buy Computer Components

by Paul Sanders

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Upgradable computer components in a desktop computer

More than a few of the computer components in your laptop or desktop computer are easy to replace or upgrade. To properly upgrade or repair your computer, it helps to know how to find and buy computer hardware which is not only compatible with the rest of your system, but which also enables you to run the software that you want. Here are some guidelines to help you buy computer parts that will be both compatible and powerful.

Buying Computer Components:

  1. Check system requirements for software. One of the best guides to help you buy computer hardware, such as computer memory and video cards, is the system requirements panel that can be found in most software descriptions. System requirements will tell you the minimum or recommended computer hardware requirements that will allow you to run the software on your machine. You can then buy computers and computer parts that will support that software.

  2. Match interfaces between computer components. Before you buy computer components for your desktop or laptop, you may want to check to be sure that the computer hardware you've selected is compatible with your computer. Components use various slots and interface cables to connect to your computer. Look to buy computer components with interfaces that will fit with your computer's motherboard.

  3. Know your expansion slots. Your computer's motherboard features several expansion slots for additional video cards, sound cards and other expansion cards. You can buy computer components that fit each slot type. Know which type of slots your motherboard supports and buy computer hardware that is built expressly for that type.

  4. Buy computer components with your whole system in mind. Sometimes, you may want to buy computer upgrades simultaneously. If you find that the software requirements of the software you'd like to run are far above your existing computer's capabilities, it may be time to buy computer upgrades for more than one component. A new processor may require a new motherboard, which may in turn require a new type of memory. Before you buy computer hardware, look at the big picture and try to coordinate your upgrades.

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