By Joshua Erdman
There are a countless number of peripherals that can increase the number of things your PC can do. From modems, to digital cameras, to voice recognition. Below are the most common peripherals found in a computer. All peripherals communicate to the CPU through the motherboard.
This chip is in charge of searching for the data (that the CPU requests) on the hard drive and floppy drives. When it finds the data, it sends it to the CPU to be put in RAM. It also controls the hard drive for writing data to disk.
The video card is one of the top three components that can be changed to speed up the computer.
Any computer today should have a video card that plugs into the AGP bus slot. The AGP bus is optimized for use solely for video cards and can increase graphics quality and speed, especially in 3D games.
The modem allows the computer to make phone calls to other computers, to exchange data, or communicate to fax machines. Some newer modems can even allow your computer to be an answering machine to give you voice mail capability. If you are looking for a modem be sure it has 56kbps transmission capability. The most common use for modems is to call in to ISPs (or internet Service Providers to browse the internet). You must realize that a modem is not compatible or anything similar to a DSL modem or cable modem. To use these broadband services you must use a network card.
CD-ROM and DVD Drives
A must have for every computer. Almost any program you buy these days comes on CD-ROM not on floppy disk. CD-ROMs hold over 400 times more data than a regular floppy. CD-ROM drives can also read data faster that a floppy can. Since programs now days are so big, it is much easier to insert on CD-ROM and install the program than to have to sit there and and go through 10 to 100 floppy disks. DVDs hold up to 20 times more capacity than CDs.
CD-ROM and DVD Drives use an optical device (a laser) to read from the disc. It reads from the reflective surface of the disc. Since these discs are read optically not magnetically this keeps the discs from being erased easily. Floppies are a magnetic media, I would lose data on them all the time! Especially if I set them on an old TV or sometimes even walking by an old microwave!