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Desktop Computer Buying Guide - by Paul Tansey

Small Additions Can Make A Big Difference

DVD writers are an increasingly popular optical drive option for PC users that want a much larger removable storage medium. Where a CD-R/RWs can max out at about 800MB, DVD+/-/R/RWs can take up to 4.7GB, or more. This is ideal for huge files, like digital video, and large collections such as music and digital photos. Plus, as a DVD player, these drives turn your system into a self-contained entertainment system. Look for operating system, monitor, and speaker enhancements to really bring your home theatre PC to life.

Your Internet connection speed can also make your system much more usable. For high-speed users, most desktops now have a built-in 10/100 Ethernet connection, though wireless networking options will help further reduce cable clutter. If you are using dial-up, you should make sure your system has a modem, as this is not a given anymore.

Whatever peripherals or system components you put together, you will want to make sure your system can grow with you. If you have integrated sound or video cards, free slots in the motherboard are needed for upgrades. RAM and hard drives can also be upgraded or complemented in most systems. Those who desire the ultimate is customization should check out our Direct to U program.

Be sure browse the extensive product information at FUTURESHOP.ca, or talk to a Future Shop Associate to discover the latest product developments, and help determine the right system for your computing requirements.