The first configuration we'll look at is pretty much the minimum for any system that you will purchase. Configuration A is a workstation used primarily for word processing:
• SCSI disk controller (if appropriate)
• SVGA graphics card with at least 8MB of video RAM
• Ethernet card (10BaseT or as appropriate)
• 15-inch SVGA monitor
The hardware in this configuration is available for very little money overall. There is really no reason to buy less than this. We consider 64MB of memory to be the minimum because most systems come with this amount by default. Sometimes a system will come with only 32MB of memory, but with a little extra effort you can usually find a system with 64MB from a different vendor for close to the same cost. A system used for word processing is not very CPU-intensive. There generally are not multiple tasks waiting to be serviced, so a high-speed CPU is really unnecessary. Similarly, such a system is not generally going to require more than 64MB of memory. Documents are usually broken into small enough pieces as to be manageable on this system. The floppy drive and CD-ROM drive are simply for software update purposes and other general tasks. The 20GB hard drive is the smallest that's readily available today, and is more than adequate for a basic installation. Certainly storage space should continually be monitored to determine if and when additional space is warranted. You can use either SCSI or IDE hard drives since speed is not critical on such a system. The SVGA graphics card and monitor are the minimum readily available since this system is not geared toward graphic applications. Even a 4MB video card will do if you have one lying around somewhere. The network card need only be suitable to connect this system to the local network. Usually this will be 10BaseT, although 100BaseT is growing more common, and 100BaseT
cards cost little more than 10BaseT cards. You may want to add more components if you have additional specific needs, such as a modem, scanner, or CD-ROM burner.
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