Whenever you purchase software or hardware for your computer, you should first make sure your computer supports the system requirements. These are the necessary specifications your computer must have in order to use the software or hardware. For example, a computer game may require you computer to have Windows XP or later, a 2.0 GHz processor, 512 MB or RAM, a 64 MB graphics card, and 500 MB or hard drive space. If your computer does not meet all of these requirements, the game will not run very well or might not run at all.
It is just as important to check system requirements for hardware devices. For example, if you buy a printer, it may require either Windows XP or Mac OS X 10.3 or later. It may also require a USB port and 80 MB of available hard drive space. If your computer does not have any USB ports, you will not be able to physically connect the printer. If your machine does not have Windows XP or Mac OS X 10.3 or later, the printer drivers may be incompatible with your operating system. This means you computer will be unable to recognize the printer.
Most hardware and software products have the system requirements printed on the side or bottom of the product packaging. When you are shopping for computer software or hardware, it is a good idea to first find out exactly what your system's specifications are and write them down on a piece of paper. The important information to record includes:
- Operating System (i.e. Windows XP, SP 2 or Mac OS X 10.3.8)
- Processor Speed (i.e. Pentium 4, 3.2 GHz or Power PC G5, 2.0 GHz)
- Memory, a.k.a. RAM (i.e. 512 MB)
- Graphics Card (i.e. ATI Radeon 9800 w/ 256 MB video memory)
- Hard Disk Space (i.e. 80 GB available)
- I/O Ports (i.e. USB, Firewire, Serial, Parallel, SCSI, VGA, DVI ports)
By recording these specifications from your computer, you will be able to make sure your computer supports the products you are buying.