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.