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Windows Vista - What should you be looking for? Part 2

If you missed our earlier edition on what Processor and Ram you need as well as choosing the right version of Vista for you, you can view that article here.

Now, let's move on to the hard drive, also know as the hard drive. For basic documents and web surfing a 50Gb hard drive would be just fine, if you have a collection of music, photos and other files then 100Gb would be reasonable, though 200Gb would be an even better choice as programs and files eventually get bigger and more and more files accumulate on your system. The great news is that you can purchase fantastic amounts of hard disk space from trusted manufacturers for a fantastic price. Here for examples is a Samsung HD501LJ 500GB Internal SATA 16MB 7200RPM Hard Drive for currently just £49.99. Now there are terabyte hard disks and even bigger and as they get bigger, already big 500 GB and less hard disks will get cheaper and cheaper.

The graphics card - now here's what makes your computer look good, or not. Vista uses the Aero interface in most version of Vista. Vista requires a minimum of 128Mb of video RAM, but we recommend at least 256Mb and 512Mb would be amazing for future enhancements and to keep everything running at tip-top speed.

The monitor is also very important, particularly as you will be staring at it all the time that you use your computer. A 17 inch to 19 inch LCD display is fine and can now be picked up for a reasonable amount of money - if you want to save a few bucks then an older CRT monitor can be found second hand for under £30 usually. A widescreen only available in LCDs in recommended for DVD playback and certain programs.

Other things you may want to consider when building or buying a Vista PC are if a TV tuner is included (not really needed, only if you want to watch TV on your PC), a firewire port for fast video transfers from camcorders and make sure that a keyboard and mouse are included in the price or that you buy them if you are building the system yourself.