The computer is the most important part of the equipment you will be purchasing. I
have yet to hear of a projector failing. The lamps used in these projectors
will last from 8 to 15 years for our application. A cheap computer however
can be a nightmare. Imagine your computer crashing right in the middle of your
worship. What are you going to do? We suggest putting the money into purchasing
a quality computer. If you are having someone configure a computer for you, print out the list below and have them review it.
CPU You should purchase
a fairly fast CPU. Although the music does not require a fast processor,
some of the animation in the announcements will skip or crawl if the
processor cannot keep up. Speeds around 1.6mhz should be fine, although
it will work on a 800mhz computer. Processor type is
a matter of preference, we prefer the AMD CPU mainly because of the lower
Motherboard Use a quality
"motherboard" in the system. The machine needs to be reliable and
it is best
to have a quality manufacture's motherboard in the machine. Avoid using
first generation motherboards, a motherboard that has been on the market
for 6 to 10 months will have had the kinks worked out of it. Asus has
been making quality motherboards for many years.
Video Card In order to
run your system in dual video mode you will require a dual video Card.
The Matrox Millennium G550 is the best choice for this type of application. The
dual video card becomes your main graphics card. For more information
see Dual Video Cards under this section.
Memory A minimum of
256mb of memory should be in your system. This will allow you to open
multiple presentations without slowing down your system.
Drive (IDE) Choose a
reliable brand name hard drive. You should purchase at least a 60GB
drive. Graphics will take up a fair amount of space over time. If you
have the money you may want to invest in a SCSI Hard Disk. This will
allow you to run video off your Hard Drive without dropping frames.
In the future we will be adding a section on Video to this website.
ROM (Writer) You will need
a CD ROM in the computer in order to load software. We suggest
purchasing a CD Writer which will allow you to backup your materials.
Graphics and Video can be fairly large files and it is easier to
create a backup with a CD Writer.
Card A sound card
will enable you to run sound from your presentation through your sound
will also be able to play music CD through your sound system. Sound
Blaster, the industry standard in PC audio over the last 3 decades,
offers a full range of quality audio cards and accessories.
Monitor A good
monitor will stay with you for years to come. Computers get replaced but
monitors tend to stay. It is best to get a monitor that is capable of 1280x1024.
The larger screen gives you more viewing area. A 19" to 17"
monitor works best.
Keyboard When in
slideshow mode with a dual screen system you will be using your keyboard
a fair amount. Get a quality keyboard, usually one or two price steps up
from the low end keyboard will do. Check the keyboard and make sure you
can feel when you've pressed a key.
Mouse When in
slideshow mode with a dual screen system you do not use your mouse very often.
However when you do use it you will be trying to click on something in a
hurry and don't want the mouse sticking. Get a quality mouse, usually
one or two price steps up from the low end mouse will do.
Avoid putting a DVD player in the computer. It
is much cheaper and easier to operate a stand alone DVD player and plug it in
through the video feed on the projector. Although the computer and
the board can handle it, the sound on some DVD players will not play properly
on some computers. It also means that someone has to understand the
computer system in order to play a DVD.
Although it is a good idea to purchase name brand
computers like Compaq of Hewlett-Packard some of these computers have built in
video cards on their motherboards. Check to make sure you can install a Dual
Video Card in the system before purchasing one of these computers.