COSC2083 Introduction to Information Technology

COSC2083 Introduction to Information TechnologyAssignment 2: Upgrading a PC (10%)

This assignment involves researching various real-world computer components, and selecting a set of compatible components that most appropriately fulfil the needs and wants of a hypothetical computer user.

Minh Nguyen

Minh Nguyen – a student studying at RMIT – has a computer that is about three years old. He uses a lot of disk space, and often needs to burn DVDs for back-up storage. He is also a heavy user of CPU cycles, and would like to perform lots of computation as fast as possible. Minh does not play games, is highly satisfied with his computer’s Internet connectivity, but the programs that he uses need a bit more memory to have good performance. Minh’s machine is running Windows XP, and he wants to continue with this operating system, as he has some specialised programs that will take time and effort to port to Windows 7, and he wants to concentrate on his work.

Minh would like to upgrade his machine, to increase his storage capacity, processing power and memory. Minh has a limited budget, wants to spend as little money as possible, and certainly no more than $400.

Minh’s Current System

Minh’s current computer system has the following components:


Power Supply Coolermaster Extreme 390W

Motherboard ASUS P5KPL-CM

CPU Intel Celeron D430

Memory 2 x 1024MB Kingston DDR2 800

Graphics Card Integrated On-Board Graphics

Hard Disk Seagate ST3160815AS 160GB

Optical Drive LG Electronics HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GH15L

You’re Task

You are to recommend to Minh how he should upgrade his machine. Specifically, you are to consider each of the above components, and recommend whether it should be kept, or if it should be upgraded. Bear in mind that Minh does not want to spend more than he has to, and has an upper limit of $400.

You will need to do some searching on the Internet to find prices and components for the upgrade to Minh’s system. Please ensure that the sources you use are willing and able to sell to an user in United States; finding cheap computer parts in some far flung places which does not ship them to United States at a reasonable cost is not particularly helpful to Minh!

For each component, you must explain your reasoning and conclusion as to whether or not it needs an upgrade, and why that is the case. Consider all of the following:

If the part does require an upgrade:

Why does it need to be upgraded?

Which upgrade part do you choose? Why this particular one?

What benefit will the upgraded part provide?

Where would you buy this part? What is the price?

If the existing part will suffice:

Why doesn’t it need an upgrade?

How will the existing part coexist with other upgraded parts?

What benefit, if any, could an upgraded part provide?

Note that these questions do not have a clear-cut answer. In many cases, the appropriateness of your answer will depend on the line of reasoning you have followed and presented, and your justification of the decision made. Once you have completed your decision making, add up the total cost of the upgrade.

Report Format

You must split your recommendations into eight separate headings one for each component. These headings should be presented in the same order as in the Minh’s Current System table. In addition, you should have an introduction and a conclusion that normally required in a technical report.

To document your recommendations, dot points are generally acceptable. However, be aware that explanations of concepts or justifications of your selections may be better presented in sentence form, and not sentence fragments. It is not expected that you would have to go to any more than a third to a half of a page on any one component.

There should be enough attention to detail to ensure that each aspect is answered adequately, while not falling into the trap of over-explaining something. In other words, don’t pad out your answer, if a concise explanation is sufficient. It is neither necessary nor assessable to make use of diagrams, tables or pictures however these can be added if you consider them relevant to your explanations

Complete information about how to cite a document is available from RMIT Library:

We recommend the following quick guide to the Harvard referencing system:

Marking Criteria

Criteria Marks

Format (assignment structure & layout, appropriate headings, header & footer, list of references, quotations and/or paraphrases, etc.) 4

Content: Introduction 4

Appropriateness line of reasoning 4

Clearly presented the justification of the decision made 5

Conclusion 5

English (expression, grammar, spelling, etc.) 3

Total 25