Here's our Hardware Tip for.. December 28, 2001
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New PC Components--Part 1 of 4
If you're shopping for a brand-new PC, you can customize most if not all of the components within your system--usually just by selecting items from a drop-down box on a manufacturer's Web site.

Over the next few weeks, we'll pass along some tips to keep in mind regarding customizable components.

First, consider going with a recording-capable optical drive instead of a playback-only CD-ROM drive. These days, CD-R and CD-RW media are a cheap and effective method of sharing files and archiving data. Some PC makers let you pick a CD-R or CD-RW drive instead of a regular CD-ROM drive, and the price difference is usually minimal.