A multimedia computer is a computer that has the basic functions of a standard computer but also has hardware and features that optimize it for displaying and editing multimedia sources. These computers typically have hard drives and random access memory (RAM) with larger memory stores and come pre-installed with programs that let users work with multimedia files. To help display files, a multimedia computer will likely have surround-sound capabilities and extra peripherals for media hardware. The screen sizes also are generally larger than regular computers, because this makes watching movies more enjoyable.
To make a multimedia computer that is optimized for multimedia files, certain pieces of hardware should be stronger than in a regular computer. Hard drives need to be able to hold more memory, because movies take up a lot of hard drive space, and the RAM should be stronger to help work on files. The central processing unit (CPU) should be at least 3 gigahertz (GHz) to ease both editing and displaying files. Video cards also should have more memory to boost the quality of movie files.
Generally, when someone buys a multimedia computer, he or she does not want just to display multimedia files; editing also tends to be in the plans. While there are many powerful editing programs on the market, multimedia computers will usually come with pre-installed solutions. This allows the user to perform edits without having to spend extra money on similar programs. These programs allow users to add colors and effects to images, composite audio and video files, and change other aspects of the files.
Just like home multimedia centers that come with surround sound, a multimedia computer will come with peripherals that enable users to hook up surround-sound systems. External memory devices also are commonly used with these computers to help users store more multimedia files. Keyboards will come with buttons for playing, rewinding, fast-forwarding and stopping movies or songs, and the computer will usually have a wireless remote with the same buttons.
Business and home computers tend to have smaller screens than multimedia computers, which use larger screens to help in the multimedia editing process and to make watching movies more enjoyable. Multimedia computers are popular, so man regular computers come with several multimedia features. A true multimedia computer will be entirely optimized for multimedia experiences, whereas regular computers with multimedia features are only partially optimized.