The GC system can be used with a variety of data acquisition/data analysis systems. One of the simplest is the chart recorder. This device graphically records detector output in real time as it is generated, but provides no means of recalling data or manipulating data. Next in complexity (and cost) is the integrator, which also graphically records the data in real time. However, integrators can perform routine data analysis tasks, such as peak area integration and calculations from standard calibrations; some are programmable.
GC systems can also be interfaced with personal computers capable of running rather sophisticated software. These range from systems that acquire, store and manipulate the GC data only, to ones that can be used to actually control the operation of certain GC?s themselves. Aside from the cost of the computer system, the software can add considerably to the cost of a GC system purchase.
For a very large number of GC users, the Integrator is the most cost-efficient choice.