Buying a new PC can be a daunting task for some people, the average home user won’t know what the different options mean and when faced with these decisions can end up making the wrong decision and end up with a computer that won’t do everything you need to do. This guide will help you understand the different options so that you can choose the right PC that suits your needs to make sure you are getting the best value for the money you have worked so hard to earn.
Before you start buying new equipment, you should make some decisions that will help you find the right equipment for your needs.
Determine if you want a laptop or desktop computer. See Laptops vs Desktops below for more information.
Create a list of all the things you want to be able to do with your new computers, such as surfing the Internet, sending and receiving emails, processing text, and storing photos, videos, and music. Without this list, it will be very difficult for you to determine which computer is right for you.
Determine the minimum hardware specifications for your new computer; see Hardware Specifications below for more information.
Determine how you will purchase your new computer. See Where to Buy a Personal Computer below for more information.
Buy your new computer. Stay tuned for my next “Setting Up a Personal Computer” guide, which will cover the basics of setting up your computer and the maintenance tasks you must regularly do to keep your computer running quickly and safely.
Laptops vs. Desktop Computers
A laptop has a great benefit over a desktop computer, portability – you can take your laptop with you almost anywhere, which means you will have instant access to the information stored on your laptop, however, this also makes it easier for someone to get away with their laptop and its information. Desktop computers are not portable, but they are also much less likely to be stolen.
A laptop is generally much more expensive than a desktop and, for the same cost of a laptop, you could buy a desktop faster.
Laptops are usually not upgradeable and are made with patented parts, meaning that if your laptops break, only the manufacturer of your laptop can supply parts to repair it – when the warranty runs out, this can be very expensive. Desktop computers are fully upgradeable and do not use patented parts, which means that replacement parts are usually inexpensive and can be found in virtually any computer store.
There are many different options when it comes to the hardware specifications of a computer, once you have made your list of things you want to do with your computer you will be able to determine the minimum hardware specifications of your new computer, usually the best way to do this is to talk to a specialist and give him your list of things you want to do with your computer. The main hardware components to consider are the CPU (processor), RAM (memory) and hard drive (hard drive).
Processor: Determines how fast your computer can process information.
RAM – This is the temporary space the computer uses when accessing its programs and information stored on your computer. This can be thought of as a desktop, the information you are currently working on is put on the desktop and removed when you are finished. The more RAM your computer has, the more information you can access quickly and at the same time.
HDD – Determines how much information you can store on your computer.
For basic tasks, such as surfing the Internet, sending and receiving emails, processing text and storing photos, videos and music, a computer with at least a dual-core processor, 2 GB of memory and an 80 GB hard drive would be adequate, depending on the number of photos, videos and music files you have, it may be necessary to increase the capacity of the hard drive.
For more advanced tasks, such as games, you’ll need to look for a fast processor, more memory and a separate graphics card; check the minimum specifications for some of the games you’d like to play to get an idea of the kind of hardware specifications you’ll need.