How To Buy a New Computer

Whether you need it for home, school or your business, a new computer can be a major purchase. There are a lot of factors to consider like price, reliability, warranty, memory, CD drives and pre-installed software packages. This article will help you to figure out what you want, and how to get it.

Step 01
Decide what you need your new computer for. If you need one for work, a simple bare bones system with Microsoft Word (or will suffice, but if you're an avid gamer then you'll want something more advanced. If you want one for gaming, skip to step 5.

Step 02 
Work specs: for an average computer, get anything with over 1.5 gigahertz (Ghz) of processor speed. You should also get at least 1 Gigabyte (1024 Megabytes) of RAM (2-3 Gigabytes recommended). Hard drives have dramatically increased in capacity and come with quite a bit: 160 gigabytes (GB) is more than enough for work (If you are installing multiple operating systems such as dual booting Windows and Linux you might want a larger hard drive such as 250 GB). Then you want a CD drive of any kind, and you also want a couple of Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports as many devices for the techno phobe are used through this.

Step 03 
Windows Vista and Windows 7 takes a large toll on system resources, make sure you have plenty of memory to spare (1 Gigabyte of RAM is required for Home Premium) And try to get a dual or quad core processor, it will make your computer run faster. Linux and Windows XP are much less demanding on your processor and RAM, so if you want to save money it might be better to try to go for a XP or Linux computer to get the same level of speed of a more expensive Vista computer. (XP is not available anymore, but you can install it by yourself. You most likely have to install Linux by yourself.)

Step 04 
Get any kind of monitor you want. Get one that's at least 15" or you can't see; they range from 17-22" approximately for a CRT. A 17". There are also Widescreen choices that are a little more expensive, but becoming more favored.

Step 05 
Realize that you will need a good budget for a gaming machine. Visit Alienware (for more budget options) or VoodooPC (for more expensive machines). In high end gaming machines, you want a Core 2 Duo based processor, at least 1GB of high speed RAM (random access memory) and a high end graphics card.

Step 06 
If you are buying a computer to run an open source operating system such as Linux, it may be better to prefer distributors that allow to configure components (like Dell). This way you may clearly select devices that do have the drivers for your operating system (it is easy to check with web search). Many current distributions will have the latest kernel of Linux, which has a wide range of hardware support already built-into the operating system. Unusual, niche, or specialized hardware may need special configuration, drivers, or may not be currently supported.

  • Sometimes an extended warranty is nice, however most of the time its not needed, for a computer at your workplace you should ask your boss before you buy a warranty. 
  • Most of the software you need can be found in Free/Open source variants online to download, so don't think you need to buy all the software you think you need unless you've checked it out online. 
  • Don't get pushed into buying useless stuff, such a card reader, if you have no cards, or a webcam if you're not going to use it. 
  • Most of the time computer salespeople work on commission so chances are you are going to be told to buy unnecessary software such as Microsoft Office while Open Office is free, and Anti-Virus software is many times not needed if you are not going to be online. 
  • If you plan at least to try Linux, check the the availability of the Open source (or at least any) drivers. Realizing the driver problems too late is a common unpleasant mistake. 
  • If you plan on upgrading hardware, be sure the manufacturer allows it. For example, some Dell computers can only be upgraded using Dell parts, whereas most HP computers allow third-party parts.



    Related Posts

    No comments: