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Buying a New Computer? Here’s what to look for!

Buying a New Computer? Here’s what to look for!

Need a new computer? If so, then you’re already aware of how stressful it is to find something. There are tons of options with different features and at different prices, so it can be challenging to determine what to get. Let’s also not forget the tech-based jargon that most people don’t understand. How to find a computer that will fit your needs perfectly? We’re going to show you the most important things to look for when you’re buying a new computer in the article below.

computer buying guide

computer buying guide

Operating system

The first and most important thing to consider when buying a laptop is the operating system. For decades the question of OS has been reduced to the battle between PC and Mac. Both operating systems have a lot of similarities but also many differences. They used to be worlds apart, but the line between them keeps vanishing with each new update. 

Generally speaking, graphic editors and other creative professionals prefer Mac. On the other hand, those who are more inclined to simple yet more affordable devices prefer PC. Windows is popular in the workplace across the globe.

People who want a challenge could try Chrome OS on Chromebook or Linux. The choice of an operating system depends entirely on you. Choose the one that you consider easy to use and laden with features you need for daily tasks. 

RAM

Random-access memory (RAM) is hardware in a computing device where the operating system, application programs, and data in current use are stored so the process can reach them quickly. We can easily compare RAM to the temporary canvas or scratchpad, where a computer performs its real-time calculations and operations. It’s incredibly essential to get a computer with enough RAM to support your applications, browsers, and other things you do. For example, if you use multiple apps and programs at the same time, the more RAM on a computer, the better. That way, your computer won’t slow down when multiple applications are open. macOS requires 2GB minimum while Windows 10 needs at least 1GB on 32-bit and 2GB on the 64-bit version, but the best option is to go for computers with 8GB of RAM, 16GB or more.

Processor

The purpose of a processor is to perform the actual computation done by the computer, which includes managing memory, handling user input, sending output, and more. As technology evolves, processers are becoming stronger and more efficient. That being said, Intel has a vast selection of tiers to choose from, based on the needs of each specific user. Entry-level Core i3 chips made by Intel are the cheapest processers available, but they are not powerful enough for specialised applications. However, these processors are suitable for persons who are looking for a computer for $500 or less. Those who want both performance and reasonable price may want to go for Core i5, but professionals who need stronger, faster, and incredibly efficient processors should choose at least Core i7 chips. Of course, these processors come with a hefty price.

Storage

A common mistake that many people make is that they don’t consider storage when buying a computer. As a result, they end up with a machine whose storage doesn’t support their needs. Let’s avoid this mistake, shall we? When it comes to computer storage, you can choose between hard disk drive (HDD) and solid-state drive (SSD). What’s the difference? While HDD uses “platters” or rapidly spinning magnetic disks to store information, SSD uses flash memory. Computers with the latter are more expensive, lighter, faster, cooler, quieter, and more efficient. What is the ideal storage capacity? Well, it depends on your needs and budget. Computers with bigger storage capacity are more expensive. If you can’t afford a computer with larger storage capacity, you can always opt for more moderate devices and get a memory card instead.

Screen size

If you’re looking for a laptop, then screen size is a significant factor to consider. Laptop display sizes range between 11 and 17 inches. Bear in mind that the bigger the screen, the less portable laptop gets. So, if portability is essential to you, then huge displays aren’t the best choice. Let’s also not forget that larger display equals lower battery life. When it comes to desktop computers, you may want to choose a 24-inch or larger screen.

Resolution

Choosing the right size of the screen you need doesn’t accomplish anything if the resolution is bad. Resolution determines the sharpness of your display. High-end computers tend to come with ultra HD/4K displays but are expensive. Budget-friendly laptops have 720p resolution, which is not that bad if the display is smaller. But ideally, you should choose the 1080p resolution.

Size and weight

This is yet another factor to consider when buying a laptop. Size and weight aren’t that important if you’re buying a desktop computer, but they make a considerable difference in laptops. If portability is important, you may want to go for slim, thin, and light laptops. But if you prioritise performance at a reasonable price, then thicker, the heavier laptop is a reasonable choice too.

Connectivity

Nowadays, we always transfer files, share documents, and perform other tasks that require some form of connectivity. Fortunately, connection options keep evolving, and that’s always a good thing. Ideally, you should choose a computer with USB-C and USB 3.1 ports and 801.11AC minimum on the WiFi side. Although these computers cost more than their counterparts, you’ll be safe to transfer and share files and connect to other devices for many years. 

Price

As much as we’d like to think that price doesn’t matter, the truth is entirely different. It all comes down to your budget and how much money you are willing to spend. If you need a computer for basic tasks such as checking email, browsing the web, and such, then affordable devices are a reasonable choice. But, if you need a computer for work, then strive for mid-range prices or up. 

 

Now that you know what to look for when buying a computer, you can get a new machine without too much hassle. Do a little research, compare a few computers, remember tips from this article, and get the one that answers your needs and preferences the most.

Written by The Original PC Doctor on 31/10/2019.

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