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What to Look for When Buying a New Computer

by on March 18, 2011

If ever you want a nerve wracking experience that is also time consuming and frustrating, go shopping for a new computer without doing your research first. For those of use who are not techies, going through the computer specifications to decide what you want and need is akin to reading Ancient Greek. The main question you should be asking right now is what to look for when buying a new computer.

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What to Look for When Buying a New Computer

We all know that price is often a factor, but there are other considerations in buying a computer. Do your research before you make your shopping trip. If you don’t, you may end up spending more money than you budgeted. Internet research is one quick way to evaluate computers for quality and features without relying on a store salesman.

Know what you want your computer to do. Understand what you will be doing with your computer. For example –

Do you know what software you will absolutely need?

Do you need a printer, a scanner or a fax for your computer?

Will you attempt to use the computer for games in addition to business applications?

Understanding what all the member of your family or office staff are gong to be doing with the computer will help you write this list and make your choices.

One important factor is the CPU – the Central Processing Unit.  Sounds important and, in fact, it is. The CPU controls all the functions and capabilities of your computer.

CPUS generally range from 1.6 to 3.2 GHz. If you are going to be working on graphics design or playing computer games, you must buy the a computer with the highest GHz rating you can afford. This is no place to skimp.

Next move on to assessing the memory and storage space of the computer you are considering. Realistically, you should go for the high end – at least 256 MB. The amount of memory directly influences the speed and performance you will experience. Compare memory and price to get the best deal.

Since memory upgrades are relatively inexpensive, you can expand your system slowly over time. It’s cheap and easy to buy a memory upgrade. You can’t replace your CPU or improve your processing speed as easily. If you’re beginning to hit your budget constraints, consider purchasing a the highest rated GHz processor available, then adding additional memory over time.

Don’t skimp on a monitor. Monitors can be changed out easily and they directly affect your ability to use your computer.

Get the largest monitor you can afford. Remember that monitor resolution and size might be the only thing between you and a migraine at the end of the day.

If you’ve still got money left in your budget, look at a wireless mouse and keyboard. If desk space is at a premium, these may be a good investment.

You can continue on and on with the options you’re considering.  Knowing the basics is the most important. Bells and whistles are nice, but if your basic machine does not meet your needs, you will be unhappy for a long, long time. Check with your friends and co-workers to determine what has been working for them. One last hint. Look at computers that just aren’t this year’s latest and greatest models. If you can find a computer that’s under a year old, you may just find the best deal of all. Now you know what to look for when buying a new computer and should make an intelligent purchase.

Larry Haywood runs the website which provides information on all things laptops and notebooks. Read our latest article Gaming Notebook Laptop.

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