What do I need to know before buying a PC?
When shopping for a PC, first consider what you need it for. Ask questions like “What do I need my computer for?” or “How do I intend to use it?” Understanding your needs can help you make a smarter decision. From there, you can start narrowing down the options to avoid being overwhelmed by the vast range of PC choices available at the store.
First, let’s consider the form. Do you plan to work from home or do you need to take your work with you everywhere? This question will help you decide whether to get a desktop or a notebook. If you just want a PC for your home, a desktop that gives you better performance is a good bet. On the other hand, a notebook gives you the option of working from home or bringing it with you. For an ultra sleek, ultra responsive mobile PC, the new Ultrabook offers the no-compromise performance of a full-sized PC in amazingly thin, featherweight designs.
Now that we’ve considered the form, let’s take a look at what you’re really paying for.
As the brain of your computer, your processor is responsible for running your daily tasks smoothly. Choose a processor fast enough to do what you need, with extra power for things you may want to do in the future. Understanding what you need your computer for will help you choose a processor that suits your needs.
Random Access Memory, more commonly known as RAM, is the part of your computer that stores information while you use it. If you plan on using your PC for more demanding tasks like video editing or playing games, more RAM will let you carry out these tasks faster and smoother.
The hard drive or hard disk is where you store your files and programs on your computer. Depending on what you need your PC for, there are different hard drives that come in a variety of sizes and speeds. If you’re not sure how much space you might need, getting a bigger drive is always a good idea. You can also get a portable hard drive or thumb drive if you need more space.
If you have to bring your work with you, a Wireless Network Card lets you stay connected everywhere. It gives you Internet access wherever you are and is a must-have for notebooks because it removes the need for a wired connection. If you are working at home, being able to wirelessly connect to the Internet gives you the freedom use your PC in your study, bedroom or even on the kitchen counter.
There are a lot of other factors that you can consider when buying a PC (integrated graphic cards vs. discrete graphic cards, how many cores your processor has, clock speeds, processor numbers, etc.). What’s most important is to understand your needs to help you make a smarter choice in getting a PC that’s right for you.
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