On today’s show we are talking about what you need to know to buy a new computer.
When you shop for a computer, the list of specs can be confusing if you are not readily familiar with computer terminology. Don’t get caught up in the details! Stick with what’s important so you don’t buy too much computer or not enough computer. Here are some things to consider:
- Ask what am I going to use it for today, and what is possible tomorrow?
- You are going to notice HUGE price differences in computers. What I recommend for a mainstream computer with average use is that you find the where the price “spikes” for the extreme high end, and purchase right before that. That way you are not overspending for newer technology that is not a good value but you are getting a system that will last you several years before it is too obsolete.
- Memory – Don’t skimp on the memory! Right now 1GB is the absolute minimum I would consider in a new system. 2GB is better. Memory is pretty inexpensive right now so now is the time to get it!!
- Processor speed – Don’t get hung up on processor speed too much. You don’t want to spend a bundle to go up a small step in speed. More cores and more cache is better.
- Storage – Will depend greatly on what you are using it for. Hard drive speed can be important for some applications, like video recording, DVR, etc. Video and audio can take up lots of room.
- Quality is VERY important. Is it a trusted manufacturer? Not just the computer brand, but the component brand. Of course, we prefer PC-ER!
- Customize from this base.. need a better gaming video card? Need a better sound card? Here’s where custom designed computers can be great!
- Once you decided on the general specs, do you want a desktop or a notebook?
- Notebooks are more expensive, probably $200 to $400 close to the same specs except hard drive space and screen size.
- Don’t spend more on a notebook if you aren’t going to take it anywhere!! It’s not worth the cost.
- If you need to “go mobile” sometimes but you don’t want to labor over the small screen and keyboard and the unfamiliar pointing device, you can add external devices to your notebook computer, or use a port replicator.
- Check the warranty!! Some “cheap” models only have 90 day warranties!! “Cheaper” also sometimes means corners are cut: fans are missing, cheaper cases, so be careful!
- When it comes to computers “You get what you pay for” is VERY true!