Despite years of advancement, the fundamentals of the computer have not changed much. These computer buying tips will give you what you need to know and enough to keep you in the know for many years to come, no matter what the price, or type of computer.
Being at the head of the pack is a costly place to be. So, if money and your budget are any concern to you, then don’t chase the latest fads. The newest stuff carries a huge price premium when older products have not yet passed their prime. Wait a few months for excitement to die down and see what happens, you might have saved yourself from making a big mistake. Getting the biggest thing from a few months back will get you a lot more for your money.
Research before you buy. Don’t get a computer or add extras to a computer without getting the facts first. Sales staff are just that, salespeople, they will do their best, but often know only a little more than you do about what you plan to get. The Internet has a whole wealth of info available, and you can research as much as makes you happy.
Computers are more about the internals than the externals.
As with the computer in general, the CPU is a costly component. The fastest processor will cost you more and value for money goes down as the speed goes up. Up to the middle of the range in speed you will get the most speed per dollar.
More RAM is a good thing. Having the latest super-duper CPU won’t help if your computer runs out of memory. Memory is essential for Windows and all the programs that run on it. When Windows starts it puts lots of things it needs in memory, and they stay there. All the other programs you start also use some memory and keep it until they stop, the more programs you want to use at the same time, the more memory you’ll need. Just make sure you get 512MB or more for Windows XP and 1GB or more for Windows Vista.
Great looking cases that are hidden under a desk or in a cabinet won’t get noticed. Are the USB and sound ports at the front for easy access and are they placed in an easy to reach position?
Hard drives should have enough space. I find 120GB enough, but you might need more if you save videos on there. RAID 1 keeps a mirror image of your hard drive at all times, so if one drive fails, you still have one with your data.
The key to good graphics is the graphics card. The latest games require them cutting edge cards, so get one to suit what you want to play. Games constantly push the demands on the graphics card, and if you want to keep up, you will be upgrading often.
Finally, the monitor is what you will stare at while using the computer. Wider and larger screens allow more stuff to fit on the screen. LCD is the norm, 19 inch or bigger, wide screen if possible is what I recommend.