So you’re thinking of buying a new computer? Before purchasing, you should first consider what you want to use your new computer for, so you don’t get something that is way too powerful — or way underpowered.
After all, why pay extra for a powerful computer if all you want to do is watch movies? Or why get some cheaper and weaker components when you really need your computer to be as fast as possible?
The truth is buying a new computer raises major dilemmas to most people. Not only because they don’t really know what they want, but because of the many different options available out there. Advertising can lead people to buying things they don’t really need just because they’re on sale, or because they look better than they really are! Don’t fall prey to this. Before purchasing anything, take some time to answer these questions:
Buying a New Computer Questions
1. What do you plan to use the computer for?
This is the most important question. Do you want to use your new computer for browsing the Internet, watching movies, 3D rendering, gaming, or business? While a gaming computer will be powerful enough to handle all these tasks, it may not be as reliable as a business computer. On the other hand, a computer that is bought primarily for watching HD video content may not be powerful enough to handle many games.
2. How much are you willing to spend for it?
Yes, your budget obviously plays a major part. If you have a small budget of around $300, then you’re probably better off getting a netbook, since it’s portable, can be connected to a large screen TV for movie viewing, and browses the Internet just fine. If your budget is closer to $1,000, then you’ll get to decide between a laptop and a desktop computer. Laptops are more expensive, naturally, and are usually slower than their desktop counterparts. For gaming and other applications that require a powerful computer, a desktop is usually recommended, since that also has better cooling than a laptop and its parts are easier to replace or upgrade over time.
3. Who else is going to be using the new computer?
No matter what you plan to use your computer for, your family or friends may want to use it too! This means that even though you don’t want to use the computer for gaming, your kids might want to install as many games as they can on it. If you know others will be using it — and you’re fine with it — then try to get a computer more powerful than you originally intended, to make sure that it can also run games or more demanding software.
4. Do you want a brand computer or one made out of components?
Whatever your answers to the previous questions are, you have to decide if you want to buy a computer from a well-known manufacturer (such as Dell, HP, or Lenovo) or if you want to buy the components and assemble the computer yourself. You’ll usually be able to get the same components that a brand computer uses for less, but you have to have good hardware skills to assemble your computer and to make sure you don’t break anything in the process! Not buying a brand computer means you’re free to choose your own components and create your dream computer, but you need to be very good at hardware to know exactly which components to get to avoid incompatibilities. Keep in mind that issues arising due to incorrect computer assembly or incompatibilities may not be covered by warranty. A brand computer, on the other hand, should function perfectly from the first minute you start it and will probably come with an operating system already installed on it. That means you don’t have to do anything more than install your desired software on it and get to work
Column comes courtesy of Jeremy Ashburn