Tips on Purchasing a Computer

June 4, 2010

Tips on Purchasing a Computer

There are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking around for a new computer.

Basics:

The first thing that you need to consider is what can you afford. This may not seem like an important first step, because you may be thinking that, “Well, I need such and such, and I’ll just have to find some way to afford it, so it doesn’t really matter so much what it costs, what matters is what I need.” That’s not exactly true. You see, your computer is supposed to be working for you, not the other way around, so if you can’t afford it, stay clear of it.

The next thing that you should consider is what are you planning to use the computer for? Are you going to use it for:

  • Email
  • Internet
  • Gaming
  • Word Processing
  • Tax
  • Accounting
  • Other

When you have decided what your needs are, you are going to have a much easier time narrowing down the selection that is out there. When you walk into a computer store, the vast amount of variety can be pretty overwhelming, but if you have figured out what you are able to spend, and you know what you are going to be using it for, it makes it much easier to decide what you need to be looking at.

The next thing to consider is whether or not you would be comfortable going with something used as opposed to something new. While you can save a lot of money by picking up something used, you always run the risk that there is going to be something wrong with it that will end up giving out right after you buy the thing.

Specifics:

When you have considered these basic things, you can then begin to look into specific things about the computer such as:

Do I really need a DVD burner, or would a CD Burner do? What opperating system do I want/need? Would an older, more time-tested opperating system do, or am I going with the latest thing on the market that’s likely going to be around for longer, but may be more prone to glitches? Is 4g of ram really necessary for what I’m going to be doing?

When you have considered all of these questions you can then begin to put together a pretty good idea of what you are looking for in a computer. For example you could now know that whatever computer you get it has to be less than $800, and has to have enough resources for you to do email, internet, and wordprocessing. You also know that Windows 7 is looking pretty nice, so you want it to have that, and you’re not really comfortable with going with something used, so you go ahead and purchase a $600 Windows 7 computer that includes Microsoft office, and you don’t care that it only has 3g of ram, and no separate video card, because you aren’t going to be using it for gaming.

Conclusion:

The main thing to realize when you are buying a computer is that you need to know what you want. How much you can spend is a big thing to nail down, and what you are going to be using the computer for is another big thing. Once you know what you want, it’s really a matter of just finding the most up-to-date, bells and whistles, fully loaded computer that you can that also meets your specifications and stays well inside your budgeted spending amount.

List of things to consider:

Budget (How much can I spend?)
What am I going to be using it for?
New or Used (What would I be comfortable with?)
Opperating System (Which one do I want/need?)
Software (Are there certain programs that I must have?)
Hardware:

  • Do I really need a separate video card? (usually you only need this for gaming or for graphics/video work)
  • How much hard drive space do I need? (Are you going to be storing lots of movies and pictures or only a few documents?)
  • How much Ram do I need? (If you aren’t doing graphics or gaming, chances are you don’t need too much)
  • What kind of Processor should I look for? (You don’t really need a fast one for just doing email, word processing, and browsing the Internet)

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