5 things to consider when choosing your new computer

buying_a_computerAfter my computer hard drive packed it in a few months ago, I was faced with the daunting task of choosing a new computer. With so many makes and models available these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

So I’m going to bring the task of choosing a new computer back to the basics to simplify the decision-making process for you.

If you’re in the market for a new computer or laptop, here are 5 things to consider before making your purchase.

1. Use + Budget

There’s no point in buying a computer that offers a bunch of bells and whistles you’ll never use.  As my Grandfather used to say, “Why drive a Mercedes when a Ford will get you where you want to go just as well?”

It comes down to answering these two questions:

1.  What do I need this computer to do?

2.  How much money do I have to spend?

If you typically surf the web, watch videos, write documents and deal with emails, you don’t need a super-powered, expensive computer to get the job done. Keep your answers to these two questions in mind when making your choice.

2. Processor

The processor is the brain of your computer. Make sure the computer you choose is able to quickly and efficiently handle all the tasks you throw at it. Nowadays, most people need at least a dual core processor. Look for names like Intel core i3 or i5, AMD A or E series.

3. Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM is what enables your computer to multitask smoothly and quickly. The more RAM your computer has the faster you’ll be able to open and switch between applications. For a desktop computer, 4GB is usually the lowest amount of RAM available, but it might be the perfect amount for you. Again, it comes back to what you need your computer to do. Check to see if the computer has extra internal slots for additional RAM should you want to upgrade later.

4. Hard Drive

The hard drive is the storage area of your computer. The bigger the hard drive the more data you can store. Hard drives come in gigabyte (GB) or terabytes (TB). To put it in perspective, a 500 GB hard drive can store up to 100,000 pictures and a 1 TB hard drive will hold up to 200,000 pictures. Consider your storage needs and choose accordingly.

5. Design

The look and feel of your new computer is important. Consider the type of desktop you want:  an all-in-one model (where the system’s internal components are integrated into the monitor) or the traditional tower desktop. What about the monitor? Is it large enough? Is the resolution crisp and clear? How does the keyboard feel?

The bottom line

It’s easy to get carried away when buying your new computer. Before you know it, you’ve spent more money than planned and you have too much computer than you need. Keep your must have list close at hand and use it to help you stay on target and on budget.

Now it’s your turn

What about you? Have your recently purchased a new computer? What factors went into making your decision? What type of computer did you purchase? Share your thoughts in the comments below and continue the conversation.

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