What You Should Know Before Purchasing Your Next Computer

Purchasing a computer is an important decision that you do not want to take lightly. Although, prices are more reasonable than they used to be, it’s still a significant investment, and you need to make sure that your computer will have the capacity to handle whatever you need it to do.

  • But first of all, give some thought about your needs. If you already have a computer, take a look at your existing programs and think about what programs you need but don’t currently have. Then check the minimum requirements or those programs so that your new computer can meet these requirements. All computers come with standard hardware like Wi-Fi, built-in camera, iTunes, apps, etc.

  • When choosing an operating system, think about whether it’s important to have great graphics capability or whether most of your use will be word processing. MAC is great for graphics, but a computer with a Pentium Processor is primarily designed for word processing. Both can do either function – just be sure that you purchase the one based on your primary purpose. Apple computers are suitable for most home users. Windows computers are helpful in a business environment because features like its networking and software capabilities.

  • Every task that you perform on your computer is handled by a processor. Faster processors are able to handle more tasks per second. The processor also determines its memory capacity and whether it’s capable of easily handling graphics.

  • Storage capacity is important too. If you have a large video or game collection, a hard disk drive (HDD) will be able to give you more storage space. If you have a laptop and are concerned that you might drop it, choose a model that uses a solid state drive (SSD). SSDs are not as easily damaged and are also not as hot as HDDs. SSDs may give you less storage space for video or game collections, but it is an excellent choice for a large amount of pictures and database files. SSDs also have no moving (mechanical) components, which helps with fast access. Hybrid drives or solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs) combine the features of SSDs and HDDs in the same unit, containing a large hard disk drive and an SSD cache to improve performance of frequently accessed data. The basic computer equipment usually comes with at least 160GB storage or larger, which is plenty. If you work with graphics, video, music, or large databases, you may need at least 500GB.

  • RAM is your computer’s memory. It stores the data you are running, and the more RAM you have, the more you will be able to multi-task and keep more applications open. Minimum RAM required these days is 4GB because we open so many applications at one time on our computers. For the best performance choose a computer with 8GB of RAM.

  • If your current computer is running slow, instead of buying a new computer, you may want to invest in a SSD and more RAM. This will increase the speed 4 to 5 times faster. HB Computers sells refurbished computers with SSD and higher RAM (which may be a less expensive option than purchasing a new computer.

  • The most popular Windows version is Windows 7. However, all new PCs come with Windows 8, and we’re finding that many customers are asking us to downgrade their Windows 8 to the Windows 7 version.

  • You will find that there are many virus protection options, but HB Computers prefer AVG, Malwarebytes and Adblock on your browser. They are free, and they work pretty well with Windows. Macs are less susceptible to viruses, but they are still vulnerable to attacks.

  • Your computer case should have good ventilation. Some users like computers where the monitor and computer are built in together. Some would rather have a standard tower.

  • When selecting a brand, take time to read the reviews! You can’t trust every review, but look for patterns of similar comments.

  • You don’t have to buy the most expensive computer available – but you should buy as much as you can afford. Try to get the best you can in all components. Higher end computers cost $1500-$2000.

  • Laptops used to be companion computers to desktops, but they are becoming sophisticated enough to be your primary computer. Desktops usually have larger screens and are a little less expensive.

  • In terms of monitors, you should select a monitor that is at least 17” and has a resolution of 1280 by 1024 pixels. A 19-inch monitor gives you 20 % more screen area.

This is a lot to think about – and you probably have many questions. At HB Computers, we can walk you through the process. Give us a call at 714-969-3001 and set up an appointment. We’ll make this decision simple for you!