Regardless if you are buying a new computer for the first time or the 100th, picking the right computer if crucial decision. The reason for that is because you pay once for a piece of hardware that you intend on using more than a few days, so naturally you’d want to get something that would server you just right.
Computers these days come in all shapes and sizes each with its own price tag, so you have a lot to choose from. There are a few criteria that you should use to select your new computer and we will go through them today. Also, if you are someone that has a deeper knowledge of the IT industry you will probably know all of this, but it would be a good reminder for you as well.
How to find the right computer for you
Even though you might think that this is an easy decision, it is not. Deciding what to buy is something that you need to give a think and apart from these recommendations and guides will depend on you budget. So, if you are on a tight budget then be prepared to make a few sacrifices.
Type of computer
As mentioned above, computers these days come in all shapes and sizes and the very fist question you would ask yourself is “Do I need a desktop or a laptop?” which basically means do you need a computer that is portable or stationary. If you intend to use your computer only on a desk at your home, or you are looking for something for your office, then go with a desktop. On the other and if you are looking for something that fits in a backpack that you can carry and use anywhere then go with a laptop. You may be advised that having a laptop can be a “temporary” choice – a PC running on batteries and as we all know – battery life tends to end with usage. To this we answer – be wise! Always check for maintenance tips – like how to calibrate your laptop battery to extend your battery life. Checking for solutions for the cons while understanding what computer you want may change your decision.
This applies both to laptops and desktops and is mostly dependent on what you intend on doing on the computer. To put things in perspective, laptops are usually from 10 inches up to 17, while desktop monitors are from 19 up. For example, if you are rendering videos or playing games, then it is recommended to have a bigger screen, while if you do a lot of writing then you don’t need to go overboard with the size. This is also criteria that can be based on personal preference and is something that you can get adapted to. I am perfectly comfortable to write these articles on a 12.5-inch screen, while other people would never work as a writer on such small screen.
If you have gotten this far in this article then you are not the type of person to build a custom configuration, so you would probably go with a pre-built one. This is where things get tricky, so I will do my best to explain things as best as I can.
As you know, the CPU is the brain of the computer, the part that makes everything work so you need to choose wisely. This depends on what you intend on doing on your computer. If you are looking for a machine that you can surf the internet, watch some video or post a few photos, then you don’t need to go overboard with this, getting some entry-level CPU will work just fine. On the other hand, if you intend to have your computer to do some heavy computing, like some math calculations then you will need to get one with a better CPU. In general, it depends if you are looking for something fast or just need a computer for light tasks.
The simplest way to choose how much RAM you wan on your computer is, again, to figure out what you intend to do on it. The absolute minimum that you would find these days are 4 GB of RAM, which should be just fine for editing word documents, listening to music, using a browser with a few tabs open etc. on the other hand, if your daily routine requires you to have multiple opened documents, a browser with 20+ tabs open and you need to have multiple applications open at the same time then you will need to go higher.
Even though this seems like an easy choice, it actually isn’t. the two important things that you need to think about are speed and size. If you are the type of person that is a power user and needs things fast (starting applications, booting the operating system, transfer etc.) then definitely go with an SSD. On the other hand, if you don’t really care if your computer boots up in 10 seconds or 2 minutes, of if it takes 15 seconds to open up a document then pick the HDD.
When it comes to size you need to think ahead and decide how much would be enough. If you download a lot of things like movies, games, applications and keep them, then you will need a bigger drive. For every other scenario you don’t need to go big.
The last in our list is the graphics card and deciding for it is easy, but it includes thinking about how and for what are you going to use your computer. So, if you are getting a computer for playing games or rendering videos then you definitely need a GPU on board. Anything else will work fine with the integrated GPU that modern CPUs have, regardless if its programming, watching videos, editing document, doing complex math calculations etc.
I hope that this will help you find the right computer for you. Below I wrote a few notes and personal recommendations that you might want to keep in mind.
Laptops are not as powerful as a desktop. This doesn’t mean that a laptop would be bad for gaming or video rendering, but it will be as good as a desktop.
When buying a laptop take the size, weight and battery life into consideration.
Configuring a laptop has some limitations which depend on the manufacturer. On some models you can’t select every part to your needs.
Get an SSD. Even though they are more expensive than an HDD they are faster and last longer
Have a minimum of 8 GB of RAM.
Don’t spend too much on a CPU. Unless you have a specific need for a more powerful CPU you will get along just fine with a cheaper one.
If you have any questions or need some help, feel free to leave your comments below.