Purchasing a home computer might be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences if you don’t do your homework first. Since most of us are non-technical, wading through all of the specifications and deciding what is right might be overwhelming.
While price is important, there are many other factors that should be considered when purchasing a computer. Doing research before entering your local office supply or computer store will help you from spending more than you wanted to and also get you the best deal on the quality that you need.
Spend any time thinking about how your computer will be used. Make a list of what needs that this computer will need to fill.
What software is an absolute necessity?
Will you need non-standard hardware like a scanner or fax along with your computer?
Happen to be more interested in word processing or gaming or both?
Thinking about what function your computer serves for all the members of your family will help you narrow down your choices.
After you’ve determined what function your computer serves in your life and the life of your family you will need to consider the speed of your new computer.
The Central Processing Unit or CPU is the brain of your computer. The CPU is the largest contributor to the overall speed of your computer. It controls all of the functions and capabilities that your computer will have.
The newest computers come with CPUs that range from 1.6 GHz to 3.2 GHz. If you’re involved in graphics or need to play high-resolution computer games, you need the highest GHz that you can afford.
Another consideration is the memory or virtual storage space of your new computer. While computers are available with 128 MB of memory, you’ll need to have at least 256 MB on your machine. Memory is essential to achieving maximum speed and performance from your computer. It is recommended that you purchase your new computer with as much memory as you can get for the best price.
Memory upgrades can cost as little as $30, so if you need to build your system slowly over several years it is certainly a viable option. You can always add more memory, but you can’t replace the CPU and increase your processing speed. If you have to choose between the two, go with a higher GHz processor and add more memory as you can.
The monitor can make a big difference in your enjoyment of your new computer. Although most people just accept whatever monitor comes with a computer package. However, it really does deserve more consideration.
Size is the most important factor. If you go any smaller than 17 inches, you may end up spending most of your time squinting and causing yourself unnecessary eyestrain. If you can upgrade your monitor to something larger, go for at least a 19-inch monitor.
Another option you may need to consider is getting a wireless mouse and keyboard. Going wireless with these necessary pieces of equipment will help to pare down the cords beneath your computer desk.
There are a ton of other options you need to consider when purchasing a new computer. It’s a good idea to ask people you know what types of options have worked well for them. Also, you do not need to purchase the very latest in computers. The best value is usually found with a computer that was brand new and the fastest thing going 6 months to one yr ago. That is where you’re likely to get the most bang for the buck. I hope this little guide has been helpful to you for buying your next computer.
This is first lecture from the series of course “Introduction to Computer Science I”, Harvard OpenCourseWare with Instructor David J. Malan. The Instructor is just awesome and this course is. . .