What should you consider when buying a new PC?

Buying a new PC is a fun and exciting time. New equipment, new technology, and a new-found motivation to work efficiently.

 

Being a managed support provider, we often get requests from clients about what is important when buying a new PC. And what adjustments or features they should have for their line of work.

 

On a case, to case basis, we do advice what is best for each client.

However, it is surprising how many questions are asked about different machine equipment. So, we’ve compiled a list of features and components that PC purchasers should be aware of…

 

RAM

 

RAM stands for Random Access Memory.

 

It is a PC component which allows active data from your applications and system processes to be stored for quick use. RAM can be thought as a temporary area where a computer does its methodology and operations, drawing quickly from it when using frequently accessed programs.

 

When buying a new PC, you are usually given the option of either 4GB, 8GB or 16GB of base RAM to be installed. As technology develops, the base amounts of RAM will increase again. As this has happened in the past.

 

At the present time, 8GB of RAM is the average to go for in a new computer.

 

For perspective, Windows 10 requires a minimum of 1GB on 32-bit and 2GB on 64-bit. However, this is not nearly enough for the system to run properly. We would recommend starting at 8GB and then increasing it.

 

If you are using a computer for day to day use e.g. using Microsoft Office, surfing the internet and communicating. 8GB is more than enough. If you are using the machine for the more complicated tasks using more demanding software, 16GB is a great place to start.

 

Processor

 

The standard of processors evolves quickly year by year. With the most common being produced by Intel, AMD, and HP.

 

Processors are integral to computers as they perform all the operations for the machine. Often referred to as the CPU, the processor responds to an executes the basic instructions that a computer needs.

 

With most standard machines, Intel’s Core i3 chips are the cheapest and least powerful processors but they will work for basic day to day tasks. This involves communication, using the basic Microsoft Office package and simple tasks.

 

If you are looking for more power to load graphical elements for creative work. Then a higher processor is required. A mid-range Intel processor would be an i5 core chip. This will give the user more power but could still underperform when multitasking various demanding programs.

 

Ultimately the high-end processors are Core i7 and i9 chips. These are the latest chips available in standard machines and can bring a lot of power to a user’s machine. Of course, these become pricey, but will definitely get the job done.

 

Storage

 

This is probably one of the more common areas where users get confused and stuck with what to choose.

 

Simply put, there are two types of computer storage to choose from. HDD (Hard Disk drive) and SSD (Solid State Drive).

 

A HDD uses spinning magnetic disks called “platters” to store information.

A SSD uses flash memory, which I commonly found in smartphones and tablets.

 

At first glance you might not see a huge difference, but there is. HDDs are a more traditional and conventional choice for machines. They are also cheaper. But the come with some downsides…

 

  • SSDs read and write data faster than HDD
  • SSDs need less power to run, extending battery life
  • SSDs have no moving elements so they make no noise
  • HDDs can be damaged by dropping, bumping or touching when running
  • SSDs are more expensive, as they are more desirable

 

However, is it vital that you choose a larger hard drive for your machine?
Not necessarily…

You can always extend your storage by buying a bigger SSD or HDD after purchasing your machine or can buy an external USB hard drive. It’s also worth thinking about buying cloud storage to also routinely backup your data.

Next steps?

 

If you would like to keep up to date with our latest news and advice, make sure you subscribe to our mailing list.

Alternatively, if you are after some business advice in regards to IT service, please give us a call on 02920 887 362 or send us an email us at info@excellence-it.co.uk

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