Shopping for a new computer can definitely be stressful and intimidating, especially if you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge. How do you really know if you got the best quality? Did you pay too much? Did you pay too little? Below are three things you should always keep in mind when purchasing a new computer.
- RAM: This is your computer’s short-term memory and is more important than you might think. How much RAM you need will depend on if you like to run a lot of programs and applications on your computer at once. If you use all the available RAM, the computer and applications will start to slow down, and we know how frustrating that can be. If you just do basic browsing, you will need at least 4GB of RAM. If you plan on running multiple programs at once, move up to 8GB or 16GB.
- Hard Disk Type and Size: While your RAM helps to store files temporarily, your hard drive is for permanent storage. The size of the hard drive you need depends on how many files you want to store on a long-term basis. If you are an average user, a 500GB hard drive should be sufficient. If you are an intense user, 1TB of storage will give you enough for years. If you still feel like you need more space after that, cloud-based programs can help. Spin speed is also an important factor when accessing larger files. The higher the revolutions per minute (RPM), the better the performance. Make sure you have an RPM between 5400 to 7200 for maximum results.
- Processor: The most important feature is ensuring you have a sufficient processor, also known as CPU. Processing speed is the brains of the computer. For good results look for a dual-core processor, or if you are hard core, go with the quad-core processor.
In addition to ensuring you have the most efficient internal specs, don’t forget about the external features. Make sure you have a screen size that makes you comfortable; 14 inches is the standard for ease of use, larger if you have vision issues. Also ask yourself if you need a monitor, a mouse, keyboard, USB/port connections.
Good luck shopping!