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New Computer Shopping Tips

18 December 2020 110 views No Comment

As it’s a fact of life that things die, so do computers. You may have had yours since Freshman year, making it difficult to part with that long-time companion, but an upgrade is a good thing.

Of course, not everyone is a computer science major. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for that new desktop or laptop:

RAM - How fast your computer runs. The more RAM you have, the more applications you’ll be able to run at once. RAM is good. You want a lot of this. Computers these days tend to come with several gigs of ram-the more, the better.

Hard Drive - Hard drive space is just as important as RAM. The hard drive stores all of your information, so if you find you save a lot of larger files to your computer (movies, music, etc.), you’ll definitely want a larger hard drive. On the other hand, if you don’t bother with that sort of thing, saving mostly photos and text documents, a smaller hard drive should be fine.

Graphics Card - Typically this shouldn’t be a concern unless you’re big on computer gaming. Basic graphics cards can handle a lot, but can’t quite compare to the stronger ones needed to play the games that are available today.

Monitor/Screen Size - This is a matter of preference, really. Still, a larger screen means more workspace. Smaller screens are much trickier to work with.

Sound - Sound quality is essential if you listen to a lot of music or watch a lot of movies. Fortunately, desktop users have the option to buy new speakers. Laptop users, however, should consider looking for a computer built for multimedia if they plan on using it as an entertainment center. If the computer is mostly for work, however, sound quality shouldn’t be a big deal.

Battery Life (Laptops) - If you decide upon a laptop, then you’ll definitely need to consider the importance of battery life. If you find you always have an outlet to plug your computer into while you work, then this isn’t as much of a concern. If you’re constantly traveling, however, maybe a battery upgrade would be a good idea.

Features - When it comes down to it, you really have to consider how many bells and whistles your new computer needs (and how many your budget will allow for). Do you need a bluray player, or will the standard CD/DVD burner suffice? Do you already own a webcam and microphone, or would a built in cam and mic be useful? Odds are your old peripherals will be compatible with your new computer, so keep this in mind when shopping around.

Company Reputation - This is important should you ever have issues with your computer. Many companies have developed a strong name for themselves in the computer market, making quality products that last, while other companies not so much. Keep this in mind, as well as other things when shopping for a brand (such as insurance plans, warranty, customer service, etc.).

Mac vs. PC - This is a question that often presents itself when shopping for a computer. Both have their advantages, but Macs are excellent work computers and don’t really require any anti-virus software. Still, Macs don’t offer much in the way of gaming, so if you plan on using your computer for games, you might want to stick with a PC. PCs are also a sort of standard, meaning you’ll have a much easier time finding software on and off the internet for a PC.

Desktop vs. Laptop - All things considered, desktops are much cheaper than laptops, and are fairly easy to upgrade. Still, the laptops of today are much more powerful than those of several years ago, comparing easily to that of desktops. Although laptops are typically more expensive, they’re ideal for someone who is constantly on the go.

If you decide to shop online, remember that there are plenty of options available to help save a few bucks on your purchase. Many companies offer payment plans, student discounts, limited-time deals, ecoupons, and other savings. Often companies offer older models on the cheap when their new line hits the market. You may save next to nothing, but in some instances it’s possible to save several hundred dollars. The more you research, the better.

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