Need a different PC? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Thone   
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 16:12

rules of thumb for buying a computer

Buying a computer is much like buying a vehicle!

Do you need a car, pickup or SUV?

If all you do is browse the internet and check your email then a low end computer is all you need.  This would be the equivalent of a compact car with a small 4 cylinder motor.  The laptop or desktop equivalent for the motor would be a Celeron or Sempron processor.  This is the cheapest processor(motor) that you can buy.  These processors have little horsepower but their price is also minimal!

The next step up in the processor(motor) is the dual core.  This is more on the order of a v6 motor/processor.  More money but more horsepower.  This is like a pickup or SUV.  You need more horsepower to pull a trailer or go 4 wheeling.  If you use MS office, photo editors, burning software, or anything beyond email and internet then the dual core processor is your best bang for the buck!

After this comes the latest and greatest processors.  They are triple core and quad core processors which are like the v8 motors in sports cars, trucks and SUV’s.  They are more expensive but are for those of us that do a lot of photo programs, gaming, and other memory intensive programs.  At this level you should buy a better video card for your gaming experience.

Now comes memory.  This area can be confusing for some.  There are 2 types of memory in your computer.  Long term memory/storage which is your hard drive and short term memory which is the memory stick that is on your motherboard.  The short term memory is like your transmission.  This puts the horse power to the road.  If you have a good processor or high end processor but minimum memory then your motor has to work extremely harder and gets hotter in the process thus slowing down the PC.

I typically recommend going with dual core processors and a minimum of 2megabytes of memory for the majority of my clients.

I receive numerous phone calls from people looking to purchase a laptop or desktop.  I enjoy visiting with you to find out what you use your PC for.  Often times my customers tell me that all they do is browse the internet and read email.  After visiting with them I find that they user their scanner to put pictures on their PC and edit those pictures.  Unfortunately with all the junk that is on the internet it is crucial now a days to run anti-spyware programs and anti-virus programs.  These programs will slow the PC down as they run in the background along with all of the software that is already on the computer when you get it.

Like a car as you get more miles and more programs on the PC the computer starts to slow down.  Running the anti spyware and virus programs is like changing the oil.  If you forget or seldom run these programs you will get infected.  Even your typical sites like MSN and Yahoo run various programs that eventually slow down your PC.  This is when your really start to notice that your lower end processors begin to get sluggish or not respond at all!

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 August 2010 16:21