Purchasing a New Computer

When shopping for a new computer, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options. The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the most important factors when deciding which PC is right for you or your business.

1. What will the PC be used for?

This question should always be asked first whenever considering a new PC. Factor in potential new activities that you might want to do, as well as listing old activities.

Consider a situation like this: currently, you only do light office work, such as editing spreadsheets or typing up documents, but someday down the line, you begin to think you might like to edit photos or videos. Planning for this new activity can help point out the components you specifically need to factor in to enhance the performance of the photo editing application later on when you do start using it.

2. How much memory does the PC come with?

Memory has a great impact on the performance of your computer, ranging from how many applications you can have open at one time, down to the performance of any one particular application. There are a few factors to consider when investigating the memory of your new PC. The quantity of RAM, which affects how many applications you can have open at once, and the speed of the RAM, which affects load time and general speed of an open application.

3. What type of storage do you need?

Storage capacity has come a long way in recent years. You can get vast amounts of storage for relatively little cost. Most new PC’s these days include Solid State Hard Drives. There are a mixture of M.2 (mounted directly on the motherboard) and SATA (Uses the SATA bus and cabling). Either option is a huge leap in performance over a standard 5400RPM or 7200RPM spinning drive. With no moving or mechanical parts, it’s much faster and more efficient. With more data and programs going to the cloud, 250GB is enough for most users now. While there are definitely bigger drives, it’s often easier to add a secondary drive for storing large files locally.

4. How much processor do you need?

Processors are the main deciding factor behind your PC’s overall performance and are generally the most confusing component to compare. There are a multitude of factors to consider for a processor, ranging from the speed of the processor to how many cores the processor has. The key factor to focus on for your processor will mainly come from the applications you’re running, such as whether the program is designed to take advantage of the multiple cores.

For standard office work and general workstation use, a typical i3 or i5 is usually more than adequate. If you are performing more complex calculations, such as CAD design or Photo/Video editing, a higher-end i7 or maybe even i9 processor is worth the investment. For a more in-depth article about processors, check out “What’s the difference between Intel’s i3, i5 and i7 processors?

5. Do you need a dedicated graphics card?

Graphics cards tend to only help performance when it comes to multimedia-based tasks such as video editing or 3D modeling, so having one is not necessarily required if the PC in question is only used for office-type applications. Over the years, onboard video has improved to a point where a stand alone graphics card isn’t needed for most business uses.

Hopefully, this information assists you in selecting a new desktop or laptop for you or your business. In the event that you need any assistance, you can always call SandStorm IT at 901-475-0275. We’ll be glad to assist you in picking out the perfect machine for you or your business!