Five Things to Consider When Purchasing a New Computer

09/16/2019 | by SandStorm IT

Purchasing a New Computer

With the Windows 7 End-Of-Life coming soon (January 14, 2020), a lot of users will need to upgrade Operating Systems. For the majority of users, that typically means getting an entirely new PC altogether. 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. How much 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. A lot of factory-made PCs come with 1 terabyte hard drives, more than enough to hold most data. Often, hard drive transfer rates are the bottleneck in PC performance. A fix for slow transfer rates is to purchase a computer with a solid-state hard drive. While solid-state drives are slightly more expensive, they use flash memory instead of moving metal platters to store data, offering a significant performance advantage over traditional drives. For a more in-depth article about solid-state drives, check out “Solid State Drives, are they worth the expense?“.

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 Xeon 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.

In conclusion, there are several considerations when picking out a new PC. If 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!

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