What to Know When Buying a Computer

Buying a computer is a big decision. There are many models on the market, all offering different speeds, amounts of memory and functions. There are many factors to consider when deciding on which computer will meet your needs. Understanding how to find the right one is the key to getting a good deal on your next computer.

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Laptop or Desktop?

One of the first questions to ask when buying a computer is whether you will need a laptop or a desktop. If you are looking to use your computer while on the go---either at your office or outside or in a library, for example, a laptop may be the best choice. If, however, you plan only to use your computer in one stationery location, a desktop may work just fine.

Selecting a Processor

The processor is the brains of the machine. The processor is often explained in terms of GHz, or gigahertz. The higher the number, the faster the speed of the computer. A computer with a faster processing speed will have the capacity to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, while a computer with a slower processor will be slower. If you only want to do basic tasks like checking email, surfing the Web or using word processing, a slower speed computer will work just fine. If you need more advanced features like gaming or photo software design, you may want to go for a higher speed.

Ram and hard drive will also largely determine what you can do with your computer. If you plan on storing large files, downloading multiple documents and using music files, you will need to get a machine with increased RAM and hard drive.

Choosing Your Peripherals

The components that you need to add on to your computer will largely determine which machine you ultimately choose. Some come with multiple USB ports, allowing you to plug in keyboards, mice and headphones. Other allow you to add on DVD ROM drives to watch movies from your monitor. If you are interested in gaming or streaming to your television, you will need an HDMI port. For a truly wireless experience, you can add in a Bluetooth receiver and enjoy wireless speakers from your computer.

When it comes to choosing a computer, there are many options to consider. From the amount of memory you need to the extras and add-ons, it pays to know what is available to you before you buy.