Personal Computer Buying Guide

Have you ever wanted to buy your dream computer? You had saved your monthly income to buy it but you did not know what specification you should choose since there are lot of choices in the market today.

Beside budget, below are the important factors that you should look into when buying a computer. They are the operating system, processor speed, graphic card capability, power supply, hard disk, and the monitor. Take a look at this simple guide and I hope that you will have a nice computer buying experience later.

Build it yourself or ask somebody else? Firstly before stepping into choosing the suitable hardware, a question that you should ask to yourself is whether do you want to build your own computer or ask somebody to build it for you?

From my experience, it is better to ask somebody else to build it for you if this is the first time you want to buy your own computer. You can always learn to know about your computer hardware and software later. But, do not forget to assist the salesperson and ask him or her anything that you did not know about your computer. He might give you some tips of what should do and shouldn’t do with your computer during the building process.

Choosing the hardware Now, we will look into buying hardware for your computer. Your computer hardware determines your computer speed. There are lots of factors that affect how well your computer will perform as well.

The Processor Nowadays, two big companies are in the race of getting the fastest processor for mainstream are the Intel Corporation and Advanced Micro Device (AMD). What I’m going to tell you is not which one of them are the best, but some aspect of processor that you should know.

The greater the processor clock your processor have, the better performance it will be. As example, a 3.0 gigahertz Intel Pentium Processor will beat the 2.0 gigahertz version of the same processor. But there are bottlenecks that limit performance in other places such as the cache’s size and latency, power consumption, and temperature.

So, for conclusion it always better to choose a processor that have least power consumption, large cache size with low latency, and capable of running fast in well-accepted temperature such as 34 Celsius, and have the latest feature such as support for dual-core and 64-bit computing.

Remember, don’t compare different type of processor performance with clock speed since it’s proven by AMD that clock speed did not influences the performance of the processor very much unlike the 1998 era. The Monitor

Prefer choosing a LCD monitor over CRT Monitor. No heavy lifting required with a LCD monitor since they weigh less than half the average CRT monitor. LCD monitors require half the power of CRTs and emit much less electromagnetic radiation which can interfere with other electronic devices.

Talking about the LCD size, 17-inch is enough already since it give the best support to resolution that operating system widely use nowadays (1024 by 786 pixels). But, if you want to keep your computer for a long time or want to use to make it as part of your Digital Media Centre, LCD Monitor with larger than 19 inch size is recommended.

The Graphic Card A graphic card is a must have for modern computer today. Never intend to use integrated graphic since it will greatly slow down your computer. PC graphic such as photos and videos will require a lot of processing power. Without the help from graphic card, the CPU needs to handle all the system and graphic processing.

Choosing a graphic card is easy depends with how you use your computer. If you did not run any games, graphic card without latest features is acceptable. Just make sure that the graphic card supports the incoming operating system from Microsoft, Windows Vista. Since a high-end graphic card will require high power for SLI or crossfire function, if you want to save your electric bills, consider mid-range graphic card which usually sold at 150-250 dollar.

Power supply

The higher the wattage that a power supply support, the better it is. If you want to purchase additional hardware for your computer later such as USB optical mouse there won’t be a problem for you since a decent power supply will supports your need. A good power supply is the power supply that can give out as much 500 watt of power or higher than that.

Hard Disk

An internal hard disk with latest Sata 2.0 (serial ATA) support will serve you perfectly. Other than that, the size of the hard disk should be big since you might want to store a lot of pictures, music, and movies later. 200GB hard disk is the regular specification nowadays. If you want to keep your hard disk for a long time, 500 GB would be enough.

How many hard disks should you buy? The minimum is one but I recommend you to get two hard disks for your computer. One will be for main operating system and the other one for storing your personal data. This is essential to avoid those data from clutter together. Moreover, your computer performance might increase if you use two hard disks. This is because the computer can access the operating system files directly from its own drive.

The Operating System For the best user experience, operating system from Microsoft such as Windows XP still dominates the market nowadays. Since lots of people using it, getting support would not be hard. Just go to a tech support forum and your software-related computer problem will be solved there. Although you can use Linux operating system for free, it is not recommended because not all hardware supports Linux.

Well, that’s all for now. Your journey to get your dream computer should not end here. Ask your friends for some advices such as a good computer hardware shop in the town or their past experiences in buying their computer. Thus, you will not feel regretted with what you’re going to buy.

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