New computer? 5 tips to help you make the right choice

Time to treat yourself to a new computer? If it is, you’re in luck! There has never been a time with such great choices. Whether you are looking for a computer to run demanding applications/games or for day to day use, picking the right PC (Mac or Windows) can be a daunting task and that is why we are here to help.

The savvy buyer knows that there are five key features to pay attention to when selecting a PC: Processor type; memory; screen size and graphics capabilities; battery life; and storage. Almost all devices are than capable of handling basic tasks like surfing the Web or reading and writing email. When you want more out of your PC, pay attention to our short buyer’s guide, because these aspects are what make certain models really stand out. Here are our tips that will help you pick the right system.

The Processor
The processor is, and will always be, one of the most important considerations when purchasing a computer. Most computers come with an Intel processor that are powerful enough for the most demanding tasks but use very little power. There are three basic types on the consumer market – Intel® Core™ i7, i5 and i3. If you need a very fast system that gives top performance which can handle heavy-duty computing tasks like video editing or gaming, look for the Intel® Core™ i7 processor. For most uses, i5 is fast enough and gives a good balance between speed/performance and cost. i3 is sufficient for entry level (such as your kids) – but beware we find i3 frustratingly slow!

Memory (RAM)
Memory is also one of the most important purchasing decisions on a computer. The more memory in the computer, the more efficient and faster the computer is capable of running. We advise you to buy the most memory your budget can afford. The ideal memory (RAM) is 8GB or 16GB. The absolute minimum should be 4GB.

Storage
Photos, music, videos, documents… It seems like there’s no end to the digital stuff we create these days. We can store some of it in the cloud, but there are always essential items and applications we need to keep close at hand. Many new machines have solid state drives (SSDs) which are much faster than standard hard drives (as well as much more expensive!). SSDs are not always the best option though as they offer less space for the money, so are less cost-effective. Due to the limited space they are not ideal for storing large amounts of data (especially big photo libraries). If you are looking to buy a PC to hold all of your photos, media and documents, we recommend a standard hard drive of at least 1TB.

Screen size and graphic capability
Are bigger screens necessarily better? Not always. Larger screens add weight to your system and draw more power. But if you want to keep lots of windows visible at the same time, play a complex game, or edit your photo collection, you need a roomy screen and powerful graphics. Remember screen size is measured diagonally across the part of the screen that lights up. In our opinion, minimum screen size should be 13” for a laptop and 24” for a desktop.

Battery life
There are two ways to learn about the battery life of a system you’d like to buy. It’s often listed in the sales material on the web or in the store. If it isn’t, check the spec sheet and see if the battery contains two, three, or four cells. The more cells, the more power the battery packs, although each additional cell adds weight to the system. So, there you have it, the five key aspects to consider when you are buying a computer. These apply whether you are buying a Mac or Windows PC.

If you would like any further advice on purchasing a new computer, specific for your needs, feel free to give us a call on 81138682. We can also purchase any computer on your behalf if that makes things easier for you.

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