You may be the person who waltzes into Best Buy and picks out the shiniest computer, but the Monkeys are here to stop you. We’ve come up with a list of things to take into consideration before you buy your next computer, so you buy the one that’s just right for you. Not too much computer, not too little computer, just right.
- Desktop or Laptop?
Your journey to buying a new computer starts with the simplest task of all: desktop or laptop? If you don’t need something portable and are looking for more of a static workstation and don’t care about space, then a desktop is the best bet for you. A bonus of a desktop is that it’s easier to keep cool, so it will have a longer lifetime. If you need a computer ready to travel whenever and wherever, then choose a laptop. It all depends on what you’re buying your computer for.
- What’s a processor?
The processor is the brain of the computer. It processes the basic instructions that drive a computer. The processor can be looked at in terms of number of cores and the speed. The speed tells you how much data can be processed in how much time. The number of cores is a multiplier; the processor is a stack of cores that each run at the listed speed. Multiple cores assist in multi-tasking. The bigger, the better. Keep in mind, multicore processors are best if you have the system to back them up.
- What’s a RAM?
RAM stands for random access memory. It’s another form of computer data storage. There are two main types of RAM: static RAM and dynamic RAM. Static RAM is more expensive, but is generally faster and requires less power. DRAM is made up of a transistor and capacitor pair. RAM can affect how fast the computer will function, kind of like a super-fast form of memory. To decide how much RAM is best for you, begin by taking into consideration the amount of traffic and the operating system, and go on from there. RAM is like the processor, where more is better.
- What hard drive should I choose?
The majority of your data is stored on the hard drive. The amount of hard drive you need all depends on what you’re going to use your computer for. If you plan on storing all your files, photos, videos, music, programs, etc on your computer, you may want to go with the biggest hard drive. If you don’t plan on storing media, programs, and such, you can opt for a smaller hard drive, which will save you money. The faster your hard drive is spinning, the quicker information is gathered. As for data transfer bandwidth, the higher, the better. Look into external drive options as well.
- Check the ports.
Check what type of ports the computer is equipped with. Make sure you know what each port does. SD ports, which read SD cards (cameras, e-readers, tablets), store and transfer data and files. HDMI ports provide a convenient way to hook your computer up to your TV or a monitor. USB ports are common for things such as keyboards, mice, printers, etc. USBs are the standard. Thunderbolt is predominantly found on Apple computers to support data transfer and monitor connections. Audio ports are also often found on computers for speakers, microphones, and headphones.
Have any other things to look out for when buying a new computer? Let us know in the comments below!