There comes a time when an old computer’s hard drive is no longer able to run the latest software or even play your favorite videos or games. Business owners may find that their outdated CPU’s hard drive isn’t large enough. With technology changing and newer, more complex options becoming available all the time, shopping for a new computer with a large hard drive can be difficult and confusing. Where to start? Mac vs PC or even a Linux system? It is important to know what to look for when buying a new computer. Here is an overview of the many factors to consider when purchasing a new computer.
Determine your Computing Power Needs
The most important factor to consider is how the computer will be used. You can’t determine what capabilities you’ll need unless you know what you’ll be using your computer for. If you’ll be doing a lot of video editing, you’ll want a powerful, multicore CPU. If you need to store a large number of pictures, videos and music, you’ll need a large hard drive with plenty of memory. If the computer is only going to be used for email and basic web surfing and perhaps to create, edit and store word processing documents, then a low cost model will probably suffice.
The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of the computer. The power of the CPU plays a major role in determining how fast the computer will run. Most new computers will come equipped with CPUs that will handle most computing tasks. If you’ll be doing things that require more power like video editing, choose a multicore CPU with the highest clock speed available. Keep in mind that higher clock speeds come at a higher cost. One can save a considerable amount of money by purchasing the second or third fastest CPU available and still get plenty of computing power.
Random Access Memory (RAM) is also important in determining the speed of a computer. The more RAM a computer has, the faster it will run. The good news is that RAM prices have fallen dramatically in the past few years. The minimum RAM needed to run Windows 7 or Windows Vista is 2 GB. 4 GB of RAM is ideal for 32-bit versions of Windows. For 64-bit versions, 4 GB is the minimum and 8 GB is ideal. It is also important to understand that 32-bit versions of Windows cannot use more than 4 GB of RAM. Only get more than 4 GB of RAM if the computer has the 64-bit versions of Windows installed.
Hard drive size is also important, especially for storing pictures and music. Hard drive prices have come down dramatically, even as capacities have increased. If the computer is only going to be used for email and web surfing, the size of the hard drive will not matter very much. Storing music and videos requires a large hard drive so it is best to get the largest hard drive available. 1 TB hard drives are readily available without paying too much of a premium. Hard drives larger than 1 TB can drive the cost of the computer higher significantly.
When one understands what to look for when buying a computer it makes shopping a lot easier. There are many options available to the consumer today. There are also many great brands available such as Dell, HP, Sony, and Apple. Finding the right computer is easy when one does their homework before shopping.
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