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How to Choose The Right Computer For Yourself

Updated on June 5, 2017

When you want to buy a new computer, it’s hard to know where to start. You don’t want to spend ages looking through them all, but you also don’t want to chance having to go back too soon because you overextended your new machine. Luckily, there are a few ways to help you narrow down this confusing array of choices.

First, you need to determine the purpose of your new computer. The main categories that people tend to fall into are gaming, home and business. This not only helps you find what you do need, but narrows down what you don’t need as well, which could save you some money. It sounds obvious, but you don’t need a high-powered gaming computer if all you want to do is check e-mails and write documents. A computer for each of these purposes has different specifications, which you can look at below.

Gaming Computer

For serious gamers, you need a serious computer - probably a desktop. A laptop is more prone to overheating, which it could do when running high-quality graphics. A desktop is easier to upgrade, for example if you need a new graphics card. Besides the card, you’ll need a decent quality screen, sound card, speakers, and processor (multiple cores can run more programs at once), as well as a fast hard drive. You can do pretty much anything else on a machine of this quality, but you will have to pay for that privilege, too.

Home Computer

This will vary slightly depending on what you want it for. Checking cinema times, browsing Facebook, and using e-mail would only need a laptop or even a notebook computer, which is small, light and has great battery life, but no DVD drive. If it’s going to be doubling as the family entertainment system, you’ll need something a little more capable to handle sound and video, but a laptop could cover this, if you don’t mind the relatively small screen. It would need a larger hard drive if you plan to store any music or movies on the device, a good sound and speakers. You probably couldn’t get away with a budget PC for this latter use (although many do have 1TB of storage), but for simple tasks you might get away with only spending a few hundred, and still get 4-6GB of RAM.

Business Computer

Again, depending on your work, what kind of computer you’ll need will vary a lot. The range extends from writing documents, to website design, to high-quality video editing. For any heavy-duty software like the latter, you’ll need a powerful CPU, lots of memory, and a large, fast hard drive. It’ll be less expensive than a gaming PC though, as you won’t need the same graphics card. To transfer a lot of data, you’ll need a fast port – USB 3.0 is ideal; and to switch between multiple tasks, the more RAM, the better. If you can get away with a laptop, for long hours of work use it would be better to get a matte screen to save your eyes.

Hopefully this has given you a few pointers on where to get started with your decision. Just remember to balance your requirements with your budget, and don’t get anything you don’t need!

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