How to Choose a Desktop Computer

How to Choose a Desktop Computer

How to Choose a Desktop Computer

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Home Page > Computers > Software > How to Choose a Desktop Computer

How to Choose a Desktop Computer

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Posted: Jun 16, 2009 |Comments: 0


Shopping for a computer doesn’t need to be hard. First think about what you need. Are you looking for a computer to perform basic tasks or to meet special requirements? Then do a little homework, and finally go shopping armed with that knowledge. You’ll get a computer you can be happy with, and you’ll get the best value for your money.

Before you shop


Decide if you’re better served by the PC/Windows platform or the Macintosh. You can generally get a faster computer for your money by choosing a Windows machine, but Macs come with more easy-to-use built-in software. Top brands are Dell, Hewlett- Packard, IBM, Gateway and Toshiba. Apple, of course, makes the Macintosh. Think about whether this machine will need to work with your office or school server. Exchanging files between platforms is less of an issue than it used to be, but it’s still worth noting. Ask your friends and co-workers in similar lines of work what machines they have, where they bought them, if there were any problems, and whether they’re happy with their choices. Expect to spend ,000 to ,000 for a general-purpose machine, although you can find desktop computers for anywhere from 0 to ,000.

The basics


Realize that if you buy a super cheap computer at a warehouse store or discounter, you’re going to be on your own. Technical support from the major manufacturers tends to be a lot better. Buy as much random-access memory (RAM), or system memory, as you can afford. At a bare minimum, get 128 megabytes (MB); 256 MB or 512 MB is preferable. (For a Macintosh, get at least 256 MB.) Memory is more critical than a faster processor. Get at least two universal serial bus (USB) connections and a FireWire (also called IEEE 1394) connection. These will connect peripheral devices, such as a printer, PDA, digital cameras and camcorders, scanners and game controllers. Also look for an internal modem. Ask about upgradability if you intend to use this computer for a long time, which is considered three or more years. Choose any current computer model from the major manufacturers with a high degree of confidence if you simply want to send e-mail, surf the Web and do word-processing.

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