For most of us, buying a new computer is a big investment, so there’s a lot of pressure to get it right. You should know that the “best” computer does not exist.
Everyone wants something different from their PC, so there is no single user standard. However, there are some factors you need to consider before investing in your new device.
Key things to check when buying a computer
Getting a new PC is not a game of chance. Rather than blindly walking into a store and leaving it to chance, here is a set of criteria you should consider before making a purchase. Taking a little time to research can be a bit tedious, but it will help you get the best bang for your buck.
This should be your first consideration. Computers come in three types: all-in-ones, desktops, and laptops. The all-in-one variant has everything packed into one monitor. They’re great for saving desk space, easy to use, and look great for animation, image, and graphic design.
For a home office or other setup where mobility isn’t a consideration, desktop computers are the best option. More ergonomic to use than laptops, desktops let you customize your keyboard, monitor, and mouse. Compared to laptops, desktops offer more power per dollar and are easy to upgrade, allowing you to extend their life for years. Laptops are portable, designed to work on the go, and run for hours on a single charge.
If you want a portable gaming device that can play high-end games, you can also opt for a budget gaming laptop. Since gaming laptops are smaller and portable, they cost more than desktop computers. The other main difference between the two is their graphics capability. Generally, desktop computers have more graphics capabilities due to their size and cooling system.
The processor (CPU)
The central processing unit is the heart of your computer. It determines how well your PC performs and how well it can cope with anything you throw at it. Ten years ago, Intel processors were the standard to beat. Today, AMD’s Ryzen series is on par or even better. Generally, look for Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 and higher.
Graphics card (GPU)
The graphics processing unit is responsible for displaying graphics and images on your screen. GPUs can be integrated or be separate hardware. Integrated GPUs are technically free because they are part of your CPU. Although they perform most ordinary tasks with ease, such as displaying slot machines in the best Aristocrat casinos, their performance is limited. For modern gaming, visual effects, and HD or 4K, a dedicated GPU is your best bet.
Generally, the more memory, the faster your machine will be. More RAM means more apps and tasks can run at the same time. A minimum of 8GB of RAM is a good starting point and should suffice for most casual computer users. Gamers should go for 16GB, while heavy multitaskers might aim for 32GB and above.
Besides the RAM capacity and brand, you should keep an eye on the type. DDR stands for Double Data Rate, with 4 designating the generation. This is important because motherboards are only compatible with one generation of RAM. Look for DDR4, which is the latest generation available, until DDR5 arrives later in 2021. Since RAM is easy to upgrade and relatively affordable, it’s wiser to get what you need rather than just getting what you need. ‘to go too far.
Advancement in solid-state drive technology has led to the downfall of traditional hard drives, especially for laptops and all-in-one computers. SSDs are lighter, faster and quieter than HDDs. However, their capacity is limited compared to traditional hard drives. SSDs are also more expensive. The solution to this dilemma is to adopt a dual drive configuration, with the SSD (minimum 256GB) being the primary and the HDD (minimum 1TB) the secondary.
Don’t Forget Your Budget
In the end, you need to find a balance between your budget, your needs, and the features and specifications you want. Your budget is the final determining factor on which machine to choose. Rarely will you find a computer that checks all your boxes and fits your pocket. Rather than leave it to chance, follow our checklist and come out on top!
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in almost all the country of the region, you can find almost all of these features on the new or used computer markets. There’s not much to worry about when it comes to new computers, just based on the features mentioned above. However, when your budget is too tight and you want to pay for a second-hand computer, it would be best to be accompanied by an expert.