Having a good computer is a necessity for everyone these days. Students need it for school, job-goers need it for work, businesses need it for their operations, and even toddlers want a computer or at least a smartphone to play around with. If you are new to buying computers or are revisiting the computer market after many years, it can be hard to make a choice given all the options available.
Currently, the computer-related markets are overflowing with products in all categories. Moreover, there are also lots of new platforms such as 2-in-1 laptops and pen PCs. Companies are increasingly relying on numbers and stats to market their products. For the average customer, it can be close to impossible to understand how these different numbers will translate to their daily use of the system. Here are a few tips to help you make this decision.
The first thing to decide is what kind of PC you want. Today there are a lot more options than just a regular laptop and a desktop. Within the laptop category, there are several types to choose from such as a notebook, 2-in-1, workstation, gaming, and more. Similarly, within the desktop category, there are multiple types of desktops you could choose from.
To simplify this option, you can look specifically at the form factor. If you need portability and flexibility then a laptop or a pen PC will be great. If you need something that is going to stay on your desk at home or at work, and will only be used when you are at that desk, then a traditional desktop is a good choice. Again, if you are short on desk space, you can go for a desktop such as a Micro ATX which will have a smaller CPU and can be easily placed on the desk or underneath it.
The main reason we have so many different PC systems these days is that people have very different needs. All these different systems serve specialized purposes, though they can all be used for casual use as well. If you need a system mainly for text processing and internet browsing then you can find refurbished Desktops that will be cost-effective and efficient for that task. If you need to process a lot of data or do things like 3D modeling, then a desktop with a dedicated graphics card and a stronger processor will be more effective.
You can get these same options in laptop form as well. However, the same hardware in laptop format is smaller, which means it is slightly less powerful. As a rule of thumb, desktops will always have more processing power simply due to the size.
Whether you’re looking to buy premade computers or want to build your own, there are lots of different brands to consider. If you’re going for a premade option, the manufacturer may still give you the choice to select certain bits of hardware. Finding the right processor, the right graphics card, ram, or even hard disk can be very confusing. An easier solution is to look at what that hardware is better at. For instance, a processor with a higher clock speed vs. a processor with more cores will be better in different situations.
For certain components, it is just about speed. In the case of the hard disk, for instance, your best option is to go for an SSD with the fastest speed possible. The same applies to RAM. For desktop PSU, a higher rating is always preferred for stability.
Another way to look at the situation is from the software point of view. Certain applications are either designed to work with specific hardware or perform better with a certain type of hardware. Video editing software in particular does very well with more cores but data processing does better with a higher clock speed.
If you’re getting the computer for a particular task or have a particular software you want to use, look at what the developer of that software recommends. Also, research the reviews of other users performing similar tasks with their computers and find out what kind of hardware works best for them.
The great thing with desktops is that you can customize the computer. With laptops, this is possible, but it is very limited. You can also buy desktop hardware at lower prices than laptop hardware which makes upgrading a viable option. However, if you plan on upgrading your system, make sure you understand what kind of components are compatible and what your motherboard can handle. Things will be plug and play as long as they are in the same family. Choosing the right system is all about getting a solution that will effectively meet your needs.