Desktop Computer Buying Guide

Things to Watch Out For When Buying a Desktop Computer

On this page we’re going to cover some of the main aspects of choosing the right desktop computer with the right configuration for your needs at the right price. Desktops are generally more solidly built, more powerful, cheaper due to the lack of mobility advantage, more scalable and customisable than portable laptop computers so they have a few advantages whether they are a complete gaming multimedia machine, a simple home desktop or a more powerful office computer and there are obviously many different uses for desktop PC’s. The first thing that you should think about when you are buying a desktop or any computer for that matter is thinking about what you will be using it for: Will you be playing the latest very demanding games, will you be editing videos and photos or do you just want to stream videos from the internet, watch movies and listen to music? Will you be running several tasks- software, apps and many browsers at the same time?

Desktop PC Buying Guide

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If you have the answers to these questions then you look at how much of the main components you need- memory (RAM), processor (CPU), hard drive (HDD and/or SSD), graphics card (GPU). The most important part of any computer- its brain is the CPU- processor and two main brands dominate the market place: Intel is number 1 and AMD is number 2 and with both Intel and AMD you can get from two up to 8 core processors for different power and speed needs and the frequency advertised of the computer is certainly not the only thing that determines its speed and capability. RAM or memory is the place where the machine places the important data needed for processing temporarily like a buffer zone and it can’t be managed by the computer user. These days unless a very low priced compact laptop or desktop, most machines will have 4GB and above and 4GB is plenty for what most people would need and in more powerful systems you will see 6GB, 8GB, 12GB and above for extreme use.

You can store all your files, data, apps and some software on the hard drive and with more multimedia entertainment especially with the speed and capacity increase in internet, people seem to need more storage space and videos and music files and you can have anywhere from 500GB to 1TB and 2TB on modern day computers and desktops tend to have more storage capacity than portable laptops but you do need to make sure you have the backup of your important work as computers can fail too and you can lose all your data. What type or level of graphics card you need will be determined by your gaming, multimedia, video or internet browsing needs and if you intend to play 3D games or edit advanced multimedia then you have no choice but get a mid-range and above dedicated graphics card. Some of the latest integrated graphics cards like Intel Iris Pro 5200 and 6200 that you’ll find on 21.5 inch Imac’s are also quite all right in terms of advanced graphics and video editing performance. Most current laptops don’t have DVD optical drives but desktops still do have those units that also reads and writes to CDs and allow you to do backups of your important data and DVD drives with Blu-ray format are also available on some desktop models, and they still play the DVD format and the capacity of Blu-ray format is much higher.

Man Using Desktop PC

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For connectivity options, the faster with larger coverage 802.11ac instead of 802.11bgn wireless is much preferable, an HDMI port that lets you connect to your flat screen TV by a good quality HDMI cable, you should have around 6 USB ports and some of these should be the modern USB 3.0 ports that are up to ten times faster than the standard USB 2.0, an audio output so you can connect speakers and headphones and a Media Card Reader that supports different formats but should at least support the most popular SD and SDHC. Last but not least you can always choose an iMac style All-in-One where everything is housed in/behind the slim monitor except for the keyboard, mouse and other external peripherals and most computer companies that use Windows OS have them these days and they have their beautiful space saving design with great quality large touchscreens (iMac’s don’t have touch displays) but they often have a mobile laptop processor rather than a more powerful desktop processor which makes them more suitable for lighter use than very demanding gaming etc. They cost a lot but most people will be happy with even an iMac entry level AIO desktop and that’s for sure. And if you’re after more portability then laptops may still be your thing like the majority of computer market.

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