When buying a computer, it’s important to learn a few essential things about them, as not only is it easy to be fooled by high numbers, but at the same time, you’re not being made aware of the numbers that matter. Following this guide to buying desktop computers – best computers to buy will be made that little more apparent.
There are four main specs that you should consider before purchase.
CPU – The central processing unit is a general purpose piece of hardware that is required to process every program you’ll ever run on your personal computer (PC). It’s power is measured in mega- and gigahertz (MHz and GHz, respectively). The higher the number, the faster it will process information and the more responsive your computer will be. It can be further enhanced by having multiple cores, which is essentially like having several CPUs in one. It allows the CPU to focus on several things at once, instead of simply swapping between the programs. As you can imagine, this allows for better multi-tasking, as the processor can deal with tasks simultaneously.
For gaming, the main focus should be on the graphics card. This will deal with anything graphically-intensive and offer significant increases if it is a quality card. For this, you will want to look to either NVIDIA or AMD/ATI for a card as they are the leading competitors. The two main specs of a graphics card are core clock and memory amount. The core clock determines how fast the graphics card is and is the most important marker of a graphics card. The memory amount will determine how often the card needs to load things like textures into it, which may cause stuttering if it needs to swap continuously.
Finally, there are two sorts of memory. RAM is the memory which the CPU sends things to be remembered temporarily. It will swap information in and out constantly as it is required by the CPU. Size and clock speed will determine it’s efficiency, generally higher in both being better. The other type is hard disk memory. This determines how much you can store on your computer. It is measured in megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB). Modern computers require hundreds of gigabytes to successfully multiple games, but for someone wishing to store only music and random tidbits, not videos, then a hundred at most will do.
Choose the Perfect Computer for You!
Before you get your card or cash out in the store, you need to calculate your spending budget. What is the point in having the best PC in the street if you can’t afford to eat for two months? Check the prices of new machines online before you go to the store. Or maybe you are happy enough to order online; it can be a smart way to reduce your outgoings.
If you are clueless when it comes to technical specifications, you can always do your homework online. There are many forums in existence that will be a godsend of valuable information. There is nothing worse than having a young upstart of a computer salesman smile smugly when you look on blankly at the buzz words he is testing you with. The terms you should be familiar with are as follows:
Hard Drive – This is where you store all of your programs and files. Try and get at least five hundred gigabytes for this purpose.
RAM – Random access memory. This allows you to multitask without slowing the performance down. Between four to eight gigabytes is plenty for most requirements.
Processor speed – This indicates the power and speed of your motherboard. Look for a dual processor and you should be able to run plenty of applications in tandem.
Video/Graphics card – If you are an online gamer then you will need something powerful. It should be a standalone PCI component and needs to be able to take the hammering dished out by your latest ‘shoot em up’ game. An integrated graphics card is fine if you only need the PC for emails and gentle surfing.
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