In today’s economy we are all on a budget and when you need to purchase a new desktop computer it needs to fit within that budget. But how do you know what computer is right for you? What technology do you really need? One On One Computers would like to help you with making this decision.
Four Types of Desktop Computer Users
A General Purpose User – these folks use their desktop computer as a storage device and a way to share photos, they like to play games and surf the internet. Depending on the intensity of the games, a computer for this type of user will run from $500 to $1500.
Power Users – this user will use their desktop computer to do tasks such as make and edit movies and videos, make digital graphic designs and possibly play mega games. Because of the large storage capacity needed, they will need larger hard drives and usually more than one. The graphics and games will require an updated graphics card from the general purpose user. They will also need increased power and speed and this will increase the price of the computer. For a power user, the price of a desktop computer will from $2500 to $3500 depending on your specifications.
Home Theater Enthusiast – Did you know that you can purchase a computer that will handle your home theater? This type of desktop computer is perfect for those of you who love to watch movies and TV. Windows Media Center is included with all of the operating systems which includes Windows 7. The type of media you want to play will dictate the type of video card and the amount of memory you will need in your desktop computer. You will want to include surround sound with your home theater desktop computer to make the movies experience even more exciting. Make sure that you have the right DVD drive or you can opt for a blue ray player for the highest definition in your display. This type of desktop computer can range from $500 to $1500 depending on the components you need.
The Home Office Worker – in most instances you will not need the high end graphics card unless you are a graphics designer, engineer or designer. As a business owner you will want to look at a system with a dual power core. This will allow you to multitask and get your work done. Fortunately, Windows 7 is a great operating system and has the ability to multitask. A new feature of Windows 7 is the ability to have more than one window open and display the windows side-by-side. In older versions, there was a possibility that your system would crash if you tried this. Now you can save time by working between programs and not worry about a hard drive crash. The Mac has an equivalent capability built into their operating system. An investment in a home office desktop computer will run around $500 to $2000. The price will depend on your specific needs.
Primary Features to Consider For A Desktop Computer
The Processor. If you are doing a lot of multitasking, video creation or gaming which calls for a high speed processors, you will want a Duo processor. Think of the processor as the brains of your computer. The faster the processor you purchase with your desktop computer, the better your performance. The most common models of processors are the AMD Athlon 64 X2 and the Intel Core Duo processor.
How Much Memory? Memory has dropped in price and adding additional memory is very affordable. Many general purpose users have gone with 1G of memory in the past. However, you will probably want a minimum of 4G of memory. Technology is changing in this area every day. You will want to consider the purpose of the computer before deciding on the amount of memory. A desktop computer technician can help you determine how much you will need. Using pictures and video will take up the most amount of memory when uploading and sharing.
Your Hard Drive. This is where you will store all of your data. You will want to do an inventory of the types of programs you will run from your computer, documents you will store, games and photos. It is not uncommon for newer computers to come with terabyte of hard drive storage. As with memory, you can never have too much and the cost has decreased making it affordable for you to have plenty of space. A desktop computer specialist can help you determine how much hard drive space you will need.
Operating system. This usually comes standard on your computer. If you are looking at a refurbished computer, you will want to make sure the operating system is the most current version. The latest version for a personal computer is Windows 7 and for the Mac it is the Apple OS X Leopard. There are proponents that will argue on both sides of the computer world, the decision boils down to personal preference.
Video Card. This is the controller for your graphics and video. Most desktop computers come with a video card already installed. You may want to upgrade the card if you are doing high-end gaming or video creation.
Keyboard. Without a keyboard your desktop computer is useless. Although a keyboard comes standard with a new computer, you may want to consider upgrading. If you are like me and have trouble with your wrists, you will want to look for an ergonomic keyboard that comes with a wrist wrest. A friend of mine is a fanatic about having wires all over his desk and has opted for a wireless keyboard.
The Mouse. Along with the keyboard, a mouse is an integral part of your desktop computer. If you are like my friend mentioned above, you will to go with a wireless mouse. You will also want to purchase a mouse pad. Again, if you have trouble with your wrists, you will want a pad with a rest for your wrist.
Monitor. Next to the hard drive, a monitor is the most import component of your desktop computer. This is how you see the images and interact with your computer. Some of the choices you have with monitors are:
- Normal size monitors (comes standard with your computer, usually 17”)
- Wide screen monitors
- Flat screen monitors
- High Definition (HD) monitors
The type and size of the monitor will depend on what you are planning to do with your desktop computer. If you are a home office user and on the computer for long periods of time, you will want to go with wide screen monitors. Many business owners we work with use dual monitors to do multiple tasks at one time.
Web Camera. This is a camera that is hooked up to your computer and allows you to take videos and images and save them to your desktop computer. You also have the ability to chat with others using programs such as Skype or Facebook. This is a great way to stay connected with family and friends. The most important aspect of a web camera is the number of pixels it has. The higher the pixel count – the better the image.
Size of your desktop computer. With changes in technology, computers are more compact and smaller in size. If you are limited in space this is a great reason to upgrade your desktop computer. When you are considering the size of your computer, look at where you will setup your computer and how much room you can allocate to a desktop computer. If you are tight on space, you will want to take measurements with you when you discuss your purchase with a computer specialist.
DVD and Blue Ray. You will need a DVD player on your computer if you plan to watch movies. You will want to check what regions the DVD player can accommodate. Region 1 is the United States and Region 2 is Europe. If you like to view movies from around the world, you will want to make sure your DVD player can accommodate all regions.
The Warranty. Most new computers come with a limited warranty. You will want to consider purchasing an extended warranty that will give you peace of mind should anything go wrong with your computer. The more components you have installed the more important an extended warranty becomes.
You will want to print out this guide and take it with you when you purchase your next desktop computer. Keeping the points in this guide in mind will help you make the right choices for your new desktop computer.
The desktop computer technicians at One On One Computers want to ensure you purchase the right computer for your needs. Call us today with your questions and concerns.
One On One Computers
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