Ideas for Getting A New Computer
The following are some of the basics you might consider before getting a new
computer. While a lot can be gone into when purchasing one, this is meant as
a general guideline.
For starters, itís good to identify the requirements for
the computer up front. It is important to understand them in the
One place to begin is how the
computer is going to be used. As an example, is it just for simple
word processing, e-mail and web access? Or will it be used for
something that will require more computing power like video editing,
3-D rendering, high-end graphic intensive games etc. This will go a
long way to help determine the hardware you would want. For example,
a lightly use computer with XP will likely perform acceptably with
just 512 megs of memory a 3 GHz processor and a 160 gig or less SATA
drive. But if you plan on using it in a manner that will require
more computing power or storage, you may consider increasing that
depending on the specific need. Also if gaming is involved, you may
consider customizing it further by getting the video card of your
choosing. There seem to be some exceptional ones available. Just get
the one you like. As an example, one customer does surveying and
uses Autocad. Their requirements are vastly different than my kids
who basically use theirs for schoolwork and instant messaging.
Then where is it going to be
used? Will it be used at work with possible domain or other
networking and security requirements? Will it just be used at home
as a single workstation? Try to come up with any other significant
variations you can think of ahead of time. The different operating
systems and their different versions have different capabilities and
would recommend getting the one you want from the beginning.
What are the foreseeable future
uses which might change the current set of requirements? For
example, if now you are only lightly using the computer, but in two
years you plan on developing 3D rendered games at home, you might
want to get what you will need at this time. Of course you can often
wait and update later but just something to consider ahead of time.
Is support an issue? If so that
should be noted. Do you want on-site support or is bringing it to
the local manufacturer acceptable? What is an acceptable time for a
needed repair? One day. Same Day. What are the costs for these
options. Or is just getting a computer on-line from a company that
wonít support it at all acceptable. These are just a few things to
Do you want to walk in, order a
completely custom built computer, and expect to walk out in an hour?
If so getting one on-line is probably not a viable solution. Nor
would the major vendors or manufacturers. If this is somewhat
flexible, then there might be more options available. For example,
if you wait two hours, or a few days, you might get the absolutely
perfect computer for you that can meet your needs for years. Or you
might get a quick on off the shelf in that hour only to find it
doesnít meet all those requirements.
Other items you might want to
display are Favorites, Printers, and System Administrator tools.
Since it is easy to unselect items or how they are displayed, there
are a lot of options here you might explore.
What are the foreseeable
storage requirements? This will determine the size of the hard drive
you might want. Do you plan on using it for downloading years of
large size photographs and movies. If so, you should consider a much
larger drive. If all you need it for is occasional Word files,
e-mail and browsing the web, a much smaller drive may be all you
Cost might be another issue.
You can spend a lot if you want. Sometimes if you shop around you
can find very good prices on very good equipment.
There are many other options to
consider like what kind of case you want (mini tower, full size with
lots of slots, cube, vertical or horizontal tower), Power Supply,
Keyboard, Mouse, Network adapter, Backup strategy, RAID controllers,
external storage? But that is where working with someone can really
Now while there may have a huge
list of requirements, it does not mean they can be met. It could be
somewhat analogous to walking into a car store and requiring that they
have your exact model, color, stick shift not automatic, type of seats,
special rims, sun roof and with the specific accessories in an hour. You
can require all you want but it likely wonít happen.
For example with computers, while
there may be a local computer company near where you live that can
create a custom computer with all the hardware you specify, install the
operating system, drivers, get all the updates from Microsoft, partition
exactly how you want etc. they might not be able to do it all in one
hour. A lot here would depend on what is more important, a short term
goal of getting a computer in an hour or a long term goal of getting the
exact computer you want that will meet your needs long after you get it
So this is a good general starting point to help you
determine what kind of computer you might want to get. Obviously there
is a lot more to consider but then again I just said it was for
Places to begin looking for a computer based on your
1. || Major Vendors still may have
exactly what you need and can be ordered on-line.
Major Retailers may have what
you need from major vendors and can be gotten right away from the
On-Line Computer Stores are
available that sell either your custom computer, ones they have
available or ones from major vendors.
4. || Local Computers Stores that can
custom build exactly what you need.
Building the computer yourself.
Of course this would depend on your skill and knowledge but is
certainly another option for getting your new computer.
Do some Research
Along with finding a particular
computer, do some research on that computer or company.
If it is from a major vendor,
try searching the Internet for any reviews by either other companies
or people that have actually used it.
If it is from a local computer
store, try and determine the reputability of the store. If you can't
find anyone that has used them before, one general way is to see how
long they have been in business. Often the ones that give good
products and service stay in business longer.