Previously I had written an article on Tips for buying a desktop computer in 2008, however technology has progressed considerably since then, therefore making that information obsolete. In 2009 and 2010 we are all now using our desktop and laptop computers for more and more tasks everyday. Most of us rely on a computer for communication, education, and even entertainment. There seems to be no ending to a computers capability and this is why you need to buy a computer that will suit your needs. If you know what to buy and just want to know how to buy, then see general computer buying tips.
Desktop Computer Buying Tips & Tricks for 2010
If you just want a computer to check your emails, then you can go and buy any old computer to do the job. If you want to do a bit more with a desktop computer, like saving files, browsing the internet, or using large applications, you will need a computer to suit those needs.
Please note: I recommend you continue reading this article and also later see computer buying tips for 2011.
Now days the sky’s the limit when it comes to the size, speed, and capacity of the new computers. However my desktop computer buying tips are for the average person, not the rev head geek with a 350chev computer. These tips are aimed at a person buying a full computer system that is already put together.
What kind of computer case suits you?
There are some very fancy looking computer systems that might look appealing in the shop, but might not look so good after a year or so. There are red monsters with flashing lights, with opening doors, and hidden buttons. I prefer the black, relatively plain computer case, but still nice looking. This will last the test of time and fashion. It won’t turn out to be some piece of unfashionable junk.
How fast should a computer be for 2010?
Having quality components inside your computer will obviously make it run faster.
Dual core or more…The minimum processor you will need should be dual core. You can get a dual core 3.2ghz which runs very fast. This is what I have in my computer and it runs 20-30 tasks at the same time. That is a bit extreme, however we are thinking of the future. We do not want your computer to be outdated and slow in a years’ time. I also usually prefer an Intel processor, however AMD and Athlon are very good also.
If you choose to go for a quad core I will be seriously jealous, as this computer would perform any task and do hundreds at the same time. But don’t forget that every great processor needs a decent amount of ram (memory) to function to its full potential.
How much memory do I need?
Having 4Gb of memory would be just great! I would say that you would defiantly need this if you are using the Windows Vista operating system. However if you have Windows Seven, which runs fantastic even on old computers, then don’t worry if you have less.
Windows Seven is a better operating system and uses less computer resources. I have an old 3ghz computer (not even a dual core), 1 GB ram, with Windows Seven on it. I must admit that I am only using this computer as a media player that is connected to my TV. It is not storing hardly any files. Still great though!
How much hard drive space do I need when buying a computer in 2010?
You are probably thinking that you do not need much hard drive storage space, but let me explain. In the good old days, photos were printed at a photo shop, however now we store all of our photos digitally. This means we will naturally need more storage space. We also extract video footage from video camera’s which takes up a lot of room, and new games really take up room. The point is, if you are buying this computer for the future, then you should be equipped.
I recommend having at least a 250GB hard drive for the main hard drive where the operating system will be installed. Then it would be great to have a second hard drive installed where you can store your files (installing a second hard drive takes about 5 mins). After that I would suggest buying a 500GB external hard drive to backup onto.
This might sound extreme to you, but who would have ever thought we would be storing our photos on the computer and printing them from there. Soon everything might be stored digitally.
Motherboard? When buying a ready made desktop people usually overlook the motherboard which is the main system board of the computer. You can check to see if the motherboard includes enough plugs
Do I need a DVD Drive?
Yes you do need a DVD drive. This will play music cd’s, games, DVD movies, and more. You should have at least one DVD burner drive installed. When you are buying a new computer the minimum you should have installed is a 20 speed DVD writer. Now days you can buy a DVD burner from Ebay, brand new, for around $30 so why not have one?
Do I need an extra graphics and sound card installed?
If you plan to watch movies, look at fancy graphics on the internet, or play games on your computer then you need a graphics card. Having a graphics card will make your computer run faster. If you do not have a graphics card, when graphics appear on your screen it will be using the computers memory to display it. This will slow your computer down, or in some cases, even stop it dead.
A sound card is a different story though. Do you want to turn your computer into a monster stereo or do you just want to hear sound? I have onboard 6 channel sound with sub woofer speakers and can still blast my office with sound. I personally do not need a sound card, and the average user shouldn’t either.
Standard items that come with every computer system:
Your computer should come with a computer keyboard, mouse, LCD flat screen monitor, and all the cords needed to connect the computer. It should also come with all the necessary CD’s needed to restore the computer to its original state.
How much does the average new desktop computer cost in 2010?
If you were to get all of these features I have mentioned above, and you did shop around, there is no doubt you could get this for around $1,000. If you wanted to add more warranty, that would be extra. Of course you can go for a bigger and better computer and spend more money, but if you do not need it, why do it?
If you are game enough to build your own I suggest you make a list of the parts you need, price them on Ebay wins hands down for price as long as you can pick up the parts. Always make sure the parts are compatible with each other. If you are not sure, ask the sales person to guarantee that the parts are compatible.
Laptop computer buying tips & tricks for 2010
When choosing a new laptop to buy, you should be careful because there is a lot of cheap junk out there on the market. Follow these tips for buying a new laptop computer that should last at least two years or more.
- Make sure the laptop is an Intel dual core at the minimum.
- 2GB of ram (memory) minimum.
- A minimum of 250GB hard drive. (And an external hard drive for backup).
- Inbuilt wireless adapter, and a Ethernet port.
- Make sure it has enough USB ports. Everything plugs in through USB now days.
- I would be ideal to get a spare battery and an ac adapter. These are the parts that go first on a laptop.
- Inbuilt DVD burner.
- Firewire port to connect a video camera if necessary.
- A laptop carry bag for protection and to hold all the accessories.
- A wireless mini mouse.
- A year or more warranty.
- MAKE SURE the laptop is not display stock as they leave the power adapters plugged in and running 24-7.
Choosing the right desktop or laptop computer to buy can be a daunting task if you don’t know what you are talking about. What does all that computer jargon mean anyway? Hard drive, processor, ram, memory, hardware, software. Here is a definition of the most common computer terms. It is best to arm yourself with a bit of research and knowledge about the product before you commit to buy.
- Transferring digital video .If you want to edit digital video you will need a firewire card to transfer your digital video to your computer. However if you have a newer type video camera it could possibly connect through a USB port on your computer, therefore you wouldn’t need a firewire. To edit video’s you will also need a decent graphics card to handle the work.
- Gaming machine You will need a good graphics card to be able to play big games without any hiccups. Especially if you want to play something like The Sims 3.
- Building Webpage’s and uploading files. You will need a fast broadband connection and webpage building software.