PC Buying Guide
If you are buying your first computer or just do not feel confident purchasing a computer without some advice read ahead. This article will provide some guidelines for you so that you can buy a computer that fits your needs.
First things first, consider what you will be using your computer for the most. Will you use your computer for work, for school, to surf t he Internet or to play games? Of course, you may be using your computer for several different purposes. However, your main reason for buying the computer may affect what features you select. For example, if you are going to use your computer for your business and to work all day, you may want to buy a better monitor, if you are primarily going to use your computer to listen to music and burn your own CDís, youíll want an excellent sound card and a CD-RW drive.
Let us begin by examining some basic components of a computer. All computers have a CPU (Central Processing Unit). The computer CPU does all the computing. The performance of a processor is usually measured in gigahertz (GHz). The two most popular CPU brands used in personal computers and laptops are Intel and AMD.
AMD Duron and Intel Celeron are used in inexpensive computers. They are best used for word processing, accounting and other office applications, as well as Internet access. These processors also work fine for simple multimedia tasks such as digital photography. In general if you donít need much computer procession power, buy Duron or Celeron.
AMD Athlon and Intel Pentium 4 are affordable yet powerful CPUís. They offer power and excellent performance. They work well for processor intensive tasks. Some example includes audio/video editing, 3D imaging and game playing. These processors also make your other computer programs and applications run faster.
Monitors are another basic component of a computer. There are CRT monitors and now also LCD. The traditional CRT monitors use a cathode ray tube and are much bigger compared to LCD monitors. LCD monitors are known as flat panel displays and are becoming increasingly popular lately. These monitors weigh less and are not nearly as thick as regular CRT monitors. The LCD picture quality is much higher than CRT quality. LCD monitors are more expensive than CRT, but are definitely the better choice.
The computer RAM is where the operating systems, programs and data in current use are stored. The computer CPU accesses the data directly from computer RAM. Your computer will be faster, the more RAM that you have. RAM is getting cheaper everyday, and most PCs nowadays 512MB or more RAM.
Another major component of any computer is the hard drive. This is where the computer stores data persistently. Most hard drives range from 40GB to 160GB in size. Buy as big hard drive as you can afford; the space is never enough.
You no longer need to pay big money for quality sound and video components. For those of you who are gamers, you will want a 3D video card with at least 64MB of RAM. ATI and NVIDIA are two of the highest performing brands of video cards. The sound card that is included with your computer will be sufficient for average use of your computer.
If you do have more advanced audio requirements or you are going to use your computer to play a lot of games, you may want to buy a PCI sound card. These cards have a range of features that are available depending upon the card you purchase. Some of the more expensive cards have Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and S/PDIF digital output. Higher end sounds cards can also include 3D audio.
When you purchase a new computer, you should make sure it is upgradeable. Changes and improvements are constantly being made in the computer industry. When new software and peripherals come out on the market, you will want to be able to use them on your computers.