Your Guide to Buying a Computer

So your old computer is outdated and slow and you have decided to buy a new computer. If you are not too familiar with computers, buying one can be quite a complicated process. Most of you who don’t know enough about computers will more than likely be taking the sales representatives word for it. However, to prevent any future problems that you may have, its actually better to do your research before you buy a new computer.

The first question you have to ask yourself is what is it that you are going to be doing with your computer. This is also the first question the sales rep will probably ask you as well. Whatever your answer is to this question will let you know what type of computer you need. The two most common types of computers that are being sold are Multi-media computers and workstation computers.

Multi-media Computers

These computers will have most of what you need to do just about anything you can think of. Want to watch TV on your computer? Want to play graphic demanding games? Do you like to listen to music or watch dvd’s on your computer? How about producing your own music or home videos? Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions than your safest bet would be to go with a multi-media computer.

Multi-media computers are typically a lot more expensive than work station computers. They come with more RAM, better graphics, better sound cards, bigger hard drives and usually come bundled with some very nice software. However, you will most likely be having more problems with this type of computer.

Workstation Computers

These types of computers are a lot cheaper. Since you use this kind of computer for doing things like browsing the web, writing up all sorts of documents, sending e-mails and getting business done you will not be needing a lot of expensive hardware to make it work really well. The most expensive hardware in these types of computers is the CPU. Every other piece of hardware is pretty much the cheapest of the cheap. Retailers do this to keep costs down and appeal to the consumer looking for the ‘budget’ computer. They come with both on-board sound and on-board graphics. While it possible to play a few games with this type of computer, don’t expect to be playing highly demanding graphical games on max settings. Possibly the best thing about getting a workstation computer is the amount of room you have for upgrades. By using on-board graphics and sound, you will have open ‘slots’ to latter add a graphics card or a sound card of your own. But, unless you know how to install these things yourself, it really is a gamble.

Now that you know what type of computer you need you can buy accordingly. However, if you are wanting a multi-media type computer but can’t afford it you could get away with purchasing a workstation computer and upgrading to a multi-media computer at your convenience. Before you do, you must get as much information from the retailer about the computer as possible. You need to know what type of motherboard, CPU and RAM you have to make changes that significant to your computer. Without having this sort of information, any hardware you purchase for an upgrade could do more damage to your wallet.

Tony Coffee is has spent the last 8 years building and helping people buy computers.

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