Advantages You could find a very good deal!
Disadvantages You may buy a duff computer!
Computers, computers...you see them everywhere you go. Whether it be someone's house, an office, a shop or even in a delivery van. The question is, when I buy a computer, how can I be sure that I'm getting good value for money?Don't worry, stevie-boy's here to help you on your quest to find a good computer! I work part time in a computer shop so I have good background knowledge on what to buy.
For this piece of advice, I'll split the computer into four parts, the box, the monitor, the essential externals and the optional externals.The Box (CPU)
This is what houses all the parts that make your computer work, such as the processor and the hard disk. I'll go through each part individually and tell you what should be good for your needs.The processor
This is what performs all of the calculations and instructions in your computer. There are many different types, but there are four main ones in the market. These are; AMD Athlon XP, AMD Duron, Intel Pentium 4 and the Intel Celeron.
The Athlon XP and the P4 rival each other as mainstream processors, and they concentrate on the power end of the market, provide very fast speeds and more memory.
The Celeron and Duron, on the other hand are budget processors, and these provide good value for money for undemanding tasks, such as word processing.
You may have noticed that speeds are now clocking over 2.6 ghz, but no-one but a real power user who is into high end graphics will need this. My advice is that for office tasks and general internet surfing, a 1.1ghz Duron/Celeron will be more than adequate. A family computer, on the other hand,is more multi purpose, so I would recommend a processor speed of about 1.8ghz, and the type I recommend is a Athlon XP/Pentium 4. For the real power user, a 2.6 ghz Pentium 4 would be the best.
This is what stores all of your files and information. Obviously the more you do on your computer, the bigger the hard disk will need to be. You get many different makes and models, which offer fast access speeds, high capacities and silent operation. My advice is to pick one which is a good brand name, such as Samsung or Western Digital. Generic hard disks might not be as reliable as a branded part.
For the home/office user, I would not recommend buying a PC with a hard disk less than 20gb, as this is now the bare minimum. For people who demand more from their computers, a 40-60gb drive should be adaequate. For the power user, you can now get drives which have a 120gb capacity.
The more RAM you own, the faster the computer will be, as a rule of the thumb. You can get DDR memory, which is twice as fast as standard memory, or you can opt for SD-ram, which is the standard type.
If you buy a computer, you should not go less than having 128mb Ram. Windows XP takes up a lot of space when running, and if ran on less than 128mb, the whole computer will be painfully slow.
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