Buying a computer is something that intimidates a lot of people. There are so many different models out there with different specs, and new ones are being introduced almost every single day. But once you understand the basics of what makes for a good computer, you can start narrowing down your options. You’ll also be able to actually understand the words that are coming out of salespeople’s mouths. Let’s take a look at a few smart tips for buying a computer.
Know Your Priorities
One thing you have to figure out before you start shopping for a computer is the use you want to make of it. Someone who wants to principally check emails and watch YouTube, for instance, will not have the same needs as someone who works in graphic design or wants to play AAA games on high settings.
If you’re a casual user, we have to say that virtually any machine being sold right now will probably do for you. At the bare minimum, you’ll need a computer with a CPU around the 1.5ghz mark with two cores and at least 8GB of RAM. GPU and storage shouldn’t be an issue as most machines in that category will have enough power and space there for this type of usage.
If you want to play video games, you need a powerful GPU, so start learning about the different types. Start looking at mid-range cards like the GeForce GTX 20 series and a few higher-end cards like the 30 series and the RX 6000 series from AMD.
For things like graphic design and other heavy tasks, the CPU will play a very important role. Here, we suggest that you look at the minimum requirements for the programs you intend to use and get something slightly better. If a program asks for a 2 GHz four-core processor, for instance, go for something around the 2.5 to 3 GHz mark with eight cores or better. This will cover you for the future.
Look at All Your Options
Decide if you’re going to pick a laptop or a desktop, then start looking at different options. If you’re okay with a desktop, look at whether you could build your own instead of buying it. This will allow you to cut costs significantly. But only go for this option if you’re 100% sure you know what you’re doing.
If you’re going to go for a laptop, look at whether a Chromebook can work for you. Chromebooks can be great if you only want to perform light tasks on the go. You’ll get a much better machine for the price and Chromebooks are extremely fast with great battery time. They are not the best suited for things like gaming, however, so if you want to make savings here, you might want to look at mid-range models or used/refurbished units there.
Look for Online Deals
There are so many deals on computers online, and no matter what retailer or manufacturer you want to buy it from, there’s a strong chance that you’ll find a deal somewhere.
Sites like Upgrade Reviews, for instance, have tons of deals on computers and peripherals, but there are plenty of others. You should also sign up for retailer and manufacturer newsletters as they will usually give you an instant discount for signing up and various specials through email.
We also suggest that you look for seasonal sales. Computer companies and retailers usually slash prices around the second quarter, before school starts, and on President’s Day weekend, so look for deals during that time.
We hope these few tips will allow you to find a great computer at a decent price. It shouldn’t be that difficult, however, as long as you’re patient and take the time to learn a thing or two about computers before you start searching.