What kind of computer should I buy? I have been asked this question many times, and it’s a good question. The answer really depends on how important is a good quality computer to you. I find that people will generally go out and pick the cheapest thing out there no matter the brand name. But I say, “stop doing that”. It costs you in the long run. I generally try to stick with the middle ground computer and make sure it’s a brand name that I know very well. For me personally, I tend to stay with HP and Dell simply because they are well know brand names and I know I can reach a customer support person very easily navigate there website in the event that we have to find out warranty information or get updated drivers for the machine.
So what is a middle ground computer consist of. Let me first say that there are several types of processors, size in hard drives, memory brands, etc… Again, stick with the name brands. You’ll be glad you did.
So, here goes. Machines with the processors I tend to stick with have intel processors. AMD is another and can certainly be a fine choice. It really all comes down to preference. In this article I am going to only reference the Intel processors. I3, I5, and I7 are the current ones that I”ll be talking about. I generally stay with the I5 (middle ground) processor. Unless you’re doing hi-end graphics and video, the I5 Intel Processor will suit every purpose you’ll have. You can go crazy with processor numbers and speeds. There is just way too many options. Again I tend to stay middle ground to upper on processors. If you really want to get into the numbers you can look at the Intel Processor Numbers Page.
Hard drive sizes and brands. Every product I talk about in this article has way too many choices to choose from. For the sake of not over-complicating things, I’m going to talk about only hard drive sizes and not get into things like latency and seek time. Rotation speeds I will though. Disk drives rotate between 3,600 rpm and 15,000 rpm. I stick to 7,200 rpm and higher. 7,200 is general choice while 15,000 is found mainly on servers but can certainly be installed on regular computers. It’s just the more expensive choice. Now these hard drives come from many different brand names too. Just like everything else. I generally see WD (Western Digital) and Seagate as the main choice for hard drives. Both are good choices. Other hard drive types are SSD (Solid-State Drives) and sata. Solid-State drive are great but still expensive for my taste and in comparison to how much space you get. You get way less space for the cost compared to sata drives. Here’s a good article if you want to read on which hard drive deserves your data?. As far as hard drive space, get 500gb (gigabyte) and higher. Generally on the low end is 1TB (terabyte) now. 1TB is good choice for most unless you have a ton of files that are huge. Huge files are usually files that are hi-end graphics/pictures and videos and powerpoints with a lot of pictures. If you have a lot of files we’ll also have to talk about having a good backup plan in another article.
Video card choices. Here’s my theme for this article. Middle ground. Types and models of video drives are plentiful too. Nvidia, Intel, and AMD are among the top choices. Not going to get into a lot of detail here except to say that unless your going for hi-end graphics, video, or feel the need to build your own, just stick with whatever video card of those top three choices comes in a already built machine. We could spend way too much time here too.
Memory or RAM amount. I’m not even going to talk much about memory either. PNY, Kingston, Corsair, are some brands and the list goes on… I’m only going to talk about memory amount. For the middle ground get at least 8gb (gigabyte) of memory. If you want to do hi-end graphics and video then you can go for at least 16gb.
So let’s summarize. Here’s the computer to get for most people.
- HP or Dell computer
- Intel I5 processor
- Western Digital or Seagate Hard drive. 7,200 rpm, 1TB
- Nvidia, Intel, AMD video card
- 8gb RAM memory.
Ok. Now you can buy yourself a computer. I will always be available to help choose, go with, or order a new computer with you. So don’t ever feel overwhelmed. I’m here to help.