Desktop Computer Buying Guide


Desktop Computer Buying Guide

Desktop Computer Buying Guide

By Anne Ahira

Personal Computers are becoming more common and much less expensive than ever before. Almost every home has one and the entire family or just one member may use it for a specific purpose.

This desktop computer buying guide will guide you in your selection of a personal computer that fits your individual needs without buying more computer than you buy feel you need.

Mac or PC is a common question and while we address it let us ignore the commercials where the Macintosh takes on the PC because there is no winner.

Instead, this choice is a choice based on an operating system, Macintosh users swear by them, and some will not touch a PC. Instead, you already know if you are a dyed in the wool Mac user and if you are not then you should take into account the limitations of both systems.

For video editing, there is no better desktop computer than a Macintosh. Professional photographers tend to choose a Mac based on this alone. There are fewer exploits and some feel a Mac is more stable than the PC. Again, this is a matter of preference.

If you use a lot of software, games, and other programs, then Macs are limited in some respects not all programs are developed for the Macintosh. It does not need to influence your purchase decision negatively but it is a factor to consider.

Desktop Computer Buying Guide – The essentials or more?

Now for the goodies that go with a desktop computer. It is a fact that you get more computers for your dollar with a Desktop as opposed to a laptop. With a laptop or portable, you pay as much for the portability as you do for the computing power.

With a Desktop computer, you are paying for your computer and its capabilities. Granted you should not be lugging your desktop computer around on a regular basis but the power more than makes up for the lack of portability.

How much memory do you really need in your desktop computer?  The answer is the more memory the better for gamers, video editing, and other computer users commonly employing high memory use programs. At least 2 GB will satisfy most desktop computer users without requiring an immediate upgrade. Hard Drives how much storage do you need?

If you are stuffing your hard drive, full of all your favorite music and video then the more the better. However, for the casual desktop computer user then 30 Gigabytes is a minimum.

CD/DVD drives are those a luxury when buying a desktop computer? Maybe not since many programs install from CD and those with a CD/DVD player with read and write capabilities are usually not much more in price and handy for almost every desktop computer user.

CPU speed,  consider choosing a CPU speed above 1.5 GHz as any slower might simply make your computing experience torture and your processor unable to handle more than one task at a time.

There is more to consider but those are some basics. Those minimums prevent your having to upgrade your memory or your hard drive before you have it out of the box and setup.

Desktop Computer Buying Guide – The Real Choices

Not many people actually build their own desktop computers; most are purchased already constructed with upgrades available and standard specifications. This usually the least expensive method to buy a desktop computer but it also requires the purchaser know what they plan to do on the desktop computer, and what features they absolutely require or want.

The standard brand name computers cost less and can suit you. All that is required is you base your desktop computer buying choice on knowledge rather than a guess.

Decide if you want to purchase your desktop computer new or refurbished. Some stores both online and retail offer refurbished computers. Refurbished desktop computers are pre-owned systems that have had certain parts replaced or just been checked and passed on to the consumer at a reduced price.

There may be a warranty with these desktop computers and they are usually less expensive than the new desktop computer but the warranty is usually limited and when you are making a large purchase like a desktop computer, new is usually the best choice in the end.

Price is no longer a barrier to almost any budget when buying a desktop PC, a new Acer Aspire Revo which has the minimum (and a little more) of power memory and hard drive space that most casual computer users expect can be bought for a little more than $200.00. This is not a powerful PC and not as good as some other brands for videos or with high-powered applications.

It might be a good choice for simple web surfing, email, or using an MS office application. The processor is slow compared to some of the new high-powered models but for the price and for the limited use many casual users put it to it is worth consideration.

Anytime you buy a desktop PC, remember some less expensive models may not come with a monitor.  Not including a monitor drops the price so it may seem attractive but be sure before you order it or take it home from the store that a monitor is listed.

If it is not and you do not catch, it before you buy your desktop computer you may end up having to make another purchase that drives up the seemingly low price to something less acceptable.

Check the merchant’s return policy or the store return policy because if you are not satisfied with your new desktop you may want to return exchange or trade it in. Though if you choose carefully based on what you use your desktop computer for and buy the features you need for the uses you will put it to you should not have to face having to return your new desktop computer because you are dissatisfied with its performance.

Here's Desktop Computer Selections: