Home Buyers Guide

What to consider

  • What type of programs you wish to use should guide your purchase.

  • If you only need to browse the internet, send emails and use simple programs such as Microsoft Word, an entry-level computer or laptop should suffice.

  • Using more intensive programs such as photo or video editing software requires better components. Look for a mid to high-level computer or laptop with more ram (at least 8gb), a better CPU (at least a quad core), a graphics card (for games, video editing, graphics design and 3D rendering) and a decent storage device (SSD for faster boot up times and file transfer speeds).

Deciding between a desktop computer and a laptop

  • Desktop computers are more suited for a home office set-up because they are not very portable due to their weight and bulkiness.

  • Desktop computers generally have better performance than laptops due to better components meaning they are better for more intense programs.

  • Desktops computers are easily upgradeable. It generally only requires buying new parts and then swapping them in.

  • Laptops are more suited for people who wish to have a more portable set-up, allowing you to work or browse on the move whether that be on the coach, on the train or when travelling.

  • Laptops are not easily upgradeable and therefore generally must be replaced when the components fail or become outdated.

The key components of a computer

CPU

  • The CPU acts like the brain. It runs all the computers programs, calculations and operations.

  • Generally, the higher the clock speed, (GHz) the faster the CPU. The more cores, the better the performance and multi-tasking capabilities.

Graphics Card

  • Generates the image on the monitor and is only necessary for gaming, media consumption, video editing, graphics design and 3D rendering.

  • The core clock and the memory size of the graphics card are the two most important factors to look at when purchasing.

  • It is a good idea to buy a graphics card with the highest memory size and core clock that you can afford to maximise performance.

RAM

  • RAM stores small amounts of data but at transfers it at extremely high speeds.

  • It is important to buy the same type & speed of RAM because mixing and matching may cause the RAM to not run at the highest speed possible.

  • Aim for at least 4gb of RAM for everyday use, 8gb for gaming and general software and 16gb for intense editing software.

Storage

  • A SSD generally have high speeds but smaller storage amount while a HDD will have high storage size but slow speeds.

  • For a desktop, pairing a Solid-State Drive with a Hard Disk Drive is the best option.

  • For a laptop or desktop, look for an SSD if you want fast boot up times and faster data transfer speeds. Go for a hard drive if you want a cheaper option or for more storage but slower speeds.

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