How To Choose Which Computer is right for you!

ramone By ramone, 15th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Technology>Computer Hardware

Lately I have been asked several times a week my thoughts on which computer is the right one to buy. I have decided to write this article to help guide you on making that choice because it all boils down to personal likes, dislike and preferences in the end.

How do I Choose?

There are a couple of main parts of a Personal Computer (PC) and Laptop Computer (Notebook & Netbook) that truly needs consideration when making a purchase. These parts can highlight the difference between the different brands or type of computer.

So when you are looking for the right computer to buy, you need to pay attention to these parts and see what they are, and how fast they are, so that you will end up with the computer system you really want and need that will fulfill the required daily functions either business or casual. As long as you use these guideline you will not be looking at upgrading too soon before your budget can afford it.

The Processor

All computers only understand 1's and 0's which is the binary language. The processor does the calculations with these 1's and 0's to give you your Operating System (Windows XP or 7,Linux & Apple OS), icons, folders, text, pictures, music etc... The faster your processor's speed is, the faster it can do these calculations, the less wait time or "lag" you will have in order to see the result. Now that doesn't mean that you have to get the latest and greatest of processors out. It just means that you have to make a decision based on understanding what that number next to the GHz means.

Casual Users: If you are a student or you are going to be using this computer for such purposes as: research, surfing the web, playing card games, word processing, book keeping, or anything of the like, it is recommended that you get a processor that is accommodating for these activities. You definitely do not need anything super fast, but you do not want to get too low end either, otherwise you will be left in the technological dust when the new processors come out and everyone you know upgrades. Typically a 2.0Ghz Dual-core processor is as low end as you want to go, but with the new (M)obile technology that laptops have out this number changes. If you see "Mobile" or a "M" anywhere in the processor area when you are looking at a laptop, the low end in this case is around 1.0GHz. Dual-core. Today’s processors are almost all at least dual-core, meaning that the entire processor itself contains two separate cores with which it can process those instruction simultaneously. For Advanced users with a limited budget the high end range for Dual-core processors is 2.1GHz to 3.1GHz.

Advanced Power Users: If you are a gamer or a power user on the computer, or plan on being one, you will want to go with something a bit more powerful. Recommendation is definitely something over 1.5Ghz or 2.0Ghz(Mobile Technology) Quad-Core as a low end. For gamers or power users you will want to be in a high end computer selection to best utilize the speed capabilities of your programs and games. This too does not necessarily mean you need the latest and greatest processor out there, but you do want something that will give you the power you need without killing your wallet, but also not leaving you having to upgrade as soon as the newest games or high-end programs come out. A good rule of thumb is to look around and compare a few different computer systems, and look for the best speed you can find, something with a Quad-Core processor. Quad-Core means that the entire processor itself contains four separate cores with which it can process those instruction simultaneously. Most high end user go for something between 2.1 or 3.2Ghz Quad-core which is a sweet deal to have if you can afford it.

Currently in 2013 both Processor manufacturer both AMD and Intel have release Six-Cores processor.

Memory (Secondary Storage)

RAM or Random Access Memory is a type of computer storage where the content can be accessed in any order. It is primarily used in computer systems to hold information that you or your computer are actively using or actively changing. Think of it as a work space, the more things you have to do the more work space you will use. When you run a program or a game, all the information about that program or game are loaded into memory, but only certain parts of it are needed at a time. The computer sorts through the memory and pulls out this information as needed.

The more memory you have to work with, the better off you are. Most computers now a days are manufactured with a recommend minimum of 2GB (Gigabytes). It is recommended to get a system with 4GB give yourself some room to grow and change your preference. Not being able to run a program or a game due to not enough memory, is one of the greatest heart breakers. Memory is fairly cheap in today's computer market, so it is not worth going the cheap route in this area just to come up short later. Choose based on usage load Casual users can go with the minimum 2GB however Power users can start with 4GB however based on gaming or software demands 8GB is sufficient.

Hard Drive (Primary Storage)

You can never have enough hard drive space. A few years ago people laughed when someone bought a 1GB hard drive, saying that they would never be able to fill that in a lifetime. Then people started getting 10, 20, 40, 80, 250 even 320GB hard drives, thinking the same thing, they will never be able to fill up that much space. Well let's face it, when it comes to our loved ones pictures, and our favorite songs, or videos, we as humans are pack rats when it comes to storing things on the computer.

We have the ability to burn things off on CD or even DVD now, but we want our "favorites" to be easily accessible. The computer itself uses some of this hard drive space to be able to function, with what is known as a swap file. Your computer will claim a section of your hard drive to use as "virtual memory" so it can access all your commonly used information faster than just your memory(RAM) alone. Even Notebook and Netbook manufacturers are now reserving a part of Hard Drive for Factory Restore/ Reset Backup files.

When choosing the size of your hard drive, remember this, because you will need enough storage space for all your programs, all your music, movies, games, pictures, plus the amount that your computer uses automatically. Make sure that you pay attention to the "rpm" of the drive (rotations per minute). This is how fast the information is read from the hard drive or written to the hard drive. This speed is generally either 5400, 7200, or 10000. The faster the rpm speed the better, but choose this speed based on how you are going to use your computer. If you are using the computer for games, video editing, or 3D modeling, you definitely want your hard drive to be as fast as possible like 7200 rpm. 500GB to 2TB (Terabytes)

Video Graphics

The graphics capabilities of your computer is a very important factor to take into consideration, especially if you are to be doing gaming, 3D modeling, or video editing. All graphic cards have memory of their own, which enable them to process video graphics and render them to the screen as fast as possible, without slowing your computer system down by using some of its precious memory. Most computers today from major manufacturers have built in graphics cards. These can be upgraded if your needs call for it, but unless you are doing something that requires a major amount of video graphic capabilities, 64-128MB of graphic memory should be an ample amount. For the extreme gamers and 3D artists out there, it is recommended that you get nothing less than 256MB of video memory for optimal performance.


It all comes down to personal usage, likes and dislike as I am AMD fan so I tend to buy more AMD brand Computers with AMD Graphics card. Hope this help in making a decision on your next purchase.


Desktop Computer, Laptop, Laptop Computer, Laptop Computers, Laptop For Studies, Laptops For Games, Personal Computer, Purchase, Purchasing

Meet the author

author avatar ramone
A versatile pro-active self-motivated person who combines their interest in customer support and Information Technology skills to assist, educate and inform the masses.

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


Add a comment
Can't login?