Tips for buying a new computer

By: Michael Cottier
A computer is perhaps the most important part of our daily lives. We see it everywhere from our homes to the places we work. Since it is used so much in our lives, we want to make sure that a PC we purchase is a good computer that will be able to do everything we want it to, and last a long time.

But purchasing a new computer is not as easy as you might think it is. Sure you could shell out lots of money and buy a brand PC, but sometimes you are spending money on speed and features you don’t even need. They also come with offers and built in software that they dangle in front of you to stay ahead in the business. You can also custom build your own computer, but is it really going to be cheaper then if you bought a brand PC with the same features? Since I have been using, and buying computers, for the past 12 years I know exactly what you need to look for when buying a fully assembled desktop computer. Use my tips below and you will save time and money.

- You need to know what hardware you will need. If you don’t know, talk to someone who has knowledge of computers, and tell them what you will be using the PC for. They should know what you will need. Once you know what you should get, then look for a computer that meets those needs.

- Make sure the store you buy your new computer from has great service and are willing to stick by their computer.

- If you will be using the computer for video games or other graphic related applications, you need to have a good graphics card. Most motherboards come with a built in graphics card, but usually that is not suitable for high end graphic demands.

Purchasing a nice ATI or NVIDIA graphics card would be a good idea if you plan on using the PC for graphic related applications. There is a slot available to slide your new graphics card in if you choose to buy a separate one.

- The computer and hardware parts should have a warranty. Most hardware comes with long and good warranties, but just to make sure you might want to purchase a warranty from the store that you are buying the PC from. This way if something goes wrong a few years down the road, they still have to fix it or replace it!- The next thing you need to consider is the computers case. A good computer case should have USB slots available on the front of it, for easy access, and in the back. It should also have a powerful power supply (for additional parts) and at least 1 fan in front of the motherboard to keep the computer cool. Flash drives can also be found sometimes built into the front of the PC, for instant access to your flash media. These are very handy and should be considered especially if you have a digital camera.

- Another very important aspect of your PC is CD/DVD drives and burners. A DVD burner is what I recommend for everyone, since the price is basically the same as a CD burner, but it will also play DVD’s and regular CD’s, plus be able to burn DVD’s and regular CD’s! Two types of burners for the price of one!- Your computer’s mouse is how you interact with your PC. The latest mouse technology available is the optical mouse, which uses a laser light instead of a mouse “ball". Old fashioned mouse balls got stuck and were hard to use sometimes, with an optical mouse that problem is no more.

- Perhaps the most important aspect of a computer is the monitor. No longer are we in the realm of old fashioned CRT monitors. The LCD monitor is now readily available when you purchase your new computer, and in my opinion should be required. LCD monitors are so vivid and crystal clear that you will never want to go back to an old CRT monitor. LCD monitor’s also consume less power and take up less space, plus they come on much faster.

- Almost as important as the monitor, is the sound system and speakers. Good sound on your computer can really make a difference, especially if you play a lot of games and listen to a lot of music and watch movies. Desktop speakers have gone down significantly in price and in combination with a good sound card your experience will be complete. I recommend a sound card from “Creative" called Sound blaster Audigy.

- Your operating system is a very important factor of how well you will love or hate your new PC. I have always used Windows, so I recommend Windows XP, or in the future, Windows Long Horn. There are of course other choices like Linux, and you could go for a Mac too. Just make sure you have experience with the operating system that you choose.

- Last but not least is your printer. If you are a photo hound, and use a digital camera a lot, then you definitely want a high quality printer that can print out all of your photos. Another good idea to consider is an all in one printer that can scan, copy, and print with just one machine.

That is all of my advice for you when buying a new desktop computer. Follow those steps and maintain your computer properlyFree Web Content, and it will last longer and function better.

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