11-28-2005 buying new computer
Are you considering a computer purchase for the holiday season? There are a lot of great discount deals available at this time of year but you need to do your homework before you buy. You don't want to just buy "a cheap computer". You want to buy the best bang for the buck. A lot of clients ask, "What is the best computer to buy?".
They are usually considering brand names. If you open up some of the major brand name computers, you will find that computer manufacturers don't build their own parts. They buy common components and assemble them in their own box or case. Some manufacturers neglect simple improvements and use the cheapest parts that they can find to keep their price the lowest. The big computer companies aren't doing us any favors when they offer the $399 computer. If you check the specifications of the low cost machine, you might find that the processor and memory is not sufficient. Sure, the computer will work but a bit more memory will make the computer much more efficient. When you compare computers, you need to consider more than just price. You need to compare specifications. Don't worry, just because you don't hold an engineering degree, you can make an intelligent computer purchase. All processors used in computers are not the same. Intel is the big name in processors but AMD offers some lower cost alternatives to the Intel product line. The Intel Pentium 4 is Intel's cadillac and the celeron is the low end processor from Intel. AMD offers the Athlon for the high end and the sempron for low end applications. I prefer the AMD product line for most applications but there are times where Intel is the best choice. It is recommended that you get more than 256 MB of memory on your computer. The old 256MB standard doesn't satisfy the latest updates for Microsoft XP. While you can use a computer with less than 256 MB, the computer will not be running efficiently. You should also check out the system requirements of any programs or games that you intend to purchase. Last year, I was flooded with calls from parents who had purchased computer games that would not function. While the parents meant well and bought the latest fancy computer games, their computers were not properly configured to run the games. Save yourself some disappointed children on Christmas morning, check the system requirements of the gift games. You can always upgrade the computer before Christmas morning to support the new game. There are cheap computers and there are low cost computers. Make sure that you get the most for your money when you make a computer purchase. Don't buy a lemon!