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Your PC Buying Guide – Part 1

Your PC Buying Guide

Okay, so you’re interested in buying a new computer. You’ve been thinking about it for awhile and you are pretty close to being 100 percent sure you’re ready to take the plunge. So, what do you need to look for? What’s going to work best for your needs? What about prices? What about offline and online applications?

All of those questions are definitely some that you should be asking yourself and researching before you head out to the store to buy a new computer for your home or business. Well, today’s tip will help you with such questions as how will you use your computer, what type of configuration do you need and some shopping tips. Make sure you also keep an eye out for tomorrow’s tip as it will go into software questions, where you may want to buy your computer, how much you want to spend and some desktop vs. laptop explanations. So, let’s get started.

1.) How will you use the computer?

E-mail / Web surfing / Shopping:

Processor speed and RAM capacity have little effect on e-mail or surfing. The major requirement is an Internet connection. At minimum, e-mail requires an analog “voice” modem and a subscription to an ISP, such as AOL, Comcast, Earthlink, etc. The lowest-of-the-low-end PCs can perform any of these jobs admirably.

Word Processing / Spreadsheet / Home Finances:

Word processing makes little demand on a computer system’s resources. A slow processor and minimum amount of RAM is usually sufficient to produce documents.


Your computer needs will vary, depending on the type of graphics you plan to create. For basic illustrations, a minimal computer system will usually suffice. If you plan to do serious work with 3D graphics however, you should plan on purchasing a computer outfitted with the fastest processor (at least 2 GHz) and fully loaded with RAM (at least 1 MB [1] (megabyte) of on board memory.

Computer Games:

Serious gamers look for a computer with the fastest processor available, the most RAM that they can load into their machines and the most expensive graphics card that they can afford. A high end PC is what you will need if you plan on using your computer for games.

Desktop publishing:

Documents produced with desktop publishing software tend to be quite large and include many graphics. If you are planning to produce such documents, you’ll want a computer system that allows you to scroll through the pages at an acceptable rate. Consider a computer with a fast processor (at least 1 GHz) and a graphics card with at least 256 MB of memory.

2.) Below are two charts giving you some extra details about RAM, CPUs, warranties, monitors, etc.

3.) To end, here are some recommendations for an average user’s minimum requirements:

Once again, don’t forget to read tomorrow’s tip for even more information about buying a PC before you actually go out and do it.

~ Shantala Ramamoorthy