Questions you should ask before buying a new PC

Written by Kristina
Customer Success

October 20 - (5 Min Read)

Is your computer or laptop bogged down? Are you considering buying a new one? Before you do, we’re here to Ellp you figure it out!

We realize that purchasing a new laptop or computer can seem like a daunting task, a headache at times, and a tad confusing. Why?! Well, as I’m sure you’ll agree, the choice is plentiful, there are so many models to choose from, they come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention lots of colors too! There are so many options to consider – the sky’s the limit.

Here’s a few pointers you should take into consideration before taking the leap.

Part 1: Figure out what you want

1. Usability

First things first – you have to consider what the purchase is for and what kind of tasks you’ll be doing. Is it for home use, gaming or work? Keep in mind that different users have different needs. If you’re looking to use your device to simply surf the net and for the usual day-to-day stuff, then it might be best to invest in a dual-core computer or laptop. On the other hand, if you intend to use it for work purposes, video editing or gaming, then you might want to look at higher-end devices that have a quad-core chip, meaning that it would have four physical central processing units.

2. Style, Size and Weight

  • Style

As mentioned the variety of models to choose from are endless… this is why you have to do some thinking beforehand. Will you be stationed in one place or roaming around? If you’ll be working from one location then you might want to opt for a desktop. However, if you’re always on the go, then a laptop would be more ideal since you can carry it around with you.

  • Size

Laptop and PC screen sizes differ. You can choose from a wide range of options. If you’re after a good display you may prefer a larger laptop or a PC with a bigger screen, if you need portability, something on a smaller scale would be more appropriate.

  • Weight

This applies mainly to laptops. If you’re constantly carrying it around with you, ideally you opt for something that is more lightweight.

3. Operating System

The operating system depends on the kind of laptop or desktop you opt for. If you’re going for home use, the most popular and user-friendly operating system would be a Windows Starter or Home Premium version such as Windows 10. If you however, require something more high-tech, with enhanced features for heavy editing or gaming, then you may want to consider buying a Windows Professional edition or OS X which runs on Apple Mac or Macbook.

4. Processor

This is one of the most important components of your device, as it determines what kind of performance you can expect to experience. If it’s for home use you can opt for a dual-core processor. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re going to be using it for professional tasks a quad-core would be more ideal.

5. RAM and Hard Drive

These are both forms of computer storage, and are measured in gigabytes. The speed of your device, is very dependent on the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) you have. While the RAM is used for temporary storage, the hard drive or hard disk, is used for permanent storage, this is where all your precious files are stored. Today having the right amount of disk space is vital for the efficient management of daily tasks, however, that doesn’t mean that you need to go overboard buying tons of extra storage space.

So how much RAM does your PC or laptop really need? The recommended RAM storage space is between 8GB to 16GB. If you’re a basic user then 8GB should be enough, however, it might be a good idea to ramp it up to 16GB if you intend on doing a lot of graphic design work. If you’ll be using your laptop for gaming then you might also consider buying an elite gaming laptop with 32GB of RAM. Like laptops, 8GB of RAM is a good place to start for a desktop but if you’re a hardcore gamer or use your device for editing then an upgrade to 16GB is recommended. Serious workstation users might even want to upgrade to 32GB. With regards to the hard drive, it is suggested that you leave at least 10% free to avoid fragmentation.

6. Peripherals

These are the so-called ‘extras’, such as printers, scanners, mouse, etc which can significantly affect the price of purchasing a new computer or laptop. Let’s say you’re buying a laptop, you can easily avoid buying a mouse as it comes with an installed trackpad and therefore a mouse would be an extra cost. Think about this before you purchase!

Part 2: Do your research

1. Where to buy your device?

If you want a brand new product with a warranty, then you’ll want to look at retail sites or shops that are authorized sellers. If, on the other hand, you don’t mind second-hand items then you might consider looking at sites such as eBay.

2. Price

Always take into consideration your budget first! It’s useless looking at fancy features and other peripherals if your pockets are only half full. Take a good look at different sites and sellers to get an idea of the price range. Keep an eye out for offers, you might find yourself a good deal!

3. Warranty

Warranties are important! Make sure to check the specifics before purchasing. Usually, all computers and laptops come with a standard one-year warranty, however, if you feel like you need additional coverage you can pay extra for an extended warranty.

Our last tip is, don’t be afraid to ask questions whilst browsing the stores. After all, you’ll be paying good money for the device you’ll eventually purchase. Shop around and choose wisely!

Topics such as space, Internet, performance, privacy, security, devices, multimedia, applications, power and more, are at the heart of our discussions. Stay on top of your device experience and get the latest how-to articles and top insights from our Ellpers.

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