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Why Getting a New Computer Is More Than Just About Make and Model

When you are considering getting a new computer, don\’t base your decision solely on how fast the processor is, or how much RAM (memory) is installed. Make and model are important, but it\’s just as important to get a system that will perform the tasks you want it to on a consistent basis.
For example, you don\’t need 8GB of RAM if you\’re only going to be surfing the net and checking your email. Alternatively, 2GB of RAM isn\’t going to cut it if you\’re working with Photoshop and video editing all day long.
That said, if the system you\’re considering comes with 4GB of RAM or less, but runs 32-bit Windows, it\’s important to know you can\’t add more than 4GB. With 64-bit, you can add 16GB or more!
Speaking of stuff that takes up a lot of space, like video or photos, make sure the hard drive the system comes with will last you a while. Think proactively as well. If your current 320GB drive is filling up fast, a 500GB might not last long. Go for a 1TB if you can, or at least have a couple of external hard drives available to pull data to and from as needed.
In terms of software, you\’ll want security software that is lightweight and easy to use. Regardless, you\’ll want to avoid the All-In-One products, as they\’ll only slow down your computer, and tend to be hit and miss anyway. There are many free solutions out there, but many of them require manual updates and manual scans. In addition, they don\’t come as fully-featured as many paid solutions. Our favorite product is NOD32
Most new computers come pre-installed with a lot of junk you simply don\’t need – and don\’t want. Get rid of it. It\’s trial software and will expire in 30 days anyway. If you\’re unsure of what to remove, have us do a New System Setup for you.
As for the previous point on photos and video, make sure the video card included in the new system can handle what you\’ll be doing with it. If you\’re a graphic designer or a gamer, you\’re keenly aware of how far you can push the capabilities of your video card. That said, if you don\’t do any of that, there\’s no point in getting anything more than a basic video card.
Similarly, if you\’re keen on the quality of sound while watching movies or playing games, the built-in sound might not satisfy you. So be aware of what the laptop or desktop comes with, and purchase a separate sound card if needed (ask if you\’re not sure).
Some system come with wireless internet built-in, but others do not, but all come with an ethernet port for a wired connection. If you\’re using wireless at home, make the sure the computer it capable of using it, or buy a separate card and have them put it in for you, or get a Nerd to install it when he/she is on-site doing the New System Setup. Otherwise, it will be very frustrating to realize you can\’t go online right away using the system you just purchased.
If you\’ll be traveling a lot, or just prefer a lighter system, there are many types of laptops to choose from.
\”Most often, laptops are divided up into four general size categories: ultra-portable, thin-and-light, mainstream, and desktop replacement, each with its own particular pros and cons\”, says an article on Switched.com. \”But, that list has now been complicated by the emergence of the Netbook, a very small, low-power laptop aimed at basic tasks like Web browsing.\”
Desktops can range in size as well.
\”If you\’re getting a desktop PC, then size makes less of a difference. Most desktops are roughly the same size and shape (a blocky desktop tower that fits under your desk), but increasingly popular are all-in-one and small form factor (SFF) computers.\”
So, in summary, it\’s important to understand the different components of when considering a new computer, or at the very lease, talk to someone that does, so they can ask you the right questions and determine how it will be used on a daily basis. If they\’re just pushing the sale, walk away. They need to take interest, because if you don\’t get a system that\’s right for you, it\’ll be a never-ending frustration that can most certainly be avoided.
If you\’d rather avoid the big-box store experience, give a Nerd a call, and we\’ll be happy to walk you through the process in easy-to-understand terms, and set it up for you when it arrives!

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