What to Look for When Purchasing a Computer

Assuming you have not a clue about a computer, a computer unit consists of a tower in which is the central hub for all things technical such as the hard disk or for example the processor, graphics card, RAM, and everything else which makes a computer function. A computer unit also consists of a monitor, keyboard, speakers and a mouse. If you’ve no idea of what I previously mentioned means don’t get your mind in a twist because I will be explaining what they mean and why you’ll need them.

What is RAM?

Ram, as referred to as random access memory is the place in a computer where the operating system, application programs, and data in present use are kept so that they can be quickly reached by the computer’s processor.

When it comes to purchasing a new computer, in this time zone 2GB + of ram is ideal so be sure to look for that amount or anything above it.

New Operating systems typically use 1GB of ram alone so should you wish to actually use your computer and take advantage of it’s over hardware aspects ensure you purchase at least the stated 2GB, preferably more if you wish to do more (Such as multi-tasking, gaming, viewing media, etc)

What is a Processor?

The processor is technically the little chip within the hub of your computer, when I define hub I mean the “Computer tower”. It’s functions are to carry out computations such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Think of a processor like a the human brain trying to calculate a mathematics sum it can be fast or it can be slow. The faster, the more complexed tasks the computer can handle (Such as multi-tasking).

In this present moment of time you should be looking for a Quad Core Processor, these include Intel’s Core Range (i3, i5, i7) or AMD Phenom’s Range. Quad Core processors can handle the very latest of computer software and are essential if one wishes to effectively multi-task.

What is a Hard Disk?

The hard drive is where all of your programs and files are stored, without the hard drive the computer is unable to function. A hard drive actually performs the same as a cassette tape or a VHS tape. The platters inside a hard drive are in most cases made of glass or aluminum and they are used for the writing of data.

The typical person purchases 250GB +, however if you are not very tech savvy and wish to only use your computer to carry out web browsing, reading email, etc anything above 50GB will suit you just fine.

250GB can hold over 46,640 music tracks* (Depending on the songs bitrate and length)

What is an operating system?

Operating systems provide a software platform which on top of them run computer programs, commonly referred to as applications. Without an operating system the computer simply acts as just a shell so it’s important to have one. A common operating system is Windows, windows consists of various version which were developed at different time stages the newer that operating system, the better. Microsoft Windows 7 is the latest of them all (Correct as off 2011)

Windows 7 is the ideal operating system to look for when it comes to purchasing a new computer seeing as it is the newest of all of the windows range plus is simple to use for the not so tech savvy person. Windows 7 is very minimalistic and can be learned very quickly because of it being the latest it is also widely supported and is far more secure then it’s previous range.

What is a graphics card?

Graphics cards take data from the CPU and turn it into pictures. The better the graphics card, the more complex pictures it can display and the faster of speed it can process them images. A good graphics card is usually required when one wishes to use their computer for gaming purposes.

If you have no intention of gaming on your computer and wish to only use it for the use of browsing the internet you should be looking for an integrated graphics chip like the Intel GMA range. These or an alternative branded chip come free with a computer as standard so don’t worry about this.

If you are looking to use your computer for the purpose of gaming, consulting your technical specialist/retailer is advised.

What is a keyboard?

A keyboard allows one to input key strokes on their computer, it can be required when browsing the internet (i.e typing in a website) or logging into your computer.

A keyboard is included as standard when purchasing a computer build in your local computer retailer.

What is a mouse?

A mouse allows the computer user to navigate around the operating system. Within the operating system comes a little graphical pointer which can be moved around to click on things such as icons and files, the mouse controls that graphical pointer. When the computer user moves the mouse with his/her hand the graphical pointer within the computer interface is to move too.

A mouse is included as standard when purchasing a computer build in your local computer retailer.

Recommended Computer Retailers:

UK:

PC World

Comet

Maplin

Dell (Highly Recommended)

Argos

Tesco

USA:

CompUSA

Best Buy

PC world

Tiger Direct

Dell (Highly Recommended)

I hope this article has been of some usage to you.

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