- A & E
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For the average Joe, buying a computer can be daunting and confusing. What makes one certain component better than another one? Why is this computer $200 more than that other computer? Which brand is the best to buy? It’s a lot of nagging questions that a lot of people don’t know the answer to, and they go shopping blindly, getting what a salesman may or may not be the “expert” of.
First off, let me start by saying in the world of computers, there is no such thing as overkill. You may think it’s silly to go with the more expensive systems when a simple $300 system will work just fine, but you figure that your components are on the older end of technology. With computers advancing constantly, your computer may be outdated sooner rather than later if you go with the less expensive one. You may think that you’ll never need 8 GB of RAM, but even computer genius Bill Gates didn’t think we would need more than 640 KB of RAM at one point.
For those of you who don’t know what RAM is, it stands for Random Access Memory. Every time you load a program, it takes it from the hard drive and puts it onto the RAM. RAM is faster at reading the program than the hard drive, which cuts down the lag between programs. The more RAM you have, the more data can be loaded onto it, and the faster programs will run.
Many of you may have heard of Windows 32- or 64-bit, but you may not understand the difference between the two. Windows 32-bit is the standard version of Windows, which maxes out at 4 GBs of RAM. The 64-bit version of Windows allows you to run 64-bit programs and allows more than 4 GBs of RAM. However, most programs run the standard 32-bit. If you have 64-bit Windows, you may have noticed that you have a regular programs folder and another programs folder with x86. These differentiate between the 32-bit programs and the 64-bit programs. If you want have more than 4 GBs of RAM in your system, then it’s advisable that you go with the 64-bit Windows instead of the 32-bit.
As far as processors go, currently Intel holds the rank for the best processors. AMD is fighting for that spot, but through benchmark tests and reviews, Intel still reigns supreme. For a decent processor, it’s advisable to go with an Intel i5 or i7. The i7 will be faster, but for the standard user, an i5 will be sufficient processing power. What matters a lot in choosing a processor is the Ghz. You would want to go with the 2 Ghz to the 1 Ghz processor.
Video cards are among the most valuable component for a gamer. It’s still debated on which video card brand is better, Nvidia or AMD. My best advice is to Google benchmark tests on the video card in the system you’re looking at. I Google the video card of one versus the other video card. This way I may be able to find side-by-side comparisons that the experts have done. They will break down the tests and tell me which one is better.
So, what about brand? Which brand is the best on the market? Asus is currently favored among computer users. Their computers are considered the best bang for your buck. I am currently using an ASUS notebook that I utilize for taking notes in class. It has touch screen and is lightweight. It’s a pretty awesome little notebook for only costing $300.
Hopefully, the next time you go out to buy a new computer, you will feel a little more confident in what you’re looking for. Always do research and get reviews on systems. Never just take the salesman’s word for it.