It is time to purchase the new computer you have needed for months. I need assistance in making a smart computer buying decision. Where do I begin you ask yourself? With the rapidly changing computer market I have no idea what to buy or whom to buy it from. Do I need to purchase a high end video adapter? How much RAM do I need? What size of hard drive should I have in the system? These are all questions you should be asking yourself, and there are other questions you have not thought of. The best way to make a decision on what hardware you will require your new system to have is to ask yourself “what will I be doing with the system?”
If all you are going to be doing is writing emails, surfing and playing online poker then you will not need to spend much at all. Any new system right out of the box should be adequate, or is it? How about asking yourself where should I buy my new system? This is perhaps the most crucial step in the buying process.
When you purchase from a big box store the hardware in the computer system will only have a one year warranty unless you purchase extra warranty for outrageous prices. That advertised $599 system can approach $999 by the time you are done. They will charge you an $80-$100 setup fee as well as ding you $200-$300 for the extra warranty. If the hardware fails they will send the system back to the manufacturer and you will be without a system for up to 6-8 weeks. Read this article on purchasing a new computer for further information on the big box store scam.
Buy your new system from a reputable certified technician. The technician you purchase from will give you all kinds of benefits you wouldn’t receive from a big box store. Seek out a qualified certified technician, it may take you some time but it will be time well spent. Ask to see his credentials, if they will not show you credentials move on to the next one. A Certified technician is more than happy to show you there credentials. You seek out family doctors, automotive mechanics and lawyers, hell you even seek out hair dressers, why not computer technicians. There are quite a few good ones out there, look around, ask friends, business associates etc.
Purchasing a new computer with assistance from a certified technician is a smart buying decision; you will receive only the best quality parts from reputable manufacturers in your system. For example, I purchase motherboards that have 3 year warranties from ASUS. I purchase hard drives that have 3 year warranties from Seagate. I purchase lifetime warranty RAM from Kingston. I also purchase video adapters from either ASUS or BFG, these adapters have 3 year warranties. No matter who you buy DVD-RW drives from they only have a 1 year warranty.
If you are just an average computer user and don’t play any games then you do not need a system with 8GB of RAM installed. 4GB of RAM would be plenty if you decide to run Microsoft Windows Vista, 2GB of RAM is sufficient if you are purchasing any flavour of Microsoft Windows XP. A 500GB hard drive would be more than enough, if you can, ask for a 160GB hard drive and save some money. Get a motherboard that has integrated graphics and audio such as the ASUS P5GC-MX 1333. Purchase a 2.66GHz Intel Core2 Duo processor. Re-use your old computer tower if you can. Throw an LG DVDRW in the system and you are done. Do not pay for hardware you will never use.
Hardware is only half the battle of building a new system. Once you have decided on the parts you require you will then need to think about what operating system you would like installed. Would you like Microsoft Windows XP Home edition, Media Center edition or the Professional edition? Would you prefer Microsoft Windows Vista? What version of Vista? Microsoft Windows Home Premium is probably adequate for most people although I prefer Ultimate edition. If you have a business maybe you would prefer Business edition. Ask your certified technician for advise and make a smart buying decision.
A certified computer technician will transfer all of your data from your old computer to the new one. All of your email addresses, emails, favourites, documents and pictures. He will install your favourite applications if you ask. He will fine tune the system and tweak it for better performance. He will be more than happy to do all of this at no extra charge if you purchase the system from him. Will the big box store do that? Don’t buy the system from a big box store and then expect him to do this for you for free, it doesn’t work that way. Scratch his back and he will look after you. He will send you periodic emails on new vulnerabilities being exposed and new viruses living in the wild. Ask him for a maintenance plan, you will be surprised how inexpensive maintenance can be on regular visits. The technician will not install any trial software such as virus applications like Norton’s, which slows your system down.
If you are lucky enough to find a trustworthy Certified Computer Technician to assist you, treat him right and you will have a friend for life. He will teach you and your family about safe computing practices and will be more than happy to do it.