Shopping for a computer can be a daunting and overwhelming experience for everyone who isn’t a “Geek”.

The first thing you should do is ask yourself “What do I need a computer for?”.  Do you plan on browsing the web, sending emails, creating documents, playing games or even videos?

 Most computers, even the cheaper models are equipped to handle everything  mentioned above except playing video games. An entry level desktop or laptop normally costs 300-$700. Anything above that is overkill for a standard user.

When it comes down to purchasing a computer, used or new, think of it like a car: How’s the warranty? Has it been serviced recently? How many miles does it have? Been  in an accident before? When can I expect to service it again? How much horsepower does it have? Always ask questions!

One of the most important considerations to have when buying a computer should be the hard drive. Most computers today are sold with a 5400RPM Hard Disk Drive(HDD), this is a very slow drive. It doesn’t matter if every other component from the processor to the RAM is supersonic, once a 5400RPM drive is installed it will only travel one speed… Slow. 

Unfortunately, most manufacturers take advantage of this blind spot and will sell high-end computers with a 5400RPM HDD. Don’t see anything on the equipment sheet? ASK! If they can’t answer the question, then it’s likely the slow drive.

Now that you know what a 5400RPM Hard drive is, it’s  time to shop for the ideal alternatives  would be a 7200RPM HDD and a Solid State Drive(SSD).

A 7200RPM HDD is roughly a 20% increase in speed vs 5400RPM HDD. This means opening programs, saving files, and playing games will be noticeably faster.

Moving on to Solid State Drives; SSD’s are the new performance standard, clocking anywhere from 50% to 300% faster than the HDD counterparts. A computer with a SSD will open & save programs, games, documents and videos at lightning  speeds. To top it all off, SSD’s are so fast they will maximize the performance of your computer’s equipment unlike HDD’s which can bottleneck the performance of a computer.

After you ask yourself the above question the next one is “Do I need a desktop or laptop?”. 

Desktops are great for a stationary computer you plan on using at one location. They usually have more power for the dollar and  are easier to repair. 

Laptops work best  for individuals who travel a lot or simply need a computer “On-the-go”. A cheap $300 laptop can accommodate basic tasks . Performance laptops can easily exceed $700 - $1,500. A concern with inexpensive laptops is their cost of repair will usually exceed the cost of purchasing a new one.  In this case replacing the laptop is the better option.

As you can deduce, buying a computer requires a lot of research and knowledge prior to purchasing. Again, think of it like buying a car, wouldn’t you bring that car to your mechanic just to confirm it’s in good condition and is worth your hard earned money? If it is,  doesn’t the mechanic also offer to perform preventative care? 

That’s why here at Geeks At Work & The Computer Tamers we happily  offer those same services! Did you just buy a computer and would like us to set it up and transfer data from your old computer? How about a second opinion on a computer that you’re considering buying? Instead of spending countless hours trying to research and contemplate buying a computer, visit us! We will provide and setup the perfect machine for your needs and continue servicing your devices, even if it needs an oil change.