With the end of Windows 7 fast approaching, many people are considering buying a new computer. You could consider this a two part process – firstly, which type of computer do you want and secondly, which make and model of that type will you choose from the vast range of possibilities.
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- Laptops: Laptops are very popular for their size and portability. They tend to come with less storage space but if you do most of your work online and store most of your data in the Cloud they’re an excellent choice. You can get extra storage but it comes with quite a step up in price.
- Desktop PCs: A desktop PC is very suitable for a static office environment. They tend to last a bit longer, are generally easier to upgrade, and provide more storage space than laptops. We have one in stock right now with a full TB of storage (4 x most laptops).
- All-In-Ones: These went through a phase of popularity but we’ve found them to be more prone to problems than laptops or PCs. We don’t recommend them.
- NUCs: The ‘Next Unit of Computing’ is a PC which is about the same physical size as a couple of sandwiches but has the same storage and functionality as a desktop PC. They’re also a bit cheaper. We’ve been selling a lot of these to people who have limited physical space.
- A Refurbished Computer: Often it is the case that a second hand, good quality computer will be better than a new, low quality machine. We sell quite a few refurbs, especially in PCs, and especially to businesses which need a whole lot of computers. Usually they’re about 3 years old, come with a 60 day warranty, and cost about half the price of our new computers.
Some of this will be determined by how much space you’re currently using and whether all of this will need to be transferred to the new computer. Here’s how to check the space your using on your existing computer:
Windows 7: Click on the Start Menu (Windows icon in the bottom left corner), select Computer in the box that pops up on the right, select your Hard Disk Drive (probably Local Disk C) at the top then look at the bottom of the Window for the space used of the total. Or for a handy pie graph, right click on that Local Disk C and select Properties.
Windows 10: Open File Explorer (it looks like a folder). If it’s not on your Taskbar you can type ‘File Explorer’ into your search bar (bottom left with the magnifying glass). Then click on This PC and look for your Local Disk C. Like Windows 7 you can right click on Local Disk C and select properties for a handy diagram.
Computers tends to come in the following Hard Drive sizes: 240GB/ 256GB, 480GB/ 512GB, and 960GB/ 1TB. You can chose one of these based on your current usage bearing in mind that the more Hard Drive space you need, the more expensive the computer will be. You’re generally better off with a higher spec computer even of it means having lower space and there are three options to reduce the required space:
- Delete a whole lot of stuff, especially temp files, your recycle bin, and any downloads you no longer need
- Store valuable files in an External Hard Drive
- Store some of your files online in applications such as Microsoft Onedrive or Google Drive
The last important note about Hard Drives is that there are two types, the old mechanical Hard Drives and the new SSDs (Solid State Drives). If you take no other advice from this article, please get a computer with an SSD. They have no moving parts which makes them more reliable, longer lasting, and quieter. They are also substantially faster.
The processor is also quite important for speed, which is the main daily concern of most Users. There is a long list of processors which you should check before investing in a new computer; the difference in performance between the computers at the top and middle of this list compared to the bottom is enormous. It’s the difference between a computer that you will enjoy using versus one you will be tempted to throw out the window. Here is the October 19 List from Gamingscan. Please, no matter how cheap it is, do not buy a computer from those towards the bottom of that list, especially not the bottom 3.
RAM can also be a bottleneck for an otherwise good quality computer. These days you’ll want no less than 8GB of RAM.
There are a range of other things to consider based on your specific requirements for your computer; if you are considering a purchase we would be more than happy to help you determine what your requirements will be: firstname.lastname@example.org ~ 07 827 7119 ~ 24B Dick Street, Cambridge