Tips for Buying a PC (Desktop)

Introduction

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are each time more present in the daily lives of the people. But this does not want to say that the PC has been left behind: for many people, this type equipment is still quite relevant.

The problem is that the choice of a PC is not a trivial task: is it worth to do upgrade on my computer or buy a new one? It is best to acquire a PC “brand” or a desktop assembled in a shop? Which components of hardware should I choose? This text was created to remedy these and other any questions related.

Buy a new or improve the computer that I have?

When your computer starts getting too slow, it takes to respond to more simple tasks, or even goes to display error messages with a certain frequency, the ideal is check if there is some software problem (a virus, for example), or a failure of hardware (such as overheating). If no damage is found,maybe the equipment simply is not “giving an account” of latest software.

There arises the doubt: buying a new PC or do a upgrade (replace or add components for increased performance) for to improve what I already have? If the machine has two or three years of existence, the upgrade should be enough. Older computers, however, may not be compatible with the latest technologies and, in this case, the the purchase of a new PC tends to be the best choice.

A way to be sure is by checking the requirements the hardware of the operating system that you want to use or a the specific software. Generally, developers provide the minimum requirements that ensure the operation of the program even with the slowness, and the recommended minimum requirements, that guarantee some degree of performance. It is recommended that the latter be used as a parameter.

Note that machine 1 is more current and, therefore, a memory upgrade RAM (from 2 GB to 4 GB) and the replacement of the card video for a newer model to make it completely suitable for the game.

The machine 2, in turn, is more ancient, and the exchange of computer is the most indicated procedure, since the upgrade the processor most likely would imply also in a change the motherboard will also need to acquire more RAM memory and other video card. In these circumstances, a newer computer it is the best choice, since it also adds to the technologies most current.

The “trick”, therefore, is this: compare the requirements of the software that you need to use with the setup of your machine. If a few changes are necessary, the upgrade is recommended; but if the various components show themselves obsolete, consider a new PC.

Which components to choose?

The good performance of a computer depends on the combination of the components that constitute it. It is pointless to have a processor “powerful” if the PC has low memory RAM, for example – the fact that 256 MB of RAM have been sufficient a few years ago does not mean that will be enough today. In the same way, it is not convenient to place a HD whose disks running at 5,400 RPM (revolutions per minute) in a current computer, since the CPU may not be able to to undertake all of its capacity of processing if access to the data the HD is slow.

Thus, the following are guidelines given regarding the most important items: processor, motherboard, memory RAM, HD, CD/DVD drive, video card, monitors and additional.

Processor

This, being the “brain” of the machine, is one of the items that most influence the performance. The choice of a processor should be done by observing its requirements of use of the computer. For basic applications, such as running video and audio, Internet access, games and light programs office, it is not necessary to acquire processors top of the line. For these cases, secondary processors, smaller cost (and lower performance, consequently), are sufficient.

However, if you want a computer to run heavy games (that have 3D graphics) or to run other applications demanding, as the software for CAD/CAM (graphic production), it is convenient to consider the acquisition of processors that are more “powerful”, as the lines Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 from Intel, or Phenom II, Phenom X3 or Phenom X4 from AMD. These processors are more fast, and, naturally, more expensive than the low cost. The same thus, regardless of the model of interest, it is recommended if you inform on their characteristics to make a good choice.

An important detail: the processors need cooling fans (a kind blower) to keep the temperature at an acceptable rate for its functioning. So, make sure that the processor your machine is accompanied by a cooler or other appropriate device of control of temperature.

Motherboard (motherboard)

The motherboard is an item of the utmost importance, after all, is the piece that connects all other devices in the computer. The first characteristic to notice in the choice of a is the socket, that is, the type of connector of the processor. The processors, even those that belong to the the same family, can have the amount and arrangement of pins (those “little legs” that come out of the processor), different, in a way that is necessary a type of connector (socket) that is appropriate to this combination.

Thus, if a processor uses the connector known as “Socket

AM2+”, from AMD, for example, the motherboard should have this fitting in order to be compatible. Hence the importance of always checking this aspect. A quick way to do this is by querying the list of processors compatible with the motherboard.

The next step is to check the features that the motherboard offers, as the amount of USB ports (at least four) of slots for RAM memory (at least two) or entries PCI Express, for example, in addition to items integrated (onboard), as the board network or audio.

In general, motherboards with the most economic offer graphics features onboard, or integrated into the device, dispensing with the need for the user of the need to install a video card. Note, however, that this feature can compromise the performance the machine for this, plates of this type are indicated only for computers that are intended for basic activities.

Memory RAM

The RAM memory has a significant influence in the computer’s performance, so it is not a good idea to save this item. The ideal is to use an amount well above the minimum recommended for the operating system.

Windows 7 and Windows 8, for example, require to least 1 GB of memory in 32-bit version and 2 GB on the version of 64-bit, but the recommended is to count with, in the a minimum of 4 GB of RAM.

As to the type of memory, always prefer standards common. Avoid the use of technologies that are difficult to found because, in these cases, the values of the memories and the motherboard increase considerably. On the date of update of this text, the most common type were the memories DDR3,still possible to find memories DDR2.

Hard disk (HD)

In the past, the market had hard Drives of capacity quite low for today’s standards, as models with 1 or 2 GB (gigabytes). Today, it is common to find hard disks with a capacity of 1 TB (terabyte) or more. For use in the home or in the office, there are periods in which a certain capacity is “in fashion”, that is, it is market standard. Prefer these, because their prices tend to provide good cost-benefit ratio. In the last update to this text, the standard capacity was 1 TB, not difficult to find models with up to 4 TB.

In choosing a HD, one must consider not only the ability, but also the speed of rotation of the disks, which is measured in RPM (revolutions per minute): prefer units with at least 7,200 RPM (quite common on the market).

Also note the communication interface. The the standard of the market, currently, are the disks SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment), which replaced the hard Drives IDE (PATA – Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment). It is possible to find also drives SCSI (Small Computer System Interface), but these are more suitable for servers and other high-performance computers.

It is also possible to resort to the SSD drives. They are seen as potential substitutes of the Drives by being much faster at data transfers and take up less space physical. The problem is that the cost per gigabyte of these devices are considerably higher, reason which its use is most commonly directed to computers portable or for greater performance.

 

CD/DVD Drive or Blu-ray

This is an item that is not essential to the operation the computer, with its installation applicable only for purposes of practicality: it is easier to install the operating system, and you can count with the possibility of watching a DVD movie, for example.

If you prefer, you can also opt for a drive Blu-Ray, technology that enables up to 25 GB of data on a single disk and high-resolution videos. But, again, this item it is not essential: usb sticks, external hard Drives and services in the clouds can replace the optical media to the satisfaction.

Video monitors

Years ago, the most common type of monitor was the heavy and spacious CRT (Cathode Ray Tube). Today, technology LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and the like, are practically unanimous, after all, type monitors are lighter, take up less physical space and offer, in the majority of cases, excellent image quality.

As the LCD technology is quite popular, their prices also tend to be advantageous. Thus, today it is possible to pay for larger models which if paid by the monitors of 15 or 17 inches around two years ago. So, currently it is recommended to have a monitor that has, at a minimum, screen with 20 inches and that is widescreen, this is, the more “off”.

In choosing an LCD monitor, it is also important to check what video connections the equipment offers. The ideal is to count with DVI, at least. To the current standards, connection HDMI also it is a differential.

Video card

The video card is the item responsible for generating the images that appear on your monitor. The problem is that there are so many models available that you just being difficult to choose one.

The video card needs memory RAM of its own, especially when you work with images in 3D. The more memory, better, however, not always worth paying for the models that offer this item in a large quantity. These are much more expensive (already which video cards with large memory capacity usually come with graphics chips of the last generation), getting to have the same price of a low-cost computer, and, for this reason, they are recommended for users who want to run heavy games or other software that is demanding.

The video cards current work with the slot PCI-Express, therefore, take care not to choose a model that you use a standard outdated, such as the GPA. It is important to check also the graphic chip used by the card: you can search by model sites or search the forums to find references that indicate its advantages and disadvantages. Worth mentioning that the graphics chips more sought after in the market are manufactured by NVIDIA and AMD (former ATI).

Evaluate what you need in your PC to choose the template that most fits your needs, that is, if a video card top of the line, or one model intermediate. Another important feature of the observe is the video connector: to the standards of today, prefer boards with connectors DVI or HDMI.

Power supply

The power supply is another item greatly importance: it is that which distributes power to all the the components of the machine. Some consume less electricity, as RAM memory, but others are more demanding in this aspect, as video cards. So, look for sources of recognized quality and make sure that the model that you matter is able to feed properly on your computer.

Computer “brand name” or mounted?

It is common to find on the market computers manufactured by companies reputable, such as HP, Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba and Dell. Many wonder if it is worth purchasing computers from these brands, or if it is better buy assembled machines in shops or technicians that offer this service.

The desktops of brands are designed by specialized engineers that combine parts of your computer so that this get the maximum performance combined with acceptable cost. Thus, usually there is no need to worry about heating processor, for example, as the inside the computer is properly ventilated. Because of these characteristics, these machines tend to have less problems than the computers mounted guns in the stores. There is still the fact of the support these companies, in general, be efficient.

On the other hand, the user not always can define a configuration desirable and ends up having to accept a combination pre-determined by the manufacturer. In addition, many of these computers are necessarily accompanied by the Windows. It happens that there are users who prefer to buy a PC with no operating system to install Linux, for example.

Another factor to consider is the price. The cost of the computers mark was formerly much higher than desktops assembled in the shop, but tax incentives in Brazil and a better understanding of the local market on the part of the manufacturers have made the prices of these equipment to fall very much. So, maybe it is worthwhile to buy a PC” mark” if you want to take advantage of these benefits.

In a past not very distant, the computers “brand” they were barely seen because it only accept components of certain manufacturers, which made it an upgrade or a repair. This rarely as today, the reason for which machines of the type can really be interesting.

But, if you’re the type that prefers to customize their computer in all the details and you want to spend considering the maximum benefit-cost ratio, the computers shopping may be the best option, because many allow the client to choose the parts, do not require the purchase of a particular operating system, and generally have price negotiable.

However, one should consider that the risk of problems from lack of technical expertise it is a little larger, as well as it is necessary to know well the devices that will be added to the computer to do not buy “a pig in a poke”. To avoid problems, look for establishments or technicians recommended by other consumers.

Tips for Buying a PC (Desktop) 1

Tips for Buying a PC (Desktop)
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