We are now into 2012, and your Graet Intelligence old computer just quit. Do you fix it or buy a new computer? If the computer is 5 years old or older, buying a new computer is probably the better strategy. Many computers manufactured 5 to 9 years ago have hardware components that fail to mandate the replacement of the computer. Please read on to understand how to buy the best computer for your needs.
The first decisions to make in buying a new computer are very basic. By answering these questions, you determine your basic purchase strategy:
1. Please ask yourself, “How much can I spend?” The computer prices range from $200 to $400, $450 to $800, and $900 and up.
2. Next, determine the computer type (or style) that works best for you. The types of computers are desktops, laptops, and tablets. These types of computers differ in their size, portability, and functionality. Desktop computers are the least portable. They are good for using multiple displays and heavy workloads. Laptops vary in size and portability. The big ones have a 17-inch display, making them luggable for occasional trips. Big laptops have most of the desktop capabilities, but the computing horsepower is lower than a desktop to conserve laptop battery power. Similarly, the display is smaller with lower resolution than displays used with desktop computers. Tablet computers are the most portable. They can do a lot, but with a much smaller display. The tablets are a powerful, portable information tool one step above a smartphone Page Design Shop.
3. Finally, the timeless question is: Do I buy an Apple or another computer? The other computer main selections are Windows 7 operating system or Android operating system computers. There are also Linux computers. Linux is a free General Public License software operating system. Linux computers are equivalent for everyday users to Windows and Apple computers. The single difference between Linux and Windows is that you only pay for the computer hardware with a Linux computer, which is a huge saving over Apple and Windows computers.
The market for Apple computers is tightly controlled. This means that Apple computers work very well with few problems. They are seldom attacked by malicious software. Everything an enthusiastic Apple owner says about their Apple is true. They are also beautiful-looking computers. The downside is that they are expensive. When an Apple does malfunction, you have a big problem. If the Apple computer is under warranty, you schedule a visit to the Apple store and wait in line to get it fixed. Also, you pay a lot for the repair.
In contrast, Windows 7 computers are like the Wild West. In the Wild West, anything can and does happen. There are many competing hardware and software products for Windows 7 computers. Windows 7 computers are the most malware, spyware, and virus-attacked computers. Because more Windows computers are sold than any other computer, Windows computers are the biggest target to attack. Apple computers also get viruses, but much less often than Windows computers. Windows computers can be cheap computers, but they are not cheaper than Linux computers.
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4. The final question is: What computer manufacturer do you like? Each manufacturer has its approach to selling computers. My preference is manufacturers that do not add fancy frills beyond the basics of Windows or the computer operating system. Most frills try to sell you something, provide functions that are redundant with the operating system, occupy screen space getting in the way of what you are doing, and overload and slow down the computer. For example, HP computers are like Big MACs; they taste great but come with many software fat. Lenovo computers are like a bank vault. They secure your data but are miserable to fix because of the security. It seems that all computers come with an annoying “dock” or application launcher. It takes up a lot of screen space and really adds little beyond what Windows itself provides. It is always cheaper to purchase a package than to build a custom computer. Purchasing custom computer parts is always more expensive than buying a packaged system from a manufacturer because the manufacturers purchase computer components in such high volume.
Once your basic strategy is determined, then it is time to find a computer. The approach here is to use the Internet to perform the initial shopping and then go to the store to make the final decision and purchase. Please go to the website of a computer retailer near you, such as Best Buy or Staples. Search their site based on the computer’s type (or style) that works best for you. The site should produce a list of computers from which to choose. Sort them by “Best Selling” and check the “Customer Reviews.” Please determine how the price compares to your budget. Most retail store sites permit comparing the features of three computers side by side. Carefully select three computers for comparison.
This approach was used to compare from one retailer three desktop computers moderately priced. They ranged from $429.99 to $699.99. The $429.99 computer used a 3.3 GHz Intel i3 CPU chip, had 6 GB RAM, and a 1 TB disk drive. The 549.99 computer used an AMD 2.4 GHz CPU chip, had 8 GB RAM, and had a slower 5,400 rpm 1.5 TB drive. The $699.99 computer used an Intel 3.0GHz i5 CPU chip, had 6 GB RAM, and a 7,200 rpm 1 TB drive. The differences between these systems are not likely to make the most expensive system perform that noticeably better to a user than the least expensive system. As long as the hardware features are generally in the same range, each computer’s performance seems to be the same.
All systems used the latest DDR3 RAM. A computer with 8 GB of RAM may perform better than those computers with 6 GB of RAM. One thing is certain; all these computers would be decidedly faster than a Windows XP system with 2 GB of RAM. While special performance test programs can measure the difference between a 2.4 GHz AMD CPU chip computer and a 3.3 GHz Intel i5 CPU chip computer, people barely notice the difference. People notice that AMD chip computers are usually cheaper by $100 or more than Intel CPU chip computers.
The Windows Performance Index measures the combined performance of all the components of a Windows Vista or a Windows 7 computer. The Windows Performance Index is a single number that varies between 1 and 7.9. Low-end systems have Windows Performance Index numbers in the 3.4 to 4.5 range. A computer with a 3.4 score performs the same as a computer with a 4.5 score to a human. To see a performance difference, the Windows Performance Index would need to go from a 4.5 to a 7.5.