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Guidance Buying Computers - Narrow Down The Search 2021

Purchasing new computers can be overwhelming. Technical jargon, brands, options, and sales pitches are often confusing and contradictive. Before embarking on a shopping spree take a moment to understand what you need before you buy.

There are common 4 steps to select the right computer configuration to match each user’s needs. 

Step 1: Identify PURPOSE

First, identify HOW the computer will be used. Think of its overall PURPOSE. Will it be used at home or on the road? 

If the computer the answer is at only one location (like at a desk), then consider either a Desktop or All-in-One computer as a solution.

  • Desktops offer better performance, durability, cooling options, and easier to upgrade and repair. 
  • All-in-Ones are more for aesthetical purposes using less wires than Desktops.

Otherwise, a Laptop or Tablet will be the choice for mobility purposes.

  • Laptops offer better performance, functionality,  and support software programs.
  • Tablets are more like an oversized smartphones support Apps over programs.

Step 2: Identify PERFORMANCE Needed

Next, consider WHAT the computer will be primarily used for. Will it be used for casual reading of emails, work-related, or something requiring extensive computing power. 

The PERFORMANCE of the computer is directly related to the computer’s processor. This will define what the computer is capable of doing. It sets the bar for what can be expected in speed and performance.

There are two choices of processors (AMD and INTEL) for computers running Microsoft Windows. INTEL is our choice, as it’s easier to recognize what to expect.

  • i3: Low performance needed. Perfect for email only or light internet browsing.
  • i5: Mid performance. Suited for the everyday person doing general computing.
  • i7: High performance. Suited for high-demand calculations, multi-tasking, and virtual reality.
  • i9: Highest performance. Suited for extreme-demand calculations, multi-tasking, and virtual reality.

AGE OF HARDWARE is extremely important to recognize.  Sometimes older processors are sold in newer computers. Check the model number of the INTEL PROCESSOR to find this.

  • 2019 version is 9th generation or model number 9xxx
  • 2020 version is 10th generation or model number 10xxx
  • 2021 version is 11th generation or model number 11xxx

Step 3: Identify MEMORY Needs

Another item to check is MEMORYMEMORY is used for the short-term storing of information. This provides a quickly response to actions when needed.  MEMORY serves to improve the system PERFORMANCE.

How much memory is needed? This depends on what the computer is doing. Each thing it does requires an estimated amount of memory – listed as a Minimum Requirement. All things have minimal requirements to appropriately operate without hindrance.

  • Windows 10 Home requires a minimum of 8GB.
  • Microsoft Office 2019 requires 2GB.
  • Google Chrome browser requires roughly 100MB of MEMORY (per open tab). We will estimate a maximum of 10 tabs open.

So right off the bat 11GB of MEMORY is the recommendation.  With that said use the following as a quick estimate to what is needed:

  • 16GB: Average computer user
  • 24GB: Best for multi-taskers
  • 32GB: Heavy multi-tasking

Step 4: Identify STORAGE Needs

Lastly look at the HARD DRIVE. It’s the device inside the computer that everything is stored to. 

Get the right drive! There are two types of hard drives, mechanical and non-mechanical. Mechanical drives have moving parts in them, while non-mechanical don’t.  

Choose a non-mechanical HARD DRIVE, also referred to as a  Solid-State Drive (SSD)SSD’s are are faster, more reliable, less susceptible to failure, and smaller than mechanical ones.

The storage space in all HARD DRIVE’s come in multiples of itself (128, 256, 512, 1028, 2056 4108) as either GB’s or TB’s. 1TB is equal to 1028GBs. 

Use the following as a guide below as an estimated reference of needed storage.

  • 512GB: A person with low storage needs, or uses cloud storage.
  • 1TB: Average computer user.
  • 2TB: User with large storage needs for pictures, videos, and music.
  • 4+TB: Extremely rare to see on a personal computer, mainly used for network storage devices or servers.

2021 Recommended Configurations

In conclusion, here is our 2021 list of recommended computer configurations.

Minimalist Computer User

INTEL i3 10th or 11th generation Processor
16GB Memory
256TB SSD Hard Drive

Average Computer User

INTEL i5 10th or 11th generation Processor
16GB Memory
1TB SSD Hard Drive

Business/Muti-tasker Computer User

INTEL i7 10th or 11th generation Processor
24GB Memory
1TB SSD Hard Drive

VR/Gaming Computer User

INTEL i7 or i9 10th or 11th generation Processor
32+GB Memory
1TB SSD Hard Drive
Other Components that will be necessary:
 Capable Motherboard, Video Card(s), Cooling System
Power Supply to match component demands.

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