By Philip P Daniel
Woop Woop! It’s Philip P Daniel here coming attcha from the coolest website in the world, Newbie.org! In this glorious article, I will be discussing the intricacies and potential problems involved in the difficult process of purchasing a new desktop computer. For this guide, we will stick to the world of PCs, a world that is populated by the majority of computer users. If you wish to delve into the zany world of Apple (which is the Borg to PCs Federation) then feel free to check out my ramblings over on the Mac Desktops page (their should be a link on the navigation bar to your right). With our guide, you should be able to navigate the waters of the PC (not PCP) world with absolutely no problems, much like the way the Star Ship Enterprise cruises through space without a care in the world (except for those lousy Borg, Klingons and various other cowardly races that mean to make the universe unsafe for the human race!).
Advice tip number one: Decide what you are going to do with your computer!
The first step to purchasing a new computer is to determine exactly what you are going to be using the beast for. If you are like most people who plan on just using your new PC for browsing the web, writing original Star Trek screenplays (documents) or possibly attempting to keep track of finances using a spread sheet then you can go ahead and throw more then half of the desktops made out the window (not literally of course…a friend of mine once tried to do this and now we are forced to have our monthly Red Dwarf cos play association meetings at the local penitentiary, which actually worked out well as he met more then a few friends on the inside who are willing to play the female parts.) Desktops that will suit your needs will be in the lower power range, and hence in the lower price bracket. Computers with Celeron processors and low price AMD chipsets will do more then you need and you should be able to purchase an entire system for less then you would pay for a new custom tailored Chewbacca suit (computer system: $500-600, Chewbacca suite: upwards to $3,000).
If you are powering intense business, graphics, video editing, or music software, then you may have to consider “upping the ante” so to speak and check out the higher end, more powerful models that come equipped with more RAM, a better video card (especially necessary for video games and editing) a faster processor (Pentium 4, higher end AMD models) and more bells and whistles in general. Fully equipped, these models can set you back a good chunk of change, making you wonder if you should have bought the PC, or that deluxe full body, Romulan princess figure that you have always wanted.
So Philip…does brand really matter?
Brand, although important, is not as crucial to purchasing a new PC as it used to be. In days gone past, you would have to make sure to avoid less auspicious brands that would leave you high, dry and in debt to local bookies who would take your kneecaps and leave you in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. Now, fortunately, lower prices and good old healthy corporate competition have made the importance of brand loyalty negligible when purchasing a PC. Most PCs have the same guts (processors, ram, video cards) created by the same companies. As it stands now, the majority of computers run processors by either Intel or AMD, letting even lesser know brands compete with the big boys. Some companies feature propriety software and hardware that claim to increase performance or offer functions that the other companies can’t compete with, but in all reality are just renaming things that are available for all computers. There is no reason to stick to a specific brand when purchasing a new computer, unless you feel that it is an absolute necessity. As long as the unit offers the functions, inputs and power that you need, you should compare systems on price, and not by name.
A silly friend told me that my computer will be obsolete tomorrow…he’s just silly right?
Well Billy, your silly friend might not be that silly at all. With the speed at which new models are introduced in the PC world, buying a high end PC today will only guarantee it’s functionality for approximately four years (which happens to coincide with my mating seasons). That does not mean that you should hold off on buying a computer based on this rule, just keep it in the back of your head before buying a $3,000 monstrosity. With the prices of computers so low, and coming down every month, your next machine might even cost less then the one you are currently considering. It’s impossible to know the future (for now at least…just wait until I unveil my…I’ve already said too much) and you shouldn’t let what is going to be available effect what you need today.
I could go on and on about what specifics you should look for when buying a new computer, but I won’t because the man upstairs won’t let me. I will leave you by saying that our product reviews should answer any questions that you may have, and that you can feel free to discuss this topic with me and many other newbie members in the new and improved Newbie forums, the coolest places on the net (besides any Star Trek, Star Wars, Red Dwarf, StarGate SG-1, or Frisbee golf related website). Live long and prosper…Philip P out!
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