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How to choose a PC

We are regularly asked what you should look for when choosing a new PC. There are a few keys areas you should look at

 

Processor

Also known as the CPU, this is the brain of the PC. The more powerful it is the quicker the PC will feel and the more you can do at the same time. A general office PC which is used for email, spreadsheets and web browsing can have a lower end processor. For a PC on which photo editing or for using large complex spreadsheets need something more powerful. On a laptop power consumption is important so you don’t want an overly powerful processor as that will drain the battery more quickly.

There are two main brands Intel and AMD.

 

Intel Range from fasted to slowest:

  • i9
  • i7
  • i5
  • i3
  • Pentium

 

AMD Range from Fastest to Slowest:

  • Ryzen
  • FX
  • Athlon X4
  • A-Series
  • Athlon 5000

 

 

 

Memory

Memory, or RAM, is where your programs and file sit while the computer is running. A general office or home PC should have at least 4GB, but 8GB is preferable. In a high performance PC you might see 16GB or even 32GB but beyond this the users wouldn’t really notice a difference in most day to day tasks.

 

 

 

Storage

There are two types of storage – a hard disk (HDD) or a solid state disk (SSD)

HDD’s are older technology which uses a spinning magnetic disk. These are cost effective, large but slow.

SSD’s are the latest technology and are much faster than HDD’s. They consist of a memory chip so are much smaller and consume less power than a HDD but cost a lot more. Where you can get a 3TB (1TB = 1000GB) HDD you may find for the same money you can only get a 256GB SSD.

How much storage you need depends on what you use the PC for. For general web browsing and email you could manage with 256GB. If you have a lot of photos or files you would want more, at least 1TB