Whether you're buying a laptop, desktop or tablet computer, it's essential that you take the time to consider the device's processor, hard drive, memory, graphics card and operating system before making your purchase. These five components make up the meat and potatoes of your computer. Ensuring that you buy the right hardware can make the difference between a computer that works well and lasts a long time and one that does neither.
The Central Processing Unit, or CPU, serves as the brains of your computer. Processor speeds are measured in gigahertz, or GHz. When selecting a processor, faster is better. But faster processors are also more expensive. When deciding on a processor for your company's computers, take the time to consider what you need your processor to do. If you're planning to use the computer for run-of-the-mill office work using Microsoft Office 2013, for example, Microsoft recommends at least a 1 GHz processor. If you're planning to do more advanced, graphics-intensive work, a faster processor offers improved performance.
The hard drive is the place where files, programs and other data is stored in your computer. As of January 2014, two types of hard drives are on the market: hard disk drives and solid-state drives. Solid state drives are faster, but they are also more expensive. When selecting a hard drive, speed and size are the two most important factors to consider. If possible, aim for a hard drive with at least 1 terabyte of storage space.
Memory, also referred to as RAM, works in tandem with the CPU to determine how fast your computer performs tasks. As with most things computer-related, more is better. The quantity of RAM is measured in gigabytes. For average computing tasks, you will want a computer with at least 4 gigabytes of RAM. When selecting RAM, be sure that it's compatible with your motherboard.
The graphics card handles how video is processed in your computer. When shopping for computers, you will encounter two types of graphics cards: integrated and dedicated. Integrated graphics cards are built into your computer's motherboard. Dedicated graphics cards are installed separately. In general, dedicated graphics cards are more powerful. If you're planning to edit video, play games or watch high-definition movies on your computer, a dedicated graphics card is recommended.
As of January 2014, Windows is by far the most popular operating system in the world, running on more than 80 percent of the world's computers. You can either buy a computer with Windows pre-installed or purchase a copy of Windows yourself if you elect to build your own PC. Several open-source alternative operating systems are also available, most of which are Linux-based. All Apple computers come pre-installed with Apple's proprietary OS X operating system.
Your PC's final location will dictate how big you can (or cannot) go, and it will also help determine whether various premium case features are worth splurging on. You probably don't want to pay for a tempered glass side panel if the computer will be hidden under your desk, for example.
You may also want to include an HDD in your build. The advantage of HDDs is their lower cost and high storage capacity, meaning you can store large quantities of data relatively inexpensively. HDDs come in two form factors:
If you want to install an M.2 SSD, now is a good time to do so. First, find the M.2 slot on your motherboard. It's a small, horizontal slot with a tiny screw across from it. If you can't find it, if you find multiple M.2 slots, or if you are planning on installing more than one M.2 SSD, consult the user manual that came with your motherboard.
Now that you've installed the CPU and the CPU cooler, you may want to perform a quick test run of your components just to make sure they all work. This test is much more difficult to perform (and troubleshoot) once everything is installed in the chassis. To do this, install GPU and connect everything to the power supply (if you don't know how to install the GPU, see section below). Make sure the power supply is connected to the motherboard (both CPU 8pin and 24pin) and GPU, then plug it in and turn it on.
Take a look at your case and figure out where the PSU is supposed to go (probably on the bottom, near the back) and how it can be oriented. Ideally, you want to orient the PSU so that its fan faces outside the case (via a vent). If your case has a vent on the bottom, you can mount the PSU upside down, so long as the bottom vent will receive decent airflow when the PC is finished.
First, you'll want to check to make sure your components are all installed and being recognized. Find the page in BIOS that shows your PC's system info (different motherboards have different BIOS setups, but you should be able to find a screen that gives you this information) and check to make sure the system is recognizing everything you've installed so far.
Next, poke around BIOS until you find the Boot page (may be called \"Boot Order\" or \"Boot Priority\"). Change the boot order so that your USB flash drive is first and the drive you want to install your OS on (if you're using an SSD as a boot drive, you will want to install the OS here) is second.
Since memory and storage take a large chunk of the cost of a new computer, building your own PC gives you the flexibility to save on these components if you wish. While RAM and SSD costs rise with the amount of capacity they offer, they can be less expensive than buying pre-installed components that are often inadequate and need to be upgraded quickly.
There's an easy way to find compatible upgrades: download the Crucial System Scanner. It displays how much memory you currently have, the maximum memory capacity of your computer, and available upgrades for your specific system. Using the System Scanner is safe, doesn't cost a thing, and guarantees product compatibility when you order on Crucial.com.
Building a computer is surprisingly easy. You'll only need a few tools, a good level of understanding of the parts, and the ability to follow some simple instructions. If you can build ready-to-assemble furniture, you'll be able to build your own PC!
If you want ultimate speed that's also not too taxing on your GPU, FHD (1920 x 1080) delivers the highest frame rates (you won't find gaming monitors today with lower resolution). But avoid stretching that resolution past 27 inches, as you may notice a dip in image quality, with pesky individual pixels being visible.
Make sure you pay for what you are getting - A common tactic is to overclock the processor, memory, or other component. This can be done by anyone with a little computer knowledge. For example, you may buy a 733 MHz processor but instead get a 500 MHz.To determine the processor speed, open the computer and look at the processor itself. Do not look at the processor through a software program or through BIOS as these values can be changed or tricked.
Legal software - When purchasing a computer, make sure it was legal purchased and the CD or other disc and its product key is included. Many end-users or small computer companies who build or sell computers may not provide you with legal copies of the software, which is illegal and may leave you with a fine or the inability to get updates.
En español Hunkering down at home during the coronavirus pandemic has taught us this: Personal computers are absolutely essential, helping us to communicate with family, keep up on events, do our shopping, pay our bills, be creative and manage so many other aspects of daily life.
This is the master chip that drives your computer. Current Windows-based computers typically run 10th- or 11th-generation Intel chips. Look for the model number (examples: i5 or i7), then find the two digits immediately after that, preferably 10 or 11.
America has gone mobile, and so have computers. Laptops are the most popular type of computer today, followed by tablets. Together, portable devices account for about four-fifths of the worldwide market.
Those big desktop boxes of old are still available but are usually built for high-end users who need ultra-high-speed capability. You can also hook up a laptop to a monitor on your desk when you need a larger display. They, too, have dropped substantially in cost; great monitors can be had for $150 or less.
Building a PC is simple enough, but it can be intimidating to new PC gamers and frustrating for gaming veterans who don't want to deal with shipping delays on individual components. And contrary to popular belief, having a high-end GPU like an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 doesn't mean your new gaming PC is automatically the best; what counts is the CPU and how much RAM and storage your configuration has. Because even an older GTX 1660 Super or RTX 2070 is still capable of running demanding triple-A titles.
Gaming and office PCs alike use either Intel or AMD processors and compatible components, and it used to be that Intel was the clearly superior choice. But with the new Ryzen 6000 CPUs and GPUs, AMD has proven that it is capable of serious power. If you want to know more about the different CPUs available for gaming PCs, you can check out our list of the best gaming CPUs.
The snarky answer is the one you can afford. But jokes aside, other than price, you want to pay close attention to how much RAM and storage a configuration has. You want to choose a prebuilt PC that has at least 8GB of RAM and a storage drive (either a solid-state drive or a traditional hard disk drive) with no less than 256GB of space. The graphics card model in your build isn't as important as RAM, since the system memory is what actually renders game assets.
I chose these gaming PCs because they offer a great balance between price and components. Higher-end models, like the Alienware Aurora Ryzen R14, come with top-of-the-line components to give you a gaming PC that will last for years before you need to think about upgrading. Others, like the HP Victus desktop, are more budget-friendly options for folks who either are new to PC gaming or who aren't worried about trying to keep up with the latest triple-A games. 59ce067264