Buying a desktop computer becomes easier if the purchaser knows exactly what they want to use it for. The best tips for purchasing a PC include looking at the specifications of the machine, the operating system, the factory installed software and the tasks that the user expects to get out of it. For example, a buyer who wants a computer to play games on and do some basic word processing may look at some different factors than a person who needs a business computer that can edit video applications and perform accounting procedures.
The first thing to look at when buying a desktop computer is the specifications. The speed of a computer is often important if the user wants to be able to run multiple programs at the same time. This is expressed as a number in GHz (gigahertz). The higher this number is, the faster the computer will run. Most mid-range computers have a processor speed between 2.3 and 2.5 GHz. Memory and RAM are the next things a buyer will often look at. If a PC has Microsoft® Windows 7® or Windows Vista® on it, it will require a minimum of 2 GB RAM. Desktop computers often come with even more RAM than this available. The amount of memory for storing data and programs can range from 320 GB to 1 TB on many computers. If the user wants to store large volumes of digital media, such as videos and music, buying a desktop computer with a higher amount of memory is often preferable.
The operating system and factory installed software should be determined when buying a desktop computer. Software is often installed as a trial version, which the buyer will have to purchase once the trial period is over. This can add to the overall cost of the PC, which buyers often overlook. The best desktop computers will come with the latest operating system installed. This includes Windows 7® and Windows Vista® for PCs, and Mac OS X® for Macintosh® computers.
Additional tips for buying a desktop computer include looking at the number of peripherals available. The number of USB ports is often important to users, especially if they intend to use a lot of add-ons like smart phones, MP3 players, routers and other devices in conjunction with the computer. Buyers often look for a computer that is Internet ready, and one that comes with a rewritable DVD drive available. A powerful graphics card can often increase the functionality of a computer, allowing the user to play more modern games and run more sophisticated programs.