Sadly, the time has come to replace your trusted desktop computer. Nothing lasts forever, but computers have changed in leaps and bounds in recent years, so the market might look different from the last time you went shopping.
Do you know how to choose a desktop computer that will meet all of your needs? You might have noticed that there are now more brands and models available than ever before, which can be overwhelming.
Plus, a computer is a big investment, so you want to be sure you’re spending your money wisely.
If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. Keep reading to find our top tips and tricks that can help when buying a desktop computer.
What’s the Reason for Buying a New Desktop PC?
You need to choose a desktop computer—but before you can make a decision, you need to consider why you’re purchasing it in the first place!
This is because the features you’ll want to look for in your desktop computer will vary, depending on what you’re going to use it for.
Here are a few of the main reasons for buying a desktop computer, and what to look for if they apply to you.
More of us are working from home than ever before—across the US, 42% of workers are working from home full-time. If you’ve made the transition to remote work this year, you’re not alone.
Working from home means you’ll need to upgrade your computer, giving you the speed and power to complete everything you need to do.
If you’re buying a computer for home office work, you’ll need a fast processor, so you can handle multiple tasks and programs with ease. You’ll also want to consider storage needs.
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Does your company use Windows? If so, a computer that can handle the latest version of the Windows operating system will be helpful—ask your IT team what additional specs you should be considering.
Keep in mind that if you’re purchasing a computer for work use, it might be tax-deductible.
Do you have a passion for computer games? If so, look for a computer that was built with gaming in mind.
Gamers want power—a fast processor to let you play your favorite games with no lag time is the first thing to look for. You’ll also want to see the vibrant graphics and colors as accurately as possible, so look for a powerful graphics card that’s designed with gamers in mind.
Another thing to consider is cooling. Gaming computers can overheat sometimes, so you’ll want a computer with a built-in cooling system.
Many gamers prefer to create their own builds, but there are plenty of pre-built computers that are designed with serious gamers in mind.
Do you need a computer for creative tasks like video and photography editing or design? Memory and speed are important things to look for, but screen resolution and color accuracy are essential as well.
When working on fine, detailed projects, you need your screen to show you everything, just as you’d see it in real life. A high-resolution monitor can help with this too—they tend to come in several options, 1080p, 1440p, or 4K.
Creative types tend to spend long hours doing repetitive tasks on their computer, so think about ease of use and ergonomics too—you might want to invest in an ergonomically-friendly mouse and keyboard that will prevent wrist and hand pain.
What if you just need a computer for casual use? Perhaps you want to do homework, surf the internet, or make video calls with friends.
If you’re just after a great computer for everyday use, you can shop more based on your budget than on features. There are plenty of affordable and well-built computers out there, even on a small budget.
However, you’ll still want your computer to work quickly, so fast processing and generous memory are probably the most important factors to look for.
Consider Your Budget
Speaking of budget, how much do you want to spend on your computer? You can find amazing desktops starting at a few hundred and up into the thousands, depending on what features you need.
You can often find amazing computer deals, giving you premium models for a lower price—check these out to nab a bargain.
Generally, the faster the processing and power, the more you’re going to spend. However, if you’re really struggling to find something within your budget, look into the refurbished and pre-owned market.
Are You a Mac or PC Person?
Next—another tip that will help you narrow down your selection is Mac v PC. Most of us already know if we prefer Apple or PCs, but if you’re unsure, it can help to spend some time using both types of computers to see which better suits your needs.
Both types of computers are capable of the same functions, so it really comes down to aesthetics and preferences. If you tend to use Apple products, like the iPhone, you might prefer a Mac, but keep in mind that Apple computers are generally more expensive than PCs.
Your Mac will run on the macOS operating system, while your PC will probably operate on Windows.
There are pros and cons to both brands, but PCs tend to have an advantage when it comes to gaming.
Think About Your Specifications
As mentioned above, different needs require different features. When shopping for a new computer, these are some of the specifications that you’ll want to look into.
Each new computer will be clearly labeled with its specifications, but it can always be helpful to read additional reviews online to learn more before making a decision.
Storage and Memory
When buying a computer, check to see how much memory space is included. Most new PCs will offer anywhere from 4GB to 32GB, with the price increasing the more memory is included.
Storage space is important because every software or program you run is going to take up some of your memory space̦—once you’ve used it all, you’ll have limited functionality.
Memory can also be used for storing photos, videos, and documents. However, there are plenty of other ways to increase your memory, such as cloud storage and external hard drives.
GPU is a funny-sounding acronym, but it helps to know what it stands for—graphic processing units.
Your GPU is responsible for what you see on your screen, whether you’re reading, watching a show, or playing a game. If imagery, such as video editing and gaming, is important to you, then you’ll want to get the best GPU that you can afford.
GPUS can be one of two types: integrated and discrete. If you have specific needs when it comes to graphics, it’s helpful to speak to a computer expert to ensure you’re purchasing the right product.
Another big consideration is connectivity. Your desktop will work fine on its own, but are you going to pair it with speakers, a second monitor, a printer, or other devices?
If so, it helps to look for connectivity options, like inputs and outputs. The more you have, the more additional devices you can pair with your desktop.
Connectivity also applies to your internet connection, but all computers these days are incredibly easy to connect via wi-fi or an ethernet cable.
How much space do you have for your new desktop? If you’re working with a small home office, then consider how much space you have for your new computer.
Some towers can be quite large, so make sure you have room on or under your desk. Think about your ideal monitor size as well, and whether you’ll need one or two.
Many workers prefer the convenience that comes from having dual monitors, but it does take up more space. Always take note of a computer’s size and dimensions before buying so you can be sure it will fit in your space.
With the Help of These Tips, Learn How to Choose a Desktop Computer
As you can see, there are plenty of things to consider when computer shopping. Now that you know more about how to choose a desktop computer, use the tips above to help you through the process.
Once you work out the key features you need in a desktop, you can narrow down your search to just a few brands and models. At that point, do more research on each model and try to visit an electronics store to see how they look.
Soon, you’ll have made your decision and you’ll be waiting for your brand-new computer to arrive!
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