Buying New PC: Considerations

Shopping for a new PC can be (trivial) tricky. Unlike shopping for a home appliance or personal gadgets, PC shopping takes a lot of thinking and considerations. This owes to the fact that PCs are still general-purpose machine.

When we buy a cellular phone, it is always assumed that it will be used for communicating and 99.9% of the time it can function as such. When we buy a personal computer, we cannot just buy any computer. We cannot use a home PC for extreme gaming unless we set it up as such.

We have to consider its purpose. Sure, we can just buy the one with all the latest component hardware but for most of us with budget constraints it doesn’t work that way.

A home computer meant for web surfing, emailing, blogging, chatting and occasional word processing will require fewer resources, will need minimum hardware requirements and, thus, will be cheaper. A work computer that will be use for heavy word processing and spreadsheet work will need a little bit of brain and muscle but an office computer which will be used as an office equipment for tasks like invoicing may require less resources. A computer that will be used by a computer programmer, graphics designer should have adequate processor speed and memory size as they are frequently using multiple applications at once. The PC that will be used for gaming will need all the resources it can have to be able to deliver that out-of-this-world experience. Gaming PCs are the most expensive computer for the desktop.

What kind of a PC we will buy is also determined by our budget. Buying the most expensive gaming PC for emailing your sister abroad is way, way overkill and a big waste of money. When budget constrained but we need a spreadsheet, try to take away those components that are not necessary. We don’t need graphics card and sound when doing spreadsheets. Right? Or we can wait until the price drop.

So, who’s going to use the PC? If the user will be a teenager, we’ll most likely consider buying a decent one. These people are doing a lot of things to entertain themselves and they want it fast. But gandma or grandpa doesn’t care if the PC delays a minute or two to boot.

Another thing to consider when buying a new PC is seller/technical support. One way or another your PC will experience trouble sooner or later, that is just how computers work, they give us headaches. How long can the seller provide warranty ““ if they actually provide one — on the unit matters a lot. The manner they provide support is another. So, be careful or you’ll end up with days without a PC to use.

This is by no means complete. If you have other considerations to add, use the comment section.

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  • Aldz

    Hi!

    Great Article! Although I’m just wondering about your use of the word “trivial”.

    Trivial means something of small importance, or insignificant. Which totally contradicts the whole premise of your article.

  • @Aldz:
    Thanks for pointing that out. My mistake. It should be crucial.

    One point for Aldz.

  • My style in buying a new PC is to get the latest (top of the line). You’ll pay more, but the return will be good for at least the next two years. One thing to consider will be market announcements from OEMs, Intel, NVIDIA/ATI, etc. This will give you a hint whether the current prices drop or stays the same. Also, better build it yourself. This way, you don’t pay extra-service fees. But compared to the money value, nothing beats the fun of it.

  • I disagree with buying the top of the line. The manufacturers put an extra premium on those.

  • bit

    It’s usually a better idea to get whatever’s one or a few models below the top-of-the-line. There’s a huge difference in price, but performance isn’t usually as big of a difference.

  • nox

    Consider the OS you would run on the unit too. Also, try to research on the web, user feedback on the parts you intend to buy.

    If all else fails. Consider a mac.

  • JoLop

    In buying a PC or any other thing that you are not familliar it is better to have someone on your side you can ask for suggestion.
    It could be the comp tech of your office-workers’ wife’s cousin, or the the friendly neighborhood internet cafe assistant.
    If you are the one who cannot ask anyone for help on this things, i will introduce you to my bestfriend, his name is Google.

  • just like making a website, planning is an essential tool to map your way to your desired pc.. first, you have to know the foremost reason on what exactly are you going to do with your computer.. the overall functionality of your pc would vary on what applications you are going to use..

  • algor

    i build my pc, way more cheaper

  • In buying a PC always it is unnecessary to understand the terminologies of the following:
    speed of processor, FSB capacity (motherboard capability to transport data to and from processor), RAM (its always better to have 512MB for office requirement and gaming. But if you are into graphics design its better to have 1Gb of RAM, video card if you want to play computer games or multimedia, on board video and LAN (sometimes buyer are not advised the advantage of having on board and slot for video card, casing (the bigger for cooling purpose, at least 3 exhaust fan. Minimum 17″ monitor for all profession and ages. Dont forget the warranty. There are companies that offer three years free service. You only pay spare parts.
    sirjobs
    http://cebubuyandsell.inphils.com/

  • Paul Jerome

    Kung marunong ka gumawa ng pc pero bibili ng complete na (halimbawa: HP, Acer, and etc.) mas maganda eh gumawa ka na lang.. mas mura na at sigurado pa ung quality.. atsaka sabi sa akin ng isa kong friend.. ung mga manufacturers ng PC tulad ng mga sinabi ko kanina ay gumagamit ng chipset na galing taiwan at malaysia, which is hindi straight from US kung saan ung headquarters nila.. gets mo? kaysa kung bibili ka na lang ng components PC Express, Asianic o kung saan pa, at least mas makakamura ka pa..

    meron nga ako nakita “Home Pc” daw 49,000 thou eh, nung i canvass ko sa PCX eh, ung 49000 nakagawa na ako ng “GAMING PC”… oh di ba…

  • Paul Jerome

    Kung marunong ka gumawa ng pc pero bibili ng complete na (halimbawa: HP, Acer, and etc.) mas maganda eh gumawa ka na lang.. mas mura na at sigurado pa ung quality.. atsaka sabi sa akin ng isa kong friend.. ung mga manufacturers ng PC tulad ng mga sinabi ko kanina ay gumagamit ng chipset na galing taiwan at malaysia, which is hindi straight from US kung saan ung headquarters nila.. gets mo? kaysa kung bibili ka na lang ng components sa PC Express, Asianic o kung saan pa, at least mas makakamura ka pa..

    meron nga ako nakita “Home Pc” daw 49,000 thou eh, nung i canvass ko sa PCX eh, ung 49000 nakagawa na ako ng “GAMING PC”… oh di ba…