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Registered: 06-2006
Location: Castle Belgalor
Posts: 2201
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I want to buy a new PC, where do I go and what to get ?

Buying a computer can be a scary and expensive task if you don’t have an understanding of the jargon (language) involved, and what you actually need to buy (based on what the computer’s for).

An advert full of jargon doesn’t make the computer being sold any better! For example, a term often used to describe a computer is Multimedia. All this means is that the computer has the ability to play sounds and video. In the late 1990s this was cutting edge and in no way standard, but today if a computer doesn’t have these then there’s something very wrong with it!!

Computers can be bought in various ways - from chain stores, independent firms or on the internet. The question of who and where to buy your computer from is not easy to answer, but it’s worth bearing the following points in mind.

Many computer adverts will include extras to the main system such as a printer, scanner or digital camera.

The cost of these will have been included in the computer’s price, and the printer/scanner etc, may not be what you want or need. If this is the case, it’s worth asking for a price without them, remember they won't a sale so haggle if possible or, if this is not possible, seeing what other suppliers have to offer.

If the computer does come with a printer, it’s worth checking that this comes with ink cartridges and the USB Cable also how much replacement cartridges cost. The price of ink cartridges varies depending on the manufacturer, printer and shop.

Try to get a printer that has a seperate black cartridge rather than having an all-in-one cartridge, an all-in-one cartridge has to 'make the colour black' using the colours provided so will it will eat up your cartridge in no time. Having a colour cartridge and a black cartridge means you can dedicate the black cartridge to printing black and white pages and documents. Cheap printers often have quite expensive cartridges, as this is how the manufacturers make their money.

If you want to use your computer on the internet, possibly with broadband, and also want it to do things like playing and storing music, organising digital photos and playing basic games, the cheapest computer available will often still be good enough. You may, however, need to check for a network card if your broadband equipment requires it, and also you may want a larger hard drive to store your pictures and music.

Second hand equipment may start to cause problems here,
example - NTL broadband requires at least a 166Mhz (1GHz is 1000Mhz) Pentium processor and 64Mb Ram (this requirement will vary between companies).

If you are a serious video game player (ie similar to those found in arcades), then you can spend a lot of money on a suitable computer! Game playing is very much affected by processor speed, amount of RAM and graphics card.

For example, a cheap graphics card that is suitable for most jobs costs around £30. An up to date, top of the range one can cost £300 or more. All video games will have minimum requirements for your hardware listed on the back of them. If you stick to these lists the games will work, but the faster your computer is, the better they’ll play.

Bare in mind that consoles (Playstation 2, Xbox etc) are designed solely for playing games and are much cheaper.

If you have any level of visual impairment, a larger monitor will be useful. If you are using any form of screen magnification, items on the screen will become larger, and may well seem cluttered and messy on a smaller screen.

If this is the case, buying a larger monitor (19”, 21” or more) will help the situation, though larger monitors can add a lot to the cost to a computer. If you are buying a package PC, most come with a Monitor, usually a 15" screen one but for an extra £20-£30 you can upgrade to a 17" screen.

17" screens on a CRT monitor (the ones that have huge long backs to them) may look small but if you have a 17" flat screen (TFT) it looks much bigger because the edges and the backs have been taken away, . Having a 19" Screen I think is much better, especially if you watch DVD's on them etc. The only downfall from getting a larger screen is that it increases the cost of your computer package

If your only purpose for buying a computer is to enable you to have a tool for writing letters and emails, then you have no need for a very powerful computer. You should be fine with the cheapest computer available from any retailer.

Please make sure that you have a Genuine Disc of Windows XP (Home or Pro) which should come with the package, make sure you have the disc BEFORE you leave the shop.

If Windows has been pre-installed it will come with a Factory Restore Disc or Discs, your model of PC is called an OEM model, again, make sure the disc(s) are there BEFORE you leave the shop, insist on looking for this before make your payment

7/1/07, 0:57 Link to this Post Send a PM to this person Blog
indicaspice Profile
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Registered: 12-2005
Location: my corner of the universe.
Posts: 191
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Re: I want to buy a new PC, where do I go and what to get ?

All good advice Wiz. I much prefer to build my pc from the ground up, that way I get what I want in it not what some manufacturer thinks I should have.

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11/1/07, 15:08 Link to this Post  

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