A functional and fast computer is essential for anyone working or studying from home. It’s even more vital for people who want to play the latest video games. Programs like video and photo editing software and the latest game titles are increasingly requiring more processing power, so you can enjoy more dynamic and high-quality outputs and graphics.
Performance can vary from one computer to another, even with the latest parts and models. You need just to find the right balance of price to the performance that your job, course, or game requires.
Whether you’re buying a new computer for the first time or upgrading your current rig, you should consider several factors.
Your Home’s Wiring
If there’s anything that can ruin your new computer quickly, it’s faulty or outdated wiring. For example, if your home only has two-prong outlets, you likely don’t have a ground connection to link your computer to. This means that it can’t conduct stray current away from your device. This leads to electric shocks when touching the computer case and possible damage to components in the long run.
There’s also voltage dips and power surges that can end up destroying your computer, especially if it’s not grounded. It’s best to hire an experienced and licensed electrician to inspect and repair your wiring before plugging in your new PC into it.
Desktop or Laptop?
There are pros and cons to both choices. For one, you need to consider mobility. Does your job or course require you to meet with people outside of your household? A laptop allows you to bring your work or studies anywhere. It’s also a great choice if you have limited space in your home.
Although some desktops aren’t big, they still need space for a keyboard, mouse, monitor, speaker/headphones, and a webcam. If you’re just staying at home and don’t plan on moving any time soon, a desktop computer may be more cost-efficient.
Your Programs’ Requirements
Video games and programs all have different hardware requirements. Most of the time, the more expensive a part or prebuilt computer is, the better it performs compared to its more affordable counterparts. Take the central processing unit, the heart of your computer, for example. The more cores it has, the better it can relatively perform, as it can spread a workload out evenly across different cores. Better performance, however, may also mean a more expensive price.;
A word processing application can work on the most basic budget units or builds, as it doesn’t need a lot of processing and graphics power to run properly. However, video and photo editing software may need more powerful, and ultimately expensive, central processing units and graphics cards. This is because rendering graphics, especially if it’s 3D needs a lot more processing power compared to saving and printing simple text.
The same goes for video games, the latest ones with 3D graphics need a lot of power to run smoothly.
Prebuilt or DIY?
This is a matter of convenience vs. budget. Prebuilt PCs, like laptops and computer packages from large brands, like Acer, HP, and Dell, are the most convenient ones to get. When you receive them, you just need to unbox and plug them in to use them. The problem is, they can get expensive. This is because you also have to pay for the labor cost of assembling the computer, as well as the specialized shipping needed to ensure it gets to your door safely.
Laptops are also more complicated to design and build, because companies have to cram high-quality parts into a small package, while also ensuring that everything is well ventilated in that cramped space. With mobility, comes large premiums.;
Alternatively, you could also build your own gaming PC or productivity workstation. You source and assemble all the parts yourself, so you don’t have to worry about labor or delivery fees. With many PC building guides and other resources online, building a computer is more accessible than ever, too. Any adult can do it. You can spend more or less on parts according to your needs.
For example, you can always ditch the graphics card and go with your processor’s integrated graphics if you don’t really play video games as much.
However, the DIY process can be time-consuming. And if you make a mistake, like accidentally breaking off a component, you may have to replace it out of your own pocket. Despite the possible hiccups you may encounter, having been able to build a working computer yourself is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world.
If you’re getting a new computer, think about your home’s electrical wiring, your PC’s hardware, your program’s system requirements, and other relevant factors. Go through a checklist to ensure you get a computer that fulfills your needs for business and personal use.