It is something that I often say to those who ask me for help, to buy a new computer it is necessary to know many things about the components that will give it life … But also about us! Namely the use we are going to give you, all in order to avoid a bad investment.
In addition, a big question may arise … Buy a Desktop or Laptop? Performance or Portability? We must not forget, that a good desktop will also need a good monitor, while the laptop already comes with the monitor included in the ‘package. But in this case, I advise you to read this article:
(Special) Everything you need to take into account before buying a PC!
I try to take all this into account, let's shed some light on this very complicated subject.
1. What kind of user are you?
Before deciding on parts, monitor, keyboard, etc … You need to understand what kind of user you are! Thus, a PC for productivity, namely text editing, does not need great technical specifications. However, if you need to edit 4K videos, or need to use virtual machines, you may need some more juice on your PC.
Similarly, a PC focused on games will have to have more RAM, a more powerful and clear CPU … A graphics card capable of feeding all your graphic desires.
The same can be said of a laptop, you always need to understand what you need, and then make the best decision possible. But rest assured, there is no lack of choice in the market.
2. The motherboard
This is one of the most often overlooked topics where consumers prefer to save some money. However, it is without a doubt one of the most important.
After all, we are talking about the component that will handle all communication between all the parts you buy. In fact, if you want a machine that does not cause problems, that is stable throughout your life, this is where you will have to bet.
In addition, this is also where you will have to decide well what you need on your machine. That is, if you want an Intel or AMD CPU, if you want one or more graphics cards, if you want to Overclock or not, and if you want access to the PCIe 4.0 standard (AMD only). There are many decisions that can greatly influence the rest of your build.
3. The processor
Once we know what type of user we are, and what motherboard fills us in, we need to know how to choose the processor, where you will find many choices in various price ranges from two major brands, Intel and AMD. Right now, AMD is having tremendous success in the market, with its Ryzen processor ranges, offering excellent performance at an extremely attractive price. However, Intel is still the queen of gaming performance.
Read our build guide here to understand more or less what components to choose, depending on your budget:
3. The graphics card
Later, we have the graphics card, where once again you have to have a full sense of what you are going to do with your machine. If you are a Gamer, you will definitely want a good graphics card. However, it is necessary to always have a balance between the processor and graphics card. After all, if you have a super powerful CPU and a weak graphics card … Performance will be poor in games! The same is true if you bet on a super powerful graphics card and a weak CPU, due to the fact that the processor cannot keep up with the card.
Balance is everything when building a new PC.
4. After the processor and graphics card, you need to look at RAM!
Currently, the standard is DDR4 memory. That said, despite the Operating Systems even being quite good at memory management, it is always a good idea to have a good amount of this type of memory. In my opinion, the current sweet spot remains 16Gb. However, if you have a super limited budget, 8GB may be enough. After all, you can always add 8GB more in the future.
When we buy a new PC, it is obvious that we will want to have access to the new technologies that the market has to offer. What in this world, means betting on SSD storage. However, there are several types of SSD storage, so when you choose the motherboard you will have to take this into account.
In my opinion, on a modern PC it is almost mandatory to have a high speed m.2 NVMe SSD drive. You will notice the difference on a daily basis, especially in loading in gaming. But calm, there are options for all tastes and wallets.
Read this article to learn more:
6. Buy a pre-made machine (Pre-Build) or assemble piece by piece?
Personally, I always prefer to build my own PC. In fact, much of the joke of creating our own machine is also to get to work and assemble it at home, in an authentic mess of pieces and boxes scattered on the table. Not only do we have a new experience, we also learn something extremely useful.
However, the truth is that you can go to reference stores like GlobalData, choose all the components, and they promptly assemble, test and ship everything done home.
That said, there are still many users who simply do not want or do not have time to study the subject, and prefer to buy a PC already assembled, with parts previously chosen by someone else. And in fact, in contrast to a very recent past, these stores already have good options at a good price! Still, I think that the user always has to gain (and save), in choosing the pieces or asking someone to choose for themselves.
Furthermore, what do you think about all this? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.
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Since I was very young I became interested in computers and technology in general, I had my first PC at 10 years old and at 15 I built my first tower, since then I never stopped. Whatever technology is, I'm in the front row to find out more.