PC-Repair4u home page computer and laptop repair in Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire

See also our other guides:
Laptop buying guide
Monitor buying guide

Computer buying guide

computerWhen purchasing a PC the main performance issues you need to think about are the processor type and speed, data storage size , memory, graphics card, onboard sound or separate soundcard, CD burner or DVD burner and so on.

The first point is the CPU (central processing unit), because it is the brains of your PC. Intel and AMD are the big two manufacturers offering a fair range of varying processors. The differences between the CPUs are in technical details that don’t necessarily mean much to end users. Pricing is also competitive, with AMD PCs generally cheaper than comparable Intel models.

Budget PCs come with Intel’s Celeron or AMD’s Sempron CPUs. These are aimed at economical users. If your needs are for word processing tasks and surfing the Internet with some  image editing and listening to music without requiring mega sound output a PC running either of these processors is fine. You won’t need a huge hard disk – 80GB will be plenty – coupled with a minimum of 512MB of Ram and a low-end graphics card, or even onboard graphics for the truly undemanding. You’ll be fine with onboard sound.

computer 2When buying a brand new PC from a major retailer your buying experience is manipulated by the current market and advancing technological changes. You may well want to buy the above PC new if you are on a budget and do not require heavy performance or storage but finding one is a different matter. Many are being introduced with minimum performances as duo core CPU , 2gb of ram and 250gb hard drive. With the popular range and choice can now be double the above.

In the mainstream desktop market it is Pentium 4 and Pentium D versus AMD’s
Athlon XP and Athlon 64. The chief difference is that older Pentium 4 and Athlon XP models are 32bit CPUs, while some newer Pentium 4s, the Pentium D and Athlon 64 are 64bit models. To take full advantage of this, you need a 64bit operating system and applications.
More memory can be supported by 64bit systems – 32bit Windows or Linux systems are limited to 4GB of Ram, whereas a 64bit Windows or Linux system can support 128GB. Data is also moved in larger chunks, allowing a theoretical speed advantage.

computer 3AMD and Intel offer high-end processors with the Pentium Extreme Edition and Athlon FX ranges, both aimed at the hardcore gaming market. They also have dual-core CPUs. These processors effectively act as two CPUs in one and offer superior performance as they can multi task more open applications and programs in a more efficient way with less lag than a single processor

If you’re choosing a PC running the above CPUs, other considerations come down to your needs. If you store lots of music, video or photos, go for a big hard disk – 200GB or above. Memory will help speed up applications, so aim for 1GB and above.. The latest games demand the latest graphics cards, but for most people, cards that were new six to 12 months ago will be powerful enough. And look at the CPU’s cache memory, which helps eliminate data bottlenecks.