Before You Buy: Desktop
Though some critics and tech mags call desktop computers dinosaurs, in all actuality, desktops have gotten sexier, faster, and even smarter. They are the chosen tool of graphic designers, PC gamers, small businesses, and everyday people alike.
However, buying a desktop means more than just investing in a brand name. You have to trust a desktop to keep your photos, documents, and data safe. So, before heading online or to a store, here are some things to know before you buy a desktop computer.
What’s The Purpose?
The very first thing to do when looking for a desktop is to sit down and think about the primary reason you’re buying a new desktop. Are you going to use it for graphic design? Gaming? Writing? Schoolwork? All of the above? This is important to consider because it will determine what kind of machine you get from operating system to hardware specifications. Generally, someone looking for a desktop for graphic design and gaming want more ram as well as a graphics card, while others looking for a writing laptop or one for school work will want more storage.
Choose Your OS
Now that you’ve determined the reason for buying a desktop, it’s time to pick your operating system (assuming you don’t already have any strong preferences in this direction).
Historically, Macs have been the machines of choice for most graphic designers and creatives. However, PCs are growing in popularity among this group. The main purposed of this is that PCs come with customizable hardware and often get more power for the price. Also, many designers are also gamers or video editors which make PCs the best pick.
On the other hand, Apple’s Mac computers provide a seamless integration with other iOS devices as well as are more secure because there are less viruses written for Macs. People also find them less complicated and more intuitive to use. If you’re a Windows user the transition can be confusing, but I’ve found that it’s more logical once you get used to it.
There’s certainly no better or worse OS — it all comes down to what you’re most comfortable with and enjoy using.
Plan Out Your Setup
All-in-ones are a style of desktop computer system. They have the same requirements in terms of features and functionality. The only real difference is the number of components. All-in-ones have a unit that is the monitor and computer versus the desktop that is comprised of the computer system/tower plus a separate monitor. In general, these types of desktops will be about the same price as a tower and monitor, however, all-in-ones can sometimes be a little more expensive. They also do not have the upgrade-ability that normal desktops have. They share many components with laptop computers, which generally are not as high-performing as desktops. On the plus side, they are great for those who want to save some desk space.
One of the biggest advantages of buying a desktop computer is the ability to have a multiple monitor setup. Whether you’re creating a more productive setup for your home office or just like the feel of more than one monitor, multiple monitors can help you be more efficient and enjoy your desktop experience. Just be sure to shop carefully for a machine with enough video outputs to handle your ideal monitor setup.
If you’re looking for information on whether to use one, two, or even three monitors and the effect on productivity, I would suggest checking outGidmodo’s article “How Many Monitors is Too Many?”
Hardware Recommendations Based on Use
Next is hardware, which will impact your price point. The more RAM the higher the price. Same goes for the more powerful the CPU as well as the type of storage, such as eMMC, SSD, HDD. A great way to cut this cost is to buy refurbished desktop computers.
Web Browsing and Word Processing
If you’ll only be using your desktop for web browsing or word processing, you won’t need a high-performance machine. I’d recommend buying an HP Stream, in this case.
Graphic Design and Gaming
Graphic design or gaming, however, will require a machine with lots of memory, a top-end CPU, and all the frills you can afford.
That completes our guide to buying a desktop computer. Armed with this knowledge, you can go forth and buy the best desktop computer for your needs. And if you’re ready to start looking, check out DealScoop’s selection of desktop computers.
What questions do you have when it comes to buying a desktop? Or, do you perhaps prefer laptops or tablets? Let us know in the comments below!