PC Hardware Guide
Picking the Right PC Hardware
If you are you considering upgrading your PC hardware? There are several things you should keep in mind when buying PC hardware, the processor and its motherboard, memory, graphics card, and also the storage – hard drives
Computer Parts Always Change
When buying computer hardware you have to keep in mind that the hardware you buy today will probably be obsolete in 6-12 months. This is because the hardware is always changing and there’s new components coming out all the time. As software becomes more complex, the resources on your hardware are pushed harder. The cycle for replacing hardware is generally every tw0 to three years.
In general you should buy the best processor you can afford because this is going to give you more life out of your computer and you won’t have to upgrade the machine as often. It’s going to cost you a lot but the results will be worth it. You might be in your local supermarket, and see a cheap laptop in the region of around €350 or $299. Generally these are very entry level, and we consistently get them back a year or so later, with resources used up and ending in a complete re-installation of the operating system. So remember always try stretch your budget a little further, it is worth it in the long run. Along with the processor you’ll need to buy the motherboard as well. Conduct some research and find out what the best current processors are. If you’re into gaming the choice of processor can help you play the latest games.
Aim for 6-12GB of memory on your computer. Having 4GB is fine for word processing and the Internet but you really want to have as much as possible for today’s demanding applications and games. If you’re building your computer from scratch then put as much memory in the machine as it will hold. Also try to aim to get the fastest bus speed, this is the frequency at which the data travels around the system. This is generally matched by the motherboard.
The video card is a critical part of your computer that is always changing. This part is critical if you have demanding graphic applications and especially if you’re into gaming. If you want to play top of the line current games then get the best video card possible for your machine. Avoid any sort of integrated video card as these are quite poor. You will find these in many laptop configurations and they should be avoided unless you just need something basic.
Storage – Hard Disk Drives.
There are a couple of things to consider for the purposes of storing your data. The baseline should be about 500GB for the hard drive of the operating system at a minimum. Hard drives are getting larger and pricing is dropping per cost of megabyte. If you are a graphic designer or work with digital media in any ware, more storage is recommended, than the average user would consume. For regular documents, you can generally get by with some form of cloud storage, such as Google Drive, Drop Box or Microsoft’s SkyDrive.
- Internal Storage
Internal hard drives contain the operating system, are faster that external hard drives and come in a few types – IDE(Parallel ATA / PATA), Serial ATA (SATA) , Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), and Solid State hard drives. Solid state drives, have no movable parts, and don’t have the problem of bad sectors occurring if the computer loses power or is “shocked” in any way. However their life span is generally around 3 years.
- External Storage
For backups of your data ensure you also have a large external hard drive and you might want to get two or three so you have additional backups as a drive can fail at any time. These drives are also perfect for storage if you have lost of videos, movies, or other content.
You should build the computer with the best components you can afford. This will give you more use out of the computer and you won’t have to replace things as often. Make sure you leave room for upgrades in the machine. Since part change all the time you will need to determine the parts that you want for your machine. Read reviews before you buy to ensure you get the best parts for your machine.