What Computer Should I Buy?
What computer should I buy?
We get this question quite often. While there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer, the following specifications are the minimum that we recommend. These specifications are suitable for typical home and office use. If you are a graphic designer, engineer, video/music editor, etc., please contact us before purchasing a system based on these recommendations.
We can take the hassle out of purchasing a computer and order a desktop or laptop direct from the manufacturer on your behalf. These computers include a 3 year warranty and we can also install and setup if necessary. Please contact us for more information.
The short version – recommended
Processor – Intel i5 or i7, 12th generation or higher
Memory – 16 gigabytes (GB) of RAM
Disk drive/space – Solid state drive, 500 gigabytes capacity
Monitor / Laptop screen – Resolution of 1920×1080 or greater
Warranty / Support – We recommend purchasing a machine that includes or can be upgraded to a 3 year warranty with onsite support. If needed, this means that parts are replaced by a certified technician that comes to you. Consider adding Accidental Damage protection for laptops in the event that it is dropped or otherwise damaged.
The short version – budget
Processor – Intel i5 or i7, 10th generation or higher
Memory – 8 gigabytes (GB) of RAM (but 16 is definitely recommended)
Disk drive/space – Solid state drive, 250 gigabytes capacity (don’t expect to store a lot of photos, videos, etc.)
The long version
Processor: Intel i5 Series
We currently recommend a “Core i5” processor from Intel. The Core i3 is a budget processor and is not recommended. The Core i7 is usually overkill for typical home and business use but is certainly acceptable. Intel also sells budget processors that will not have the “Core” name, such as “Intel Pentium” or “Intel Celeron”. We do not recommend these processors.
The model number of the i5 isn’t too important for typical use. Simply look a the first two digits in the model number as this represents its generation. For example, 12xxx is an 12th generation chip, 11xxx is a 11th generation chip and so on. We recommend a 12th generation or greater Intel Core i5 or i7 processor.
In summary, an example of a recommended processor would be: Intel Core i5-12400.
An example of a non-recommended processor would be: Intel Celeron J4005 or Intel Pentium.
Memory (also called RAM) recommendation: 16 gigabytes (GB) or more
We recommend a minimum of 16 gigabytes of memory. If you need something more budget friendly, 8 GB may be acceptable but we strongly advise 16 in order to help extend the life of the system. Remember that memory (aka RAM) is not how much data the computer can store – that is the hard drive which is covered in the next section.
Hard drive/storage recommendation: Solid state,500 gigabyte (GB) or more
Many computers come with large hard drives such as “1 terabyte”. Most people actually do not need a large drive (this may not apply if you have a large music, photo or video collection.) You should review the contents of your current computer to see if you need a drive larger than what is recommended here.
In order to get the best performance we recommend you purchase a “solid state” (or SSD) hard drive. Solid state hard drives increase the overall performance of your computer by 50% or more and we highly recommended them. Budget computers will have traditional mechanical drives that are extremely slow and should be avoided.
In summary, an example of a recommended hard drive would be: 500 GB or larger solid state
An example of a non-recommended hard drive would be: 3.5″ 1TB 7200 RPM drive (3.5″ and RPM are both indications that the drive is not solid state. All solid state drives are 2.5″ and explicitly say “solid state”)
Windows and Office
If you are purchasing a computer for office or business use and you are using a server you might need to purchase the Professional edition of Windows. Windows Professional will allow you to connect to a business domain (if you use one) and has other features (like remote desktop/control) built-in.
Many retail and less-expensive PCs will come with the Standard version of Windows rather than Professional.
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) is not included with Windows. We recommend purchasing Office by subscribing to Office 365.
These specifications will help you pick out a machine that will perform admirably for years to come. Remember that we are re-seller of most of the major computer manufacturers so please contact us if you would like a quote on a computer or laptop for your business.
These specifications within this article were last updated on February 22, 2020.
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Midland, Texas 79705
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