Buying a New Computer on a Budget

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Show #40:

  • Date: 2005-10-24
  • Subject: Buying a New Computer on a Budget
  • Duration: 33:30
  • Format: MP3
  • Size: 13,782 kb

Topics Discussed:

  • My Comments
  • 3 signs you need a new computer
  • Should I buy a laptop or a desktop?
  • 7 things to look for in a new desktop PC
  • 7 tips for getting the laptop you need
  • Disposing of the old PC

Additional Information:

~~ 3 signs you need a new computer.

  1. Bootup Issues.
  2. The system grinds away.
  3. Your computer will not handle Windows XP or certain software applications.

~~ Should I buy a laptop or a desktop?

  1. Compare size vs. portability - Desktop computers typically sits on the floor under a desk. A monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers are all attached to the CPU separately. Laptop computers, on the other hand, are small, battery-powered, lightweight and ideal for those who require portability, such as business people who travel or university students.
  2. Determine how much power and memory you need - A few years ago, there was no comparison between a desktop and laptop computer when it came to processing poweródesktops won hands-down for speed and performance but today things are different.
  3. Factor in the price - Desktops are cheaper than laptops.
  4. Evaluate upgradeability and repair options - Components in a desktop computer are easier to upgrade than those in a laptop. Repairing a desktop PC is also a lot simpler. Desktops are also easier to upgrade.

~~ 7 things to look for in a new desktop PC.

  1. The Microprocessor - For Windows machines, you have a choice of the AMD Athlon XP, AMD Athlon 64, Intel Pentium 4 and Intel Celeron, an economy chip. The Pentium 4, Athlon XP and Athlon 64 range from powerful to really powerful.
  2. The Operating System.
  3. Random Access Memory.
  4. Hard Drive.
  5. Video Card - lots of RAM.
  6. The Monitor - Do you need to buy a monitor? Most people get one without thinking, but monitors do not necessarily come with computers. Often, you can lower your cost by refusing the monitor. Why would you do that? If you are satisfied with your current monitor, it should work OK with your new computer.
  7. CDs and DVDs.

~~ 7 tips for getting the laptop you need.

  1. Know your needs - If you live out of a suitcase, you know the value of a light computer. A six-pound computer can feel like a sack of potatoes at the end of a long concourse. An ultraportable can feel ultra-friendly in this situation.
  2. Choose your speed from a multitude of multiprocessors.
    • Pentium 4: This is a desktop chip. It is powerful and power-hungry and runs hot.
    • Pentium 4-M: These are less powerful than their desktop brothers. But they are better with batteries, and the computers are not as heavy.
    • Pentium M: These run slower than the 4, but they are just about as powerful.
    • Athlon XP-M: Advanced Micro Devices answer to the Pentium. This is a good chip, and is usually cheap.
    • Athlon 64: This is a top of the line chip from AMD. 64-bit based software but runs 32. This chip is extremely fast.
    • Celeron and Celeron M: The budget chip from Intel. This is not as fast as the Pentiums or the AMD chips.
    • Transmeta: These are used by a few Japanese manufacturers. Transmeta chips are on the slow side.
  3. If you travel a lot, invest in a wireless-equipped laptop.
  4. Random Access Memory.
  5. Hard Drive.
  6. Video Card - lots of RAM.
  7. Accessories - keep them limited.

~~ Disposing of the old PC - Ask neighbors and friends if they need a computer, but clean it first. Offer to give it to your church, a charity or a school. Or, you can turn it in to the manufacturer of your new computer. Check the web for other ideas.

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