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Residential – Purchasing a New Computer

Buying a New Computer:

If you’re thinking of buying a new pc, and getting a bit lost. Then we’ll try to provide some basic buying tips, based on our own experience in the industry. But remember, if it’s all a bit over-whelming, then pop into our Esplanade store or call us.

Golden Advice:

If you don’t want to read this entire article. But want one golden piece of advice, then here it is. “Pick the computer up. If it feels really light (as in, much lighter than you would expect). Then don’t buy it. It’s rubbish”.

Plan:

Before you do anything else, decide on what you want, why and what your budget is. Do you want a laptop, desktop, all-in-one etc. Are you wanting to use your computer for editing videos, playing online games, playing solitaire, using facebook etc. It’s no good asking someone for advice if you’re not clear on what you want to achieve.

Shop Around:

Ok, so you know what you want. Now you have to find it, within your budget. This is where you will need to start talking to suppliers to see what they can offer. While shopping around it’s a good idea to check out the national chain stores, as well as the smaller I.T. Support Stores. There’s a general believe that the larger stores can offer better pricing, through bulk buying, however this isn’t always true.

Staff working in the smaller stores, such as Masterlink, are qualified and very passionate about what they do. In most cases the person you speak to not only builds and repairs computers, but comes into contact with every computer related scenario imaginable. The smaller I.T. stores also know which brands and models have problems, and which ones are direct imports without parts being easily available.

If you do find something that suits your budget requirements at a national supplier, then our advice is to buy it. You can always bring your new laptop to an I.T. Service Centre to have the initial setup done, transfer data and setup email, internet, printer and software etc.

So What Do I Need:

This is a very general guide.

  • Windows 7 & 8 are still available (regardless of what some salesmen will tell you). But practically you should go to Windows 10 and in most cases any new computer will come with 10. It is no longer possible to downgrade computers from 10 to 7 or 8.

  • Speed is controlled by lots of things, but the “processor” is a good benchmark. In general if you pick the right processor, the other “specs” will fall into line. For example an i3 would be ideal for someone who’s retired and just wants to play solitaire or mahjong, use facebook and maybe store their digital photos. An i5 would suit most people, unless you’re talking about high end requirements like “gaming”. Most business machines are i5’s. i7 are ideal for autocad, digital editing, high end gaming. The other big speed boost can come from an SSD drive (Solid State Drive). An SSD stores all your information and programs, because it doesn’t have any moving parts, it will dramatically speed up your system.

  • Which is the “working” memory is important, but don’t get hung up on it. A computer will run ok on 4GB, 8GB will suit most people. I’ve heard so many people say they need 16GB or even 32GB, but the reality is that they are unlikely to use it. And remember, in most cases ram can be added later if needed.

  • Computers now come in a selection of sizes, and may even be built into the back of the monitor (All-in-One). This can be important if you have limited space. But remember the smaller or more compact, the less you can add later, like extra hard drives, video cards etc.

  • Power Supply. An off the shelf system will have an appropriately spec’d power supply. If you are purchasing a tower, and want to allow for additional hard drives, video cards etc. in the future. Then you probably shouldn’t have less than 700 watts.

  • Make sure your new computer has enough USB and other ports. Many laptops these days don’t come with DVD optical drives, and there is more of a need now for computers to have wifi. Other extras like SD card readers may also be useful. Also check to see if your system comes with built-in speakers or if they are provided.

Questions to Ask:

  • What happens if your computer needs to be repaired under warranty. Larger stores will probably want to send your computer to Brisbane for repair, or insist that you go to a specific repairer. Make sure that what ever their system, you’re happy with it.

  • Ask if they can do data transfer from your old computer, and if so “how much”.

  • Ask if the computer you’re buying will do what you need. Don’t let this be an opening for an upsell to something you don’t need. Just get confirmation that it will meet your needs.

  • Get the salesman’s name.

  • Find out what “After Sales Support” is offered.

  • Ask what they can do to help out, if you get your computer home and have a problem setting it up.