This is a very basic PC purchase guide. It’s designed to help those that don’t really understand the specifications of various products and are not sure what to choose for their needs.
All you have to do when looking for a computer is look at three to four main components:
I will not be getting into very specific explanations of what each component is and how it works since it’s not really important and you can easily look up their specific functions on the web if you’re interested in that.
CPU – That’s the processor.
RAM= Amount of ram memory. Don’t get anything with less than 4GBs of it.
Modern programs, even internet browsers, require at least that much to function flawlessly under heavy usage.
Hard Drive = That’s common knowledge. That’s where all your stuff, including the operating system are stored. It’s also the slowest component of any computer, which has now changed with the introduction of SSD drives.
GPU = That’s the graphics card. Most laptops use integrated ones (ex. Intel HD xxxx). Those are pretty bad for anything more than very light gaming or content creation, but will get the job done in other uses.
This specific guide will be for laptops.
Watching/Storing media like Films/Music/TV Shows.
CPU: Modern(2013+) Intel Pentium. You could take a chance and go with an Intel Atom (previously Celeron) processor, but I make no promises that it won’t end up being too slow.
HDD: Preferably SSD 120gb+ or HDD 500GB or Hybrid Disk
GPU: It will be part of the CPU that you choose. For example Intel HD xxxx.
This setup can do little to no gaming.
Average User interested in occasional light gaming:
Here an AMD APU (CPU with integrated special graphics card) will be better, since due to the better graphics card contained in it, it will be better in games.
We’re not talking about a gaming machine by any means, just something that will handle a few non-demanding games.
So we keep everything the same as above but exchange CPU with an AMD a4-a6 APU.
GPU will be part of the APU that you choose. Example: Radeon R4 Graphics.
Same as above + Content Creation
CPU: Intel Core i5/i7. The i7 will be more beneficial in laptops. For desktops it’s going to be much more expensive than the i5 and the extra performance is not really worth it for this user.
RAM: 8gb+ if possible
HDD: Either Large HDD sacrificing speed for storage capacity or SSD + external HDD for storage.
Same as above + Professional or otherwise intense media creation and/or extreme gaming(full settings, high framerate or large resolution like 4k).
CPU: Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 1700-1800x (when/if Ryzen comes to laptops)
HDD: Large HDD or Large SSD if budget allows.
GPU: With this user, GPU is important to aid in content creation or gaming or both.
Nvidia GTX 1070/980ti – 1080 – 1080ti laptop equivalents.
Budget is a huge factor here. Anything beyond the GTX 1080 will offer similar levels of extreme performance. The 980ti and 1070 will be a noticeable step down in performance.
I wouldn’t really recommend an AMD card at this performance point, since Nvidia is currently monopolizing the high-end GPU market with superior cards.
Needs: Same as above + Hardcore gaming and maybe some content creation.
CPU: Core i5/i7. Prefer to sacrifice CPU performance for GPU performance if the budget isn’t enough for both.
HDD: 120/240 GB SSD for games with many loading times that are played often + Secondary HDD for the rest or games that are not played often. Can also add an external HDD for file storage.
GPU: Nvidia GTX 980/1060 or better, depending on what the budget allows.
If you have any questions, suggestions or even disagreements, please comment them on here and we can talk about them. You can also email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thanks for reading!
*All pictures are taken from the web*