Episode 3 – Computer Buying Guide: Which processor should you buy?

Episode 3 – Computer Buying Guide: What processor you should choose. In the previous episode we spoke about why you should consider more memory and how low memory effects computer performance. In this episode we talk about which brand of processor you should have in your computer.   Episode 2: How much memory do I need?   On face value processor choice should be easy. All processors are rated by the clock speed. This is represented in number form (gigahertz (GHz)). The higher the GHz the faster the processor right? Well not completely, not all processors are created equal. Some are multi-core, some single core, some have hyper-threading and some don’t. Processors come in a range of speeds and functionality, and this is usually reflected in their price. In this circumstance, you absolutely get what you pay for and the cheapest is not the best choice. That doesn’t mean you should buy the most expensive but it does mean you should consider what you will be using the computer for and match that need to specifications. So which processor should you choose; Intel or AMD? Both have a wide range of processors. If you’re looking for a computer under $400 you’ll likely be choosing AMD. This choice is fine for very simple computer use such as basic Internet browsing and email. But as the computer fills with programs and data you will notice a considerable decrease in performance. When it comes to processor choice we always choose Intel. They have been part of the industry for many years and their processors are known for their reliability and speed. We recommend avoiding Intel’s budget processors (Pentium) and look for the Core I series (core i3, i5 and i7). This series of processor comes with multiple cores meaning you can run multiple programs simultaneously and the workload will be spread over the cores, translating to more open programs without sacrificing speed. If you want the best of the best the Intel Core i7 is for you. It has the fastest clock speed of the range and more features for high performance computers. If you’re looking for the best value we recommend Intel Core i5. The clock speeds are great for many applications such as gaming, HD video editing and general office tasks. The Core i5 also works well in laptops with Intel’s integrated HD Graphics. Combined this with enough memory and a super fast solid state drive and you have the core of a quick computer that saves energy and performs tasks without any decrease in performance.   Recommended Product: Toshiba Satellite R50 (Upgraded)

Episode 2 – Computer Buying Guide: How much memory is enough?

In the first episode we described some of the reasons why you need a Solid State Drive (SSD). In this episode we talk about memory. How much do you need and why.   Episode 1: Computer Buying Guide: Why you need an SSD   Memory is one of the main components of a computer. When running programs, opening files, watching videos or have multiple tabs open in your browser; you are consuming memory. Therefore, all else being equal, the more memory you have the more programs you can run and the faster your computer can switch between multiple running programs. The effects of low memory are very pronounced. It’s the reason why your computer slows down the more you do on it. The average computer or laptop found in stores these days comes with about 4 Gigabytes (GB) of memory or Random Access Memory (RAM). Whilst 4GB of RAM was great about 6 years ago, modern operating systems are a lot more resource hungry. This means a large portion of RAM is already being consumed by the operating system (OS). The minimal amount of memory left is used to run your programs (such as an email or accounting application). The more you open, the more RAM is used and the slower your computer becomes. If you want a computer to perform without any hitches or slow down, you will want to purchase a computer with more RAM (additional to an SSD). For office or school use, we recommend a minimum of 8GB of RAM. This will provide enough memory to run your OS and have plenty left over for other programs. More ram gives your computer the capability of running more programs without slowing down. Coupled with an SDD you’re well on your way to buying a computer that wont frustrate you with slow speeds and will last you longer then a year before needing an upgrade. In the final episode we talk about the brain of you computer; the Central Processing Unit (CPU). Which brands you should avoid, and which specifications you should take notice of.   Next Episode: What processor should i buy?

Episode 1 – Computer Buying Guide: Why you need an SSD

Are you in the market for a new computer. Read on to find out why you need an SSD. When buying a new computer many people ask us; “Will this computer be fast enough for my needs?” Whilst most computers today are well suited to basic tasks such as Internet browsing or email, some of us want to get more out of our computers. Most want our computers to be fast all the time, for a long time, without failure. There’s nothing worse than turning your computer on, going to make a coffee and its only half way through booting by the time you get back. This is where the Solid State Drive (SSD) excels. SSD’s are superior to mechanical drives when comparing speed. With an SSD you can expect your computer to boot to your desktop within 20-30 seconds and run almost any task without delay. SSD’s do not require defragmentation and other maintenance to maintain high speed. For the energy conscious, SSD’s also require less energy to operate and will extend battery life when used in laptops. If you’re on the move with your laptop, SSD’s are highly durable compared to mechanical drives, as there are no moving parts. Originally SSD’s were much pricier than mechanical drives and mostly used in high performance computers. However, with increasing demand for the drives prices have lowered and become more attractive to the general computer user. This means computers and laptops with SSD drives are faster for a smaller investment than upgrading other integral components. So if you’re looking to buy a new computer, ask the sales person if they have any computers with an SSD in stock. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your computer boots and operates. In the next episode, we talk about one of the most important components in your computer. Memory; how much is enough? And why you may need more than what is offered.   Next Episode: How much memory do i need?