Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

What do i need in a new desktop/Laptop

Sorry guys, my first time i posted this, the tip wouldn't load, so here it is

The basic answer is simple, you need a computer that provides your needs. When looking for a computer, there are a lot of factors to consider and ill look at them with you

First off

Space:
People often don't consider this one. You need a computer in a defined space, if its too big then its not ideal for you to use. And you also must factor in your additional items like speakers, printers, work space and so on. Lay out what you have and from there work out a practical size for your computer or laptop

Laptop VS Desktop. What do i go with?

This is a very debatable question many people have when deciding. Many factors need to be assessed before asking this question, here are the most common ones you should ask

Am i a mobile person?
This means that you work or go places quite often, like for example a teacher or a traveler. If you answered yes, a laptop would be your best option if you need frequent access to a machine, but if you answered no, or do not need frequent access to a machine, then a desktop is a more preferable choice

So whats the advantages and disadvantages of Desktops and Laptops?

Both are fairly good but do have limiting factors, here they are

Desktops
Positives
- You can get more for your dollar
- They will last longer
- They can be easily upgraded and maintained
- A Desktop can perform better then a laptop
- You can choose almost all of the parts in a desktop you want

Negatives
- They are large and heavy, not ideal for constant mobility
- You need to factor additional items like screen and speakers
- They have no backup source of power
- They take up power points and space
- They can get very dusty and cause overheating

Laptops
Positives
- Laptops generally come with all the features you need, like screens, speakers, software
- They are battery powered, and designed to be used almost anywhere
- They are small and lightweight, so they will not need as much space and resources
- Most popular places, like airports, have wireless internet access for the public to use
- They are good for people who have to travel for work

Negatives
- There is limited choice in what you can get extra
- They cost more then a desktop
- They need to be looked after very well as they can get damaged very easily
- They generally only have a life of 3-4 years
- The battery can become obsolete and they are very costly to replace

Once you have decided, here are the other areas you need to consider

Hard Drive Space
This is important, as you will want to have free space or your computer will not perform as well as it should. For general use, 120 GB+ is good. For people who make large files like movies or photos, you will want a 250GB+ and a external storage device

RAM and CPU
This determines how fast your machine is. Most computers will now run windows vista or 7, but ill also add XP as well

XP - 1GB RAM and 1.6GHz CPU minimum
Vista and 7 - 2GB RAm and 2.3GHz CPU minimum

Graphics
Gamers and multimedia are only really considered in this. If you use it for general things, the graphics provided is generally good enough. For people who need it, this is based on what you need it for and external research is needed.

Speakers
Laptops come with speakers per-installed. Desktops can vary, but some will need external speakers

Screen
Laptops come with a built in screen, desktops need a external screen with the correct input. The most common one is D-Sub (Also called RGB and VGA) and is a blue color adaptor. newer connections are DVI, S-Video and HDMI (HDMI is also a source of sound). When looking for a screen, make sure it will have the appropiate connections

Keyboard and Mouse
Laptops have these pre-built into them. Desktops need external ones. there are many types of wired and wireless keyboards and is based on personal choice

Power Supply and Motherboard
This is for people who wish to build their machine. Further research is needed to make sure all the above will be supported by the motherboard and Power supply

These are the main factors, so think about this then based on this information, you should have decided what you want.

For more information on these tips, or for more tips, or if you need to contact me about any computer related issue, please don't hesitate to contact me on FixYa!

Have a Nice Day

Tim Goulding
ICT Technician

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