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by Alexandra Marot

Personal computers, cell phones, fax machines, email and the internet have become an integral part of our very culture, and play an essential role in our day to day activities.

But coupled with that comes all the stress of what to look for when choosing a personal computer. There are times when a notebook is definitely the way to go, but for many people a desktop computer could be better for their needs.

So how does one choose between a notebook and a desktop system? What questions should you ask yourself?

Here are a few guidelines to assist you when making that decision.
  • One of the biggest criteria is mobility. The choice is easy to make if you know that you need to use the system on the road. However, most people find that they end up using a notebook at a desk in the home or office and rarely use it on the road.
  • The upgradability of many desktop computers is one key feature that many shoppers overlook. You can easily upgrade components like the hard drive, RAM and possibly even the CPU as needed. There is no way to add more powerful graphics to a notebook should you find after you purchase it that you need more power than your notebook offers. Desktop computers are often significantly more powerful than the notebook rivals of the same price range.
  • Desktops take up more space than a notebook, so if you have space restraints this is something to note.
  • Desktops are harder to steal which can be important in an office where there is foot traffic. The small 15-inch notebook sitting on an unattended desk takes mere seconds to walk out the door. However, suspicion would be raised if a thief started walking out the door with a desktop system under his arm.

Ultimately, your choice depends on your needs and your budget.

What ‘engine' best suits your needs?

The processor is the number one feature to consider when buying a personal computer. It's best described as the ‘engine' of your machine.

Intel Core processors are a popular option. Intel have set the bar in speed, better graphics, thinness and next gen wireless.

There are three options:

  • The Core i3, which is Intel's latest budget processor, has received outstanding reviews.
    For people who use a computer purely for tasks such as word processing, email, surfing the web.
    The solid, affordable choice for the majority of people.
  • The Core i5, which is a mid-range processor, gives you a noticeable difference in speed.
    For people who use their computers frequently and often multi-task.
    It is more than adequate for video editing and gaming, plus all the other basics
  • The Core i7 processor, which is currently top of the line, is the most expensive, the latest and the fastest!
    For most users the i7 is far from necessary.

Alexandra Marot is a partner in 9spheres Technologies, a Queensland company that designs, implements and supports IT solutions for companies.

Posted in feature |
Posted by Alexandra Marot
08 Jun 2010

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