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A Buyer's Guide: Tips for Buying a Desktop Computer

When buying a desktop computer, there are many factors to consider. Computers come in a variety of sizes and styles, but observing the exterior of the computer drive and monitor should only be your first step when making the decision. More importantly, you'll need to know what type of operating system you'll require.

Computer Use Options

Consider how you will use the computer before buying. Do you plan to use it for work or personal needs? Will you be uploading lots of photos or content? Will you use it for gaming, social networking or school projects? It's important to determine how you will use the computer before shopping so you'll know how much drive space as well as the features you'll need. This may also determine what size and type of PC monitor you'll purchase.

The Processor

Most processors will work fine with typical uses, such as browsing the Web and using for standard office functions. But if you plan to design websites and/or graphics, work with hundreds or thousands of photos, download sophisticated software programs or use video applications regularly, then you'll need a processor that can handle these applications. Consider a processor with around 3-GHz, plenty of memory and all the features you need for optimal performance. It's better to go ahead and spend a little more to get what you need than to have to buy another new computer in six months or so!

Other considerations include the type of operating system (Windows XP or Vista, etc.), sound quality, broadband access, removable storage, and the physical size of the computer's hard drive. If you have limited space, there are compact drive cases with flat screen monitors that will take up minimal space on your desk.

Selecting a Monitor

You can buy a bundled package with a desktop computer drive and monitor or buy them separately. This depends on the type of monitor you'll need and whether it comes with a particular hard drive you're considering. Important features to look for in a monitor include connectivity and compatibility with the operating system you're purchasing, excellent color and picture quality, appropriate size for its purpose (you'll need a larger monitor screen when working with detailed projects), and physical width and height.

Don't buy a PC based on price alone. Try online shopping for wholesale deals on brand name computers and laptops to find the best prices. But beware of sites that advertise low prices without offering a guarantee on their products. Read the website's return policy carefully before buying. Also compare pricing with the shipping costs included.

Online shopping malls usually offer various types of electronics and other products such as sporting goods, outdoor living products, jewelry, video games, pet supplies and more. While these sites provide access to many product categories, this doesn't mean you can't find brand name desktop computers of high quality and value. Check for online sales when buying desktop computers or special shipping offers. You might be surprised at how much you can save!

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