Buying the Perfect Computer – The FIRST Time

So you’ve finally decided it’s time for a change. No matter

what advice you follow that old work horse of a desktop

computer you have has outlived its usefulness with slow

loading applications and a continuous rise in operation

noise.

Searching for that Perfect Computer can be about as much fun

as purchasing a new car and about as frustrating also when

sorting through the various brands while trying to decide

which “bells and whistles” best fit your needs. Besides all

that trying to return something that is so large can be both

inconvenient and very difficult to do. So making the right

decision the FIRST time is the wise path of choice.

For starters you’ll need to decide what you want to do with

your computer. Are you into the video game scene or are you

someone who likes to just surf the internet and occasionally

do some book keeping with simple word processing software?

If you’re into video games you’re going to want a machine

that can handle the high level of graphics and superior

sound quality. On the other hand if you’re not into all

that high adrenalin stuff you can probably get by with a

less expensive system. Although, if you want to stay on the

safe side I would recommend going with something more

“high-end” so you don’t have to spend another large chunk of

change to upgrade the system you just bought.

There are two basic routes you can take when purchasing a

new computer.

1) Purchase a “Brand Name” Computer

2) Purchase a “Clone” Computer

A “BRAND-NAME” computer is one that is manufactured by a

company that is recognizable by name.

Some Advantages/Disadvantages of “Brand-Name” computers

include:

Advantages:

Customer Support- If you are experiencing problems with your

computer you will have the option to contact a

representative of the company that you purchased the PC from

to get help in solving your problem.

Customer support is probably the best reason to buy a

brand-name computer.

Warranty- Having a warranty is always nice since it acts as

a type of security blanket for you.

In case a part on your computer should fail you should be

able to get the item fixed at no charge just as long as the

warranty has not expired.

Read and understand a company’s warranty policy BEFORE you

purchase a computer from them.

This way you’ll have a good understanding of the procedures

to follow in case a problem should arise.

Pre-installed Software- Many companies will include software

packages that are all set up and ready to go for you on your

computer.

Although, a disadvantage of buying a brand-name computer

with software pre-installed is that you usually end up with

more than fits your needs and usually just results with the

wasting of space on your storage device.

Additional Support- Most brand-name computer companies are

also able to provide you with web sites that may provide you

with current software updates, user manuals, or basic

troubleshooting help.

Disadvantages

The use of Proprietary parts- the term Proprietary refers to

products that are unique to an individual company and that

company only.

So if a part was to malfunction on your computer after

warranty and you needed to replace it you could not just go

to your local computer store and purchase any old part even

if it was intended for the same function as the item that

failed.

You would be forced to buy the exact same item that came out

of the computer or else the computer would more than likely

cease to function correctly.

Having to buy proprietary parts usually involves the need to

place an order which means you’ll have to wait for the part

to arrive or you’ll have to send your computer into the

company or an authorized dealer of that company for

repairs.

People with a home based business would probably not be too

happy with that situation at all.

Integrated/On-board parts- In the computer world when you

hear the word integrated or on-board it means that a

particular part such as the modem or sound port where you

plug in your speakers, is built-in or part of the computer

main board (Also known as the Motherboard).

This means that if any of these items should fail, you can’t

just remove them from the computer and replace them with a

new part. They are usually soldered directly to the main

board and are stuck there.

Although, some computers do provide a way to disable a

malfunctioning device which will allow you to install your

own store bought device to take the place of the broken

part.

From a computer technicians point of view this is not always

easy to do.

It just depends on what brand of computer you currently

have. Meaning some are easier to work on than others.

A “CLONE” computer is a clone or a copy of its brand-name

counterpart with the exception that instead of company

specific or proprietary parts, the items used to make a

clone computer are from several different companies instead

of only one.

Let’s say that if you were to go to a local company that

builds “clone” computers, and you tell them what you need,

chances are they don’t use parts that are specific to only

that type of computer like the brand-name computer companies

do.

This is a good thing because it means that they will

probably use components that are interchangeable with many

different brands and are easy to come by if needed.

Some Advantages/Disadvantages of “Clone” computers include:

Advantages:

Cost- compared to brand-name computers the clone will

generally be easier on your pocket book when purchasing one

with similar features as its brand-name counterpart.

This is most likely due to the money that is saved by not

offering the high-end customer service. Although, that may

not be the only reason for the lower prices.

Easily Accessible Replacement Parts- Since the clone

computer was built with parts that are not any one company

specific, you can buy parts for the clone computer that can

be used even if the brand is different from the one that was

in the computer when you originally bought it.

NOTE: Before you buy any parts, it is necessary to make sure

that the replacement parts are compatible with your

particular computers system requirements.

Either consult the manual that should have came with your

computer or get help from a knowledgeable friend or repair

person.

Disadvantages:

Warranties- Unless you purchase a service plan you will

typically not have as an attractive warranty as you would

with a brand-name computer company.

Whatever you do just make sure you understand how long the

warranty is for and as to what kind of repairs the warranty

covers before you make the purchase.

Customer Support- With brand-name computer companies you are

usually provided with a 24-hour toll free number that you

can call if you have questions or concerns with your

computer.

Clone computers are more than likely not going to have a

24-hour help service, but rather you will be forced to only

be able to call during regular business hours.

Also, it is more than likely that there will not be any one

website that you can go to in order to find out information

concerning troubleshooting questions you may have.

For service it may be necessary to take the computer back to

the store that you bought it at or you may have to do some

research on the individual parts that went into the computer

and visit the manufacturer’s website for troubleshooting

tips.

Finally, if all else fails you can certainly take what you

have learned from this article and being that you know what

you need now, but don’t know where to go and get that

“Perfect Computer”, the best resource at your disposal are

the very men and woman that work at your local electronics

shop.

It is their duty to help you get hold of that “Perfect

Computer” that best fits your needs. All you need to do is

tell them what you plan on using that computer for and they

should be more than happy to help you from there.

Source by Dan Preston

About gregmasley

Computer Repair Southern California