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Desktop Buying Guide

Check out the top 5 things to consider when you’re looking to buy a new tower PC or All-in-One computer.

Desktop PCs are larger than a laptop, and they’re set up in a single location in your home. You can get a tower PC, where the monitor is separate, or an All-in-One, where everything is together in one case. A desktop PC is used for all the same things that your laptop is, but because of their size, they have the space for more powerful parts.

Processor

The brain of the computer, the processor is responsible for handling every task you ask your computer to do. There are two main types; Intel (the market leaders) and AMD processors. Intel are the heavyweights of the computing world, as they have an impressive range to choose from. Look out for their Core range of i5 and i7 processors, as they offer the best performance. AMD processors offer good value for money but they’re better suited for more basic tasks like browsing the web and watching videos.

Learn more about Processors

RAM

To complement a good processor, you’re going to need a decent amount of RAM. RAM stands for Random Access Memory and it operates like the short term memory of the computer. It’s very important as it determines how much your computer can do at once, whether you want to browse the web, stream music, or play the latest game releases. On a desktop PC, you can get between 4 and 32GB of RAM. If you want some serious performance from your PC, then you’ll want at least 8GB of RAM. This amount will make your computer quicker and more powerful for longer, as it will be able to handle future web or software advancements.

Learn more about RAM
RAM

Storage

If you’ve got a lot of files and videos that you want to save on to your new device, you’ll need lots of space. A hard drive is your computer’s long term memory, and there are two types available, SSD’s (Solid State Drives) and HDD’s (Hard Disk Drives).

If you want a speedier option, look at desktops with an SSD hard drive, they can speed up your loading times and save your files really quickly, although they do offer less storage space. This isn’t really an issue, as there are plenty of online storage services now, such as Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive, which let you back-up and access your files from any device. HDD’s offer a lot more storage, but they are older technology, which means they’re less reliable and slower than SSD’s.

For the best of both worlds, you can get a desktop with both a HDD and an SSD hard drive. This would mean you could use the HDD as a backup for photos and files you don’t use on a daily basis, leaving your SSD for the things you want to get to quickly and more regularly.

Learn more about Hard Drives

Graphics card

If you’re serious about having a powerful machine that can run videos at their best quality, manage more complicated presentations and cope with advanced gaming, then the graphics card is an important piece of kit. This takes information from the computer’s processor and arranges it into images, which are then displayed on the screen. There are 3 main types; Intel, AMD Radeon and Nvidia.

• Intel cards offer a good all-round experience for general use like web browsing and video streaming.
• Radeon is better for watching movies or if you want to edit photos and video footage.
• Nvidia offers the best graphics and will be able to handle software and technology advancements for years to come

Learn more about Graphics Cards
Graphics card

Connections and Ports

Your new desktop will come with different inputs to help you connect your computer up to other devices. USB ports allow you to plug in accessories like external hard drives or disc drives so you can back up your files. You can also get a wired internet connection by plugging an Ethernet cable into the computer and your modem for faster internet speeds. Make sure you check how many connections your desktop PC has before you buy, just in case the one you want is missing something that you’ll need.

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