What kind of computer do I need?
(The Restaurant Kitchen Analogy.)
How can you relate a Restaurant Kitchen to a computer? Keep reading, I promise it will make sense. ;)
Choosing a computer can be daunting. It feels impossible to know what you want and any sales associate you ask is just going to say you need the most expensive system and components and that you are going to be missing out if you don't spend thousands of dollars.
I can assure you, that is the furthest thing from the truth. Lets go through each individual component below together. I'll explain what it does and you can decide if it is important for what you want your computer to do for you. I'll be using a popular analogy that compares a computer and it's components to a kitchen at a restaurant.
The processor (CPU) is your Chef.
A chef (CPU) prepares your food (Data). A faster chef means the faster your food will be prepared. So, the faster your CPU the faster the data can be calculated and delivered. Intel processors are the most famous processors and you may have heard of them before. You will usually find them in Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 variants. Each step up being a faster chef than the one below it. I find that a Core i5 processor is the sweet spot. It's plenty fast for the average/heavy user. An i7 is great if you are going to be processing Videos/photos.
You will also find the lower end Intel Celeron processors in the very budget PCs you find at Wal-Mart for $199. (Do not buy these. It's like having the dog prepare you meal.)
RAM (or Memory) is your counter space.
Everything on the counter is easy to grab and within arms reach. If the Chef (CPU) needs the salt then it's a lot faster if it's located on the counter space (RAM) rather than in the pantry (Hard Drive). If you have a lot of RAM then you can run more programs at the same time more efficiently just like a Chef could prepare multiple meals at one time more efficiently with more counterspace.
The sweet spot is usually 8GB of ram. 8GB of ram is typically enough for most users. Even relatively heavy users. If you plan to edit photos or videos then I would recommend 16GB or even as high as 32GB if you plan to be working with very large resolution files. If you are just going to be browsing the internet then you can easily get away with 4GB of ram and still have a great experience.
The Hard Drive is your Pantry.
If the Chef (CPU) didn't utilize his counter space (RAM) and every time he needed something he had to run across the room to the pantry (Hard drive) then it would take forever to prepare a meal. The same goes for your computer and running programs. Your computer relies on your RAM as a fast way of accessing commonly used files and data instead of searching the hard drive (Pantry) every single time it needs something.
There are two different types of hard drives. A traditional spinning drive and a Solid State Drive (SSD). Traditional drives have spinning disks inside of them that contain your data and control arms that seek out the data on those spinning disks. All that searching and spinning takes time. Solid State Drives are the newest type of hard drive and they have zero moving parts inside of them. They are very fast and I highly recommend them if the option is there. That's not to say that a traditional drive isn't plenty fast enough, but an SSD is a seriously nice upgrade. There is quite a bit of difference between the two.
As for size, a 256GB SSD is the sweet spot. It's more than enough space for the average/heavy user. If you plan to store a lot of photos/videos then I would recommend a 512GB or 1TB drive. If you are simply going to be browsing the internet and watching Netflix then a 128GB would be perfectly fine.
DO NOT BUY ANYTHING UNDER 128GB. You will fill it up too quickly and the computer will be rendered useless until you bring it to me and let me fix it.
What kind of food and how much of it are you ordering?
To finish up here, ask yourself this:
"What kind of food and how much of it are you ordering?"
The answer to this will determine what kind of Chef, How much counter space, and how large of a pantry you will need.
So, what are you using your computer for? Basic internet browsing? That's like ordering a sandwich. You don't need a fast chef and tons of counter space to prepare a sandwich. Are you going to be gaming? Photo editing? Video editing? These things are like ordering a large and extravagant meal that requires a fast Chef, a lot of counter space, and a large pantry to store everything that is needed.
Enjoy your meal but don't over do it.
Don't let these guys from Best Buy talk you into buying a $2000 computer when you really only need a $500 one. Another thing to note is that buying used can be a great option if you are looking for a faster computer on a smaller budget. Core i5 processors from 8 years ago aren't drastically different from today's newest Core i5 processors. Whatever you do, just think about what you are going to use it for and think about your budget. If you EVER have any questions regarding computer components or what you should buy then don't hesitate to contact me. You are more than welcome to call or text me or you can Facebook message me.
(Warning: Incoming sales pitch...)
Yes, it's no secret that I sell laptops and desktops. If you are interested in buying a computer then let me know and I might have exactly what you are looking for at less than half of the cost of Best Buy and Amazon. If I don't have what you need I'll help you find it because I want to make sure you don't end up regretting your purchase in the long run. :)
Well, hopefully after reading this you feel more confident in purchasing a computer. Maybe even a little hungry. *rimshot*
If you'd like to see my inventory of Laptops, Desktops, and gaming computers then please click here:
Thank you so much for listening to my ramblings. I hope it helped. :)