The time comes in every computer’s life when we must say goodbye and send it to hardware heaven. Sometimes we hold on for way too long before sending these frustratingly slow dust buckets to their final rest because shopping for a new computer can be daunting. How do you pick the right system for your needs without paying for performance you’ll never use? I’m going to highlight three basic components you should consider during your next purchase.

First, let’s look at a processor, also called the CPU. This component is basically the brains of the operation. The more gigahertz (GHZ) a processor has, the faster your computer will run and the more expensive it will be. Another thing to keep in mind is terms like duo and quad. This means that the CPU will run as if it were two or four processors. Intel makes processors like i3 and i7. Same principles apply here: the i3 is for slower, lower end machines and the i7 is a high end powerhouse. Standard computers will run perfectly well on a two-core processor. If you run more complicate software, you may need to spend a bit more to get the performance you’ll ultimately need.

RAM, or memory, is another key component in your purchasing decision. This is where the information is stored while you’re using your computer. I would suggest at least 2 GB (gigabytes), but more may be needed. Both the CPU and RAM should have matching front side bus (FSB). This is the speed they communicate with motherboard.

Third, hard-drives are where all your files are stored. A standard sized hard-drive is at least 250 GB, though you can get them as large as 2 TB (Terabyte). One Terabyte equals about a thousand gigabytes. Newer solid state hard-drives have no moving parts, last longer and are more reliable, but are more expensive and have less capacity.

Though there is much more to your computer, these are three of the most important. As always, we’re here to help you with any of your computer needs. If you would like our help purchasing a computer or have any other questions/suggestions, please contact us today by calling (706) 253-6362.