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.

Dan devotes much time working on his internet ventures. He currently has a T-Shirt store at [http://www.cafepress.com/giftsandtshirts] and an ebook store at [http://online-book-store.net] that caters to his visitors.

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