Desktop computers are a lot like shampoos—there are too many to choose from. The fundamental problem is that despite forty years of personal computers, the average consumer is still unfamiliar with basic computer terminology. Understanding the terminology will help you choose the best desk top computer for your needs.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
Random Access Memory runs your software programs and smoothes the operation of your hard drive. When you hard drive operates smoothly, it is faster and more efficient. Thus, the more RAM you have the more speed and capability you will have. The bare minimum is 1 GB. Buying the most RAM you can afford will lengthen the time that you remain satisfied with your desk top computer.
The processor is the brain of the computer—the faster the brain or processor, the better the overall computer performance. Processors are measured by speed. The speed is measured in GHz (gigahertz). Gamers require extremely fast machines, so they will look for processors with the most gigahertz of speed. If you’re not a gamer, then something in the mid range will do nicely.
The name “optical” would lead you to believe that these drives have something to do with a visual. Optical refers to eyes or a lens, or even light. But in computer jargon optical drives refer to CD, DVD, BluRay, and HD DVD drives. Your desktop computer should have at least one of these; consider drives that allow you to write as well as read. Initially, you may think you would never use the write capability, but in time you will regret not spending the extra dollars for this tool.
Connectivity refers not only to the computer’s ability to connect to the internet, but also the ability to connect other devices, such as printers to the computer. A desktop computer needs a built in dial up modem, a DSL modem or an Ethernet port. In addition, you’ll need a minimum of four USB ports. USB ports allow you to hook your printer, camera, mp3 player and other devices to the computer. Look for computers that have USB ports in both the front and back.