How to Choose the Best Business Computer

Finding the best business computer can be almost as frustrating as going to a car dealership. Knowing how to compare the features of a computer will help you decide what the best purchase is for you. Computer prices have become more manageable in the past 5 years or so, but you should still choose your computer carefully. Price should not be the only consideration when buying a computer for your business. Here are a few factors to consider when selecting the best computer for your business needs.

Intended Use

What do you need the computer to do?  Do you need a server or workstation for your business?  Do you need it to handle video editing or high quality graphics?  If so, please call us for a quote.  Most businesses will be well suited with the computers we offer above.

  1. New or Refurbished?  

    When you are purchasing a computer for your business, you need it to be dependable.  Buying a new computer will often provide a much more dependable warranty in case of hardware failure.  The extra $100-150 you spend in the beginning might easily offset repair costs in the long run.

  2. Custom Built or Mass produced?  

    There are some very talented people out there building some amazing computers, but many very minute details can affect computer performance.  Air flow inside a case, for instance, can cause CPU’s to overheat.  This could turn your nice new computer into a very expensive paperweight in a hurry.  Companies such as Dell and HP conduct air flow tests inside their cases to keep the temperature down.

  3. Off-the-Shelf or Shipped? 

    If you need the computer immediately, purchasing off-the-shelf is the best option.  The downside of off-the-shelf purchases is that retailers buy in bulk to save money.  The off-the-shelf computer has been waiting for you in a warehouse and in the retail store for an unknown amount of time.  When possible, buy direct from the manufacturer.  Your computer doesn’t need to be collecting dust on a shelf.  Our Dell computers are assembled to order and shipped directly from the manufacturer.

  4. What do all those numbers mean?  

    Trying to compare the best options can be maddening when you are looking at all the numbers involved.  For many business owners, the task can be daunting.  Here is a breakdown of some of the common things to look for:

a. CPU Type:  CPU’s are usually Intel (identfied as i3, i5, i7 or i9) or AMD.  In general, AMD CPU’s utilize a small amount of your RAM memory to run graphics.  Aside from that, both CPU’s are very reliable.  If you are concerned about performance drop-off, choose an Intel chip, or increase the amount of RAM on your computer.

b. CPU Speed:  CPU’s are mass produced, and then tested for performance.  A speed measure simply means that the CPU has passed tests that certify that it can perform up to the rated speed.  Currently, CPU speed is measured in Gigahertz (GHz).  So when you see “7th Generation Intel® Core™ i3-7100 processor (3MB Cache, up to 3.90 GHz),” you can easily tell that this is an Intel i3 processor that has passed testing up to 3.90 GHz.  Currently, you should expect to see desktops with speeds above 3.0 GHz and laptops with speeds above 2.0 GHz in computers with pricing below $600.

c. 32-bit or 64-bit:  This refers to the type of Operating System you are using.  In most cases, new computers will default to 64 bit.  This is important because 32 bit operating systems can only support up to 4GB of RAM.  In order for you to effectively add more than that, you will have to reinstall your Operating System to a 64 bit version.

d. RAM Size:  RAM serves as the short term memory of your computer.  RAM memory interacts faster with your CPU.  Programs that you run load onto RAM first.  In general, the more RAM you have, the better.  Every computer has their own maximum limit of RAM.  One of the least expensive ways to enhance the performance of your computer is to upgrade the amount of RAM you have.  Remember, that you must be utilizing a 64-bit operating system for RAM above 4Gb to benefit your computer.

e. Hard Drive Size:  This is your long term memory, and it is currently measured in Gigabytes (Gb) and Terabytes (Tb).  Solid State Drives (SSD’s) are best for speed and performance, but tend to be more expensive.  A SATA hard drive with 500Gb or 1 Tb (which is equal to 1000Gb) of memory for your business workstations will serve you well.  Servers will likely need more.

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