The most commonly asked question by customers is “what computer should I buy?” Some customers require a certain computer and some require certain software. At McGonnigal Consulting, we feel that people should buy the computer they are most comfortable with and offer tips and suggestions, rather than limiting them to a certain make and model. The following FAQ should help you a great deal in deciding what kind of computer to buy.
Should I buy a laptop or desktop?
Laptops simply offer more flexibility and with wireless internet access becoming more common, you can be truly mobile and can work from anywhere. When buying a laptop, you want one that is durable as they do take a beating over time. You definitely want to opt for a 3-year warranty as hardware failure rates in laptops are greater than desktops. Customers that choose desktops are usually people that use their computer for other things that require the flexibility of upgrades. Gamers, video editors, and musicians often choose desktops because they can be more powerful and can easily be upgraded. The disadvantage is of course mobility, and when traveling it can be quite annoying to have to bring your desktop and monitor with you.
Should I buy a PC or a Mac?
There is a somewhat simple answer to this question. If you’ve been using a Mac or PC for years and have no problems with your current situation, why change? Macs have made enormous progress in recent years in appealing to home users, while PC’s have continued their success in the business world and have enormous usage numbers in homes. We have many Mac users and even more PC users. Both camps get by just fine and realistically it’s the software on the computer that is going to make the difference.
What specs should I look for?
At this point, these are the minimum specs you should look for in a computer. Anything better than the specs listed below is fine. Again, these are the minimum specs.
- 2.0Ghz Core2 Duo processor
- 2GB Memory (this is the minimum you’d want for Windows Vista)
- 160GB Hard drive (if you store a lot of music and movies, you may want something higher)
- 3-year warranty: We can’t stress this enough. You want to be covered in case things go wrong (and they can!)
- DVD / CD-RW (Combo Drive): You’ll want to be able to play DVD’s and read/write CD’s. If you movies are your thing, you may want to look for a DVD writer.
- 802.11g wireless for laptops
What about warranties?
The biggest mistake people make when buying a new computer is to take the cheap offer in the newspaper that comes with a 90-day warranty. It’s extremely unlikely that hardware failure will occur within 90 days, but there’s a reasonable chance you’ll need that warranty over the course of 3 years. Computer repair shops, both local and chains, tend to charge a lot of money for basic repairs when a simple warranty would have covered the problem for free (and usually, conveniently).
What software should I buy?
You’ll definitely want Microsoft Office 2007 for Windows, or Office 2008 for Mac. Antivirus software is a must and most antivirus packages that come with new computers expire after a few months. We recommend NOD32 from Eset. It is the best one we have found.
All in All
McGonnigal Consulting provides our customers with the fastest performing, perfectly configured computer systems for our customers specific needs. we provide computer systems for you, the end user, at prices you can afford! From new, used, and refurbished systems to fit your budget. No matter what your need is we will find the right system for you that you can count on!