I have spoken to quite a few people recently who have purchased new computer’s, and it seems that many have been somewhat surprised to find that their brand new computer just doesn’t perform as they thought it would. Today, the major retailers are really pushing the entry-level low priced computers, and their advertisements focus on things like hard drive capacity and battery life. Unfortunately, most of these computers come with bargain CPU’s and just aren’t made for any kind of multitasking or even mid-range computer usage.
Sempron, Celeron, Atom, Neo – these are all names of Processors (CPU’s) that are designed to be low power usage (which equates to long battery life in laptops), but they are also low in performance. These processors will balk at multitasking (when you have multiple programs or windows open), and are very slow compared to the newer and much faster multi-core high performance processors which can be found in the mid to higher end computers at prices that really are not that much higher.
Many people tell me that they want a computer that is simply for web browsing, so they don’t need a performance computer. While a computer that is ‘simply’ for web browsing certainly does not need to be a top of the line gaming type machine, many people do not realize that simple web browsing today is much more demanding on a computer than it was even a couple of years ago. Many web sites today rely on multiple technologies to serve up their web pages. When you visit a website, you are not only using the browser, but you are often using many browser plugins (separate programs) such as Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, Java, Quicktime, and others that help deliver the rich media content that we are fast become used to. In order to be able to effectively deliver all this content, you need a processor that is capable of handling it, as well as a good amount of memory (RAM).
So if you are considering a new computer, be aware that the small amount you may save going for the ‘bargain’ machines, will soon be lost in frustration and wasted time. Personally, I would stick with the newer Core 2 Duo/Quad processors, or the brand new i3, i5, and i7 processors for the best experience.
Here in Pensacola Florida, you can often find the best local deals at stores like Best Buy and Office Depot, however the best ‘advertised’ deals (cheapest) are often not the best deals for you. Despite what the seemingly knowing salesperson may say, (never listen to them), you really want a computer that isn’t going to end up frustrating you. The best thing to do is to do a bit of research first and go to the store already knowing what you want.Also, be aware that the retail stores are counting on you wasting money on things like their ‘optimization’ services and security software which is pretty much worthless crap, and the optimization is usually just simple things like removing the trial garbage software and doing the first set of Windows Updates (something you can do for yourself, and should do anyhow, that takes only a few minutes). There is also a newer practice of bundling security software and other things into the base price of the computer (stay away from Nortons, Mcafee etc). Always ask what the price of the computer is Without all the extra garbage!