About myself and everyone else.
In 2009 I ran a laptop business for a short period, I imported laptops from Canada to South Africa.
The best part about it was that I could interact with people and help them get more value for their money. I’ve been in IT long enough to know a little about hardware, from SANs to CPU , RAM and pretty much entire layout of systems.
I think it’s safe to say that if you have to configure supercomputers or SAN for databases over serving over 700k users per day and millions of DB requests that those principles can related to “normal” desktops .
What do I look for in a home computer,
Knowing what you want is a key problem, people don’t know what they want and thus get ripped off most of the time. If a salesman say it’s good then it must be good right? @#$^@ There is no recourse to dodgy products being sold or dodgy salesman, honestly even if there are success stories do you have the time to deal with that ?
Let’s start from the bottom up,
Motherboard, the motherboards sold at your desktop down at Dixon’s is the ultimate el’cheapo, the bottom of the line that FOXCON can push out measured at 1250 drops of sweat per hour. It comes with as little as possible USB’s, it hardly have room for expansion, it’s not resilient against power surges due to cheaper parts. If you know nothing about computers, compare it to French Processed Meat sold in tube form.
If you eat that, then sure go to the likes of Dixon’s, Best Buy , wholesale and go get ripped off.
This motherboard can be good, if you bought it from a computer part wholesaler, because at the computer store you will pay 100$ as opposed to 200$ .
Pick a motherboard for your uses. I need onboard sound, enough USB’s, Onboard GFX good enough to upgrade later. Get the latest socket in order to increase the lifespan, don’t buy due core Mobo’s unless they are 10$ and you get a CPU free.
A good amount of SATA connectors is good to connect a couple of HDD’s. You get good motherboards with fewer features. If I had to summarize it , you buy a motherboard based on the features that you need or possibly grow into.
If you are not a gamer, go for onboard GFX.
In fact, maybe you should investigate an ipad. That’s another nail that Apple got spot on, instead of getting ripped off, just get a trusted product, 67 million people can’t be wrong , right ? It’s tough to go by the numbers, there are over a billion Catholics in the world and you still get child molestation in the church. So technically you could still be the unlucky guy to buy an ipad.
See previously article 🙂
Unless you are running a DB, i.e. things that require memory such as loading video’s for editing doing software rending etc. you don’t need more than 4GB. If you feel compelled to open as many holiday photo’s as you can you will get away with 4GB. Personally I think if you know what RAM is you should probably get 8GB.
I won’t buy a large HDD for my computer. External storage is cheaper, it’s more flexible in terms of taking it over to a friend or family for sharing. It runs less power. I would use HDD big enough to fit installs for applications, not for storage, i.e. storage your photo’s elsewhere. HDD is for applications you can afford to lose. Your Picasa downloads, adobe etc. It’s hard not to sell SSD’s because they are truly awesome, first thing, if you don’t know what and SSD is then goto Dixon’s or buy an ipad. The bummer with SSD is that we don’t really need 450mb sustainable reads, or 250mb writes, that’s nuts. If you can get your hands on some faster HDD’s with a nice chunky cache and configure it in RAID you will spend less for peak performance, i.e. the SSD is handy because you don’t want to wait 5 seconds for a map to load VS 2 seconds.
I don’t even know why I write this because the people who need this information and read blogs are mutually exclusive!
Drop me an email if you do need help to make up your mind so you don’t get ripped off.
Get a Faster CPU with less cores.
Most “Standard” applications have no idea how to use multiple cores. You would be surprised that even good video editing applications might use multiple cores but not the threads. I’m talking SONY \ Adobe . Did I mention Apple before ? Don’t try to spec a normal computer to do creative stuff with. You will waste you money. You will spend weeks trying to convince the support desk that you know what 4GB ram is and which patch you are running for windows and whether there are profiles for your graphics accelerator before you get any help. Get a Apple mac, even a baby or older model. Plus apple’s approach to software is also different, they would rather sell 20 000 copies at 1$ each instead of 1000 copies at 10$ each. Good approach. I’m not even an Apple fan, but I’m calling a spade a spade here.
I was compelled to write something about CPU’s 🙂