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PostSubject: Shopping Thread   Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:44 am

I've had a few people come to chat looking for new computers, and asking around for what's "good" and such. Well, here's a thread for that too. =)

First off, advice of mine for buying new machines or hardware:
- Operating System (OS): Know what you're getting. I can't stress this enough; if you want a computer with an OS you're not familiar with, your best bet is probably to not get it. If you really want something new, do all the research you can before you try it. OSs are expensive and are not easy to change.

- Hard Drive (HD) Capacity: Hard drives nowadays can get huge. Over 200GB of capacity is not uncommon, so it's actually pretty hard to not have enough. But more space will cost more money, as you'd expect, so just be sure you're not getting more than you really need.

- Random Access Memory (RAM): Also known as "Physical Memory" or just "Memory". The more of this you have, the better your computer can handle multitasks. 2GB, a pretty good capacity, is quite easy to find. 4GB is the new high mark, I believe, but if you need that much capacity, I'd like to see just what kind of game your computer is running. >_>

- Central Processing Unit (CPU): Dual-core, end of story. =P Don't settle for Single-core processors anymore. Duals are far more capable of complex tasks and of course, intensive games. You can tell most processors are Dual-core if they have something like "Duo" or "X2" in their names. Some high-end desktop computers may even have Quad-core processors, but depending on your needs, that may of course be too much power.

- Video Card: Also known as a "Graphics Card". These guys are your friends, especially if you want to run a lot of games. For the first, you don't want a card integrated into the computer's motherboard; this will reduce your RAM availability. Non-integrated cards have their own "Video Memory" used exclusively by the card, so the computer's RAM is conserved. More Video Memory means better performance during intense processes. The nVidia company is known for their Graphics Cards, but as they're such high quality they're likely to be more expensive. The other major manufacturers are Matrox and AMD.

- Sound Card: These I don't know much about. ^_^; I've never had trouble running anything because of sound issues, so let's say I haven't done my homework here. Basically, if your computer has speakers, it has a sound card.

- Others: This is totally up to you. Whether you want a Standard or Hi-def monitor, what screen resolution you're comfortable with, compactness (laptops lol), wireless accessories like mice or keyboards, headsets, webcams; none of these affect the performance of your system, so you can do whatever you want.

Well, got my geekiness out for today. If you need help shopping, post what you're looking for or what you have in mind, and I or any other geeks who might be here will help you out. ^_^


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PostSubject: Re: Shopping Thread   Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:12 pm

That's extremely informative, thanks for that Armads!


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