Desktops http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13569/all en-US How to Buy a Desktop Computer http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-desktop-computer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-buy-a-desktop-computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/61487774_566eb4ac6b_z.jpg" alt="desktop computer" title="desktop computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you're in the market for a new computer? What&rsquo;s it going to be? Mac or Windows? Blu-ray or regular DVD? Touch-screen monitor or standard mouse? With technology advancing so quickly and new features coming so fast, it&rsquo;s becoming harder and harder to know what to buy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-buy-a-desktop-computer">Why You Should Buy a Desktop Computer</a>)</p> <p>My advice to you is to treat this like you&rsquo;d shop for a suit or a dress: find the one that fits your body as comfortable as you can and ignore the rest.&nbsp;Some of us need to do advanced things like video processing, while others just need a machine that runs an Internet Browser and Microsoft Word. It&rsquo;s all about buying what&rsquo;s right for you.</p> <h3>Desktop Features That matter</h3> <p>These are the features you want to pay the most attention to when picking out your system.</p> <p><strong>Processor&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>This is the brains behind the whole operation. The processor determines how fast you will get stuff done on your computer and, to a large extent, how long it will last until your next upgrade. Buying the fastest processor you can afford is always good advice here. If you want to save some money, find the fastest processor and take one step down from there. It&rsquo;ll save you some money and you&rsquo;ll still get great performance.</p> <p><strong>RAM&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>The more RAM you have, the less bogged down your system will get. But RAM is easy to upgrade, so don&rsquo;t break the bank trying to fill up your computer with RAM. Instead, make sure the maximum amount of RAM it can be upgraded to is way up there (10+ GB of RAM). Then look for special deals on RAM and add as you go along.</p> <p><strong>Operating System</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mac vs. Windows...the eternal question. What&rsquo;s it going to be? Are you ready to make a switch or do you want to stick with what you&rsquo;re used to? If you are a novice you may want to consider spending more to get a Mac. For all the power users out there...you don&rsquo;t need me to tell you what to do.</p> <p><strong>Hard Drive Capacity</strong></p> <p>Like RAM, hard drives are easy to buy separately and replace/add as you go along. But they're also relatively cheap to add when you're buying your desktop -- if you're not the type who likes to open up the machine and fiddle with things. Think about all the photos and videos you want to store and go ahead and get as much as you can handle budget-wise.</p> <h3>Desktop Features That Are Just Hype</h3> <p>Leave out these bells and whistles that aren't useful.</p> <p><strong>Touch Screens</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>They make for great commercials, but the mouse is still the best way to navigate through the software programs on a computer. While we&rsquo;re all getting used to using touchscreens on our cell phones and tablets, this is one thing you can do without. Especially if it costs more.</p> <p><strong>3D&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Some computer makers are trying to jump on the 3D hype bandwagon, but it&rsquo;s so early on in the technology that there&rsquo;s no sense jumping in when we don&rsquo;t really know how it will all play out.</p> <h3>Special Features to Consider</h3> <p>Getting the right desktop for <em>you</em> is the most important consideration. Before you go shopping, think about what you're using it for, and how long you're expecting to keep the machine for.</p> <p><strong>Customer Support&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>If you know how to update your BIOS and change the boot order of your devices on a computer, then this won&rsquo;t be a feature you care about &mdash; you can probably handle most issues that you&rsquo;ll encounter. For everyone else, you want to make sure you&rsquo;re taken care of after you buy a computer. Issues will come up and they can be very frustrating. Knowing you can just pick up the phone and get help is kind of a big deal, so pay attention to the length and quality (read what people are saying) of the warranty, as well as the overall quality of the machine.</p> <p><strong>Differentiators</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is where the personalization comes into play. What are you going to use this computer for? If it&rsquo;s editing large photos and videos, you&rsquo;ll need certain software and lots of RAM. If you&rsquo;re a gamer, you&rsquo;re going to want a monster video card. Pay attention to what you&rsquo;ll be using it for and buy accordingly. Don&rsquo;t fall into the temptation that you need to have it all! You will be wasting your money &mdash; just buy according to your usage.</p> <h3>Best Time to Buy</h3> <p>I like to keep an eye on the machine I want and hold out for a few weeks until I find a coupon or it goes on sale. You can usually find great deals in July and August, right before the newest models hit the shelves, and in November during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.</p> <p>See our shopping calendar for more tips on the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" title="Buying Calendar">best time to buy anything</a> and our other buying guides.</p> <h3>Recommended Desktops</h3> <p><strong>Best PC:</strong> Build your own Dell (<a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10774518">Dell.com</a>). Remember what I said about buying a computer that fits you and your needs? Dell is a world-class company with great customer support that allows you to build your own machine with a wide variety of components. I&rsquo;ve built two machines with them and have absolutely no complaints. You can build a very good system for around $500.</p> <p><strong>Best Mac:</strong> <a href="http://www.apple.com/imac/">iMac</a> ($1,199). The whole machine is built into the monitor and no other desktop looks like it. Combine that with a fast processor, tons of RAM, and everything you need to pretty much run any program you&rsquo;d like, and you can&rsquo;t go wrong. It&rsquo;s more expensive...but there are reasons for that.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-desktop-computer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-laptop-computer">How to Buy a Laptop Computer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aaa-batteries">The 5 Best AAA Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-gift-guide-thoughtful-ideas-for-every-list-and-every-budget">Ultimate Gift Guide: Thoughtful Ideas for Every List and Every Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fabric-softeners">The 5 Best Fabric Softeners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-blankets">The 5 Best Electric Blankets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying guide computers Desktops Mon, 11 Jul 2011 09:48:29 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 569042 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Desktop or Laptop? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-desktop-or-laptop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-desktop-or-laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3508073681_9ddce95199_z-1.jpg" alt="Old Mac Desktop Computer" title="Desktop or Laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-desktop-or-laptop#comment-490579"><em>CgK</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://twitter.com/#!/ldelangel"><em>@ldelangel</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=666898828"><em>Steve Sforza</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Computers have become a huge part of our day to day lives. &nbsp;I personally am a huge fan of laptops and cannot imagine life without my laptop. However, there are many people who prefer having a desktop computer as opposed to a laptop.</p> <p><strong>Do you have a desktop or laptop computer? </strong>Or do you have both? Which do you prefer and why?</p> <p>Tell us whether you have a desktop computer or a laptop and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Enter 1 of 3 Ways:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below, or</li> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, then &quot;Like&quot; the update mentioning this giveaway (you can comment, as well &mdash; but you don't have to for entry), or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, April 11th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after April 11th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email, Facebook, and Twitter Direct Message.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us whether you have a desktop computer or a laptop and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-desktop-or-laptop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-last-almost-forever-with-some-simple-tricks">Make Your Computer Last (Almost) Forever With Some Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-is-your-top-question-about-personal-finance">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What is Your Top Question About Personal Finance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-share-your-favorite-frugal-holiday-tradition">Ask the Readers: Share Your Favorite Frugal Holiday Tradition</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers computers Desktops laptops Tue, 05 Apr 2011 11:00:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 516978 at http://www.wisebread.com