Five tips for buying a computer

Drew explains what you need to know to get the best product at the right price.

Five tips for buying a computer

Five tips for buying a computer

Buying a new or used computer can be a daunting task with CPU, RAM and gigabytes flying all over the place, but what do you really need to know to get the best product at the right price?

1. Shop around
When purchasing a new computer, there are four different sellers from which to purchase.
- Small local shopfront: Generally owner operated with one or two staff, you can get a personalised service which includes installation in your home. Warranties may be less than those offered by larger retailers.
- Specialist computer store with many locations: Operating Australia-wide, there are several large computer store brands with 3-4 stores in every state. Due to purchasing power, they provide the cheapest price of any retailer.
- Electrical retailer: Every large retailer stocks and sells computer. You can expect to pay slightly more for an item purchased from an electrical retailer, but you can be confident that your warranty will be upheld.
- Online: From eBay to Gumtree, you can find some of the best deals on new and used computers on retail and auction websites.

Always enquire about the after sales service, support and warranties, as it may be worth paying 5 per cent more for a product if the company offers better after sales service, support and longer warranties.

2. RAM is important
Unless you are into the online gaming scene, the average computer CPU and hard drive space provided in the latest and even used computers less than two years old is more than enough. Your focus when buying a new or used computer needs to turn to the amount of RAM provided. Aim for a minimum of 2GB, but the recommended amount is 4GB. This will provide you with the best possible experience when using multiple programs at one time.

Click NEXT to read the rest of Drew's essential tips.

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    8th May 2014
    thanks for that info Drew. My computer is so old I even hate to say its I wont, lol. But I was thinking of buying a new one but as I have a laptop (rarely used sitting in a cupboard) I will resurrect that and get it up and running and will use my large monitor here in the study. Did not even think of doing that.
    8th May 2014
    I have a laptop and hate the keyboard and touch pad - I bought a wireless keyboard to use with it and a wireless mouse. However, the best purchase I made was an all-in-one desk top. Just a monitor and I can move it anywhere in the house. The laptop lives in a cupboard now and on the move, my iPad goes with me!
    8th May 2014
    I love, love my large desktop It is an all in one touch screen with win 7 and office 2007
    tried Office 2010 did not like it too much had trouble with the mail on it
    My fairly new laptop is win 8 which I hate, so rarely use it cant stand the mouse thingy prefer a wired mouse but only have 2 ports available on it where my desktop has several
    I do take my laptop with me if I am traveling cant see the point of having an ipad though, not yet anyway
    8th May 2014
    Can't say I agree about laptops being the kings. can't abode their stupid little keyboards and the touch pad gives me the willies. As for any chance to upgrade sensibly; you can forget that too. I am much happier with my dual core 2.5G monster with 8G RAM an a ITB disk. There's room to move around inside the box so I have added extra USB plus a couple of external HDs and a second optical disc for disc to disc transfer. Try that on a laptop and see how far you get. Then there's the Welland tray which I use as a super floppy. Just bung in a standard HD of almost any size and you can load another gazzillion files. ...

    10th May 2014
    I love my desk top, however I also have a laptop for if I am away from home--HATE the flat key board and always use a mouse--so I can not understand WHY they say desktops are going out of fashion--when some are plugging in a keyboard etc to make them MORE like desk tops ????
    10th May 2014
    lack of mouse and smaller keyboard? Don’t be! I use my laptop at work and at home, with a keyboard, mouse and large-screen monitor all plugged into my laptop to allow for the normal desktop experience.

    (this is what I was referring to)

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