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How much computer do you really need?

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speed and performance needs

This is a question we hear a lot in our office. Will this run X program? Can this handle Y when I’m also doing Z? A computer’s speed and performance needs all depend on the individual that will be using it.

Most of our users that come in are using their computer for just internet browsing and checking their emails. These types of users require very little, in terms of speed and hardware, as most of the speed that they are looking for will be from their Internet Service Provider. In terms of hardware, a computer with an Intel i3 processor or i5 will work very well here. These user’s video needs can easily be met by the built-in video that comes with most systems now a days.

Now when you get into streaming movies and videos (YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime) then you are moving into the more intensive hardware needs. The built-in video of most systems will most likely not provide the clear video that most users in this range of usage are looking for. They will also need a much faster internet connection from their provider, typically a 20 – 30 Mbps connection will suffice.

For the user in this range you will want to purchase a system with a stand alone video card, OR find a computer that has a higher end motherboard that will most likely have a dedicated chipset for the built-in video. Also look for a system with a minimum of 2GB of RAM and an Intel i5 or i7 equivalent processor.

Then let us move on to the more high end equipment, the people that are going to be in this range will most likely be the ones that use their computers primarily for gaming. These users also tend to build their own computers themselves or are willing to spend from the $1000.00 to $2000.00 range to meet their needs. Users in this range typically have much more intensive needs and will be aiming for a minimum of 4GB of RAM, a quad core i7 processor, and a dedicated video card. However, generally users in this range we recommend the following: 8GB of RAM, an 8-core processor, and a video card with at least 1GB dedicated memory.

Of course these are just general guidelines, much like the pirate’s code. If you are not sure what your computer can handle please do not hesitate to call us with any questions. We will be more than happy to answer any and all questions you might have about your own specific needs, and even recommend a specific computer to meet your needs.

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