Q: What should I look for in a new computer

So you’re looking for a new computer and you need some help understanding what is important and what is not so. Below is our recommendations on what specifications to look for in a modern computer:

Note: Due to the constantly changing landscape and fast pace of the computer industry, some system specifications may become out-of-date or obsolete. We plan to update this page as needed to remain current with the trends in the industry. Please see the date at the end of this article to see how current this document is.

Minimum Specifications

This class will be good for general everyday activities: Web Browsing, Office Productivity, Very Casual Gaming.

  • Dual-Core Processor @ 2.0GHz+
  • 3+ Gigabytes of System Memory
  • Most other specifications: Storage, Drives will be suitable for most

Recommended Specifications

This class would be good for Graphic/Photo Editing, Some Video Editing, and PC Gaming.

  • Quad-Core Processor @ 1.8GHz+
  • 4-6+ Gigabytes of System Memory
  • A Dedicated Video Card by either nVidia or AMD/ATI with 256 Megabytes of Dedicated Video Memory
  • If you are planning to do large amounts of graphic or video editing, please keep in mind that this line of work requires large quantities of disk space. So you may want to get multiple large hard drives for storage.

The Best (Workstation) Specification

A Machine in this class would be able to play any modern blockbuster PC games, do most graphic/video editing, and much more

  • Single Six-Core Processor or Dual Quad-Core Processors or Dual Six-Core Processors
  • 8+ Gigabytes of System Memory
  • Single or Multiple Dedicated Video Cards with 1024 Megabytes of Dedicated Video Memory
  • Solid State Drive for the Boot Drive – The drive the operating system lives on
  • Multiple Hard Drives – sizes and quantities very base on planned use

Last Updated: September 2011

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