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Let’s Buy a Computer, Part I

Let’s Buy a Computer, Part I

Buying a new computer can be exciting, but when you are buying computers for your business, finding the most cost-effective machine that also fits your operational and budgetary needs can  be difficult. Today, we will start our five-part business computing series by looking at CPU options.

Determine the Computer’s Role

Your new desktop will have a specific purpose. What is it? Ascertaining what you need the new system for will help you make a decision about what hardware that system will need. A computer that is used for typical office tasks will need fewer resources than one being used for audio or video production. 

Understanding Specifications

For the PC’s CPU, users have many options to choose from. This ranges from budget processors all the way to processors so fast that they would be complete overkill for any office work. Today, we’ll take a look at the processors you may find from the two most important manufacturers, Intel and AMD.

Intel

Intel has tiered their processors to make them easier for the average consumer to understand. Their CPUs are as follows:

  • Intel Core i3: Ideal for low-end work, like editing documents, checking email, and surfing the Internet. The latest generation of Core i3 should also suffice to stream video on YouTube and Netflix.
  • Intel Core i5: The i5 processor is a little more powerful than your average i3, as it can handle some light photo editing and gaming. It’s a decent choice for your average office workstation.
  • Intel Core i7: i7 processors are more high-end for video editing and gaming.
  • Intel Core i9: i9 is a tier that has only just recently surfaced. For the average business’ needs, it’s overkill, but it’s perfect for 3D animation, rendering, gaming while streaming, scientific calculations, and so on. The price tag is just as high as you would think.

AMD

AMD has also begun to tier their options, providing consumers a general idea of what processors will fit their computing requirements. Options include:

  • AMD Ryzen 3: To put it simply, this is AMD’s version of the Intel Core i3 processor, capable of editing documents, surfing the web, and… not much else.
  • AMD Ryzen 5: The Ryzen 5 is about on par with the Intel Core i5, and while you might pay a little bit more for it, the performance of your desktop will improve substantially.
  • AMD Ryzen 7: The Ryzen 7 is similar to Intel’s Core i7; this is where you’ll start to see costs increasing quite a bit.
  • AMD Threadripper: This is where the overkill starts. The Threadripper is capable of handling heavy loads like 3D animation, gaming while streaming, and other intense computing that your average desktop doesn’t need to do.

How Much Does the GHz Matter?

Since the manufacturers have made it easy for people to know what speed processors they are getting, you won’t have to pay much attention to the clock speed (GHz) on your new CPU. Traditionally, consumers would have to pay more mind to it, but all you really need to know now is that when the GHz increases, the computer is faster. 

Do the Number of Cores Matter?

When you hear about the “cores” built into a CPU, it represents just how much separate processing a CPU can do. Unless you are on a strict budget, you will want to shoot for at least “quad-core” capability. There are processors that have dozens of cores, but those are typically utilized in server units.

We hope you found some use from this guide. Check back soon for part two of the computer buying guide where we look at your new device’s memory. For more information about purchasing hardware and software for your business, reach out to the certified technicians at BNMC today at 978-482-2020.

 

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