Choosing the Best Desktop Computer For You

By Beth Mccall  

Like a lot of people in the world today, you probably have a specific budget in mind when you buy a desktop computer. You may wonder, though, how to pick out the computer. What size and shape you need and with all the new technology out there, you may be unsure what to get. We are here to help you with this most difficult decision. Read on for some great insight into what to look for when purchasing a great desktop computer.

There are four different types of a PC user. Read below to find out which one you are. This will help you choose the best computer for you and your family.

General purpose user: a general purpose use desktop computer is perfect for those who like to make pictures, edit pictures, play games and surf the net. Depending on what you need a general-purpose computer can range in price from $500 to $1500.

Power User: a power user computer is a computer that can be used to make and edit movies and videos. These types of computers also allow you to make digital designs and play mega games. With these computers you will typically need 2 or more hard drives and a great graphics card. These computers typically run higher in price due to the power behind the computer and the different running systems that it will include. A power user computer can range in price from $2500 to $3500 depending on what you will need to perform the types of work that you want to do on this computer.

Home Theater Enthusiast: Do you love movies and television? Why not get a computer that can handle all of your home theater needs? This type of computer is great for people who love to watch movies and television. Windows Media Center is on all of the windows programs including the new Windows 7. When considering this type of computer always keep in mind what type of media you will be playing. This will help you to decide the video card and how much memory and output you will need. You can also find surround sound for your home theater computer, which will make your home theater even more special. When purchasing this computer make sure that is has the proper DVD drive or if you desire you can get a computer with a blue ray player allowing you the maximum high definition display. This type computer can range in price from $500 to $1500 depending on what you need included with the great entertainment model computer.


Home Office Worker: this is a great computer for those who work from home. With this type of computer you do not need the massive graphics power as other computers unless you design graphics for your home office work and then you would want a computer with a higher graphics count. You will want a system with a dual power core so that you can multitask and get the work done that you need done. Windows has a great operating system in Windows 7 that is great for being able to multitask. The newest feature on Windows 7 allows you to have different windows open at one time and you are also allowed to have them up side by side. This will save you time and you will not have to worry about your computer crashing. Mac also has a great operating system for home office as well. A home computer can run in price from $500 to $2,000 depending on what you need and how you plan on using it.

There are many different features to consider when wanting to purchase any of the before mentioned computers. The main great features that you will want to consider are:

* Processor: The two most common type of processor is AMD Athlon 64 X2, or Intel Core 2 Duo processor. You will want a Duo processor if you will be doing a lot of work or something that calls for a high speed processor such as burning or making videos and DVD's. A processor is at the most basic form the brains of your computer. The faster your processor is the better performance you will receive out of your computer.

* Memory: The memory in a desktop computer can vary due to the upcoming technology. Depending on what you need you can find a desktop that has 1G to 4G's of memory. Memory is changing due to different technology every day. When considering the memory take into consideration what you will be using your computer for. The more pictures and videos you need to make will increase the gigabyte count. Having the maximum amount of memory allows you to have plenty of room for all those important things that you want to install on your computer.

* Hard Drive: Depending on what you will need to store on your computer, you can find the perfect hard drive. A hard drive for this type of desktop can range from 250 G to 500 G. When choosing the hard drive, keep in mind what kind of programs you want to install. If you are wanting to install games or photo editing software, it would be best to have a higher gigabyte count. This allows you to have plenty of space for these programs as well as other programs including music and videos.


* Running system: When choosing your computer you will want to pick out a operating system that will work great for you. You can choose Windows or Mac. Both are very reliable brands and will give you a great computer experience. The latest version of Windows is Windows 7 and the latest version of Mac is the Apple OS X Leopard. The feedback on both of these programs are great. You can also ask friends and family that have these running systems how they feel about them and this will help you to pick out the perfect running system for you.

* Video Card: the video card helps to control different graphics and video. The most typical video card is 128 mb and comes from NVIDIA and ATI. With ever changing technology the video card will increase in megabyte size and quality. Most computers come with this feature already installed for quality graphics.

* Keyboard: Your computer would be basically useless without a keyboard. There are several different choices of keyboard. If you have trouble with your wrists, you can find a keyboard that is ergonomic and has a wrist wrest built into the keyboard. If you do not want the headache of wires all over the place, you can purchase a wireless keyboard. A wireless keyboard gives you access to your computer without the clutter of wire.

* Mouse: The mouse is a key component in the running of your desktop computer. The mouse helps you click on links and scroll down throughout pages. A wireless mouse is the latest invention. You can move your mouse around without the constraint of wire. This is a great way to perform your task. A computer can function without a mouse but it would be very difficult to use.

* Monitor: The monitor is the most important part of the computer besides the hard drive. The monitor allows you to see images and what is on your computer. You can find average size monitors, wide screened monitors and flat screened monitors. You can even find HD monitors that deliver a even clearer pictures. The size of the monitor depends on what size you need for what you will be doing with your desktop computer. With larger screens you will have the ability to watch many different movies in television size.


* Web Camera: a web camera can be hooked up to your computer allowing you to take images and videos and save them directly to your computer. You can also video chat with people online using it with Yahoo, Skype or even Facebook. It is a great way to stay in contact with friends and family. When considering a web cam purchase, check and see what pixels that it has. The higher the pixel, the greater the image will be and less pixilated.

* Size: Desktop computers have changed in size drastically over the years and each year it seems like a smaller more compact model is being released. That is great for those of you that do not have a lot of space to store a large computer. You can find a desktop in the size you need including compact. Every year smaller and more compact computers are being released. When looking for the size, take into consideration, where you will set up your computer and how much room you will have. It would not hurt to take measurements and have these with you when you purchase your computer.

* DVD/Blue Ray: If you like to watch movies you can purchase a desktop computer that has a DVD player. This is a great way to watch your movies. When purchasing the computer make sure you check and see what regions that the DVD player can handle. This way you can enjoy movies from many different regions from around the world. Region 1 is the United States and Region 2 is the United Kingdom. So if you want a movie from across the pond you can purchase it and watch it with your desktop. If you desire high quality and high definition you can purchase a computer that is equipped with a blue ray player. This is great for watching high definition movies.

* Warranty: When purchasing a computer, you may consider purchasing an extended warranty. This will give you ease of mind in case of something happening to your computer. Always remember to register for your warranty and it will make you and your computer feel safer.
Have this guide with you when you go to purchase your new desktop. This guide will help you make a choice on what you need for your new desktop computer. Remember take into consideration all of these features and what you will be using the computer for.

5 Simple Ways To Increase Your Computer Speed & Help Your Computer Run More Efficiently!

By Kris Bickell  

If you're a computer expert, you'll probably already know about these tips (hopefully this will provide you with a little reminder). If you're not an expert, don't worry - these tips are simple, and don't require a lot of computer experience.

While an old computer will never operate at the same speed as a newer (and bigger & faster) computer, you can help your computer stay as "young & healthy" as possible.

1) Disk Cleanup
Performing a disk cleanup regularly is a good idea. Whenever you "surf the internet", open attachments, delete files, your computer saves a record of your activity. Many of these files are harmless, and individually are very small. But if you spend a lot of time on your computer, before long you'll take up enough space to slow your computer down a bit.

Disk Cleanup is a Windows utility that helps keep unused and unwanted files from taking up extra storage space on your computer. You can think of it as "spring cleaning" for your computer.

Basically, it removes files that may have once been useful or used but now are just taking up extra room that could be used for more useful programs and files.

To perform a disc cleanup, click on the Start button on the bottom left of your computer screen, then Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disc Cleanup. A small box will pop up, allowing you to select the files to delete (most files are OK to delete, but if you are unsure, it is best to not select the file). Then click OK, and the unused files will be removed.


If you've never done a disk cleanup on your computer, now is a good time to get started. Then, depending on how much you use your computer, you can perform a disk cleanup every few weeks to keep your computer running smoothly!

2) Defragmenting Your Computer
Another way to improve the performance of your computer is to defragment your hard drive. What is defragmenting, and why do you need to do it? Here's a simple explanation: Basically, defragmenting is putting files back where they belong. With the files in the proper order, your computer will run more efficiently. You don't need to hire a computer expert to defragment your computer. It's simple to do. You just need to plan ahead, because if you have a lot of "stuff" on your computer, it could take a while. And it's best not to use your computer while defragmenting.

Not sure how to defragment your computer? You can either click on your computer's help file (Click the "Start" button on the bottom left of your computer screen, then Help), or click on Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Defragment - for most computers) .

Keep in mind that the actual wording is slightly different depending on the operating system you use (Windows 95, 98, XP, etc) so you might need to refer to your computer's help file.

Periodically defragmenting your computer will keep it running smoothly!

3) Removing Spyware & Adware
If you've ever had spyware or adware on your computer, you know how frustrating it can be - strange things happening, your homepage changing, inappropriate popups, unfamiliar icons... 

What exactly is spyware or adware?


Simply, files that are often downloaded onto your computer without your knowledge (or at least without you knowing what they really are).
Unfortunately, many of these programs "sneak" their way onto your computer, so avoiding them entirely is difficult, especially if you spend a lot of time on your computer, surfing the Internet and downloading new programs and files. Fortunately, there are ways to remove these unwanted files from your computer.

Here are 2 adware/spyware removal programs that are simple to use (and both are free): Ad-Aware & Spybot 

Why does adware/spyware continue to be such a problem? Because most of these programs make money for the people creating and spreading them, unfortunately. So, all we can do is try to avoid them as much as possible, and to remove them when they do find their way onto our computers.

If you do find spyware on your computer, don't panic. In many cases, you just have some extra "junk" on your computer. But keeping spywaer and adware off of your computer will help it run more quickly and efficiently.

4) Uninstalling Old & Unused Programs
While uninstalling old, unused programs will help speed up your computer, removing the wrong files can cause you some big problems. So, please proceed carefully. And if you are not comfortable, please ask for help from someone you know who is more knowledgeable.

Most programs that you download simply have an "uninstall" feature that comes with them. If you're like me and you download a lot of free programs or free trials, after a while your computer begins to slow down. That means it's time for me to remove some of the old programs I don't use any more (and most I only used once just to see how they work).

To uninstall unused programs from your computer, first click on the Start button on the bottom left, then Programs, then click on the name of the program and Uninstall. If there is no uninstall option, then click on the Start button on the bottom left, then Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs.
Again, if you are unsure whether or not to remove a program, it is best to leave it.


If you follow these instructions, you should find your computer working faster right away.

5) Get A High Speed Internet Connection
If you spend a lot of time on the internet, a high speed internet connection is a must. It is more expensive, but for most people the savings in time and effort is worth the added expense.

There are several advantages of having a high speed internet connection - faster surfing, web pages open more quickly, files download faster, and if you send or receive large files, like pictures or video, trying to open these files with a slower dialup connection is extremely frustrating!
If you're already spending $20 a month or more for your dialup connection (through your phone line) then you'll find DSL to be comparable in price, and a lot faster.

A cable internet connection might cost a little more, but it is usually the fastest type of internet connection you can get from home.

High speed wireless connections are available for those who travel a lot. And high speed satellite internet is available in areas where other options are not (check your options first, as this is the most expensive high speed connection).

That's all the tips for increasing your computer speed and helping your computer run more efficiently. We hope you found these tips helpful!