Whether purchasing new computers or looking to upgrade existing ones, there are many things to think about. Almost all organizations will have some type of limited budget that they are working with, so it is critical that they make the best decisions possible.
Having the right computer equipment will help make your business run smoother and help keep your employees from becoming frustrated due to lag or other issues common to poor quality computers.
Knowing where to allocate your budget in order to get the best performing computers for your employees can be difficult. While there is no one size fits all answer to this situation, there are certain things to know that will help you to make the best possible decision.
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Always opt for a Solid-State Drive (SSD)
There is almost never a situation where it is not worth it to upgrade from a traditional disk based hard drive to a solid-state drive. SSDs are extraordinarily fast and will provide users with a very noticeable improvement when performing many different tasks.
To start with, computers that have a disk drive typically take anywhere from 30-seconds to two or more minutes to fully boot up when turned on. With an SSD, however, the bootup period lasts just seconds, which will eliminate a lot of frustration.
While the speed improvement is less noticeable when doing other tasks on the computer, it is still going be beneficial. For example, if loading a large document from the drive, there will be no delay caused by the computer having to find and read the data.
Whether you are configuring a new build computer or just looking for upgrade opportunities, going with an SSD is absolutely the best place to start. In addition to providing a great boost in performance, modern SSDs are extremely inexpensive and can provide plenty of capacity for just about every situation.
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RAM is Typically a Great Investment
Adding additional memory (RAM) is another great option that is almost always a good idea. Good RAM is surprisingly inexpensive, even if you are adding quite a bit of it to your computer.
Since most operating systems and computer programs store a significant amount of data in the memory, it just makes sense to make sure you have enough installed. This will reduce or eliminate the need for the computer to use paging files (files stored on the hard drive or SSD that act as a temporary alternative to RAM). Even with an SSD, having to use page files can slow things down quite a bit.
This is also very important because modern computer users often have a lot of different things open at once, all of which require the use of RAM. If, for example, you have employees that need to keep 10 or more tabs open on their Internet browser, you will quickly see multiple gigs of RAM being used for that alone.
With RAM, however, more does not automatically mean better. Most modern computers can handle 96 or more gigs of RAM, which will be entirely unnecessary for the average user. If you are looking at RAM today, it is generally best to make sure you have a minimum of 8gigs for the average computer. Once you get up past 32gigs of RAM, however, you will not see major benefits unless the users have a specific need for it.
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Upgrading Your CPU is Often Overrated
Everyone has always been taught that the central processing unit, or CPU, is the ‘brain’ of the computer. While that is technically true, it does not always mean that upgrading your CPU is going to be worth the money. In fact, given the price of CPUs, this is almost always going to provide you with the smallest bang for your buck.
When it comes to CPUs, there is generally no need to choose the latest and greatest option unless the computer is being used for very specific things that require massive processing power. For most computer users, spending an extra $100 for a better CPU is not going to provide for any noticeable improvement. In addition, upgrading just the CPU in an existing computer will rarely solve any speed related problems.
Of course, you also do not want to choose an outdated CPU model when configuring a new system build. Looking at current industry standard CPUs will almost always give you a great chip that will meet your needs today and for several years to come.
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When is a GPU Upgrade Warranted?
One last component to look at is the graphics card, or GPU. In some situations, a new graphics card will provide huge performance increases. In others, they will be little more than a waste of money. GPUs are most commonly used for gaming, where a higher-end card cards are essential for playing the games with the best video quality possible.
These cards, however, can also be used for other things. For example, if you have employees who have to perform advanced image editing, video editing, or even audio processing, a good graphics card should be seen as essential. If you want to run multiple monitors for each computer, you will need to make sure that the graphics card you choose has enough output options.
For basic day to day computing, the default GPU will generally be more than enough and upgrading to something better is just a waste of money. When you have more advanced requirements for your computers, however, getting the right graphics card is not only worth it, but it should be seen as an essential upgrade.
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Invest for the Future
One last thing to think about when considering what hardware, you need for your company computers. While it can be tempting to choose the most basic designs that are very inexpensive, this will almost always cause more frustration and problems than it is worth.
Purchasing the right computers based on how they will be used will help you to get the best performance at the best prices every time.
In addition, while bargain basement computers may only be functional for a year or two, a good quality system will meet your needs for years to come.
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