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Purchasing a new computer is a big decision. Before you rush out to the Boxing Day sales and buy that computer recommended by that enthusiastic sales assistant, it is worth doing your research. 

Buying a new computer is an investment. So, it’s natural to want that investment to last as long as possible. You don’t want to spend $1,000 on a new computer, only to begin experiencing problems when it’s just a year old.

You may have to pay a little more for a system that has better performance. But it will save you in the long run when you have more years of usable life before that device needs replacement. 

This is where IT Centre comes in. We are able to help you to understand your personal requirements and prevent any post purchase remorse! 

We’ve compiled a list of top things to consider before you purchase a new computer:

Remember the RAM

One of the big mistakes that people make when looking for a new computer is to ignore the RAM. Random access memory may be called RAM on the specification or “memory.” If your system has low memory, you run into all sorts of problems.

These issues can include:

  • Browser freezing up when you have too many tabs open
  • Issues watching videos
  • Some software not working properly
  • Sluggish behavior
  • Inability to open multiple applications or tabs and windows
  • Constant freezes

Memory is the “thought process” of the PC. If there isn’t enough, it can’t take on another task until it completes the current processing tasks. This can cause frustration and ruin your productivity. 

People often go for those low-priced computer deals when looking for a new device. But these can include only 4GB of RAM. That’s not a lot if you do much more than staying in a single application or just a few browser tabs.

The higher the RAM, the more responsive the system performance. So, look for PCs with at least 8GB of RAM. Or higher if you do any graphics/video or other processing-intensive activities. It is worth talking to our team at IT Centre about this. 

Personal or Business use?

If you have a small business or are a freelancer, you may try to save money by buying a consumer PC. But this could end up costing you more in the long run.

Consumer PCs aren’t designed for continuous “9-to-5” use. They also often lack certain types of firmware security present in business-use models. The price gap has also shortened between good consumer computers and business versions. If you’re not looking at the cheap systems, you’ll find that it’s not that much more to get a business-grade device.

What do I need to know about the Processor?

It can be confusing to read through the processor specifications on a computer. How do you know if Intel Core i7 or i3 is best for your needs? What’s the performance difference between AMD and Intel processors?

Contact us at IT Centre and we will be happy to steer you in the right direction. We’ll explain in layman’s terms the differences, as well as which processor makes the most sense for your intended use.

The durability of laptops

If you’re looking for a laptop computer, it’s important that it is durable. Laptops have some unique characteristics that differ from desktops. For example, the screen is often folded down one or more times per day. Additionally, the keyboard is part of the case and is not easily replaced by the user.

If you get a laptop with a cheap plastic case, it’s bound to break during normal use. Keys could also easily pop off the keyboard, requiring a trip to a computer repair shop.

You want to consider the materials used for the case. Paying a bit extra for a better casing is definitely worth it. It can help you avoid unneeded headaches.

What storage do you require?

Storage capacity can be a pain point that you experience after the fact. If you buy a computer without paying attention to hard drive space, you could regret it. You may not be able to transfer over all your “stuff” from the old system.

But storage capacity can also be an area where you can save some money. If you store most of your files in the cloud, then you may not need a lot of hard drive space. The less space you need, the lower the price.

Bear in mind though that you always need to keep 15% – 20% free space on your drive for operating system and software temporary ‘working files’. Without this you will find your computer slowing to a crawl and/or freezing up.

What hard drive do you need?

If you can get a computer with a solid-state drive (SSD) rather than a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) you should know that SSDs are faster and less likely to have read/write issues. They have no moving parts; thus they are quieter as well. You will often find that ‘bargain computer’ you have found has an older style spinning hard drive that prevents the computer running as fast as it might. Given that Solid-state drives have come down in price quite a bit recently it just makes sense to go for a computer that uses one. 


Most computers will come with a 12 month return to base warranty as standard that covers hardware defects. This means that it will need to be sent back to the manufacturer for diagnosis or repair.

All computers and IT equipment that we sell at IT Centre come with a three year warranty, often onsite which means you won’t have to package it up and send it to Auckland if something breaks. 

Not only that but if the computer was purchased from us we will manage the warranty repair or replacement process with the manufacturer on your behalf at no cost, otherwise this would be a chargeable service.

Talk to IT Centre Before You Spend Money on a New Computer

Before you invest in your new computer, talk to our team at IT Centre. We can help you define the correct specification based on your business requirements and won’t offer you any extras that you don’t require’ e.g. that antivirus software you already have a license for.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.