It can be a good time to buy a new computer, with the holidays quickly approaching as well as end of the year sales. Although it can be a good time to purchase a computer there are some things to look out for. Some resellers use this time to sell outdated or older model PC’s. Slower PC’s either with less memory or an inferior processor. Here are some things to look out for when looking for a new computer.

Things to look out for, Processor, Memory and SSD

When your looking at a brand of computer you like, look for the specs or specifications of the computer. When looking at the list, pay special attention to the processor, memory and hard drive and if the computer has a separate graphics card. For the processor, I prefer Intel processors and this article will be referring only to those types of processors. 


When looking at processors, stay away from Celeron processors. These are quite slow and are not worth the savings that you will get purchasing them. Instead, look for the Intel Core, i3, i5 or i7 Processor. (I9 processors, if in your budget, are also a good choice.) When looking at the processor, make sure that it is a current one, such as the latest 12th generation. If you have the option to increase the speed of your processor you may do so however this is not as important as the amount of memory you have and the type. 


When looking at memory, do not get less than 8GB of memory. 12-16GB is often a good choice for many people. If your budget allows you to purchase 32GB, 64GB or more memory this can be instrumental in making your computer significantly faster, especially if you are running multiple programs at one time. DDR 5 memory is much faster than DDR 4 and should be purchased even in smaller amounts, over DDR 4.  

Hard Drive

This is your computers storage area for your files, Windows and all of your programs. Make sure to get a Solid State or SSD drive, rather than a mechanical or hybrid drive. SSD’s are much much faster than mechanical hard drives and are well worth any extra cost. When looking at the size of the hard drive, you only need to purchase a drive that is large enough to hold your current files and programs, along with some room for expansion. You can look at your current hard drive use by pressing the Windows key (in between ctrl and alt on your keyboard) and the E key at the same time. This will bring up Windows explorer. Click on This PC and look for your hard drive, Local Hard Drive (C). You will see the space that you are using.

Graphics Card

You may have an option to have a separate video card installed in your computer, rather than the onboard video that is standard in most computers. This is usually found in higher-end computers but can be added in some computers for an additional cost. This is often worth the cost as these cards have their own memory attached to them. This memory is used for video, rather than the overall PC memory, increasing speed and allowing for more graphic-intensive programs, such as graphic design programs which are a must for gamers. Add-on or external video cards are useful for multiple monitors. 

Extended Warranties

Extended, or service warranties are often an add on for places such as Dell, HP or Best Buy. These warranties can be very useful in the event of a major issue to your computer or device, especially one involving the hardware. Take a look at what is covered, hardware coverage is the most important. How many years are covered? Is accidental damage included? Coverage prices can be reasonable or on sale, especially in the longer (3+ years) coverage range. 

Surge Protectors and UPS Devices

When your ready to bring home your new device, be sure to swap your surge protection, especially if it is 3 or more years old. Protection can wear over time, reducing the effectiveness. If you are purchasing a dekstop computer, purchase a UPS rather than just a surge protector. This will give you battery backup and allow you to shut down your desktop in the event of a power failure. Many UPS models include the ablility to shut your computer down automatically. They are also useful for your router or modem, keeping that equipment from rebooting, which can cause issues. Surge protection is built into these devices If you are purchasing a laptop, you can use a surge protector. Purchase one with a good jewel (or protection) rating of at least 900.