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  #1    
Old July 31st, 2013 (07:27 AM).
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A question inspired by OzCake's laptop thread.

Let's say you've decided to buy a computer (desktop or laptop) and figured out your preferred specs ahead of time. You go online to check out the latest computers on company websites and see which computer is perfect for you, and you will decide if you'll buy direct from the company, or from your local store. You may be picky as well, you want your future computer to be flawless, perfect, free of any technology woes (which is nearly impossible). You see a computer that has everything you need but is missing one thing. You see another computer that has that one thing you need but is missing the rest that you need in a computer. One computer has a crappier processor than the other. One computer has less RAM or less Hard Drive space than the other. There are many choices out there, until finally...there it is: the perfect computer.

tl;dr: what are the first things you look for when you're buying a computer? (price, brand, screen size/resolution, graphics, memory, HDD space, etc?)
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Old July 31st, 2013 (08:40 AM). Edited July 31st, 2013 by Cassino.
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First component I look to would be the mainboard in self-assemblies. If I were to buy a computer, HDD first, then mainboard. Everything else is far more convenient to swap out, so a drive that will last a long time and having room to upgrade are both great. Apart from that, if there's anything I don't like I can change it myself, although that starts to render pointless the notion of buying a pre-built PC...
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Old July 31st, 2013 (10:20 AM).
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As far as choosing a laptop goes, I tend to prioritize features that I can't modify. The size and CPU are most important, at least to me. RAM and HDD can be swapped out if I feel the perfect system lacks the amount of HDD space I want, although really, I don't need a huge internal hard drive.

I have no need to buy a pre-built desktop since I prefer building my computers myself. But when I get the parts list for a computer I want to build, I usually base it around the processor I want to use. I'll say that I want a current-gen i5, then I'll look at motherboards that support the socket, then I select RAM that's compatible with the motherboard, ect. ect.
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Old July 31st, 2013 (10:42 AM).
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I usually choose laptop due to their reviews and specifications. The laptop I'm using is quite nice and has enough resources (1.4GHZ 4-core, 4GB RAM, basic 1366x768 display, plays ROLLER COASTER TYCOON 2 OMG) to keep me going.

When I am older, I presume I might be making my own computers, so I would probably look at a good case for it, then the processor, video card, memory and other things to keep it ticking.
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Old July 31st, 2013 (02:00 PM). Edited July 31st, 2013 by Amore.
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Well I'm a complete n00b when it comes to computers, so when I was getting a laptop I went for: looks, portability (extreme lightness please!), decent size screen (soon figured 13-inch was ideal), and the speed of the processor - not bothered about graphics, as I figured I have an iPod, DSi, Xbox360 etc. for games.

What did I end up with? A Macbook Air. Overpriced? possibly. But...looks? Yes. Light? Yes. 13-inch screen? Yes. Fast? Yes. Although with start-up issues.

One thing I overlooked for a decent while (my laptop search was on-and-off for years, we screwed our old one up pretty soon on in its lifetime) was memory. Judging by the size of my ever-expanding music collection, this will be the main thing I look at for any future computer.

Memory's the only thing stopped me adding an iPhone to my family's Apple collection tbh.
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Old July 31st, 2013 (06:30 PM).
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I would want a computer with a good GPU so that I can see detail in rendering graphics and one with a good processor and a decent amount of RAM so I could at least do some decent multitasking. Finally, a laptop with a resolution higher than 1366x768.. that resolution is just too small when going back and forth between my laptop and my desktop and it kinda hurts my eyes.
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Old July 31st, 2013 (06:38 PM).
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The first thing I look for is the kind of CPU it has. Anything dual-core or more and 2.5 GHz and up. Everything else is also important, but I always look at the processor first. I know that a good computer will be pricey, so I always save the price for last.
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Old August 1st, 2013 (05:00 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Amore:
One thing I overlooked for a decent while (my laptop search was on-and-off for years, we screwed our old one up pretty soon on in its lifetime) was memory. Judging by the size of my ever-expanding music collection, this will be the main thing I look at for any future computer.

Memory's the only thing stopped me adding an iPhone to my family's Apple collection tbh.
Traditionally, memory refers to RAM, not drive/storage capacity.

Personally, I just do my own builds for desktops, so I don't have to compromise unless price becomes an issue (which it would be at the moment, but fortunately, I already have what I need).

For laptops, build quality and battery life are important, as are the keyboard/trackpad and the screen quality (the number of those tacky low-quality TN 1366x768 panels being chucked in upper-mid range laptops is atrocious. Memory and Storage space don't really bother me, as they're easily swapped out in most systems (not soldered-to-the-board ultrabooks, though). My next laptop will probably be a 13" Retina Macbook Pro with 8GB memory (enough for the forseeable future) and a 256GB SSD, although I'm in no hurry, as my current 2010 MBP is upgraded and works well.
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Old August 1st, 2013 (03:43 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Archer:
Traditionally, memory refers to RAM, not drive/storage capacity.
My bad. I basically just looked at RAM, saw it was similar to others, thought "OK!". Storage is a real issue for me though. Already used up about 2/3 of my MBA's storage. Definitely glad I didn't settle for a stupid 64GB one (Seriously, who wants a computer with the same storage as their iPod?).
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Old August 1st, 2013 (07:08 PM).
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I generally look at processor and RAM, then screen size for a laptop. Desktop, I build my own so I start at the processor and go from there. :3
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Old August 1st, 2013 (11:45 PM).
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For laptops I largely look at the CPU, and what I want to do with it. For my desktop I went DIY, where I started with a CPU and a GPU I wanted and built around the two on a $700 budget.
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Old August 3rd, 2013 (01:39 AM).
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Hmm, If I were to look for laptops I would look for the brands I like/the ones that look awesome. Then I would look at the processor/ram/operating system and the amount of Gigabytes it has.
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Old August 3rd, 2013 (05:03 AM).
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I started with my CPU and GPU and went from there. Those are the two biggest factors when it comes to PC gaming so I figured that was the best place to start. I'm a DIY guy when it comes to computers so it makes it really easy to get a build that suits my needs.
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Old August 3rd, 2013 (05:11 AM).
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I buy whatever Megan tells me to :D

I know basically nothing about computers bar processors and RAM, so I just look for high versions of these two things and then read countless reviews until I find one that seems perfect for my needs. I'll usually ask loads of friends about it and get several opinions before buying anything, so my tactic is "other people know better than me"!
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Old August 3rd, 2013 (07:49 AM).
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Well, depends on which type of computer I'm buying, and what I intend to use it for.

for a desktop, I look for the most bang for my buck... so I look for something to use as a base: a motherboard with enough slots and ram support, the processor, and the case. Then I go finding the harddrives, and the GPU.

for a laptop... mainly the OS, Ram, and HDD space, and how many usb slots it has, and if it can read SD cards, and if it has a disc drive. And price.
If I find myself looking for a GAMING laptop, I look for a dedicated GPU.
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Old August 4th, 2013 (08:33 PM). Edited August 4th, 2013 by Team Fail.
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So let's say you're browsing for a new computer. You've narrowed it down to two: One has more ram, the other has more hard drive space. What would you go for? When deciding upon computers, what takes priority in comparisons? Or do you build your own from scratch? Or perhaps do you get one, and replace it with better parts (Like a bigger hard drive or more ram or a better graphics card)?

When I was choosing a laptop, my biggest priority was ram. I wanted to have more ram to be able to do more things at once, even though I'm only running a dual-core computer. Having less ram would throttle me, and I know what that's like, being limited to only 2 GB of ram for so many years on an older computer that's been around for what seems like forever and a day. So I opted for the 8GB model, and it's a decision I haven't regretted. I missed out on a 1TB drive, but I made up for that with an external drive (3TB) and a massive array of USB drives if I ever need them.

What about the rest of PC? What do you prioritize over?
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Old August 4th, 2013 (10:21 PM).
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The motherboard.

The rest of the parts don't matter that much to me since I'm going to replace them in a couple of years anyway. As long as the motherboard would support a future upgrade I'd be fine with the computer.

The computer I'm using right how is a upgraded HP Pavilion p6532f. It's been almost three and a half years since I've gotten it and I've since replaced everything except the case and motherboard.

Current specs for it (Original here http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02218266&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&product=4249865)
Phenom II X4 965 processor, 3.4 per core
8 GB PC3-10600 Ram
Asus GT 640 Video Card, 2 GB Silent (I've changed this a few other times. First was for a Asus Radeon 3450 then a Asus GT 520)
Antec Earthwatts PSU, 380 W
2x1 TB WD Hdd's
Some brand of dvd combo drive, not stock though. (Failed after a year and replaced)
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Old August 5th, 2013 (04:59 PM).
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Team Fail, I have merged your topic into this topic, since it was very similar to one already posted.
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