Guidelines for Buying a New Computer
- Only consider name brand computers (Gateway, Dell, IBM/Lenovo, Apple, etc.)
- Only purchase a system with a 3-year warranty. Systems with a three year warranty are considered business class machines and are manufactured to higher specifications. Additionally, these companies have authorized support representatives in the area.
- Sacrifice a little processor speed for more memory. A 2.0 GHz machine with 4 GB of RAM will outperform a 2.8GHz machine with 2 MB of RAM.
- Insist on a good video card (ATI and Matrox are two excellent choices) with at least 1 GB of video RAM. Many lower-end systems list an "integrated" video card. These systems often use your computer's RAM in place of dedicated video memory thus reducing the speed and efficiency of the system. When in doubt, ask if the system has dedicated video memory.
- Choose a system with a Read/Write DVD/CD Drive installed. We recommend purchasing a USB "flash/thumb drive" to back up data.
- If your student wants a laptop and you can afford it, give in. Laptops are portable and take up less space in a room. They also allow the student to work in campus locations that have wireless connectivity.