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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /var/sites/b/ on line 61

Technology Made Simple

This Blog is full of computer help articles, Computer terms and jargon explained in simple terms.

Buying New Computer?

This can be time consuming and confusing. We will try to help you to make an informed decision by answering the questions that are very important to you.

When you are doing some research to buy a new computer, choose one that will do what you want it to do and will last for at least 4 years. You should expect the normal life of your computer to be around 5 to 6 years. I wouldn't recommend a cheap and basic computer that you may have seen advertised on TV. Any computer with a basic specification will be fast to work with for the first few weeks or months but by the time you have installed the necessary software and the regular windows updates, the computer will become slower and slower. These Windows Updates are necessary to keep your computer trouble free and might increase the security so, never avoid them. Why not call us for some advice - we'd be happy to help.

How can we help you?

If you are still confused after reading this article or if you don't have time to shop around for a good computer. We will do the research and buy a suitable computer for you. Just contact us, tell us your requirements and we will take care of the rest. We can also migrate the files from your old computer to the new one. Additional charges apply for migrating the files.

Should I go for a laptop, desktop, or Apple Mac?

There are so many different types of computers available these days that it can make things a bit confusing. Choose your computer as per your requirements, e.g., a laptop if it needs to be mobile, a desktop if it doesn't and an Apple Mac if you work a lot with art, design, music and video (or if you really care about the interface more than compatibilty with other devices).

Computer Types

Desktop Computer



  • Faster than laptops
  • Cheaper to upgrade, fix and maintain
  • Easy to clean or replace components by the user
  • More durable than laptops
  • Look for a minimum of 6 USB ports
  • Compatible with a huge variety of software and peripheral devices.


  • Need more space to set it up
  • Lots of cables hanging around (depending on number of peripherals such as printers, speakers, etc)
  • Not portable


Note: Bigger the better - Avoid buying the small size desktop computers as the computer needs lots of ventilation. Over heating might cause the components to fail inside the computer.

Laptop Computer

Dell Netbook


  • Compact and portable
  • No cables hanging around
  • Cheap to fix when compared to Apple Macs


  • A little bit more expensive than a desktop computer to upgrade, fix and maintain. Some laptops cannot be upgraded.
  • Not that easy to clean or replace components by the user
  • A little bit slower than Desktop Computers
  • Needs regular maintenance and cleaning
  • Some laptops have only one or two USB ports

Netbook Computer

Dell Netbook1


  • Same as laptop but much more smaller in size (10" to 13") and lighter in weight - easier to carry


  • Same as laptop
  • Most of them do not have any CD or DVD drive or writer

Apple MacBooks and other models



  • Pretty fast compared to the Windows computers (Go for it if you are going to use it for music or movies editing or art work.)
  • Less likely to get computer viruses (but they are beginning to emerge)
  • User interface & screen designs are very popular


  • More expensive than laptops and PCs to buy or to fix
  • Spare parts are very expensive
  • Compatiblity issues with Microsoft Windows computers and some peripherals
  • All the software for Mac computers is expensive

Recommended Brands?

We often recommend Dell and please make sure you get a minimum of 3 years In-Home or Next Business Day (NBD) basic or pro support and that is very important. Whoever complains about Dell's bad customer service has or would have had only basic 1 year Return To Base (RTB) warranty which doesn't give you enough cover for your computer. We have bought Dell computers for a lot of our customers with 3 years NBD warranty haven't had a single complaint.

You can also go for Acer or Toshiba laptops and don't forget to buy their highest level of warranty service.

What ever you buy say a big NO to HP. Their desktops are OK but the laptops are made of very poor quality components and plastic. Because we repair computers we know how often they go wrong. (Yes, we are doing ourselves out of some business by advising you!)

Intel / AMD blah blah blah... But which Processor is for me?

We recommend to avoid AMD and Intel Celeron processors - again this is based on experience.

Other Intel processors are really good and select the best one you can afford, but please note that you won't regret spending extra £30 or £50 on a faster processor.

You can check the ranking of the processors by visiting the website shown below. Enter and select the name of the processor that interests you as show in the below image, click on Find CPU. The processor will be highlighted on the list and just click on it to view the ranking.

Processor Ranking

What Hard Drive Capacity do I need?

Well, it depends on what you are going to store in your computer. Either way a minimum of 320GB hard drive is recommended nowadays for your software and all your own files.

If you have a huge collection of Photos, Music tracks and Movies then go for at least 500GB.

How much RAM should I need?

Again buy as much as you can afford but this could be upgradable. Check this out before buying. Find out the maximum memory or RAM the computer will support so that you can upgrade it in the future if necessary.

Minimum of 4GB is recommended. If you are going to use some of the heavy applications like AutoCAD, Photoshop, etc then go for 8 GB

If you are buying a computer with 4GB, it will be great if you can get a single 4GB RAM/memory module instead of 2 x 2GB modules. The reason is that if you decide to upgrade the memory to 8GB, all you have to do is buy another 4GB module. If it's 2 x 2GB you will have to buy 2 x 4GB and the old memory modules might go to waste.

Windows 7 - should I go for 32bit or 64bit?

Our recommendation is to go for Windows 7 64bit. Why? Well, the answer is very simple. Windows 7 32bit won't support any more than 3.2GB of RAM / memory even if you have 8 GB of RAM installed.

But, when you buy Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), make sure to buy 32bit version as Microsoft Office 64bit has lots of issues.

Recommended Anti-virus (Security Software)?

We don't recommend Mcafee or Norton or Symantec as they slow down the computer a lot. Never pay anything extra for these security software.

We recommend Kaspersky Internet Security as it is much more efficient than Mcafee and Norton or Symantec

Blimey, is there anything else I should know?

Yes, there are few more bits and pieces that you should know before you select your dream computer

  • Make sure that there are atleast two USB ports for laptops and 6 for Desktop computers
  • CD / DVD / Blu-ray reader or writer is essential
  • Provision to connect a monitor or projector to your laptop
  • An in-built Memory Card (from camera and mobile phones) reader will be handy
  • Bluetooth - if you still use them
  • Laptop Wireless Card should support Wireless N (faster than Wireless b and g technology)
  • Battery - more cells the better (avoid 4 or 6 cells)

That is it...

Where to Buy?

Before you place the order, go to PC World or Currys or John Lewis and have a look at the computers in their showroom. If you like any of the computer models on display, note down the details and contact us.

Never buy it from PC World or Currys they mess up the warranty service and you will regret it. If you ended up buying it from them, make sure to contact the manufacturer and extend the warranty to a minimum of 3 Year In-Home or Next Business Day warranty.

New or Refurbished?

We always recommend Grade A or Platinum Grade refurbished computers as you will save upto £100 or £150. The fantastic thing is that these computers comes with manufacturers warranty (for Dell computers, its 3 years Next Business Day warranty). You won't even see any difference between the refurbished and new computers.

How about Custom Built computers they are really cheap?

You might think "hmmm... I know a computer repair shop round the corner or my friend or family member who can build a computer very cheap compared to the branded computers" Yeah! they are cheap, but what will happen with the after sale support if they decide to close down or move their business to somewhere else?You will end up contacting the manufacturers of every components (not the computer) to sort out the problem.

You can go for it if you know how to fix the problems and you are not bothered about the warranty.

We hope these information was helpful for you to make a decision. We would really appreciate it if you can rate this article and leave your comments.

RAM, Hard Drive and Processor - in Simple Words


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