A blog about computers

How to choose a desktop PC?

It was believed for some time that desktop PCs would be completely replaced by the laptop due to the constant increase in their performance. However, the decrease in prices as well as the excellent evolution of desktop computers still ensures them a place in the market today. The criteria for choosing a desktop PC largely depend on how it will be used.

shopping computers

Office automation and web browsing

Your computer will mainly be used for word processing, document preparation and web browsing. You can also use it as a multimedia player to listen to music and watch videos. These uses do not demand exceptional performance and we can find machines that meet the criteria

Photos and videos

If you want to do video editing or photo retouching, you will have to choose a slightly more efficient setting in order to have a satisfactory fluency of execution. Editing videos or running photo editing programs requires high-quality processors and large-capacity RAM as well as a consistent storage space.

Video game

It is the use that consumes more resources in cutting-edge technology. Each new game brings evolutions that consume a lot of resources and if you do not want to be short of resources, do not hesitate to choose a high-end computer from the beginning. The processor and graphics card are especially demanding. You can safely play video games despite not having the latest generation of PC if you choose video games that are not so demanding of resources.

Motherboard

As its name indicates, it is the central element of the computer. It is on the motherboard where all the elements are connected. In order to make your PC evolve, it is advisable to choose a board with free places to add RAM or other components. For an office configuration, we find motherboards with a network card or an integrated video chip.

Processor

The processor is the heart of the computer. The processor is the element that operates all the calculations. The market is shared between Intel and AMD. We currently find processors that have up to 8 cores, that is 8 in 1. However, for the most frequent uses a dual-core processor will suffice. Of course gamers and fans of video or 3D editing will appreciate the ultra powerful next generation processors. The processor is a bit complicated to replace, if you are not an assembly expert, choose a good PC so you do not have to change it.

RAM memory

More commonly called RAM. Allows the processor to function efficiently. It is useless to have the latest processor and insufficient RAM. 2 GB is required to run Windows 7 or Windows Vista while 1 GB will be sufficient to run Windows XP operating system normally.

If you run more powerful programs, you will need to use more RAM.
The advantage is that more RAM can easily be added if necessary. With price differences, it is strongly recommended to buy a memory of a well-known brand (Crucial, Corsair, Gskill, OCZ, Kingston, Transcend, Patriot, etc).

HDD

It is the storage space of the computer. You can evaluate the amount of data it will have to store. However, considering the fairly low prices, 300GB seems like a minimum. The speed of rotation of the disc is also important; the faster the disk spins, the faster the computer has access to the stored data. Currently the standard is 5,400rpm, so a 7,200rpm record might be interesting.

You can easily increase your storage capacity by adding a new hard drive or by connecting an external hard drive.

Graphic card

The graphics card is particularly useful for video games that always demand more resources. For amateur video and photography, a mid-range card will suffice while a simple graphics card will be suitable for office use. Check the connection well if you want to watch TV on your computer or use your computer to play videos on a TV.

Sound card

Most sound cards are sufficient for general uses. An external sound card will only be necessary for home studio use (music composition) or a more powerful internal card if you want to have a 5.1 sound output (Home cinema format).

Connection

You never have too many USB ports. It is necessary to verify that they are sufficiently spaced to be able to connect several peripherals. Ethernet ports are increasingly used particularly for multimedia acquisition and export thanks to their high speed. Check the video outputs if you plan to connect your computer to an HD screen because you will need an HDMI port.

Operating system

Most computers are sold with Windows 7. However, you can buy a computer without an operating system if you already have a license for Windows Vista, XP, or another operating system. Certain vendors still sell Windows Vista on their machines. The most seasoned users will possibly choose a Linux distribution that has the advantage of being free. But you have to know the use of Linux to use it.

Assemble your PC

The assembly of the PC seduces more and more people. This allows you to have exactly the configuration you want at a lower cost.

However, before getting started in PC assembly, it is best to have a solid computer background or to be helped. Otherwise, you can find numerous merchants who offer to assemble the PC for you with the components you want at a competitive price.

How to connect your PC to the Internet via wifi

The easiest way to connect your computer to the Internet is by Wi-Fi. Most modems (routers) integrate this technology, which generally offers a bandwidth of 54 Mbps (802.11g standard) and a range of approximately 100 meters. Although there are other technologies, this is the most used.

The Wi-Fi connection will be suitable for you to surf the web and perform other activities that require Internet access such as sending emails, chatting, watching online videos, etc. Although you can connect several computers to a modem over Wi-Fi, the speed of your connection will decrease depending on the bandwidth consumed by each of them.

What you need to connect your computer to a wifi network

Since almost all laptops have a wireless network card, you don’t need to purchase additional hardware to connect via Wi-Fi from your laptop or notebook. In the event that you have a desktop computer that only integrates an Ethernet network card, you will need to purchase a Wi-Fi adapter. Among the best known solutions on the market are Wi-Fi USB adapters and Wi-Fi cards.

What is a USB wifi adapter

It is the simplest and most economical solution to connect your computer to the Internet wirelessly. You just have to connect it to a USB port. The latest adapters offer a bandwidth of up to 300 Mbps (802.11n). Its price ranges from 15 to 50 euros, and you can get it in computer stores and online. Before purchasing, make sure it is compatible with your modem standard (802.11g is the current and most common standard)

What is a wifi card

The wifi card is another solution to connect your computer to the Internet wirelessly. However, its installation is more difficult, since you will generally have to insert it into a port on the motherboard (usually PCI). You will have to open the computer case and recognize the corresponding port on the motherboard. The card can offer a maximum bandwidth of 300 Mbps (802.11n standard) and a greater range than USB adapters. But it will only be useful if your modem has the 802.11n standard (300 Mbps)

How to configure your Wi-Fi network

After purchasing the necessary, you must configure your Wi-Fi connection. Install the drivers for the USB adapter or Wi-Fi network card you are using. Once your PC has wireless capability you can connect it to the modem. For this, you will need to know the modem’s network name (SSID) and the access key (WEP or WPA). If your modem still maintains the factory settings, you can find the default username and password on the back or bottom of the device. You can also find this information in the manufacturer’s manual or on the Internet