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Shopping for a new computer? 3 specs that really matter

We’re all suckers for a good deal. When it comes to buying a computer, it’s tempting to jump on a shiny new laptop if it’s at a great price. While cost is a definite factor, it’s not the only thing you need to consider. Need help finding the perfect laptop for you? Tap or click here to take our quiz and find the right one.

Did you buy the new iPhone 12 just for its camera? (If you did, we aren’t judging!) Probably not, though. You evaluated all of its features before making a final decision. With computers, you need to do the same.

If you’re curious what specs really matter when you’re in the market, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are three things you shouldn’t skimp on, brought to you by Dell. Read to the end to discover how Dell can help you choose the perfect tech for your needs.

1. RAM

The amount of RAM you have matters more than you think. Why? How many programs and applications you can run simultaneously is entirely dependent on how much RAM your computer has.

If you use up all of your available RAM, your computer and applications start to lag. You’ll need at least 4 GB of RAM for basic browsing. If you’re going to run multiple intensive programs at once, you’ll need at least 8 GB; 16 GB is your best bet.

2. Hard disk type and size

While your RAM allows you to store files temporarily, your hard drive is for permanent storage. The size hard drive you need depends on how many files you’ll want to keep long-term.

Average users can get away with a 500 GB hard drive, but 1 TB will give you enough storage to be comfortable for years. But if you need more space, you can always save on storage using a cloud-based program or cloud storage.

The spin speed of your hard drive also matters when accessing larger files. The higher the revolutions per minute (RPM), the better performance you’ll get from your computer. Look for an RPM between 5400 and 7200 for excellent performance.

3. Processor

The processor, also known as your CPU, might be one of the most important features of your new computer. Processing speed is equally as important.

Intel has led the pack in processor speed for years. Look for a dual-core processor for good results or a quad-core processor if you’re looking to go the extra mile.

Bonus: Other things to consider when purchasing a new computer

While the internal specs are the most critical factors to purchasing a computer, you should consider a few other things before making a final decision.

Screen size

If you’re purchasing a laptop, the screen size is a significant factor. Sure, you can score one with an 11.6-inch screen for a song and a dance.

However, a screen this small is incredibly difficult to use. Consider at least 14 inches for your screen size. Anything bigger, and you’ll have to pay a bit extra. If you have reduced vision or use several programs simultaneously, it might be worth the money.

Included equipment and accessories

If you’re purchasing a desktop computer, what’s included can make or break the deal. Does it come with a quality monitor? If it doesn’t, you’ll need to factor in that cost. What about the mouse, keyboard, USB and other port connections?

This is especially important when purchasing a newer Mac. The latest Apple computers require adapters to run USB connections, so it’s an extra cost to your purchase if it isn’t included.

Price

Quality tech is pricey. That’s a fact. You’ll need to weigh the cost and its included features to see where you can get the best deal overall. If you’re looking to upgrade your computer, here are four of our top picks.

Run a small business? Dell is here to help

When you run a business, finding the right tech is key. You don’t want to waste money on tools that won’t get the job done. Don’t just guess and hope it all works out.

The pros at Dell Small Business can help. Chat, call or email an advisor and get free, helpful advice to help you find the right solutions. That’s right, it really is free. You don’t have to buy a thing. You can get smart, reliable help to choose the right tools for your company.

Ready to get started? Call a Dell Technologies Advisor to help you find the right tech for your business needs at 877-ASK-DELL or Dell.com.

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