First, let me start with a disclaimer: do not try this at home! What I mean by it – please, run your PC purchase consideration by your IT support company BEFORE you actually head to the store. Sometimes we all make an impulse buy – something looked great and promised to be a cheap buy in a commercial ad or on the sales floor. Most of the time the decision comes from the desire to cut out the “middle man” and save some money in the process. This strategy can actually backfire, because the system you get can be either insufficient or incompatible with other equipment, devices or programs you may already have in the office. It always results in spending exponentially more than a business owner would pay for professional consultation, equipment and installation done right. One must remember that what you see in advertising and in stores must be realized as part of a big picture, a larger setup with requirements that go beyond an individual PC.
Hardware and Software Considerations for Personal Computers (PCs)
Let’s go over just a few points one must keep in mind when purchasing a workstation/a personal computer (PC).
- Purpose: What purpose will this PC serve? Word processing, accounting, design work?
- Environment: Is this PC indented for home or the office use? If you are getting the newest. shiniest thing, would it be compatible with your legacy systems?
- CPU and Speed: Central processing unit (CPU) is a processor is the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instructions that drive a computer. Tasks that are more complex may require a bigger/better CPU. Account for the amount of software and complexities of the tasks that will be performed – sometimes simultaneously – when operating a computer (by itself or as part of a network)
- Network Requirements: If it will “reside” at home office, would it need to be a part of the business/office network with a requirement for a remote connectivity? Don’t forget about a network card.
- Operating System: What operating system (OS) do you need? Consider other equipment you may already have, or you may be getting, and keep in mind that software applications may have a recommended, or a required OS that must be compatible with your applications. Your business depends on mission-critical applications, and they must be compatible with the computer’s Operating System. In turn, it must be compatible with the other Operating Systems and other computers in your office.
- Application Programs: Examples of application programs include word processors; database programs; Web browsers; development tools; drawing, paint, and image editing programs; and communication programs. Application programs use the services of the computer’s operating system and other supporting programs. Making sure your application programs are compatible with the operating system of the operating system and existing or planned hardware must be considered at the same time.
- Accessories and Peripherals: There are many other accessories and peripherals that require some consideration such as speakers, additional properly sized monitors – and coordinating software to handle this setup; a need to burn/view CDs or DVDs; a need to be able to scan, print or fax from this PC etc.
- Additional Devices: Don’t forget about security configurations: would you require a secure tunnel to connect to other office locations? You may need additional software and additional equipment, such as cable modem, or additional security measure device, such as firewall.