How to pick a Computer?
I teach you "How to buy a computer?" by picking the right computer with the right parts which can run Windows 7 fast enough without any slow down problems because of not enough of RAM, too littke free space on a hard drive, slow video card, and slow CPU which will make Windows 7 feel slower then it actually is on a low end computer with only a 1GHz CPU, 1GB of Ram, 16GB free space, and onboard video compared to running Windoes 7 on a midend to highend computer with a 2GHz Dual core or faster CPU, 3GB or more of DDR2 or DDR3 RAM,a 500GB or larger hard drive, and a midend video card made by Nvidia or ATI.
It is best to buy a full sized tower desktop computer since it is simple to buy parts for it when it needs repair. A full sized tower computer is a vertical computer which is about 1.6 feet high and 1 feet in width/thickness.
A computer that runs well on Windows 7 will most likely run good on Windows 8 because they have the same system requirements of 1GHz CPU, 1GB of Ram, 16GB free space, and a DirectX 9 video card. In many cases, Winddows 8 will run better then Windows 7 because Windows 8 uses less RAM then Windows 7. However, some people prefer using Windows 8 with a touchscreen monitor becuase it also has a touch screen user interface called the Start Screen. However, Windows 8 is also usable with a Mouse, Keyboard, and regular non touch screen monitor in both Desktop and Touchscreen desktop mode. I am using Windows 8 on an older Dual Core CPU computer with only 1GB of RAM, a 320 GB hard drive, onboard video and sound, and Windows 8 runs pretty well on my older desktop PC.
Avoid buying computers which are very thin, small, or have a monitor installed on the computer's front side since it can be difficult to buy parts like a power supply, monitors, RAM, video card, sound card, fans, and other parts for them when you want to upgrade the computer. Plus, full size computers are less likely to overheat because the parts inside of the computer has better air flow because of the bigger space inside. Having a bigger tower sized computer can also make maintaining, fixing, and replacing parts inside of a computer more easy.
It's okay to buy a refurbished computer if you can't afford a new computer, but make sure that you have at least a 90 day warranty, and you use the computer a lot during the first 90 days, so if it breaks, you can ask for a new one,or repair services for free. You can also buy an extended warranty if the stores sell them for refurbished PCs.
If you are planning to buy a computer which uses Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System. It is best to buy a computer with a 2 GHz or faster processor/CPU, 3GBs or more of RAM/Memory, 500GB or more of hard drive space. This guide can also be used to pick a laptop. But, laptop usually have less hard drive storage space then a desktop computer.
By having a faster processor, and more RAM you can run more demanding and newer software like computer games, photo editing software, video editing software, etc without slowing down your computer. You can also run multiple programs at the same time without much slow down vs using a computer which can barely run Windows 7. I recommend Processors made by Intel or AMD since I use both brands of CPUs and they work great. Avoid buying computers with mobile CPU like the Intel Atom since they are slower then regular CPUs. However, if you just use your computer for listening to music, going online, browsing the web, and watching video, the Intel Atom can be good enough for you. The main benefit of mobile CPUs is power effieciency, so you can use your laptop longer off of its battery power.
Having a 500GB or larger hard drive means you can install more programs, download more files to your computer, and store more files on your PC. Also, larger capacity hard drive tend to be more faster because they sometimes has faster parts in them, so they can open and save files faster.
Windows 7 Home Premium in my experience is good enough for most computer users, and it is the cheapest version of Windows 7. However, if you have a highend computer, Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate would be a better choice since they both support 2 CPUs while Home Premium only supports 1. Also, the 32bit version of Windows 7 is good enough for most users since you can install up to 3-4GBs of RAM depending on how much RAM your video card also has if your video card has 1GB of RAM, you can only install 3GB of RAM which will be recognized by Windows 7, but the 64bit version can support more then 4GBs of RAM like 8GBs.
I can't recommend using Windows 7 on a computer with a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and a hard drive with only 16GB of free disk space since Windows 7 will run slower even though the minimum requirements for Windows 7 is a 1GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of free disk space. However, if you are on a very small budget, and just plan to use your computer for browsing the web, office work, and basic tasks, buying a computer which just meets the minimum requirements can be good enough for you, but don't expect your computer to feel very fast. Your money will be better spent on a slightly more expensive computer with a faster CPU, more RAM, and a hard drive with more storage space.
If you are a computer gamer, it is best to buy a computer with a dedicated PCI-Express video card made by ATI or Nvidia that supports OpenGL, DirectX10. Intel Onboard video cards is not good for computer gaming since onboard video is slower then dedicated PCI-Express video cards. However, onboard video from Intel and other brands including ATI and Nvidia are good for basic tasks like watching video, browsing the web, simple video editing, low end gaming, and office work. You can also upgrade your computer's video card for playing computer games at higher quality if your computer has a PCI-Express slot. But, make sure the computer you are buying has a PCI-Express x16 video card slot. Installing a video card can be difficult, and expensive if you hire someone. Plus, your computer power supply may not be able to handle the extra power needed to run your new video card. Your video card you install yourself may also cause your other computer parts like sound card, and motherboard to not work or act strangely if your video card is causing conflicts with your other hardware. Also, your computer may not start up if your video card is not properly installed meaning it is not all the way pushed in securely on your PCI- Express slot. This is one of the reasons which I recommend you buy a computer with a fast video card pre-installed instead of buying a video card and installing it yourself. It is best to buy a mid-end 150-200 dollar video card or more expensive model since most of the budget video cards can't handle running newer games at medium quality settings, and in some cases if you buy a lower end video card it maybe even slower then your current onboard video card.
Also, make sure to buy a computer with a lot of RAM like 8GBs or more, and a fast Intel or AMD based CPU which is dual or quad core with 3GHz or faster CPU if you want to play games at high quality settings for your games.
Most computer you buy these days come with DVD writers for burning DVDs, but cheaper laptops also called netbooks and smaller desktop computers called Net tops usually do not come with DVD drives which can be a problem unless you have an external USB CD/DVD drive if you have a lot of software which you need to install or run from a CD or DVD disc.
If you want to play Blu-Ray HD movies on your computer, you need to buy a computer with a built-in Blu-Ray drive, or buy an external USB Blu-ray drive for your computer.
Avoid buying Netbooks and Nettops for a home computers since they can be slow. Netbooks and Net Tops are just good for being a low price computer for surfing the web, doing office work, watching videos, and listening to music. Plus, they do not have a lot of storage space on their hard drive to store files. Tablet computers are also not good for being a home computer since most are not very fast, and don't have a keyboard and mouse. However, Netbooks are great for using away from your home for simple task like web browsing, light gaming, Word, Excell, and playing older games which don't need a fast computer. However, Netbooks and Nettops can make good inexpensive computers for media streaming, or playing back video and music on your HDTV, and stereo system via HDMI, DVI, VGA, and stereo video and audio output. Netbooks are also good for traveling since they are smaller then laptops, and less likely to get stolen compared to expensive highend laptops.
Read my guide for home beginner users on What is a mobile computer, and should you pick a Tablet, Laptop, or Smatphone for mobile computing on the go?
Learn what is mobile computing also called portable computing, and learn how tablets, smartphones, netbooks, and laptops can allow you to use your programs to open files for doing tasks like office work, gaming, or going on the internet from any location away from your home.
If you want more information on buying the right computer for your needs, I recommend you buy a copy of CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Seventh Edition (Exams 220-701 & 220-702) .
CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Seventh Edition (Exams 220-701 & 220-702) has all the information which you need for buying a computer which fits your personal needs. Plus, it will also teach you how to maintain, troubleshoot, upgrade, and repair your home computer, so it will run well for many years.
Amazon Desktop Computer section is a good online store to buy your computer from because of the fast shipping, and free shipping for computers since you get free shipping when you spend over 25 dollars on Amazon.
Plus, at Amazon, you won't be hassled by a computer sales man into buying an extended warranty like many retail computer and electronics stores.