Buying a Computer: Custom Built, New or Used

When it comes to buying a computer, there are several ways to go. You can buy one off the shelf, order direct from a manufacturer, have a local shop build one to your specifics or perhaps even buy a used one.

With prices at an all time low and performance at an all time high, you can get a powerful computer to match your needs no matter which route you choose.

Any electronic store will have a variety of new computers on the shelf and available for immediate purchase. Depending on your needs, you might choose an inexpensive, entry level computer for basic computing, surfing the net and email. Or you may want a workhorse computer capable of heavier tasks such as video editing and fully loaded with a huge hard drive, a DVD burner, expansion slots and more. These stores will carry a few core brands and offer both the entry level and the workhorse styles and a few in between. In addition, you can consider laptops and other peripherals.

Many manufacturers will custom build a system to your specifications. This is great if you have specific wants and needs. You can pick and choose the components that are important to you. Not only can you choose memory, drive options, video cards, firewire ports, processors, wireless and Ethernet cards, but you can also choose the operating system and pre-installed software. By custom ordering and configuring the system, you end up with a computer without compromises.

You can also have a local shop build a computer for you. The advantage of using a local shop is that not only will you build a computer, you will build a relationship as well. Local shops may be quicker to respond if there’s a problem. They can also come out to your site and set up the system. Many offer classes, tutorials and on-site repairs.

Buying a used computer may make sense if you are looking for a real bargain or if you are looking for a basic computer for the children to do their schoolwork on. Many people update or replace their computers regularly and thanks to tough hazardous waste regulations computers are difficult to dispose of. Buying a used computer is a small step towards helping the environment.

If you are looking for a used computer, you might check your local shop first. They will have cleaned up the system and removed all of the old user’s data. Essentially you will get a clean system though it may not be the latest model. If you buy an older system, be prepared that it may not be capable of running the latest software and may lack the speed of today’s processors. Another source for used computers is through word of mouth, advertisements and classified ads.

Buying a new computer has never been easier, from used to entry-level to a custom built workhorse dynamo, the computer that’s right for you is out there.

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