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Maplin Electronics Ltd
Is a well know supplier of computers, components, cables, musical equipment.

How do I decide what type of PC to buy?

When buying a  computer it depends on what you wish to use it for. This will affect the price you would expect to pay. Start by listing  main the tasks you will want to do on your computer. Is playing the latest 3D action games a priority, or do you only want to type letters and keep your accounts? Your priorities could make a big difference to the type of computer and extra peripherals (printer, scanner, speakers, etc) that you need to buy. As well as your "essential" list, it is also a good idea to make a secondary "possible" list of non-essential - but desirable - computer activities.

When you have make a list of what you want to do with your new  pc, you will be in a better position to decide what hardware and software you will need for the job. This will also need to be balanced against your available budget. To get the best possible deal, it helps to learn about some of the technicalities yourself rather than to rely solely upon a computer salesman's recommendations.


The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the "brains" of your computer and controls the speed at which it processes information. In terms of computing power, it is the most important element of a computer system. Processing speed is measured in megahertz (MHz) and the higher the number, the faster the PC. There are various types of processor on the market. The two main competitors are Intel and AMD. 

Hard Drive

Your hard drive is where your PC stores your work, files and programs. Hard drive space is now measured in Gigabytes (GB). When considering a hard drive size, bigger is definitely better. 80GB is a bare minimum; 100GB or greater is preferable if you intend to edit graphics or video, or plan to install a lot of games.


The memory (RAM or Random Access Memory) is where your computer stores the information it's currently working on. The more memory in your computer, the faster it will run. RAM is measured in megabytes (MB). Software today requires a lot of memory, and a reasonable starting spec is 512MB. However, if you are using graphics-intensive programs, you should consider doubling this to 1 GB. High-end systems currently run with 2 GB (gigabytes, or 2,000 MB) of RAM. 

Do you have any tips on buying a new pc? Please email me your suggestions -


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Copyright 2005 - 2011  Buy Before You Fly, all rights reserved