A computer is an electronic device that manipulates information, or data. It has the ability to store, retrieve, and process data. You may already know that you can use a computer to type documents, send email, play games, and browse the Web. You can also use it to edit or create spreadsheets, presentations, and even videos.
Different Types of Computers
When most people hear the word computer, they think of a personal computer such as a desktop or laptop. However, computers come in many shapes and sizes, and they perform many different functions in our daily lives. When you withdraw cash from an ATM, scan groceries at the store, or use a calculator, you’re using a type of computer.
Many people use desktop computers at work, home, and school. Desktop computers are designed to be placed on a desk, and they’re typically made up of a few different parts, including the computer case, monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
The second type of computer you may be familiar with is a laptop computer, commonly called a laptop. Laptops are battery-powered computers that are more portable than desktops, allowing you to use them almost anywhere.
Tablet computers—or tablets—are handheld computers that are even more portable than laptops. Instead of a keyboard and mouse, tablets use a touch-sensitive screen for typing and navigation. The iPad is an example of a tablet.
A server is a computer that serves up information to other computers on a network. For example, whenever you use the Internet, you’re looking at something that’s stored on a server. Many businesses also use local file servers to store and share files internally.
Other types of computers
Many of today’s electronics are basically specialized computers, though we don’t always think of them that way. Here are a few common examples.
- Smartphones: Many cell phones can do a lot of things computers can do, including browsing the Internet and playing games. They are often called smartphones.
- Wearables: Wearable technology is a general term for a group of devices—including fitness trackers and smartwatches—that are designed to be worn throughout the day. These devices are often called wearables for short.
- Game consoles: A game console is a specialized type of computer that is used for playing video games on your TV.
- TVs: Many TVs now include applications—or apps—that let you access various types of online content. For example, you can stream video from the Internet directly onto your TV.
PCs and Macs
Personal computers come in two main styles: PC and Mac. Both are fully functional, but they have a different look and feel, and many people prefer one or the other.
This type of computer began with the original IBM PC that was introduced in 1981. Other companies began creating similar computers, which were called IBM PC Compatible (often shortened to PC). Today, this is the most common type of personal computer, and it typically includes the Microsoft Windows operating system.
The Macintosh computer was introduced in 1984, and it was the first widely sold personal computer with a graphical user interface, or GUI (pronounced gooey). All Macs are made by one company (Apple), and they almost always use the Mac OS X operating system.
Peripherals You Can Use with Your Computer.
The most basic computer setup usually includes the computer case, monitor, keyboard, and mouse, but you can plug many different types of devices into the extra ports on your computer. These devices are called peripherals. Let’s look at some of the most common ones.
- Printers: A printer is used to print documents, photos, and anything else that appears on your screen. There are many types of printers, including inkjet, laser, and photo printers. There are even all-in-one printers, which can also scan and copy documents.
- Scanners: A scanner allows you to copy a physical image or document and save it to your computer as a digital (computer-readable) image. Many scanners are included as part of an all-in-one printer, although you can also buy a separate flatbed or handheld scanner.
- Speakers/headphones: Speakers and headphones are output devices, which means they send information from the computer to the user—in this case, they allow you to hear sound and music. Depending on the model, they may connect to the audio port or the USB port. Some monitors also have built-in speakers.
- Microphones: A microphone is a type of input device, or a device that receives information from a user. You can connect a microphone to record sound or talk with someone else over the Internet. Many laptop computers come with built-in microphones.
- Web cameras: A web camera—or webcam—is a type of input device that can record videos and take pictures. It can also transmit video over the Internet in real time, which allows for video chat or video conferencing with someone else. Many webcams also include a microphone for this reason.
- Game controllers and joysticks: A game controller is used to control computer games. There are many other types of controllers you can use, including joysticks, although you can also use your mouse and keyboard to control most games.
- Digital cameras: A digital camera lets you capture pictures and videos in a digital format. By connecting the camera to your computer’s USB port, you can transfer the images from the camera to the computer.
- Mobile phones, MP3 players, tablet computers, and other devices: Whenever you buy an electronic device, such as a mobile phone or MP3 player, check to see if it comes with a USB cable. If it does, this means you can most likely connect it to your computer.
Things To consider While Buying a Computer
The basic matter to take care of is the processor. This little chip at the heart of your PC determines its capability, what it can do, and what it cannot, and something without which your desktop is no more a computer. Each processor has some limitations, and your system has to work within it.
For more clarity, the main forms of processors and their practical utility has been mentioned below:
For Casual or Base Level Work
This level of computing includes tasks like web browsing, watching movies, playing songs, and other simple things that one may do on your computer. While the Intel Core i3 is the most suitable, you may also consider the comparable Ryzen 3 series from AMD.
Even cheaper options would be Celeron, Pentium Gold processors but they are quite slow and even in the above-mentioned tasks you will encounter lagging. Also, they are not suitable for long term usage in the given time where newer CPUs are being launched every year.
For Mid-range Work
The processors here are the Intel i5 and Ryzen 5 processors that can handle some serious amount of workload. This means they are capable of doing anything the lower tier CPUs can, along with more video editing, gaming, and virtualization capabilities.
They can be used to run a variety of other software as well.
For Professional and High-range Work
The Intel i7 and i9 processors with 6 and 8 working cores (depending on the model) are way above. Because of more cores, better clock speed, and overclocking abilities, they can do complex sorts of graphic rendering, ethical hacking, and intense gaming.
They are very powerful processors indeed and are thus preferred by professionals and are employed mostly in the workstations. The AMD competition, Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 have equal and sometimes even greater power delivery, while also being cheaper.
Some latest iterations of the Ryzen 7 can compete with Intel i9, while the 12-cored Ryzen 9s are even better immediately because of the greater number of cores and threads.
The next important matter in your PC is the RAM. The more of this memory you have, the better your PC will be able to perform under a given CPU, however different CPUs have separate capacities of maximum RAM, so this has to be considered.
The modern PCs support dual or even quad-channel memory configuration, and you should always employ two RAM modules, like two of 8 GB ones, instead of a single 16 GB module.
For Casual or Base Level Work
Simple computing can be comfortably done with 4 GB of RAM. But for better workload handling, you should try to have 2-4 GB more than that. 4 GB will suffice, but if you get a PC with 8 GB RAM at a lower price than usual, then choose that.
For Mid-range Work
if you want to game or edit then it would be better to have about 8-16 GB of RAM. This is the best range, and most of the users should have their job done.
Also, there aren’t many games that require more than 16 GB memory, even at the highest settings. The RAM capacity over 16 GB is quite costly, and the average buyer would not have the use of the extra memory.
For High-range Work
The next segment is of RAMs up to 32 GB. You can be sure that a PC with 32 GB of RAM will have other equally strong components. This much RAM is the most useful for workstations and other highly graphical intense jobs.
Integrated Graphics or a Discrete GPU?
The good thing with desktops is that generally, you get plenty of upgradability in the various aspects unless it is a Small Form Factor, All-In-One, or a mini PC.
So now, the strength of the graphics being decided by the GPU goes without saying that you should go for newer GPUs based on your requirements, and the integrated graphics is only good for basic computing.
Decide if you are willing to buy a PC with an integrated graphics arrangement or want to add one in the future. In the second case, check whether the PC has enough PCIe slots so that you can add another GPU in it.
For Low-end Graphics Requirements
Suppose you want a GPU in your PC, but your uses are light. It has to be inexpensive but should be able to provide more power than the integrated graphics.
In such a condition, you may consider cheap ones from AMD like Radeon RX 570 and RX 580. Furthermore, are the ones from NVIDIA like the GTX 1660 and 1650 super. These are the cheapest, and very good for entry-level usage.
For Mid-range Graphics Requirements
For mid-range gamers and editors, there are GPUs with 6-8 GB of video memory like the NVIDIA GTX 1060, 1660 Ti, etc that have a brilliant performance at an affordable price.
These may not support 4K, but anything running on 1080p would be very comfortable. AMD alternatives are not that appealing in this segment, but you can check out the PCs with a Radeon RX 5500 video card.
For High-end Graphics Requirements
The 4K, VR supporting GPUs currently are the GTX 1080, RTX 2060 super and 2070 super, 2080 super, etc from NVIDIA and the Ryzen 5500 XT, 5700 XT and more in this series from AMD that are top-of-the-line GPUs that you can have based on your budget.
And yes, here we also refer to 144p gaming. You can also add one of these, later, so you don’t need to be very picky at first. Just start with a decent GPU and make upgrades at your convenience.
It is important to have both SSD and HDD storage in your system because while the SSD will give you smooth functioning, the HDD will take care of your storage needs at a much cheaper price.
The PC you buy may not have both, and if that happens, get one with an HDD and spare M.2 slots to add an SSD later on. Also, consider having a backup drive. External would be preferred if you are working with sensitive data.
For Average Users
A 240 GB-512 GB SSD and 1 TB of hard drive storage should be enough if you are a simple user that wants to store a lot of movies, and light gaming.
For Editors, Gamers, and Professionals
The people in this category should get at least 1 TB SSD drive and a 2 or 4 TB HDD in your new PC. You can also alter the margins and buy a 2 TB SSD instead if it suits you more.
No matter what sort of usage you may have, or whatever budget you have fixated upon, make sure your PC has all the necessary ports and enough provisions for the latest wireless and wired connectivity.
Thus, look out for USB ports, Thunderbolt ports, video ports, etc along with the latest versions of Bluetooth (v5.0) and dual-band WIFI.
Now there is also another thing to check, that your PC has enough vacant bays for expansion later.
Thus, the free RAM slots, storage bays, M.2 slots, and such are also equally important.
The PCIe slots are necessary for adding a graphics card, WIFI cards, and even SSD drives, so make sure you have those too.