Sandy Senior Center

How to shop
For a new Computer
Opinions of a Computer Hobbyist
Determine your needs
Email, internet, word processing, social networks,
genealogy, picture and audio editing – any modern
computer will suffice.
Focus on type – Tablet to Desktop
Size of Screen
Typing ability and need
Internet connectability
Determine your needs -continued
Large movie, picture or music storage - hard drive
size is important
Video editing
multicore, 16 Gb of Ram – Sata 6 – Video Card
Gaming – Video cards + +
Portability – laptop – netbook
Second Computer -laptop – netbook - tablet
Physical Needs
Space for:
Cost Range
Upgrade components
Keep Tower – upgrade monitor
Keep Monitor – upgrade Tower
Upgrade Operating System
Add tablet or laptop for portability
Can you wait
If it does what you want and has:
XP OS & 756mbs of ram or more – 17 months left
Vista OS and 1gb or more ram – 4 years left
Windows 7 OS 1gb or more- 8 years left
Not to slow
Next years technology forecast to use less power
Reasons to Buy Now
New programs will not work on old OS or hardware
Want a second “portable” computer
It's just time to treat myself
Windows 8 – It’s here!
You may love or hate it!
Good Deals on Windows 7 machines and better deals on
Windows 8 upgrade software until Jan 31, 2013
Windows 7 machines may sell out before that date
New technologies to look for
USB 3.0 ten times faster than 2.0 – reduce backup times
SATA III hard drive interface -4 times faster than IDE
“also called SATA 600”
Solid State Drives – SSDs -to take full advantage of SATA III
RAID – multiple hard drives acting as one
Intel i3, i5, i7 Third generation CPU (Ivy Bridge)
PC Or Apple Computer
Multiple Vendors
Widest Hardware choices
Widest Price Range
More Software choices
78% Market share
More training availability
More hacking attacks
Single Vendor
Better Integration
Fewer choices
Higher Prices
3.7% Market share of PC/Laptops
Larger tablet share
Large Cell Phone share
More hacking attacks now,
But still less than PC
Operating system for tablet is
different than Mac laptop or
Most bang for the buck
Cheapest and Easiest to Repair or Upgrade
Widest choices
Least likely to fail
Requires a lot of desk space
All in One
Compromise between Laptop and Desktop
Space of Monitor and Keyboard
Available in multiple Monitor sizes
Uses a standard size Keyboard
Medium repair cost
Higher initial Cost
Low upgrade ability
All in One Examples
Smaller Size
Prices have dropped
Wide range of prices and features
Highest Repair Costs
Highest failure rate but much improved
Screen size
Upgrade normally limited to memory and HD
Battery costs
Laptops tradeoffs
Screen size versus Battery Life and Weight
Processor power versus Battery Life
Video Power versus Battery Life
Battery size options
Web cam and bio-metric options
Cost versus power
Wireless networking - bluetooth
Laptops designed for the on the go crowd
Max screen size 10.1 inches
Low Power Processors
Build in Wi-fi and sometimes cellular interfaces
Reduced size keyboard
Longer battery life
Great for internet, email, showing pictures
No CD or DVD
May have Linux based Operating System
Touch Screen
Good for email, internet browsing, games
7” to 10” screens
Wireless + Cell Phone
Tablets Continued
Multiple Operating Systems
Android – new version every year
Apple – new version every 2 years
Consider commonality with smart phone
Evaluate the computer
Processor Power -type, # of cores
Memory size, type and expandability
Hard Drive size and type
Number of USB ports and types (USB 3.0)
Other interfaces
Firewire -Thunderbolt
HDMI - Display Port
Processor Types
Intel, AMD in Desktops and Laptops
Dual core to 8 core
Economy, Standard, Server classes, mobile
Netbooks mostly use ATOM single/dual core processors
Performance Ratings available in Windows 7
Good charts at and
Athlon, Phenom, A8, A10
Celeron – Exxx
Pentium Core2, i3, i5, i7
Mobile versions operate at slower speed to reduce power
How to read Intel CPUs
There are 3 generations of the Core i3, i5, i7 families
For example i5-xyyy
If x is 7 or 6 then first generation
If x is 4 or 5 then first generation mobile
If x is 2 then second generation
If x is 3 then third generation
The yyy is the clock speed
The i3 dual core, i5 quad, i7 four or 6 core
FX-8xxx – fits AM3 sockets
A4-xxxx – Dual Core fits FM2 sockets
A6-xxxx – Tri Core ,FM 2
A8-xxxx – Quad Core, FM2
A10-xxxx – Eight core, FM2
Speeds now 800 mhz to 1600 mhz
4gbs new minimum
4 to 8 gbs supplied with 64 bit OS’s
Check to see if all slots are full
Internal Hard Drives
SATA 2 is std, SATA3 new (twice as fast)
3.5” for Desktops, 2.5”
Sizes from 300 gigabytes to 3 terabytes
RAID capability allows additional Hard Drive to be added for
doubling speed or reliability or size
SSDD – Solid State Disk Drive - faster
PCI-e SSDD - fastest
SATA has replaced IDE drives
CRT – Oldest technology 17” -120 watts
LCD – Still very popular - 12 watts
LED – Newer technology – 6 watts
Wide Screen – 16/9 width to height ratio
Great for movies and spreadsheets
older screens were 4/3 ratio
Watch for types and numbers of interface – VGA, DVI, HDMI, Display Port
External Touch screens – use USB to transfer touch data – expect bluetooth
in future
Extra Features to Consider
Number and location of USB and Firewire ports
HDMI interface – Connect to your HDTV
Built in Webcam
Wireless in desktop and or bluetooth
Camera Chip Reader
BioMetrics – Fingerprint or Eye reader
TV Tuner (Digital or Dual)
Don’t forget to get a backup drive
Don’t forget to get a backup drive
Don't forget to get a backup drive
USB 2.0, eSATA, USB 3.0 interfaces
(In order of speed)
Stand along box (2.5 or 3.5 inch HD)
Network drive (NAS)
Single to RAID configurations
Operating Systems
Windows 7 Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium (32 or 64 bits)
Windows 7 Professional (32 or 64 bits)
Windows 7 Ultimate (32 or 64 bits)
Windows 8
Windows 8 Pro
Windows 8 RT – reduced version for low powered ARM tablets
Mac OS 10 (Apple’s version of BSD/Linux)
IOS 5 – Apple
Windows 8 RT
Does run a version of Office - Word,
PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Lync
Does not run any other desktop programs
Does have the desktop
Does run WinRT applications that you can
download from the Windows Store
When and Where to Buy
Black Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest sale day
Many pre and Post “Black Fridays Online”
Check papers for ads for local sales.
Online –
Check manufactures sites – Acer, Asus, Dell, Gateway,
HP, Leno, Sony, Lenovo,,
Interface – Computer to Monitor
No longer a single standard
Both Computers and Monitors may have
multiple interface choice.
EGA / VGA – same connector
Display Port
Apple Video
Low end – Dual Core 15.6” lcd
Mid range – Dual Core 17”
 Intel i3, 6gb memory, webcam, mic
Ultra Light 15”
Mac Air 13”
Gaming laptop 18”
Netbooks - $229 -$499 Windows or Linux
Tablets - $250 - $500 android & web OS
Apple Tablets – IOS5
After you Buy
Remove all of the junk – io bit uninstaller
Trial Programs including Anti-Virus
Brand Utilities
ISP utilities (sign up for AOL, MSN, etc)
Clean start up using msconfig.exe
Clean up registry using Ccleaner (portable ver.)
After you buy
Make Recovery DVDs
Found on hidden partition – read manual
Load programs you want
Run Easy Transfer Wizard
Transfers files and setting from old computer
Make Disaster Recovery Backup
Start the year out right -Backup, Backup