Purchasing a New PC? Check Out These Tips

The Wall Street Journal has published a list of tips that will help in your next computer purchase. Pointing out that buying decisions may be complicated by the impending launch of the new Microsoft Windows XP operating system, which is due in the fall, the Journal has these tips to help with your choice:

  • Memory: At least 128 megabytes of RAM is recommended. An upgrade to Windows XP will require even more (196 to 256 megabytes).
  • Hard Disk: At least 20 gigabytes is recommended.
  • Processor Speed: The Journal warns that the cost of a 700 megahertz Celeron processor should be the benchmark for making a processor decision. Processors by any other name or those that claim to be of a higher speed will not produce discernibly different results.
  • Operating System: Windows Me, the latest upgrade to Windows 98, will have to do until Windows XP is released. Alternatively, the business-oriented Windows 2000 system is noted for its stability and reliability. Any of these Windows systems will be upgradeable to the Windows XP.
  • High-Speed Internet: It is recommended that you acquire a computer with a built-in Ethernet networking connection if you plan to use a cable modem or a DSL connection in the future.
  • Video System: At least eight megabytes of video memory is recommended. Serious gamers should consider doubling or even quadrupling that amount.
  • Audio System: MP3 addicts may want to invest in a subwoofer and good speakers. Those who don't use the computer for digital music can use any sound system.
  • Monitor: The new flat monitors are dropping in price, which means the bit, TV-style monitors are dropping as well. Shop around and you'll find a bargain.
  • Mass Storage: Recommended is a built-in CD-RW drive which will allow you to record your own music as well as recording back-up files.
  • Ports and Slots: There should be at least two USB connectors on your computer, preferably more. Those who use video in a big way may want to get a faster new port called 1394 FireWire or I-link.
  • Brands and Models: Non-techies should stick to the brand names, such as Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, Dell, and Gateway. All of the above specifications can be packaged in one of these computer brands for $1,100 or less.

You may like these other stories...

Cybersecurity is no longer the domain of an organization's IT staff. It's moved to the boardroom, and in a big way. Accountants and financial managers may have been thinking it's just the province of the tech...
You probably don't want to think about how many times you access the File menu in Excel 2010 or 2013. Personally I think Excel 2010 has the best possible File menu arrangement, other than having Print Preview grafted...
Following other recent high-profile hacking events, investigators discovered yesterday that hackers broke into the draft work paper files of several famous CPA firms. Revealing images of the scantily clad documents have been...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
Sep 30
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 21
Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience's communication style.
Oct 23
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.