Can you believe it is almost time for school again?!?! Normally, schools require computers to complete classwork, homework, and research. A decent computer is necessary with the uncertainty surrounding in-person classes in the fall and the possibility of needing to attend online classes.
The question you should ask is when deciding to buy a new computer for school, or for any purpose really, is “what am I going to use it for?”. Some common answers are:
- browsing the internet
- specific applications
- attending class remotely
- video conferencing
For 1 and 2, the specifications are not demanding. You can get by with a basic computer from almost any store. However, we would still recommend that the processor be an Intel Core i5 or i7. The RAM (or memory) used for browsing the internet will depend on how many browser tabs or windows you have open at one time. The more tabs or windows you anticipate opening the more RAM you should have in your computer. We would recommend at least 8GB.
A computer used for specific applications will need to meet the requirements of the vendor who made the application. All vendors will list minimum and recommended system requirements. You should review those requirements for each and any application you plan on using before buying the new computer. Just as with browser tabs and windows, the more applications you run at one time the more RAM you should have in the computer. Additionally, most schools will have recommended specifications for buying a computer to use at the school.
The last component that should be considered when buying a new computer is the hard drive type and size. You have two choices for type: traditional spinning drives (often referred to as SATA) or Solid State Drives (often referred to as SSD). We almost always recommend SSD drives because the performance is much better versus traditional spinning drives. The size of the hard drive all depends on how much data you plan to save on your computer. If you are using the computer to browse the internet and/or use email, then the size of your hard drive does not need to be large. However, if you are saving images or video (which are the largest file size types) then you should get a larger hard drive.
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