If you’re looking to purchase a new PC for your business, the first obstacle you will run in to is choice. There’s so many options! This is inherently a good thing, but can cause confusion and requires a clear understanding of what you’re looking for to overcome.
Which leads to the first and most important question: What is the PC going to be used for? The answer to this will greatly reduce your choices.
A good place to start in answering this is, are you going to be using the PC for high-end video or graphic editing, for simple office administration tasks or as a power user that will need a lot of excel documents open to cross-reference?
This is something you need to have figured out when reading through the following breakdown of key considerations when buying a new PC:
This is a bit of a brand recognition game… you’ve got HP, Dell, Sony, Acer, Lenovo, etc. – brands you are probably familiar with by name.
When it comes to a a business PC, the best three options are generally HP, Dell and Lenovo. This is because of their superior IT support services, with dedicated business support lines that are well versed in helping businesses with specific hardware issues.
Personal preferences between these three often come down to aesthetics, particularly with laptops, which is a completely different post for a different day!
The processor is like the brain of the PC, and there are two big central processing unit (CPU) manufacturers - AMD or Intel. We like Intel, as they have a better quality CPU at the time of writing this article.
Intel’s CPUs come in three variants: i3, i5 and i7. To break it down very simply:
The i3 can be ruled out immediately, unless you’re on a very strict budget and plan on upgrading your PC in the next 24 months. It is well worth the extra money to go straight to the much faster i5.
The i5 CPU will handle most tasks adequately, and operate about 90% of all business PC related processing comfortably.
The i7 CPU should be considered if you deal with video, graphics or need a strong power source to run many applications and documents at the same time.
Random-access Memory (RAM) is where you store all your data and machine code currently being used for PC operations. Since the inception of Windows 10, RAM on a PC is not as big of a deal as it used to be, as Windows 10 can manage memory usage very well.
For a business PC, the minimum recommendation should be to purchase a system with at least 8GB of RAM. However, 16GB as standard is probably a wise investment, as this will future proof your system for the next 3 to 5 years.
The hard drive is the part of the system that stores all your files. These days, hard drives are quite cheap, and you’ll find that 500GB is the stock-standard size for most business PCs. This is a decent amount of storage, unless again you are editing video or working with high-end graphics.
The other thing to consider with storage is the type of device inside the system. There’s the standard hard disc drive, and then there is the much better alternative called a solid state disk (SSD).
The reason the SSD is so much better is because it has no moving parts so can operate much faster. As such, it is generally accepted that an SSD system will save you between 10-20 minutes per day in loading times. This sort of time saving can be massive for a business when multiplied by user by day.
The only issue with SSD is that it often does not come as standard with a low-cost system. However as an additional purchase that requires an IT professional to install, the investment is often deemed worthy due to time saving.
Windows 10 is the standard operating system of choice for PCs. For businesses with more than 5 PCs, or that plan to grow, it is strongly recommended you choose the professional version of Windows 10 – which will allow you to join your computer to a server for local file storage and security.
Of course, the Home version of Windows 10 can still be used in business, there is just no option to join to a server.
If your business relies on some older software that is not suitable for newer operating systems, Windows 10 does have the ability to run software applications in a compatibility mode that handles older software.
However, as there can be some issues with older software compatibility, you may be required to run a virtual instance, in which case you will want to choose a PC with at least 8-18GB of RAM to run.
Physical size plays an important role when considering the logistics of where you would prefer the PC to sit. For example, do you want the PC on your desk, under your monitor or under your desk? You will need to make sure you purchase the correct type and size of desktop PC to suit how you intend to use it.
There are also all-in-one PC systems that are inbuilt in the monitor, which can be a real space saver, but are typically not as powerful and can be prone to overheating.
Monitor, keyboard and mouse preferences really come down to personal preference. Having said that, there is some credible research and opinion around the fact that bigger monitors improve productivity, and certainly having dual monitors can be almost critical in some business situations.
Choosing the right PC for your business
With this basic information in hand, hopefully you will be able to narrow your options when considering a new PC for your business. For further information or professional advice, please don’t hesitate to contact NetCare today for a timely response.