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Purchasing a Professional Notebook for Business: An Interview with Orange County Computer

  • By calcoastwebdesign
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  • 31 Oct 2011

What To Think About when Buying a New Computer

As an Internet marketer, most people assume I, Angela Collins (co-owner here at CCWD), know everything about computers, email, software, etc. Sure, I can usually figure stuff out. The same way you could, via Google searches and Youtube video tutorials. But professional help and expertise are always beneficial.

With all the questions lately about the best kind of computer to get for small business purposes (and my own need for a new laptop) I decided to consult with the experts and swung over to ask some questions about computer selection to Alex Pinedo of Orange County Computer.

Below is just a recap of the questions I asked. I am not quoting Alex here. I’m not a reporter and even though my clients are usually shocked at how fast I type, I still cant keep up with transcribing speech. With that, here’s what I got out of my conversation with Orange County Computer repair and networking center owner, Alex Pinedo.

Q: What do all these different processor sizes and speeds even mean? I keep seeing “i” everywhere.

A: The “i” indicates Intel. The dual core is on its way out. Faster is better and the quad core processor has replaced the dual core. All the “i” processors are quad core with the exception to the i3. The i5 i7 and quad core processors.

  • Resources: Wikipedia micro processors

Q: Are there any processors I should stay away from?

A: Processors are built to work. And at decent speeds. If they didn’t work, they wouldn’t be on the market. That said, OCC sees a lot of Semprons and Celerons at their Tech Repair Center in Lake Forest.

Q: For the average business owner, what would be the minimum memory you recommend?

A: Generally speaking, 4GB. Most operating systems are 32 bit and hold 4GB only. The more RAM, the faster your click speed.

  • Consumers who want more RAM can go with more RAM should use a 64bit version of windows which allows you to actually utilize the additional memory which is capable of accepting 8GB-16GB. Anything more then that would be not necessary unless a system was being used as a file or application server.
  • (Note: because of this click speed statement, I went with 8GB for my own.)

Q: Do I need to worry about my video card?

A: As a business person, not generally. Unless you’re a Gamer, Engineer, Auto CAD or Graphics Designer.  Do note though, that often times you can switch out or upgrade your video card in a laptop unless it has onboard video on the motherboard.

Q: Are there any brand or manufactures to stay away from? Or any “culprits” you see a lot of in your repair center?

A: We recommend staying away from companies that are struggling like Toshiba. We also see a lot of the less expensive brands in here too. Like Acer, EMachine, MSI, ASUS etc. You get what you pay for.

  • Also note that there are newer brands that we don’t have a lot of history on like Samsung. While they have a good reputation for other electronics and deserve a chance, we don’t know much about their computers yet.
  • We find that Sony Vaios, HPs & Dells are pretty reliable.  

Unless you are specific about your needs, most new notebooks & laptops that are mid-grade/price or higher (Lets say $600 to 800 for a desktop and $800 to 1000 for a laptop) are going to be suitable for the average business person’s needs. 

If you need gaming or CAD resources, perhaps an upgrade is in order.

OCC also gave me a quick tip about upgrading your hardrives. They all fail eventually. Any usually faster than you would expect. They see it every day at Orange County Computer. The average Desktop hard drive typically last about 2-4 years and laptop drives last roughly 1-3 years before performance starts to deteriorate. For $200-$300, the Tech Team can help you upgrade to a Western Digital Black HD to last you much longer and run more efficiently, Western Digital has a 5 year warranty on their high performance black hard drives while most drives have a 1 year warranty.

  •  There has been a lot of hype about Sold State Drives. They have been out just a few years now. We are still apprehensive about recommending solid-state drives due to compatibility issues with other hardware components and formatting issues. We do not recommend moving to the latest and greatest hardware until it has been out a few years – this gives the manufacturer ample time to resolve operational issues and alleviate consumer headaches.

Whether your hard drive is black, blue or remanufactured, it is generally not mentioned to the consumer in the system specs. A member of the Tech Team at Orange County Computer can help insure your system is running at it’s optimal performance level. Protect your hard work with a reliable hard drive!

For more information about what computer would be good for your needs or if you have a computer that needs maintenance visit Orange County Computer.

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