What to Consider when Buying a PC

Getting a PC is not as simple as one might think. There are decisions to be made.


Christie Yeung

Photo by Christie Yeung/SAC.Media

As COVID-19 cases are on the rise again, people will be spending even more time at home. Gaming would be one of many things people can do to stay sane behind walls. You might be one of many that are thinking about playing video games on a PC. Whether it is because you cannot get your hands on the newest next-gen consoles or you want to look at a bigger screen, a PC can be the solution.
There are two important things to consider when you are getting a PC. Will it run games that you wanted to play, and how much you want to spend.
Most games will provide recommended system requirements that help to decide the kinds of hardware needed to run the game. First-person shooters and games with more detailed graphics tend to require higher-tier hardware, which means it will cost more.
There are three options for building a PC. The most expensive option is custom, which means you pick the parts and someone puts everything together for you. Second option is prebuilt, which is an already built PC that is ready to be shipped or prepared for pick-up. The cheapest option is self-built, which means you pick the parts and build it yourself. That is not all, more decisions are needed to be made when getting a PC.
In recent years, Advanced Micro Devices, also known as AMD, have risen and challenged the markets that used to be dominated by Intel’s processors and Nvidia’s graphic cards. This uprising had provided PC users more affordable options in picking their hardware.
A PC needs a case, a power supply unit (PSU), at least one storage, a cooling system, a motherboard (MOBO), minimum of two sticks of random access memory (RAM), a processor (CPU) and a graphic card (GPU). All these components are made by numerous brands which means more choices to make.
There are four different sizes of computer cases which can be taller than 27” to as short as 14”, in various colors and looks. PSUs offer different amounts of wattage. Storages refer to secondary storages that can be the slower hard disk drive (HHD) to the fastest solid-state drive (SSD). The cooling system means picking between air-cooling with fans, water-cooling with tubes or a hybrid of both. MOBO, RAM and CPU must be compatible for all three to work, which comes down to whether to go with AMD or Intel and Nvidia. Your GPU will define the games’ graphics.
The last two months have been very eventful for PC enthusiasts with both Nvidia and AMD making big announcements. But their latest processors and graphic cards come with “newest item” price tags, which can be discouraging.
One way to justify spending that sum of money is the amount of usage. How many days out of a year will you be using the computer? If you are using it daily, then a $1,500 computer divided by 365 days will mean you are paying roughly $3.29 a day. And if you plan on using it daily for four years, it will be even cheaper. $1,500 divided by 1,460 days which means you are spending a little more than a dollar a day for it.