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Holiday computer buying guide, Part 1

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 Alane Golden / eyewash designPhoto: Alane Golden / eyewash design

It’s holiday time again, when staff and friends ask me for suggestions on buying a computer. Since they can’t attend the Computer Buying Guide class, I’ll mention a few things here.

Be specific on how you’ll use the computer. If you’re just doing e-mail, Internet surfing and word processing, it doesn’t make sense to buy a high-priced system. A basic use PC with a 2.0 GHz processor, 1 GB memory, 100 GB hard drive and 17” monitor costs between $600 -1,500.

Going to download music, movies and do more intense tasks? Then a computer with a faster processor, 2 GB RAM, 200 or more GB hard drive and a 19” monitor would be about $1,500 or more.

If you want to do computer graphics, website designs and online auctions, a computer with dual core processor, 2 or more GB RAM, 350 or more GB hard drive and 21” monitor may cost about $2000 or more.

I’ve seen these configurations and prices in newspaper, magazine and online ads but as they say, prices and components are subject to change without notice.

When you have found your computer, ask the sales rep to install the maximum amount of memory and a bigger hard drive in the computer. Yes, you will be paying more for your system but you can download data faster and you won’t panic because you ran out of hard drive space.

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