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Buying cheap will cost you!

Not Fit For Purpose - the subject of Philip Brooks' latest blog in the Fenland Citizen
Not Fit For Purpose - the subject of Philip Brooks' latest blog in the Fenland Citizen

When buying a new computer, cheap does not always mean cheerful.

There are some computer manufacturers who have started selling VERY cheap laptops and netbooks, which sounds fabulous if you have a small budget.

However, the majority of these PCs have VERY limited specifications. Two-thirds of the cheap PCs recently on sale at one of the big outlets did not have enough hard drive storage to let Windows 10 update to the latest version without the purchase of additional storage items.

They have 32 Giga Byte eMMC drives, often sold as little Solid State Hard Drives, which is a type of disk often favoured because of the speed increase you can get with them – but they are very much not little Solid State Hard Drives.

These are, in fact, the same type of chips that you’ll find in USB or Camera SD Cards, meaning they are slow. This, in my humble opinion, makes them not fit for purpose.

To quote Microsoft, who have mentioned this in the system specifications for Windows 10: “Small storage devices, like devices with 32GB hard drives or older devices with full hard drives, may need additional storage to complete the upgrade. You’ll see instructions during the upgrade telling you what to do. You may need to either remove unneeded files from your device, or insert a USB flash drive to complete the upgrade.”

Not only do these aforementioned laptops have insufficient hard drive storage, they also have, by today’s standards, a tiny amount of RAM – just 2Gb!

And what’s worse is that there is no way to upgrade either the internal storage or the RAM! So, how much hard drive storage and memory (RAM) should you need as a minimum when buying a new computer?

Storage or Hard Drive – the part of the laptop on which all of your data is stored – is measured in Giga Bytes.

Each Giga Byte (GB) represents 1000 Mega Bytes (MB). The minimum we would recommend is 128GB, on which you can store about 30,000 photos or MP3’s.

If you play around with video files, you should look to 1000 GB drives, which can store about 24 hours of HD video.

Memory (RAM) is also measured in Giga Bytes. RAM is a fast, temporary type of storage that Windows uses to load both itself and whatever it is you are doing at the time.

So, when you surf the internet you are using some RAM for Windows, a little more for the web browser, a little more for your anti-virus program, a little more for the nice picture on your desktop, etc.

The rule of thumb with the current generation of laptops is 4GB of RAM is a good start and more is, obviously, better.

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