What to Consider When Purchasing Office Desktops

virtual desktop

When it’s time to upgrade your computer, there are a number of factors to evaluate in order to choose the best model for your business. Laptops and tablets offer tremendous versatility, but desktops are both affordable and strong on processing power. No matter what industry your business is in, an effective computer is important. It lets you communicate with suppliers and customers, do online marketing, and manage administrative activities. Here are the basics to consider when purchasing a desktop for your business.

Processing Power: Space and Speed

A computer processor determines how fast a computer is able to complete operations such as loading programs, processing data, or booting up. Processors have two chief components to consider. The first is random access memory (RAM), which dictates how much space processors have to work with when trying to multitask. Four gigabytes of RAM is a good minimum. The speed of the processor itself is also important. Look for models with at least a dual-core processor. Go for a quad-core processor if you’re doing intensive graphical work, such as design.

Storage Needs: Size of Hard Drive

One of the core questions every business owner should ask when purchasing a business desktop is the amount of storage space they need. The size of your hard drive determines what programs you can install, how many files you can store and, in large, part how fast your computer runs. Bigger isn’t always better. More storage space quickly adds to your PC’s price tag. Two hundred and fifty to 500 gigabytes should be adequate for most businesses. If you store many images or large presentations, or like to use your computer for music and games, adding additional storage will be critical to optimizing performance.

Graphics Capabilities

Evaluate the extent of your graphics needs. For typical email, Microsoft office tasks, and web browsing, the integrated graphics card of most business PCs will be enough. Businesses that use more graphically intensive programs, such as Photoshop or AutoCAD, may require a more powerful graphics card. Discrete graphics cards can handle more sophisticated imagery. Look for a desktop model that comes with a built-in slot for a discrete graphics card. This allows for an easy and affordable upgrade, if needed.

Budget: Research Your Options

It’s often tempting to buy the least expensive computer that’s available. However, the cheapest PC may not be the best option for your business. It’s more effective to consider the specifications for the system that will serve you best. A range of options exists within that class, depending on brand names, extra features, and even where you purchase the machine.

Room to Grow

Processing power, speed, and storage all need to be adequate for your current and future needs. You’ll have three to five years to write off the value of the computer on your taxes. Ideally, your system will last that long and give you room to grow. Consider factors such as how many files you need to store and any large software systems you expect to invest in during that time. An expensive customer management system (CMS) or accounting software can require a more powerful machine to house the data and power it up.

Warranty Coverage

Warranties are guarantees from the manufacturer or seller about the condition of the PC that you’re buying. For a period of time ranging from 30 days to three years, they’ll ensure that the computer works. Different warranties cover different aspects but typically refer to hardware parts and labor. Usually a basic warranty is included, with the potential for add-ons for service calls, faster response time, and more.

If you’re in the market for a new computer, take the time to map out your needs. A desktop can be a powerful, affordable alternative to a laptop or tablet. By evaluating your needs ahead of time, you’ll choose a model that will grow with your needs and support your business performance for years to come.

Liz Alton

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