Kevin’s Tech Check: Computer Shopping

Computer Use Major Factor In Determining Purchase

Brenden Hummel relies on a few tools each day to work a little magic.

“I’ve been doing this for four years,” said Hummel, an IT Manager at Bargain Bytes in Sioux Falls.

He takes computers deemed old and slow – and with a few tweaks and reinstalls, breathes new life into those machines.

“Grew up basically tinkering around computers,” he said.

And so with the holiday shopping season in full force, we turned to Hummel to get some advice on picking out a new computer.

The first thing he says to think about before you start shopping: your user category. Are you someone that just sends e-mail, browses the internet or uses basic programs?

“Or is it gonna be more heavy applications such as playing games or heavy hd content?” He said.

This is important since it will determine how much computing power you’ll need.

As you shop, you’ll start seeing words like RAM, hard drive, processor and more. These are the components that help give your computer its drive.

If you’re a casual user, here’s what to look for:

“For RAM, I would say 4 GB would be enough for someone, hard drive 160 gigabytes would be sufficient for most people,” he added.

If you’re a power user, Hummel says step up the RAM a bit to 6 GB or 8GB. That will make running multiple or large programs easier.

Ask questions about video cards and processors too, making sure their performance matches your needs.

At Bargain Bytes, you’ll find refurbished computers, meaning the computers have been used but restored to factory settings.

He says that’s a good option to think about too if you’re looking for a good value.

“As far as life of the machine, it’s definitely less than if you were buying a new computer but it’s still gonna save you money in the long run,” he added.