I think you’ll agree with me when I say that if you’re trying to choose a new computer for your business, there’s a lot of choices.

In this article, I’m going to share with you exactly how to choose the right PC for your business needs.

I’ll do this by walking you through how each part of a PC affects what you are working on daily in your business.

The first question I have for you is, what’s the PC going to be used for?

Are you going to be editing high-end videos?  Are you providing essential office admin duties or a power user that needs lots of excel documents open to cross-reference?

This is the question you have to answer before the rest of this article falls into place.

Manufacturer

This is a bit like brand recognition; you’ve got HP, Dell, Sony, Acer etc. and you’ll probably gravitate to one of these names because of the brand.

When it comes to business PC’s, there are about 3 real choices. HP, Dell or Lenovo. If it’s a desktop PC then usually HP or Dell.

Why is this?

Well, it’s the aftercare support when there’s a hardware fault. All 3 have business support lines and well versed in helping businesses with their hardware issues.

This will save you or the IT person time in the long run, so whomever you decide to go with, make sure you are familiar with the aftercare support they provide.

Personally, I prefer HP, but it’s really just about aesthetics.  Especially when it comes to laptop purchases which is a completely different post for another day.

Processor

The two big CPU manufacturers are Intel & AMD. Intel is generally the most popular as historically they have provided a higher quality of CPU, but recently it’s pretty hard to tell which is better since the advances in technology have taken huge steps forward.  For business computers, I recommend Intel.

Intel’s CPU’s come in 3 flavours i3, i5 & i7.

The i3 can pretty much be ruled out unless you’re on a very strict budget and plan to upgrade your PC in the next 24 months.  It’s worth the extra money to jump to the i5 CPU.

The i5 CPU covers most tasks and will be fine for about 90% of all PC related processing.

i7 CPU’s should be your go to if you are dealing with video or graphics.

RAM

Since the inception of Windows 10 RAM on a PC is not as big a deal.

Windows 10 can manage memory usage extremely well.

At a minimum, you should be purchasing a system with at least 8GB of RAM.  This is fine for most users, but if you are a power user or dealing with video or graphics, then I would recommend 16GB as standard as this will future proof your system for at least the next 3-5 years.

Storage

The hard drive in the system is the part that stores all the files. Hard drives are cheap nowadays and you’ll find, as a minimum that 500GB is the standard size for most business PC’s.

This is a good amount of storage unless again you are editing video or working with graphics files.

The other part of storage is the type of device inside the system. There’s the standard Hard Disc Drive (HDD) and there is a much better alternative called a Solid State Disk (SSD).

An SSD has no moving parts, so it works much quicker.  If speed is a big deal for you, then make sure your computer has an SSD. You could save between 10-20 minutes each working day.

I would always recommend getting an SSD anyway in your computer.  Let’s say for example you have an office of 10 people and each persons saves 10 minutes a day by using an SSD, that’s 1 hour 40 minutes.  A week it’s just over 8 hours.  Of the ~253 working days a year, you’ll save around 35 days worth of time as staff won’t have to wait around for their computer to start up or apps to open.

The only issue with SSD’s is that they don’t come as standard with most budget systems. They are an additional purchase and will require an IT professional to install. There’s a bit of investment here but well worth it when you factor in the amount of time you’ll be saving by having an SSD in your new system.  Mid-range to higher end PC’s will give you the option of upgrading to, or come with an SSD from factory.

Operating System

Windows 10 is now the de facto operating system of choice for PC’s.

If you have a business with more than 5 PC’s or plan to grow, I would choose to have the professional version of Windows 10. This will allow you to join your computer to a server for local file storage and security.

The Windows 10 home version can still be used in business. However, there is no option to join it to a server and will require that you upgrade the operating system in future if this becomes necessary.

Will my old software run?

Some businesses may have older software that is not suitable for newer operating systems but still needed in the business.  Windows 10 does have the ability to run software applications in a compatibility mode to handle older bits of software.

However, the compatibility mode does not always do the trick, and this is when you may require running a virtual instance. If this is the case make sure to choose a PC with at least 8-16GB of RAM.

Physical Size

While you might not think this is important, it does help to think this over before purchase. Where would you prefer the PC to sit? On your desk, under your monitor or under your desk? Ask this question to yourself when choosing a PC as you’ll need to purchase the correct type of desktop PC if you want it sitting under your monitor.

There is also the all in one PC systems which have gained some popularity where the actual PC is built into the monitor.

This is a real space saver.

However, the main drawbacks on the all in one PC systems are that they usually not as powerful, can’t be upgraded in future and because the operating temperature is that bit higher they don’t typically last as long.

Peripherals

This is more of a personal preference. What type of keyboards & mouse do you want? You’ll usually always get a basic set as part of the PC purchase but what I would suggest you avoid especially in an office environment is wireless keyboard & mouse.

The main reason I suggest to avoid these is that if you’ve got many staff, you’ll eat through batteries every month and can be a real pain if no spare batteries are kicking about.

Monitor

The bigger, the better. Recent studies have concluded that the bigger your screen resolution, the more work you’ll get done.

Now if you want to be efficient, you might even think about a dual or triple monitor setup

It’s a matter of preference. Where I would see dual monitor setup comes into their own is when editing videos or working with multiple excel document that you might have to cross reference for accounting purposes.

Conclusion

If it were up to me, I’d go with either HP or Dell with a 500GB SSD, i5 CPU, 8-16GB of RAM, Windows 10 Professional and a dual monitor setup.  It will be able to handle most, if not all the tasks you need it to do and with dual monitors, you’re productivity will increase.

As usual, if you need a quote or more information, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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