Computers are all-pervasive nowadays. Indeed, there are well over 2 billion of them in operation around the world already, and millions more are purchased every year. Their popularity’s well-founded too!
These digital devices deliver myriad benefits- especially for businesses. For one thing, computers connect you to the internet, opening the door to every opportunity therein. They also boost your productivity levels, improve communication capabilities, store endless amounts of data, and facilitate learning along the way.
All told, computers are a major boon for business. However, the tricky part is finding the best workstation for your needs! The sheer number of possible options available can make the choice feel near-impossible. And with lots of money on the line, you need to pick a PC that won’t let you or the company down.
Would you like some expert advice on choosing a high-performing PC workstation for your home or office-based business? Well, you’re in the right place. Keep reading for our top tips on buying a workstation that’s up to standard.
Consider Your Budget
One of the first factors worth thinking about is the price. After all, the best computer workstations don’t come cheap. You can literally spend tens of thousands of dollars on high-end models with the most computing power.
But there’s good news: not all PCs come with such a hefty price tag! The shelves are lined with workstations for every budget. It’s your job to find one that’s affordable.
If saving money is a priority, be sure to shop around for good deals. Likewise, consider purchasing refurbished computers over brand new ones and wait for seasonal sales to invest in the PC. Bide your time, be diligent in your search, and you’re far more likely to bag yourself a bargain.
Remember that you usually get what you pay for, though; performance comes at a cost. Basing your decision on cost alone is a recipe for buying a substandard computer. Investing more money in a higher-spec computer could pay dividends in the long run.
Consider Your Needs
Be sure to evaluate your computing needs at the same time as establishing your budget though. As we noted before, price isn’t everything!
Your bank balance might thank you for buying a budget workstation. But it’d be a pointless purchase (AKA a waste of money) if the computer couldn’t do everything you needed it to. That’s why it’s crucial to reflect on the specs, features, and attributes you require as well.
For example, someone who wants to check emails and type word documents will need a very different computer from someone who needs to edit videos and play games. The first individual could manage with a cheap Chromebook with minimal computing power. Yet the second individual would need a far more powerful processor with plenty of RAM; attributes that come at a cost.
Always keep your needs in mind as you embark on this search. You’ll find it far easier to hone in on the viable options. Moreover, you’ll end up with a workstation that ticks the right boxes.
Decide Between a Laptop and Desktop
Another primary question to ask yourself is whether you should buy a laptop or desktop. There are pros and cons to both…
Laptops are, of course, the more portable option. This makes them a good bet for anybody who travels a lot and needs to work on the move. A salesperson who attends lots of international conferences, for example, would benefit from buying one of these workstations.
Desktops are the opposite. They’re much bigger devices that are fixed in position on the desk (hence the name!). However, what they lack in portability they make up in performance- a desktop workstation is usually faster and more powerful.
Price comes into play here too. It isn’t always the case (some come with serious price tags), but laptops tend to be cheaper than desktop models. If you’re running to a tight budget, then laptops could be preferable.
Oh, and don’t forget about battery life either! Where laptops require recharging every 8 to 12 hours, desktops are connected to the mains at all times. This could be another deciding factor for you and your business.
Decide Between Windows or Mac
Another core decision will be between Windows or Mac workstations. Once again, there are pros and cons to both. You’ll find diehard proponents on either side and there’s really no right or wrong answer.
This particular debate usually comes down to personal preference. Some people swear by Mac products; others dislike the user interface and prefer the layout of Windows. If you’re accustomed to using Windows, then there’s a good chance you’ll want to stick to these computers (and vice versa).
It’s worth understanding a few key differences between Mac and Windows though.
Mac computers are often the more expensive option. However, they’re also sleek, stylish, and come from the world-renowned Apple brand. They’re also less susceptible to hacks and malware problems and provide quality customer support.
Windows workstations tend to be cheaper, offer a much larger selection of computers, and are better for gaming. Alas, the vast array of Windows models makes them a hotter target for cybercriminals. They also lack the prestige and deluxe image that you get with the Apple brand.
Find the Right Amount of Power
Remember the need to choose a workstation that aligns with your specific requirements? Well, power is a key factor to keep in mind in this debate. It’s about striking a balance: getting just enough power (and maybe a touch extra) to satisfy your needs.
After all, more power puts the price up. Buy a computer with a more powerful CPU than you really need and you’ll overspend unnecessarily. Buy a computer with insufficient power, though, and you’ll struggle to do your work.
As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid computers with anything less than a dual-core processor. And, if possible, we suggest going for quad-core models, with the Intel Core i3 being a great starting point. Want to step it up a notch?
The Intel Core i5 and i7 would do just the trick. These six-core models are packed full of power, which is ideal for anyone who plans to do things like heavy video editing or playing modern computer games. If you don’t want an Intel, then the Ryzen 7 is a model of comparable stature.
Consider the Storage
There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of storage on your computer. You might want to save a file, download a movie, or backup your photos, but can’t! With that in mind, be sure to purchase a workstation with sufficient levels of hard-drive space.
For businesses that handle lots of data files, 500 gigabytes would be a useful place to start. 250GB might also do the trick, but you’d obviously run out of room much sooner. It’s also worth noting that larger amounts of space will increase the overall price of the workstation.
Furthermore, don’t worry too much about a relative lack of storage. You can always pay (or take the DIY approach) to install a brand new hard drive with more space in the future. Indeed, these inexpensive upgrades can help you save money on the initial computer by purposefully buying cheaper models with less storage space.
Think about the type of storage you want as well. An SSD (i.e. a Solid State Drive) is a modern, faster alternative to a traditional hard drive. They help you search and retrieve files in record time but cost more to purchase upfront.
Check the Ports
Another factor to think about is the number of connection points to the computer. After all, you might have all sorts of accessories that you’d like to attach. From wireless keyboards and mice to USB drives and HDMI cables, you’ll need enough ports to do the job.
Not all ports are made equal either, which means the types you have access to will also make a difference. An HDMI port, numerous USB ports (including the modern USB-C varieties), and an Ethernet port can all come in handy for your business.
While we’re on the subject of the internet, it’s worth checking the workstation has built-in Wi-Fi capabilities too. This will come as standard on all modern models, but there’s no harm in making sure! If you see a laptop with Wi-Fi 6 capabilities (AKA, the latest and fastest Wi-Fi tech), then you’re onto a winner.
Time to Choose the Best Workstation Possible
Desktop and laptop workstations are ubiquitous in business these days. In fact, they’re so commonplace that it’s hard to imagine conducting business without them. Yet neither their pervasiveness nor importance makes them easy to choose!
Far from it. With so many different computer models and makes on the shelves, choosing the best workstation for your needs can be a serious challenge. With any luck, though, the tips in this article will help you do it.
Keep them in mind and you’ll have your hands on the perfect PC in no time. Would you like to read more articles like this one? Search the ‘Home’ section of the website now.