Buying a new computer

This post is for my instructional technology students for Fall 18:

I have had several students ask me about buying a new computer and figured I would post to the group…

When I get a new computer I do one of two things…1) I get one that will last me 2 years or 2) one that will last me 4 years. Obviously the 4 yr one is much more expensive.

So my recommendations…

1. Get a student discount. All of the companies offer them. Now is a great time to get back to school deals.

2. Get a minimum of 12GB of Ram. Ram matters. If you are looking at a 4 yr machine I would really recommend as close to 32GB as you can get.

3. Video card matters. Try to get an upgraded video card if possible.

4. Ram is the first thing I upgrade, video card 2nd, processor 3rd. In that order. I don’t worry about hard drive space at all as I use the cloud to store my files. I don’t worry about other features either except for making sure they have enough ports and an HDMI port.

5. I would get a PC over a Mac. Macs are great and work really well but there is one piece of software instructional designers use and there still isn’t a mac version, this is called articulate. But if you like Macs they are fine I just prefer PCs for many reasons. Chromebook, ipads, etc won’t cut it, you need a real machine.

6. As far as brands, they are all fine for the most part. I prefer Alienware and Dell since that is what I have used over the last few years. I currently have an alienware R17 with max upgrades. I like alienware because they already come with upgraded video cards that you won’t even have an option for with a standard machine. A lot of them are VR Ready.In fact, the only machine in the college of education that runs VR is mine. None of the others will do it.

7. Get a warranty. Get a warranty for as long as you want to keep the machine. Its worth it. I cannot tell you how many machines I have went through. I have had Macs die. I have had PC die. Many times. Just get the warranty. I think I have a 4 yr warranty on my current machine.

If you have other questions, please feel free to ask. – Dr. Pastore

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