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Home Computer Buying Guide

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

When you're looking for a new home computer it can be tempting to go for the cheapest you can find. But make no mistake about it, when it comes to computers, cheaper is very rarely better.

It's better to spend a couple of hundred extra than to have something that is going to make you pull your hair out.

In this article, I'm going to share with you some of the things to look out for when buying a decent mid-range computer that can handle everyday tasks with speed as well as handling some of the adobe products like Photoshop and Illustrator.

CPU - (Central Processing Units)

The first thing you should be checking is the processor or CPU.

CPU's, or Central Processing Units, are responsible for processing and executing instructions.

In the old days, every CPU had just one core unit that could focus on one task at a time. Today, CPU's have multiple cores, each of which can work on a different task so the more cores a CPU has, the more efficient it is.

The two main CPU providers these days are Intel and Ryzen. Intel tends to be a little more expensive but, in this case, expensive doesn't mean better as Ryzen has been proven to be on par with Intel.

My Option - If I was looking for a good budget option then I would be picking the Ryzen 5 2600X which features 6 cores.

SSD or HHD for storage

What you have your operating system and programs stored on will make a huge difference to how fast your computer is going to operate.

But what's the difference I hear you ask? A hard disk drive (HDD) is an old-school storage device that uses mechanical platters and a moving read/write head to access data.

A solid-state drive (SSD) is a newer, faster type of device that stores data on instantly accessible memory chips.

Most cheap computers will have the older HHD but I can assure you the difference in speed of an HHD vs an SSD is astronomical. Check out the link to see for yourself.

Now that's not to say you can't have an HHD. My computer has the operating system and all my programs stored on an SSD for fast access but it also has an HHD where I can store photos, videos and other saved files that can take up a good chunk of space.

My option - If it just has an SSD I would be looking for at least 500GB. Then purchase an external hard drive to store essential files to keep your SSD freed up.

Adding an SSD to and old HHD computer will give your system a great boost in speed.


RAM which is short for Random-access memory is used as temporary storage ("memory") by your computer, which determines the number of applications and services the computer can have opened and running at the same time.

The higher your RAM, the more memory capacity your computer has and the more efficiently it operates.

When your computer uses up all its RAM it goes to the slower hard drive for "virtual memory" to compensate. At this stage, your computer will slow down - and the more virtual memory your hard drive needs to use, the slower your computer will get.