It’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? Here’s three things to consider for new computer purchases.

  • You should get at least 1 Gb of memory, regardless of anything else. It’s the new minimum for a home or office computer. Trust me. Don’t hesitate to get more if the computer will be used for games or anything relating to video.
  • We’ve turned the corner on DVD drives – even if you’re never going to watch a movie on your PC, more and more software is being distributed on DVDs. It’s not yet clear whether everyone will want the ability to burn DVDs, but a DVD burner will also burn CDs and the price difference between CDRW and DVD-RW drives is insignificant. Get a DVD burner on a new system.
  • The price difference between cheap home systems and midprice home systems has shrunk, and the difference in the video card is important. That’s always been crucial for games, but it’s becoming a factor for other programs and it will be a defining feature of Windows Vista next year. Example: don’t buy the Dell Dimension B110 or E310; step up to the E510, which is very similar in price when configured similarly but allows you to upgrade to the 256Mb ATI Radeon X600 video card.
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