Setting up a new laptop

There are many things to consider when buying that laptop, however the two most important specs will be its processor and its RAM. Here I am going to explain some of the fundamental characteristics of both so that you can make a better choice when buying a laptop.


Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, has begun the process of transitioning to a line of quad-core processors. Its range is called Core i3, i5 and i7. If you’re looking for a bargain, you can go for their older Core 2 models, but you’d better stick with their latest range.

You could also consider a processor from Intel’s rival AMD, which has an attractive product lineup under the Turion II and Athlon II brands. If you are a budget buyer, these processes are worth considering and will do the trick for most tasks. The big difference between processors made by AMD is that they are simply not as fast as those made by Intel and tend to reduce battery life.

The most important task is to calculate exactly how much processing power you need. In general, the Core i3 or i5 are suitable for most people. However, if you edit a lot of video, you will need a more powerful processor. Gamers in particular believe they need a powerful processor, but in practice they can get away with a slower chip.

Quad-core chips still cost a lot and they also tend to drain your battery life pretty quickly. You can identify a quad-core chip by the Q listed next to the machine’s model number. If you use your laptop as your main machine and don’t take it on a trip, or you’re a gamer or video editor, the four-chip case becomes more attractive.

The decision on the processor gets more complicated when you order a custom laptop from a manufacturer. As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid the more expensive chipsets on offer and go for the least expensive second or third chip. The price increase is usually proportional to the performance. You shouldn’t spend more than $ 150 to upgrade a processor. If you are simply browsing the Internet or processing words, even a dual-core processor is more than adequate.


4GB of RAM is the standard memory most manufacturers offer, even in low-end laptops, and that’s really all you need. Starting prices for a laptop with 4GB of RAM are just under $ 500. In the past, manufacturers used to make consumers pay through the nose when upgrading memory while placing custom orders. More recently, this practice seems to have changed, and only Apple really still does.

If upgrading your memory to 4GB costs you less than $ 90, which is what it costs separately, then you should definitely upgrade. Upgrading beyond 4GB will be expensive, and the only real reason to do so is if you’re editing video, and even then it’s not absolutely necessary when you compare it to cost. For a desktop, spending an extra $ 100 isn’t a big deal, but for a laptop that will cost you an extra $ 300 for 8GB, it’s just not worth it unless your laptop is your primary video editing device. .

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