If you’re looking for a good computer system for your small business, your first consideration will probably be performance as well as price. With today’s technology, however, the performance levels of computers are suitable for most business applications and I’m not talking about the latest, greatest, state-of-the-art machines either.
You can assume that a desktop PC in the $500-$1000 range will be able to handle any business software that you will be using. Whether it’s bookkeeping or accounts receivable software, such as Quicken, your small business desktop should not be a major expense.
A Typical Small Business Computer System:
Here’s an example of a good system that won’t break the bank; it sells for less than $600.00.
SYX Venture H420i ITX PC Bundle Intel E5300 Dual Core 2.6 GHz, genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64 Bit, 2GB DDR2, 500GB Hard Drive, DVDRW, 19? LCD Monitor Small Form Factor PC.
What does this system summary really mean?
* Dual-Core technology (Dual core: just a fancy name for two microprocessors.)
* 500GB SATA II hard drive (That’s 500 gigabytes; 100GB is OK for starters.)
* 2GB of DDR2-800 memory (DDR2 is a type of memory used in most newer systems today. It’s the 2 GB memory size that we like)
* Intel E5300 Dual Core 2.6 GHz CPU (Intel brand dual core (two microprocessors) with a very good speed of 2.6 GHz)
* Windows 7 Home Premium 64 software (the newest version of Microsoft Windows)
* Intel DG41 motherboard (not that important unless you want a different motherboard)
* GMA 4500 integrated graphics (standard graphics card good for regular applications)
This Bundle Includes:
* SYX Venture H420i ITX Desktop PC (the CPU)
* SYX Venture 19-inch LCD Monitor (and it comes with a monitor)
One advantage to shopping online is the amount of information that is available to the buyer. Here’s an example of a spec sheet (the actual specs list is much longer but I have kept it shorter for the sake of article space). A spec sheet is almost always found in an internet ad.
* Condition: New
* Lifestyle: Business
* Operating Systems: Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
* Startup Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Pro
* Platform: PC
* Form Factor: mini-ITX
* Bays: 1 – 5.25″ Slim/Slot Loading Drive Bay
* Internal Bays: 1 – 3.5″ Drive Bay
* Available 3.5″ Drive Bays: 1 – Front Accessible
* Available 5.25″ Drive Bays: 0
* PCI Slots (Total): 1 Low Profile PCI
* PCI Slots (Available): 1 Low Profile PCI
* PCI Express X1 Slots (Available): N/A
* PCI Express X16 Slots (Total): N/A
* PCI Express X16 Slots (Available):N/A
* PS/2 Keyboard Connectors: 1
As you can see the information about this system is extensive and something you might not find at a retail store. Along with a spec sheet, you’ll also get a pretty good description of the system as shown below:
The SYX Venture H420i Desktop PC’s compact design easily fits on any desk in your office. It comes loaded with the Windows 7 Professional 64-bit operating system with a Windows XP Professional custom image downgrade for the flexibility your productivity applications require. Handle multiple presentations and reports simultaneously using the Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5400 2.7GHz processor and 2GB of DDR2 memory. A Slim DVD±RW Dual Layer optical drive lets you backup data to DVDs and CDs. The Slim DVD±RW Dual Layer optical drive provides speedy downloading and uploading to your company’s server via the 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet port.
Used (refurbished) vs. New
There are many places where you can buy refurbished (including off-lease) desktop computers today. It is the opinion of this author, however, that you should make this consideration only if a couple hundred dollars is that important to your budget. With technology being as cheap as it is today, why take the chance? Besides, new systems generally come with a 12-month parts and labor warranty. What you buy used today may not be working so well in a few months.
Best Computer Deals
There are plenty of computer superstores and office supply stores that sell computer systems, and you might find some pretty good prices as well. However, do not overlook purchasing a computer online. Many times you’ll find better prices and offers that include free shipping–which makes the purchase more attractive–and the selection is very often astonishing. Remember, it doesn’t take up any floor space to put up a website.
All in all, you should be able to find the best desktop with the performance level you are looking for with the price you are willing to pay. Do not be afraid to shop online. It may be one of your best options for finding the best computer prices on the market.
Other Considerations When Buying A Small Business System
Expansion capabilities for the future may be very important to you. There may come a time when you want more memory or a bigger hard drive. Perhaps your system has started to run a little slower and you want to speed it up. Whatever problems you may encounter down the road, they might be alleviated by hooking up an external device or adding a card to an internal expansion slot.
Here are a few things to remember when making a new computer purchase.
USB Ports: USB ports are important components that allow you to connect printers, flash drives, digital camera, MP3 players, mice and keyboards, Usually a CPU will come with four USB ports but there are some that have eight or more. If you anticipate connecting a lot of external devices, make sure to check how many ports come with the system.
Optical CD and DVD Drives: A CD and DVD if possible. Also desirable would be a CD-RW (re-writable) format and DVD-RW format if it’s affordable in your budget. A recordable DVD drive can store up to 4.7GB of data, which makes it a good device to have if you are using data with a lot og graphics or music. Some drives also can record data, images, music or video to CDs and/or DVDs. Actually you want both.
PCI Slots: Your system should have two free PCI slots for future expansion possibilities. PCI slots will enable you to use other hardware features such as audio cards or network adapters.
AGP Slot: Your graphics card uses a high-speed expansion slot to display 3D images. (AGP means Accelerated Graphics Port). What’s good about having an AGP slot is that the graphics card will have it’s own RAM that is uses with the CPU so your system will not slow down. Having this slot will be beneficial if you want high power graphics in the future.
Modem: Essential for connecting to the internet. An internal 56Kbps V.90 modem is standard fare on nearly every new PC nowadays.
Hard Drives: Today the typical computer will come with a hard drive that has at least 40 GB of storage. Our recommendation, though, would be in the area of at least 100GB to 160GB for small business applications. A common drive speed is 5400 rpm, but a 7200 rpm Ultra-ATA/100 drive will perform much better. The Ultra-ATA is what connects the drive to the PC.
Hopefully breaking down the hardware elements as I have will make your small business computer purchase a little easier.
About the Author: Mike Stancik has been computing for over 25 years. He also has a degree in Digital Electronics and has designed and built his website http://www.wesavemoney4u.com
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