What makes a good computer for business use?
What makes a good computer
I think you’ll agree with me when I say that if you’re trying to choose a new computer for your business, there’s a lot of choices.
In this article, I’m going to share with you exactly how to choose the right PC for your business needs.
I’m going to do this by walking you through how each part of a PC effects what you are working on daily in your business.
The first question I have for you. What’s is the PC going to be used for?
This is the first place to start. Are you going to be doing high-end video editing?
Essential office admin duties or a power user that needs lots of excel documents open to cross-reference.
This is the question you have to answer before the rest of this article falls into place.
This is a bit like brand recognition; you’ve got Lenovo, Dell, Sony, Acer etc. You’ll probably gravitate to one of these names because of the brand recognition.
When it comes to business PC’s, there are about 3 real choices. HP, Dell or Lenovo. If it’s a desktop PC then usually Lenovo or Dell.
Why is this?
Well, it’s the aftercare support when there’s a hardware fault. You may have an IT support person helping you out.
Both Lenovo & Dell have business support lines and well versed in helping businesses with their hardware issues.
This will save you or the IT person time so choose either Lenovo or Dell.
Personally, I prefer Lenovo, but it’s really just about aesthetics especially when it comes to laptop purchases which is a completely different post for another day.
The big two CPU manufacturers are AMD & Intel. Choose Intel as they have a better-quality CPU at the time of writing this article.
Intel’s CPU’s come in 3 flavours i3, i5 & i7.
The i3 can pretty much be ruled out unless you’re on a very strict budget and plan to upgrade your PC in the next 24 months. It is worth the extra money to jump to the i5.
The i5 CPU covers most tasks and will be fine for about 90% of all PC related processing.
i7 CPU’s should be your go to if you are dealing with video or graphics.
Since the inception of Windows 10 RAM on a PC is not as big a deal.
Windows 10 can manage memory usage very well.
At a minimum, you should be purchasing a system with at least 8GB of RAM.
However, I would recommend 16GB as standard as this will future proof your system for the next 3-5 years.
The hard drive in the system is the bit that stores all the files. Hard drives are cheap nowadays, and you’ll find as a minimum that 500GB is the standard size for most business PC’s.
This is a good amount of storage unless again you are editing video or working with graphics files.
The other part of storage is the type of device inside the system. There’s the standard hard disc drive. However, there is a much better alternative called a solid state disk (SSD).
The SSD has no moving parts so works much quicker and it’s a fact that if you have an SSD in your system, you’ll save between 10-20 minutes each working day waiting for your PC to do things.
This is massive, for an office of 5 staff that’s about an hour a day. Do the math, and the SSD is a real no brainer.
The only issue with SSD’s is that they don’t come as standard with most budget systems. They are an additional purchase and will require an IT professional to install. There’s a bit of investment here but well worth it when you factor in the amount of time you’ll be saving by having an SSD in your new system.
Windows 10 is now the defacto operating system of choice for PCs.
If you have a business with more than 5 PC’s or plan to grow, I would choose to have the professional version of Windows 10. This will allow you to join your computer to a server for local file storage and security.
The Windows 10 home version can still be used in business. However, there is no option to join it to a server and will require that you upgrade the operating system in future if this becomes necessary.
Will my old software run?
Some businesses may have older software that is not suitable for newer operating systems but still needed in the business.
Windows 10 does have the ability to run software applications in a compatibility mode to handle older bits of software.
However, the compatibility mode does not always do the trick, and this is when you may require running a virtual instance. If this is the case make sure to choose a PC with at least 8-16GB of RAM.
While you might not think this is important, it does help to think this over before purchase. Where would you prefer the PC to sit? On your desk under your monitor or under your desk? Ask this question to yourself when choosing a PC as you’ll need to purchase the correct type of desktop PC if you want it sitting under your monitor.
There is also the all in one PC systems which have gained some popularity where the actual PC is built into the monitor.
This is a real space saver.
However, the main drawbacks on the all in one PC systems are that they usually not as powerful, can’t be upgraded in future and because the operating temperature is that bit higher they don’t typically last as long.
This is more of a personal preference. What type of keyboards & mouse do you want? You’ll usually always get a basic set as part of the PC purchase but what I would suggest you avoid especially in an office environment is wireless keyboard & mouse.
The main reason I suggest to avoid these is that if you’ve got many staff, you’ll eat through batteries every month and can be a real pain if no spare batteries are kicking about.
The bigger, the better. Recent studies (source link here) have concluded that the bigger your screen resolution, the more work you’ll get done.
Now if you want to be efficient, you might even think about a dual monitor setup. I had this for about a year before switching back to a single large monitor.
It’s a matter of preference. Where I would see dual monitor setup comes into their own is when editing videos or working with multiple excel document that you might have to cross reference for accounting purposes.
The ideal PC system for business:
Ideally, it would be an Lenovo or Dell with a 500GB SSD, i5 CPU and Windows 10 professional. This is an all-rounder, and if you’re looking for a quote, we here at Medical IT would be happy to assist.