Although any desktop PC can be used for business, you can end up paying more than you need to if your desktop computers have a lot of bells and whistles you'll never use. Most small businesses don't need whiz-bang multi-media capabilities, an analog modem, hand-holding software or a cosmetically chic case. You do need:
- Reliability and serviceability.
- The option of paying for what you need only.
- To spend between $600 and $1,000 for a desktop PC that includes Windows and no other software.
Look for a tool-free-access mini-tower desktop PC caseThe cases for your desktop computers must be big enough (at least as tall as a 17" monitor) and spacious enough to adequately dissipate heat. The power supply should be at least 350 watts. Access for repairs and upgrades should be quick and easy.
Consider a dual-core processor (CPU) for your desktop computersDual-core CPUs may be pricey, but they generate much less heat than single-core CPUs, which will enhance the reliability of your desktop PC. Consider Intel Celeron CPUs for desktop computers that will only be used for clerical work.
Choose an appropriate desktop PC hard driveFor business use, hard drive speed is as important as size (capacity). Opt for an SATA or SATA II hard drive. It should spin at 7,200 or 10,000 RPM and have an access time of about 9 milliseconds. Capacity isn't critical, because you can easily upgrade on that.
Choose a removable media drive for your desktop computersYou need at least a CD-ROM drive in your desktop PC but should probably opt for a DVD-RW drive instead, especially if you aren't backing up to an external hard drive or server. DVD-ROM drives and floppy drives are generally unnecessary for business use.
Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of integrated video in your desktop PCMost business desktop computers have a video chip on the motherboard. This is cheaper than having a separate video card. However, desktop computers must dedicate a certain amount of RAM (often 128 MB) to providing a display. Also, when the video chip overheats or dies, you're likely to need a new motherboard.
Determine how much RAM you need from your computer vendorIf the computer has integrated video, you will need at least 512 MB of RAM. If it has a separate video card, 512 MB of RAM should be adequate for running Windows XP. Windows Vista will require 1 GB of RAM.
Make sure the desktop PC motherboard has enough ports and expansion slotsLook for an Ethernet port and whatever USB or FireWire ports you need for your network. Make sure the motherboard has open RAM slots, an AGP or PCI-express video slot, and open PCI slots for future use.
Consider desktop PC service and support optionsGet desktop computers with a 3-year warranty or pay your chosen computer vendor to upgrade to a 3-year on-site warranty unless you have an in-house support and repair solution. Be aware that you may find the tech support provided from the Third World or the warranty service provided by third parties inadequate.
desktop computers by brand.
Consider refurbished desktop computersIf you find costs to be too high even with the above suggestions, you should also look into refurbished desktop computers. Even the biggest computer vendor now offers them, and they can be a a great option for those who want to have some extra bells and whistles on the cheap.
refurbished desktop computers.
- Your local desktop computer vendor can often build better desktop computers at lower prices than the international brand manufacturers. Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints against a business.
- Advertising costs are built into the purchase price of branded desktop computers.
- Profit margins are very small for desktop PC manufacturers and retailers; expect your computer vendor to require a major purchase in return for a volume discount.
- Monitors may or may not be bundled with desktop computers. Buy the same brand desktop PC and monitor only if the monitor looks good to you.