Why productivity-focused users still need high-end computers

The idea that computer users can neatly be classified into groups such as gamers, developers, multimedia consumers and productivity-focused is simplistic. The prices of computers are such that for the average consumer, one desktop or laptop computer is going to be all they have and therefore they expect to use it for everything they want a computer to do.

Still, depending on a person’s profession or favourite pastime it is likely that they would spend more time on one task or the other. And thus their decision on the kind of computer they should get will depend on what they feel is the best PC for their budget. And this is where it starts to get tricky.

For people focused on productivity (unless you’re into video production) it is tempting to save money by getting much older PC models because you think web-based work and word and data processing software do not require much power. But from experience this is wrong.

The data processing and word processing software are being upgraded all the time with each upgrade requiring more power. For example, Excel 2013 and 2016 take up a lot of RAM and could lead to your PC freezing. If you do a lot of web-based work, know that Google Chrome is notorious for its use of RAM.

I recommend that anyone whose main use of a computer involves word/data processing and/or web-based work should get at least an i3 processor, 4gigs of RAM and a 500GB HDD. That’s the minimum. Before any of you techies start rolling your eyes that I’m calling those specs high-end know that there are people who think they can get their work done well on a Pentium III.

If you’re like me then you intend to use your laptop/desktop for about four years. And getting one that will be able to meet your tasks for that long may turn out to be a better economic decision than going for a low end that will require replacement to get anything done.

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Jerome Kuseh

Accountant | Economist-in-Training | Financial Analyst
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