Things To Consider When Buying Student Computer
In this article, we give simple tips about choosing a PC for a student. If you follow them, you’ll be able to assemble a computing system perfectly correlating with the needs of your use case, without buying too much performance or unnecessary options.
Do I need an expensive PC to write my essay? No, you don’t.
Let's define some terms to make things clear. In specialized electronics stores, Internet-stores and other trading centers, they use a relative, simplified classification which divides all PC's into three categories:
- Office PC. When comparing a device of this category with other models, it is a cheap computer designed to perform simple tasks: text editing (this is the PC capable of essay writing entirely), creation and editing of electronic tables, presentations, work with electronic mails and browsers and playing the simplest video games.
- Home (universal/multimedia) PC. In this category, there are computers capable of both work and entertainment. It means they can easily replace office computers for students when necessary, but at the same time, they are powerful enough to launch modern games with standard graphics settings. Such a PC will also allow a student to work with other resource taking applications: video editors or professional graphics processing software solutions.
- Gaming PC. It is probably the less necessary category when speaking of student computers: it includes robust systems assembled with expensive details specially optimized to launch top gaming projects at maximum or high graphics settings. Still, a gaming PC can easily handle tasks of office or home computers.
Factors to Pay Attention to when Choosing a PC for a Student
When choosing a computer, think over the level of power, you require the new system to give you.
For simple tasks of most students, a budget office solution is quite enough. In this case, we recommend being attentive not about the system's characteristics but the quality of a monitor, and ergonomic qualities of peripherals (mouse &keyboard devices).
Still, there are faculties and profiles where students may require more powerful computers.
In case of students who study humanities, physics or math, an average PC of the multimedia or universal “home” class will be perfect.
If you need to choose a PC for a student learning design, engineering graphics, and programming, it is strongly recommended to pay attention to high-performance machines among gaming or multimedia PCs of the mid-range price class.
Student PC Performance Factors
Budget solutions able to provide you with the performance level enough for a student who needs a PC to write essays, or complete other simple tasks, belong to the cheapest categories of processors. Models by Intel belong to Celeron, Pentium, and Core i3 product lines. Their competitors from AMD provide two budget models: Athlon 200GE and a bit more expensive CPU Ryzen 3 2200G.
Future programmers, architects, and designers will be comfortable to have systems with high-performance processors: Core i5 or Ryzen 5, and Core i7 or Ryzen 7.
For high school and humanities students, a PC with integrated graphics core is excellent. Such computers don't have a separate card to process video data. Instead, the graphics core inside the CPU takes the load of processing it. Such cores fall behind discreet video card solutions in terms of performance but are a lot more affordable.
If a student needs to launch special video montage or graphics processing apps, the discrete graphics chip should be included in the system.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
In 2019, it is not profitable to buy a PC with less than 8 GB of RAM even if you build a computer for a student. The 8-gigabyte buffer is the optimal minimum to provide you with an acceptable level of performance by the operating system and the less demanding applications like Internet browsers, text editors, and some light games.
In case you plan to use a PC to work with large video projects or to establish a software development environment, you’ll require 16 GB of random access memory for your purposes. The most powerful systems may include 32, 64, and even 128 gigabytes, but such RAM capacities are excessive for student PCs and even high-end gaming machines. It is rather welcome in professional rendering or development nods.
Most of the modern computers are equipped with hard disk drives with 1-3 TB of capacity. These are cheap and durable storage most people will feel enough to use with comfort. Still, modern technologies allow speeding up the system through investing additional funds into the SSD (solid state drive) storage with 64 to 1024 GB of capacity. When installed on this drive, your PC’s operating system and other software function significantly faster. In return, solid-state drives are less durable compared to standard HDD’s.
Form Factor: Laptop or Desktop PC for Student
You may prefer a desktop PC or choose a laptop computer. Both of them have pluses and minuses. The price of modern desktop PC's is lower than that of a laptop solution with the same performance capabilities. But a student can always take a laptop to their school or another trip. Additionally, all the necessary elements get combined in one device (display, keyboard, touchpad, web camera, a small sound system, wireless Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth modules).
On the other side, with the price of a budget laptop capable of solving simple tasks, it is possible to get a universal desktop PC good not only in office packages but in professional apps and even gaming.
Users frequently make this mistake: they buy a monitor with money left after the system was assembled without caring about its quality. We recommend you approach the choice of a monitor with care, as its characteristics and optimization for your tasks will be decisive factors influencing your experience from the new system.
A high-quality monitor will not only bring you the satisfaction of work with a new student’s PC but also save the health of your eyes.
In terms of quality, price, possibilities and comfort, 22-inch, and 1920x1080 resolution displays by Dell, LG, Samsung, and AOC are optimal in most use cases.
Mouse and Keyboard
Input devices define your impressions from the new PC just like the monitor does, so you shouldn’t save too much money on a mouse and a keyboard. Ergonomics and additional options of a modern mouse and keyboard will keep your hands and nerves healthy as well.
A PC for a student should be equipped with a printer to print documents obligatory.
The optimal solution to print significant volumes of text data is a monochromic laser printer. If necessary, buy a scanner to transfer printed documents into digital formats.
In case your budget allows, buy a multi-functional device which combines possibilities of a printer, a scanner, and a copying device.
The Best Student PC
Nowadays, it is possible to assemble a computer for any needs and all possible budgets without losing much in quality and durability of components. Watch after the market, check text and video guides online and choose a PC which suits you the most without overpaying for unnecessary possibilities or extreme performance.
Thomas is a Pro himself, who has been in the business of home renovation & construction, working with various tools. He used to be the owner of 2 local construction companies with over 18 years experience. His works also include writing inspiring Do IT Yourself Tips & Tricks.