Bits and Bytes: A Comprehensive Guide for the Computer Amateurs

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Every PC enthusiast starts out as an amateur: who amongst us hasn’t been through the torment of finding your very first new device? Whether it’s the role this workstation plays in your life, the portability you need it to have, the funds that you feel justified in investing, or the process and decisions behind finding the right model, we have a comprehensive guide for you. With this, making your own electronic workhorse isn’t just easy – it will be entertaining as well. If you are in the area, we recommend that you drop by this ​​computer shop in cape town to take a look.

The most important decision you’ll have to make concerns the appropriate type of workstation you should have, read on and find out more!

Desktop vs Laptop

One major type of computer is a desktop. A desktop is immobile and consists of a central processing unit affixed to a table with an accompanying screen. This model has custom cases and may offer aesthetic features like a variety of visual styles and see-through interiors.

Another distinguishing feature of a desktop is its comparatively cheap price and higher processing power for tasks like gaming and visual work. Its size enables it to house more efficient and powerful hardware, while also relying less on small internal batteries, unlike its counterparts. These factors mean that for those whose main use of a computer requires power, a desktop is incomparable.

Finally, the size of a desktop computer also makes it more customizable, as the configuration of the elements within it makes them easy to change and assemble. This is the reason why most customizable models of computers are built to be table-bound.

However, the prime advantage of a laptop is that it can be moved around – for this reason alone, offices prefer this type of computer should they require workers to change their positions. In addition, no additional expense is necessary for your screen or cursor.

The size of a laptop comes with unavoidable drawbacks – most notably, they tend to be less capable than their counterparts while experiencing more frequent thermal problems. While laptops that circumvent this are available, they tend to be expensive, bulky, and invariably loud due to their large cooling systems.

Furthermore, the process of upgrading parts is cumbersome due to limited space and the inability to remove core parts of a laptop. This includes the screen and tactile cursor, which can be difficult to handle. Nevertheless, features like programming, reading, writing and basic visual software are still available on laptops- those who require serious power for their work may still find a desktop to be more suitable particularly for tasks that require dedicated visual processing.

Considering the Functions of your Computer

The next question you should pose is that of function. Which tasks will you use this device for, and how frequently and hard will you run them?


Gaming, in particular, has particular requirements in terms of the usage of processors and processing speeds. This comes with a host of attendant requirements, that are naturally expensive but are essential for a proper gaming experience. Graphics processing units, or specialized cards that run the necessary hardware to show high-quality images, are one such important component. Specific requirements can usually be found on gaming websites, listing the memory, hard-disk space, and graphics processing units needed to run particular games.

Animation and Motion Graphics

For those specializing in animation or motion graphics, what is needed is not processing capacity but speed – this is so your software and overall tasks will remain responsive to quick movement and produce high-quality work. That said, you should consider your funding restraints because there is a variety of hardware available that can meet your needs. The role of the central processor is also crucial to those who wish to use their computer for animations. There is a need to manually compute all the images and components of these graphics demands incredibly high speeds and processing capacity. Thankfully, there are processors available which can handle the high workloads, but high working memory is also critical for larger endeavors in this field.

Photo and Video Editing

Photo editing and video editing applications are examples of tasks that require a variety of processing features. For photoshopping, the average graphics-capable computer will suit you just fine. Video editing, however, may require a variety of different capabilities in production, especially the production of visuals with layered graphics may require a high number of processors. Here the primary and overriding consideration is how quickly you can accelerate your processor to a specific task. For videos, in particular, speed is of the essence. You might probably need a good quality monitor or screen in order to see your work in high resolution.

Surfing the Web

The most basic of functions that a computer can perform is that of using the Internet. Usually, the software and hardware requirements for web surfing are so low that most devices can meet it easily: that said, computers with dedicated graphics hardware will see slight boosts to the speed of processing videos and web pages with high-quality images. In addition, you might want to focus on network connectivity and the quality of your modem as important secondary tools for your Internet needs. Finally, consider buying a computer with high memory capacity if you want to keep multiple tabs open and functional.

What is your budget?

At this point, probably have identified a couple of models which suit your needs. The next, and perhaps most painful, step is to figure out how much you can afford. Here the principle of efficiency really comes into its own, as even the most expensive models available may be worse for certain tasks than their cheaper counterparts. Of course, one reliable way to reduce cost is simply to make the PC on your own – it is financially efficient, allows you to tailor your device to your needs, and gives you the capacity to further improve your device (or fix it) in the future.


We hope this list of steps was helpful, and look forward to welcoming you into the global brotherhood of PC enthusiasts!

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