When Is the Best Time to Buy a New Computer?

Do you seem to always be behind the curve when it comes to purchasing a new computer? Or are you one of those early adopters that purchases new technology almost before it comes out? If you always seem to be the last to know, read on to find out when, traditionally, the best time to buy new computer equipment is.

Desktops and Laptops Are on the Same Schedule

Some may say that laptops are upgrading faster than desktop computers, but the truth of the matter is that desktops are still able to contain the more powerful components due to several possible issues. These include things like heat dissipation and the amount of space certain components take up.

Laptops, in many respects, are technically behind desktops when it comes to bleeding edge speed for their components. Much of this is part of the heat issue mentioned in the above paragraph. Things like processors, hard drives, video cards and other components generate heat. The faster the internal components, the more heat they generate. In an open space like a desktop, that heat dissipates into the “empty space” between parts for easier expulsion from the computer. In a laptop, in order to make the computer so small, they remove all that “empty space” and compact everything on top of each other. This means that any extra ambient heat is not going to dissipate as quickly or easily as if it were in a desktop. By using this logic, laptop components, even if they were of the same family as a desktop component, are usually made to run a little slower.

Chipset Is King

Whether your computer has an Intel or an AMD processor, they use something called a chipset to allow the processor to communicate with the rest of the computer. There are two components to the chipset, and each component talks to different types of hardware within the computer to make the entire thing run smoothly.

Both Intel and AMD will usually introduce their newest chipset versions in January at the CES event held each year. After the introduction, you typically won’t see computers coming out with those chipsets until Q3 of that year at the earliest. During Q1 and Q2, OEMs like Dell, HP, Toshiba, and others will quickly begin to integrate and produce products that use these new chipsets.

What all this means is that spring is ideally the best time to purchase a new computer. Not only has the upcoming equipment been announced, but prices are starting to fall on the current equipment.

Pay Attention to What You Buy

Those of you that are early adopters or like to be on the bleeding edge of everything technological, making your purchase around Q3 to coincide with the new school year can be kind of daunting if you’re not careful.

Remember, since all the new toys are coming out, all the old toys are going to be on sale. Don’t be fooled by a low price on something that is a year old. Also, it is not uncommon for some manufacturers to use older hardware components alongside the newest release; this can cause performance issues under certain circumstances. Always double check that all your components are the latest releases if that is important to you.

Who Wants to Wait Forever?

The most important thing to remember when purchasing a computer is that if you’re always waiting for the next big thing, you’re never going to buy anything. Hardware will always be more powerful than the software that runs on it. Yearly new hardware releases will always be faster and more capable than their predecessors. The person that waits for the latest and greatest will always be waiting. Buy what you want; buy what you need.

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