We live in a time when there is no shortage of cheap, entry-level laptops and desktops that promise to perform on par with a supercomputer. As most consumers are already aware, such promises are emptier than the nearly hollow plastic shells that they are trying to sell. Does that mean we need to break the bank and buy something that costs almost as much as a new car? Not at all, provided that you know how to choose your hardware. Keeping the price-to-performance ratio in focus, the following suggestions should help.
Go with a Ryzen CPU
Intel’s monopoly and market domination in silicon was over in 2016-17 because that’s when AMD released their first game-changing Ryzen CPUs. Unfortunately, most consumers still believe that Intel processors are better than AMD’s alternatives in every way, even though the two end up with neck-to-neck performance scores in most years.
Fortunately for consumers, this has kept the price of even the most powerful and energy-efficient AMD Ryzen 7 computers much more affordable than Intel’s offerings in the same class. The fact is that with current gen Ryzen 5 and 7 processors, computers perform almost as well and even better at times than they do with contemporary Intel processors.
Ignore DDDR5 RAM for Now
It’s been seven years since DDR4 became the standard for RAM sticks and now, DDR5 RAM is finally here in 2022. Note that DDR5 was already there long before 2022, but it started to be marketed as the new standard for the mass consumer from this year. As it always is with new tech, DDR5 RAM is significantly more expensive than its 4th generation predecessor right now. Think roughly 2-times the price of DDR4 RAM!
The prices will go down at some point in the future, but that point will not be reached in 2022. If you have any plans to buy a computer in 2022, just go with a fast DDR4 RAM and you will not be losing out on performance to any degree that matters. Note that DDR5 will matter because it’s way ahead of DR4 in every conceivable way. It will eventually replace DDR4 as the new standard down the line too, but that time is not here yet.
Skip the 4K Monitor
A 4K monitor is expensive and it will bring down your computer’s performance considerably. Depending on what it is that you do on your PC, using a 4K monitor could directly hamper your experience/productivity.
In case you are wondering why that is so, then take a look at the following chart:
- On a UHD monitor, the computer must push 3840 x 2160 = 8,294,400 pixels for every single frame.
- On a QHD monitor, the computer must push 2560 x 1,440 = 3,686,400 pixels per frame on every task.
- On a FHD monitor, the computer must push just 1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600 pixels per frame on every task.
Opt for a 10-bit (1 billion colors) 1080p or a 1,440p monitor instead. They cost a lot less, can provide amazing clarity, and allow you to do more with the hardware that you have. This applies, irrespective of whether you plan to game, create, design, animate, edit, or render on your new PC.