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Anyone know about computers?

A bit of a random topic sorry...

But if anyone is willing to gently walk a completely ignorant and very confused human through choosing a laptop I would be extremely grateful...

 

So a while ago my laptop died. We took it to the computer vet (Smiley Tongue), and while I was able to save my files onto a USB, the computer itself was beyond saving.

 

So now a need a new laptop.

But also I know very very little about what all the weird numbers and acronyms mean. (Like what the heck is RAM for? What is 8 RAM? I have no idea what to do with that information)

 

I killed my previous laptop by having too much running in it simultaneously, if that helps (Apparently 37 tabs open is too much or something) so I kinda need something that can survive my ADD brain.

Other than Google I mostly just use drawing software, which made my old computer make an unhappy whirring noise, so I also need something that can cope with that.

 

Does anyone know what sort of numbers/ acronyms I should be looking out for in my quest?

Or any sites I could look at other than officeworks?

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Re: Anyone know about computers?

Heya @Tiny_leaf , I'm definitely not an expert but here's my stab at finding some useful information! Hopefully people with more tech wizardry than me can chime in, and I will ask our resident tech guru at RO tomorrow! 

 

RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is basically your computer's short term memory system - if you're running a lot of programs simultaneously, then you'll need more RAM. 8GB RAM seems to be the recommendation for most users. 

 

These are recommended specs for uni student laptops, which by the sounds of things should cover off what you need to use it for:

 

  • At least an Intel Core i5 processor (i7 preferred)
  • Windows 10 x 64.
  • 16 GB of RAM.
  • 500 GB hard drive.

And then there's other stuff, like whether or not you want one that's really light, how big you want your screen to be (especially if you'll use if for watching videos etc) and what your budget is.

 

I found this article from choice that gave a pretty good rundown on different options. 

 

I hope that's a decent starting point, I'm sure there's people with more tech-y brains than me that can chip in as well! 

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Re: Anyone know about computers?

@Janine-RO thank you! That's a brilliant starting point!!

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Re: Anyone know about computers?

@Janine-RO unrelated but also I think my brain needs more RAM. Smiley Tongue

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Re: Anyone know about computers?

Hi @Tiny_leaf!
We built the desktop computer I am using now ourselves by ordering the parts and assembling it. It is a bit old now and some parts have had to be replaced over the years. I have studied hardware and software as a hobby but I don't know as much as some of my family members.
I'm not a professional, but I honestly find it hard to believe that having too many tabs open killed your laptop. I always have a lot of tabs open and it has not caused any damage to any computer I've had. If you have a lot of tabs open, that could take up a lot of memory but if you have enough memory to do that it shouldn't be much of a problem. You can check how much memory you're using in Task Manager if it is a Windows system. In my amateurish/hobbyist opinion, it's probably more likely that an internal part died, but it's hard to know for sure what the problem is without looking at the laptop. A lot of the time, you can't diagnose the problem without a lot of trial and error and I find that sometimes computer repair people try to trick you into spending more.
My current computer has about 8GB of memory because it was originally built as a gaming computer. Once, some parts died (long story) and the memory went down to 4GB which I wasn't happy with while we waited on the replacement parts. So I would say to look for at least 8GB if you want to have a lot of tabs or applications open.
In my opinion and experience of having this problem, a loud noise shouldn't be something that normally happens. The whirring noise could be an internal fan issue (e.g., a fan dying, or something trapped in the fan, such as another component) or an overheating issue. Sometimes it can be related to a graphical issue (e.g., when playing a game). In the past, I have used a graphics card overclocking software to check the temperature when I've suspected an overheating issue and it was really helpful. Did the computer person you went to say anything about what might be causing the whirring noise?

PC Gamer has a lot of reviews of computer parts and laptops and you might be able to find magazines with reviews of parts. We ordered our parts from a gaming PC and desktop site, so I'm sorry I can't be of much help when it comes to laptops. Other places you could look at are JB Hi-Fi, Dell, Apple, Harvey Norman, etc.
There are so many other things to consider when buying or building a computer, so let me know if you have any questions!

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Re: Anyone know about computers?

Hahaha @Tiny_leaf  I can relate to that way too much!! Your comment about lots of tabs open also made me laugh, I looked at my computer and realised I had about 20 tabs opened myself Smiley LOL

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Check out our community activities calendar for August 2020 here
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Re: Anyone know about computers?

@WheresMySquishy From what I know I overheated the fan by running too much at once and then the battery died...

 

Every computer I touch makes the whirring noise so I think that might be my fault..

 

Thanks for the link!!

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Re: Anyone know about computers?

Okay so thanks to you @Janine-RO and @WheresMySquishy I managed to narrow it down a LOT, and it turns out one of my support workers is a computer need and can help me narrow down the rest. YAY!!!

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Re: Anyone know about computers?

Great to hear @Tiny_leaf! Choosing a computer can be really stressful. It sounds like you have it covered but if you need additional help, I am pretty good with computers too Smiley Happy

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Re: Anyone know about computers?

I'm so glad that you were able to narrow down a lot of choices @Tiny_leaf! Smiley Happy Choosing a computer can be so hard.