How to maximize your gadget shopping dollar


By web gangsta | Published:

Intel Core i7 Processor i7-2600K 3.4GHz 8MB LGA1155 CPU BX80623I72600K
Core i7 Processor i7-2600K 3.4GHz 8MB CPU

Have you purchased a computer lately?

Once you get past the initial “MAC vs Windows” discussion, the choices typically come down to price variations.  Web Watch has always said — and it’s been holding true for the past 20 years or so — that the “ideal” computer that any computer nerd would want will cost about $2,000.

You’d be surprised that the $2k number holds up, even in today’s retail environment where a decent home computer can be had for around $500.  Note that we said that this was a computer ideal for a computer nerd, not just any machine that would get somebody through the next two years of English class at the local university.

And that’s because that $2000 computer is one that is going to last for a number of years because it has all the bells and whistles for today, and will likely not need to be upgraded anytime soon.

But Web Watch understands that not everyone has $2k in their back pocket. Which brings up that more important question:  if you had limited funds with which to buy or outfit a computer, WHAT SHOULD THE MONEY BE SPENT ON?

When it comes to computers, the number one item for any new or used computer is how much memory it has.  Not hard drive space, but memory.  The is the least expensive, yet most important way to give your computer some much needed firepower.  Always buy as much memory as you can afford.

What about other gadgets?  Guess what – there are similar shopping rules that apply to those as well:

  • With your stereo or TV equipment, don’t overpay on the cables.  Despite what the marketers as Monster Cable will tell you, there have been numerous studies that show that the most expensive or most advertised cables are not necessarily the best.   Check out the cables at your local discount club, or put an order in with Monoprice.  You’ll save a ton of money that is better spent on the equipment itself
  • Digital cameras really have reached a maximum amount of quality with the number of megapixels being touted. For the casual photographer, a camera of 5-10 megapixels will be perfectly fine.  But the size of the image sensor? That’s something to pay attention to.
  • With the new fancy flatscreen TVs, the nerd-boy in you might want to go with the 240mhz refresh rate over the 120mhz refresh rate.  Seriously – save your money and get the 120mhz with the larger screen and full Internet connectivity instead.  Your wallet will thank you.