Regarding new computers, here are our basic recommendations:
- The operating system should be the “Pro” version to allow the machine to join the domain. This includes Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Pro.
- We recommend 8GB of RAM.
- Most Intel Core i5 processors sold today are adequate for all users. Heavy users (complex Excel, lots of applications at once, high-demand financial applications, etc.) should get an Intel Core i7 processor.
- Office is cheapest when purchased with a new machine. This is only applicable if you don’t have a volume license agreement.
- Your machine should have at least two cores available to Windows with 4 cores a much better target. The best way to find out the number of cores is to Google the processor model. For example, Google “i5-4440” and you’ll get to the Intel page here. This machine has 4 cores and 4 thread for a total of 8 operating system processors which is a very good number.
- Local storage on the desktop isn’t that important. Most machines have more than enough already (250GB or more).
- We recommend SSD storage as it is very fast.
- We recommend sticking with the major hardware providers (Lenovo, HP, Dell) since they tend to offer reasonable warranties and support. Internally we use all Lenovo.
We recommend checking around using amazon.com, Froogle.google.com, and Newegg.com to see pricing. The Microsoft Store also runs periodic promotions which are very good.