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"-Buy as powerful as you possibly can, in CPU, graphics, memory, hard disk space, and CD-RW speed. This will make your system stay uptodate longer."
I don't suggest this at all. For most people, all they are doing is wasting money if they buy the top of the line hardware. Lets look at what I do with my computer for example:
- I write papers for college classes
- I Do data analysis in OpenOffice Calc
- I do presentations in OpenOffice Present
- I do scientific programming with C and C++
- I do Email and web browsing
- I do image editing for presentations and web sites
Do you know what my system specs are?
- 400 Mhz AMD K6-2
- 128 Mb RAM
- 20 Gb hard disk
- 16 Mb Matrox Millenium AGP card
This system does everything that I need, although by today's standards, it is a dinosaur.
The only people who need top of the line hardware are gamers or people doing some very serious number crunching. And that does not describe most people. The era of PC gaming is coming to an end anyway as console gaming systems become more powerful for games than PCs are anyway.
Ultimately, for most people, it is better to save themselves about a $1,000 and buy lower end hardware, because the top of the line stuff would be nothing more than a waste of money for them.