Seçkin Poyraz
front-end/back-end developer since 2011

What to be considered when buying a brand new Notebook?

published on 31.05.2020, by @seckinthepoyraz

Hello everyone! Because of the current pandemic, all education proccess including exams has been transferred to online. This -sadly- made people realize that notebooks are essential at any time. A lot of questions came through my DM's like "Hey, I want to buy a new Notebook what should I buy?"

Well, I really wish answering that question is as easy as you think, but it's not. In this blog post, I will try to cover up all the basic information you need to know to buy a proper price/performance PC (PC stands for Personal Computer and will be frequently used in this post.)

NOTE: This post is aimed for people that has very little knowledge about PCs. If you are experienced, you may consider contributing the post by commenting below :)

Rule #1: Know what you need your PC for

This is the major problem when buying a new computer. It really affects the price of your PC so it is very essential. You have to know what you will do on your PC.

  • Will you play video-games? If yes, you will need a proper GPU(Graphics Processing Unit). And you have to keep in mind that most of the AAA games come out only for Windows PCs. Macbooks may not be the right choice for that.
  • Will you Netflix and Chill? If yes, you will need a high-quality(1920x1080 minimum) screen resolution.
  • Will you use Android Studio? If yes, you will need at least 16GB RAM(Random Access Memory).
  • Will you just surf on the internet? If yes, you will need a proper CPU(Central Process Unit) and a proper RAM(Random Access Memory).
  • Will you mainly use MS Office Apps? If yes, you also will need a proper CPU(Central Process Unit) and a proper RAM(Random Access Memory).
  • Will you mainly use your PC for rendering? If yes, you may consider buying a Macbook because of Final Cut Pro and its optimized render algorithm.

Rule #2: Know your budget precisely

If you are living in Turkey, the computer and the computer part prices depend on the Dollar/TRY rate. Today, 31st of May 2020, 1$=6.82TRY which means a minimum proper PC price equals 4000TRY. I strongly DO NOT recommend buying lower-priced PC's than that.

Rule #3: Know what PC parts are and what they do

You, of course, don't have to know the PC parts since birth, but when it comes to buying a new PC for yourself, you better know at least some of them.

Operating System (OS):
Windows, Free-dos, MacOS, Linux...etc

If you buy a Free-dos PC you will have to install Windows or another OS on your own. If you buy a Windows pre-installed PC, you will have to pay at least 400TRY more because of the license of Windows. I recommend you to buy a freedos PC to save this money.

HDD (Hard Disk Drive) & SSD (Solid State Drive):
These the are basically the storage of your PC. There are lots to talk about the difference between these two but it's not necessary. What you need to know is: HDD is slower but cheap, SSD is significantly faster but pricy. I recommend to use 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD combo. In this method, you should install your OS on SSD to boot up your computer in 5 seconds or less, and you should store your needs like games or photos on HDD.

CPU (Central Process Unit):
This is the main proccessor of your PC. It affects the speed of your PC significantly. There are two major CPU producers out there: AMD and Intel. But you probably see Intel alot. Basically, AMD is cheaper compared to Intel but it has chronical problems like heating some times. But I think Intel dominates notebook CPUs so I will recommand Intel. If you wish to buy laptops priced between 4000-5000TRY, you should consider Intel Core i5 maybe i7 if you can find any. If you wish to buy laptops priced more than 5000+ TRY, you should consider Intel i7 or i9.

You will see names like "Intel Core i7 10750H" 10 means the generation of the processor and the more it gets the better it is of course.
GPU (Graphics Processing Unit):
This is the most heart-breaking part of the proccess of buying a new PC. GPU's are necessary IF YOU ARE GOING TO PLAY GAMES AT HIGH FPS LEVELS. And they are hella expensive. That's why I'm keep saying you don't have to have a GPU if you don't play games at all. The minimum you can get now is Nvidia MX230. When it comes to picking the proper GPU for your computer, I strongly recommend you to watch BENCHMARK VIDEOS on YouTube. You can see how many FPS you are able to get in a specific game with this way. GPUs are an advanced topic and rather complicated scenarios, so they should be considered with overall of your computer parts.
I have found this image that shows the comparison of the names between AMD and Nvidia GPUs on Reddit.
RAM (Random Access Memory):
RAM is the memory of your PC. Your RAM should be at least 8GB 2400Mhz DDR4 CL17 in today's standarts. Otherwise, you cannot get the best result of your CPU and eventually your computer will stutter alot. RAM keeps your opened programs information on its memory. Google Chrome or apps like Android Studio requires and uses lots of RAM, so keep that in mind when picking the proper RAM. Additionaly, the more Mhz the better but also the less CL(CAS Latency) the better. For ex: 8CL/2400Mhz is better than 17CL/2666Mhz OR 17CL/2666Mhz is better than 17CL/2400Mhz

The Cooling System:
The major problem in nano-technology is overheating. If you make things smaller, they will heat up faster and more. That's the situation with the CPUs temperatures. If you want to buy a gaming PC, you definitely must search for its cooling system, if it has chronical heating problems and does not have a proper cooling system, your game will get FPS Drops often because the CPU will lock itself to cool-down.

With all these being said, you should now at least know what to consider when buying a new notebook. If your budget is precise and you know exactly what you need, you can easily find the best notebook for you!

That's it for now, thank you for your time. If you want to add stuff to this post, please consider commenting. Thank you again. See you in the next blog posts, take care!