Updated: Apr 7
..."a chain is only as strong as its weakest link"...and some other platitudes I can't be bothered retyping.
Most people don't know it, but buying a computer is a delicate balance.
Because a computer is usually a sum of its parts there's an opportunity for a single component to hold the hold thing back.
Sadly the reverse isn't true. If you have a banging CPU and the rest of the machine is rubbish, then overall the machine will be rubbish.
It is like putting an enormously powerful engine in your car and forgetting to upgrade the brakes...the clutch...the suspensions...the gearbox, and so on.
It is fairly easy to see where your current bottlenecks are using something like Window's built in Resource Monitor.
You get nice graphs showing you which components are working the hardest and within that which things are making them work that hard.
So you can identify hungry software as well as hardware at its limit.
But when you are buying a new computer you need to spend your money evenly across the components so that you don't waste too much on any one component and, more importantly, too little on any component.
In the not so distant past it was quite easy to think you are buying a decent machine only to have the hard disk in it be slow.
Manufacturers didn't often give buyers the degree of resolution (detail) to the components needed to make a fully empowered choice.
In the case of hard disks, these days you'd be mad not to ensure that your new PC has a Solid State drive (SSD) in it.
Of course there are many other things that need to be considered to buy a balanced machine.
It isn't easy for the casual buyer.
These $350 PC you see on TV may have 8Gb of RAM. That sounds great. That's what your nephew said you needed.
But I can just about guarantee that from the moment you turn on your new $350 PC you are going to wish you'd paid more and thought about it a bit harder...or got some help.
NOTE: It is also very easy to spend way too much money using just "specifications" alone.
I have a buying guide you can request. It's free.
Or get a trusted and ACTUALLY knowledgeable friend to help you.