Computer Equipment Finance - How to get the most for your money

Updated: Dec 3, 2019

With IT accounting for 19% of small business expenditure it’s crucial that business owners get the best value possible when kitting out their offices with computers.

It can be tempting to go for the latest, greatest and most expensive computers available, justifying these costs through the centrality of IT to everything in our business and the longevity of more expensive machines.

While IT expenditure is an investment, very few of us actually use our computers to anywhere near their full functionality. In short, most companies overspend on hardware. Careful consideration of your IT needs can see you avoid wasting money in this way. Here are the key things that you need to think about.

Processing requirements - CPU and RAM

CPU and RAM dictate how fast computers run, and how many applications they can run in parallel before the computer in question starts slowing down. CPU refers to the processing power of a machine, whereas the amount of RAM refers to it’s working memory (workspace).

Computers with faster processors and more RAM can, therefore, allow people to work more productively.

A key point about the relationship between CPU processing and RAM is that RAM constrains CPU processing and that RAM is far easier to upgrade than CPU.

It is therefore often good practice to purchase computers with relatively powerful CPUs and less RAM and then adding more RAM if necessary. You just need to make sure the computers in question have the capacity to take on more RAM.

If your IT needs are relatively simple, such as word processing, internet usage, and the occasional use of cloud-based software, then the processing requirements of your computer may be less than you need.

It could be well worth taking a look at the system requirements of whatever applications you use to avoid overspending, just don’t forget to take into account your need to run applications in parallel.

As a general rule of thumb, a quad-core processor with 1.3GHz of CPU and 2-4MB of RAM should be enough so long if you are only having to work with documents and databases rather than creative and other heavy-duty softwares.

If you are unsure about what your IT needs will be in the long term, shorter-term leasing on machines can allow you more flexibility to upgrade your IT equipment in the future.

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