Computer Families and Models
Many computer manufacturers, especially such computer giants as IBM, Dell, Gateway, Sony, Apple, etc. issue families (series) of computers. Models of computers in each series have either the same principle of design, or same processor, or have been given diapason of performances. The series can include a base model, and several derivative models. Usually for each type of computer, manufacturers issue series that generally can be divided into 3-4 categories: budget-friendly (at low price), mid-range (at middle price), cutting-edge and ultimate performance (at high and very high prices). IBM, Gateway, Dell and Apple issue computer families not only for Home and Home office, but also for Small, Mid size or Large Businesses. These families can also include the network optimized series.
The needed features
First of all, you have to make a preliminary analysis of your needs to pick a type of computer, and a zone where you might search this computer, for example, for Home or for Small Business. But it is not sufficient.
To understand what kind of computer to buy, you additionally have to determine what computer performance you need: the type of processor, speed, size of memory, type of video and audio cards, type of case, and so on. You can select one from two ways: 1 - to formulate your needs in the process of searching, 2 - to compile a list a hardware requirement for the programs you might want to run
To select a computer family, you have to choose one, which the features match, your wishes. Such families can be several. Next procedures are to find the best computer family and best model of computer belonging to this family. If you know the features you need, you can identify the name of the computer family. For this goal you have to use for example, a Table of Features comparison for base models of computer families. For example, according to this Table, if you know that you need a computer only for simple text editing and emailing, your choice is Budget-Friendly Series. On the other hand, if you need for realization of your tasks a computer from Cutting-Edge series , but it is not affordable, your choice can be like a computer from Mid-range series plus a customization (perhaps, when you can better afford it).
To accelerate the search for the preliminary selection, you can find comparison information about the different types of computers with the help a comparison-shopping search engine. It allows you quickly to find the needed products sold by online stores, small businesses, and individuals in diapason of affordable prices. Search can be done by Brand, by Price, by Processor speed, etc. To find what you need, see: http://www.nextag.com/serv/cleverace/buyer/outpdir.jsp
Generally, a preliminary selection can be executed on the basis of not only cost and main functions, but also on an evaluation of convenience of use, warranties, and so on. This kind of selection you can make for computer families of different manufacturers for example, for 3 or 4 families of computer giants. Some companies, such as Gateway, gives to a buyer an opportunity to compare preliminary selected models of computers with "compare" option.
To find the optimal model for yourself, you may make the final selection from the preliminary chosen models. It is much easier to compare 3-4 models, than more than 5 million variants that are available on the Computer Market at the beginning of your search.
Custom built model
If you can't find a computer with the needed performances among the available computers, you need to select a vendor and to order a custom built computer.
Keep in mind, you can find a cheaper computer for the same model on the Discount Market, because some online stores, especially the computer giants, suggest coupons; or discounts, such as $20 off, when you spend $150 or more; free shipping; free printer; and so