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Chapter 48. Purchasing PC Components on ... > Tips on Buying PC Components

Tips on Buying PC Components

Finally, consider the following tips regarding your purchase of computer components over the Internet, by calling an 800 number, or simply by walking into a computer store.

  • Do your research first. Before you buy any item for your PC, read a few product reviews comparing the item from several manufacturers. For example, if you are thinking about upgrading your CD-ROM to a CD-RW drive, look through some recent issues of some of the major computer industry journals and see what features are considered important and what type of comparison testing has been done. Some product reviews include either an “Editor's Choice” selection or a “Best Buy” recommendation. CNET has a hardware comparison Web site you can check at http://www.computers.com.

  • Get recent information. Product reviews are an excellent way of getting information on products you want to purchase, but not if the information is two years old. Computer products change rapidly. Don't bother with reviews that are more than six to eight months old. If you can't find a recent review, wait a few weeks and there will be another one.

  • Make friends with the “computer guru” in your company. Every company usually has one person who seems to know just about everything there is to know about computers. Seek out this person and become friends. Often, much of the information you need is available simply for the asking.

  • Check Usenet (Internet Newsgroups) for comments from other users. Usenet has a category for just about everything, including computer hardware and every software product imaginable. Check out comments from other users on specific brands and models. Look for comments on customer relations with various companies (manufacturers and dealers), whether the product performed as advertised, and any information on problems with the product.


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