With computers, you get what you pay for. It always helps if you know what you will be using the computer for. If you are simply looking for a desktop or laptop that would be suitable for your college work then finding a capable machine is unlikely to set you back a substantial amount of money.

The price of a computer can vary between €200 and €3,000 because each computer can have a very specific function. While this might seem like quite the investment, how much should a computer cost?

Did you know that, on average, a business spends 16% of its budget on its IT systems?

Whether you’re buying a new computer for an individual or for business purposes, your budget for IT equipment can vary a lot.

So what devices are we talking about? What is a reasonable price? What extra costs do we need to consider?

In this article, you’ll find the answers to all these questions.

If you are studying computer science, engineering or graphic design then you will likely be using a powerful software that will demand more from your computer. In order to run these programs and avoid the inevitable overheating and subsequent breakdown of your device, then you will likely have to reach a little deeper into your pockets when buying it.

Many educational institutes have been adopting a variety of programs into their students' learning in order to equip them for the ever-evolving workplace in this digital era. This can put a strain on students who often find themselves scrambling in order to find a computer powerful enough to run these demanding programs.

Statistical software that is commonly adopted by students such as R studio, SPSS, or Tableau can be surprisingly strenuous on the CPU of the modern-day computer. It is important to consider the purpose which you will be using the computer for during your purchasing decisions.

If you plan on using software such as solid works, then you will likely need to spend more on a GPU or graphics card as they tend to be extremely graphically demanding to run.

Which are the best computers for students?
You can get so much work done with the right computer. (Source: StartupStockPhotos)
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Computer components and their price

A component that serves as the brain of the computer. It is the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instructions that drive a computer. High-end processors enable faster computer performance.

RAM or Random-access Memory is also another feature that you will need to familiarise yourself with when you are making your computer purchasing decisions.

RAM is the memory space that your desktop or laptop has to complete certain processes. While it can be expensive to purchase RAM cards for your computer, they will determine the number of tasks that your computer can run.

Basically, the more RAM that you have, the better your computer will be able to run simultaneous and intensive processes. You can purchase cards of ram that vary in speed and memory. So you will be able to purchase an external memory card suited for the purposes that you need.

Similarly, the prices of both laptops and desktops vary considerably due to RAM capacities. Here you can see what a consumer can expect to pay for a computer with different quantities of onboard RAM in Ireland:

  • 2 GB : €379 – €319
  • 4 GB :€299 – €480
  • 8 GB : €714 – €1200
  • 16 GB or higher: €899 – €1600
Where can you get computers for businesses?
A computer for work doesn't need to be the same as a computer for personal use. (Source: StartupStockPhotos)

On the other hand, the user experience is determined by the Operating System used in both laptops and desktops. Prices also differ due to the installed OS especially if this offers better features and applications.

If you are purchasing a desktop, then you also need to remember that the price is unlikely to include an external monitor that you will need to connect your computer to. While laptops have built-in displays, the price of a desktop typically does not include the accompanying display.

The two main OS you can buy are Apple or Microsoft, check our comparative guide. You can also see if you need a PC or a laptop.

If you're putting together your own computer from scratch, your motherboard (the main circuit board) will be one of your most important decisions as this will define the maximum RAM and CPU speed you can have in your personal computer. It will also define how many ports you have for expansions and other devices.

A laptop computer can't install anywhere near as many upgrades as a desktop. In fact, this is why it's more common to have a gaming desktop rather than a laptop as you can futureproof it more easily.

Which are the best laptops for freelancers?
If you work from home, you may need one or several computers. (Source: Free-Photos)

The Average Costs of IT Components

It’s difficult to put together an exhaustive list of IT components and their price given how many brands and formats there are. We’ve got a few average prices for you. We need to take the main purchases into consideration:

  • Laptops
  • PCs with a screen, keyboard, tower, and mouse
  • Accessories like speakers
  • Basic printers. You should check out the official websites and get reconditioned and refurbished models from the manufacturer without having to buy from private sellers.

While forking out an extra one or two hundred on your computer might seem like an unnecessary expense, particularly when you are trying to budget as a student. It is most definitely a justified expense, as it would likely cost you a lot more if you were to be stuck with a computer that isn’t capable of running any of the tasks that you require.

You might also want to consider the value that you will be able to sell your computer or its parts for in the future. You’d be surprised how many people are on the hunt for second-hand parts, and it might just bring down the overall price that you pay while using the computer.

If there is only one specific part of your PC build that you need to update, then you are able to replace or upgrade that specific part of your machine. There is no need to throw out the family desktop if you just need to update your graphics card or the fan.

Purchasing used parts or upgrading what you need are great ways of getting great value for your computer, while also reducing the overall cost that you spend on its’s maintenance over the years.

You also need to consider repair costs. On average, someone changes their computer four times throughout their life. However, in some cases, you have to get them repaired. You might need to:

  • Repair a hard drive
  • Restore lost data
  • Replace a broken monitor
  • Replace a PC case
  • Update antivirus software or firewall

PC repairs can cost anywhere between €30 and €150 per hour. That should be enough to make you take care of your hardware.

For more info about computers, check out our complete computer guide and if you're undecided between a Mac or a Windows computer, have a look at our guide.

Which are the best cheap computers?
Your budget is definitely not going to be pennies. (Source: 127071)

Put your new computer to use with a Superprof tutor!

Not everyone is in the market for the latest flashy computer with LED lights and touchscreen features. While this might be helpful for some, many searches for laptops that are simply for writing emails or accessing our college notes. For this reason when trying to arrive at a fair price to pay for a computer we need to take a look at what we need.

If you are looking to perform simple tasks such as internet browsing, emails, and processing office documents then you will only need an entry-level or budget laptop. These models contain the more basic computer programs to enable it to perform standard tasks, so you will be able to keep some of that hard earned money in your pocket.

These cheaper options are perfect for students and or anybody who needs the necessities of a modern laptop within a minimum price range. Average cost range from €270 – €499.

If you are looking to start out taking lessons in IT, Excel, or just general computer use then tutoring might benefit you a lot. Students that are serious about getting help with their learning should consider consulting one of Superprof’s tutors first. Even if you decide not to opt for weekly lessons, in the end, you might still get some value out of your session. You can really learn a lot from an hour of back and forth with an experienced teacher.

Perhaps you are taking up coding or excel as a means of upskilling your competencies in the constantly evolving workplace, you might also find value in the enhanced prospects of flexibility that the platform offers its students.

You will be given plenty of flexibility in how you choose to progress in the language. In fact, the majority of tutors that list their services across the country give students the option to learn from the comfort of their own home, the home of the tutor, or in a remote setting via webcam. So you might not have to break the bank for your private tuition!

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