Computer Equipment Recommendations for Beginners

My credentials in the field:  CompTIA A+, Security+, Net+.

 

My instructor recommends (and I agree):

 

  • Western Digital hard drives
  • Asus motherboards
  • Asus laptops
  • AMD processors
  • Any Internet browser other than Internet Explorer
  • Mac computers
  • Kingston RAM

 

Here’s a short discussion of why:  The above all have statistically better performance rates than other equipment, backed by the best warranties on the planet.  You can afford to offer long-term warranties and generous repair/replacement policies IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT AS MUCH.  This doesn’t mean that you, the reader, personally, have not had bad experiences with some of the above equipment, having the huge pain in the butt of replacing a malfunctioning component with a new one, only to have it, too, fail to work right out of the box.  What it does mean is that there are a lot more victims of crappy equipment than the above equipment.  Seagate hard drives seem to be pretty reliable, these days, although I recall reading a review years ago that said they were good for throwing into a bay, and that was about it.  A friend of mine lost his legal reference library when a Seagate hard drive failed without warning—no funny noises, no nothing, just total failure.  This doesn’t mean he didn’t drop it earlier—I didn’t follow him around all the time, and I can’t guarantee he didn’t.  He should have had it backed up.  He didn’t.  I had a Western Digital Caviar 200 GB hard drive fail, right out of the box.*  At the time, Western Digital had a 5-year guarantee.  I did their diagnostics, as they required, and they then replaced it for free with a 250 GB hard drive.  Out of the 50 or so Western Digital hard drives I have used since, none have ever failed suddenly.  Some of the worn out ones, 10, 20, 30, and 40 GB drives from ten years ago, have bad sectors and I’ve taken them out of service, but I’ve never seen a sudden total failure.  Some of the other brands I’ve used, Fujitsu, Maxtor, and whatever brands are in properly functioning computers that I’ve never had to take apart, were all fine, too.  No sudden failures.  But Western Digital has the best guarantee.

 

* I suspect it was programmed for use as something other than a Personal Computer hard drive, and shipped as a PC hard drive by mistake.  It functioned perfectly after formatting, but it wouldn’t return file space to use when files were deleted, and Windows XP continuously accesses and modifies its operating system files and registry.  So the amount of disk space would slowly shrink while I watched.  After I’d reformat it, I could use it again, and the same thing would happen.  If this disk was programmed to be used as a write once/read many digital library component, then this behavior would make sense.

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