Speed of Thought: Your Computers Should Run as Fast as You Can Think

By Charles Kelly, President, Computer Exchange

You own a business and you use IT products and computers every single day. Many of the business owners I deal with make mistakes by thinking that speed doesn’t matter anymore. Buy a cheap computer or any brand with an i5 processor, 8GB of ram and an enormous hard drive and you are good to go, right?

Well, not so much. Speed matters and it matters even more if your people are creating things or doing work with spreadsheets, videos, photographs or even text documents. A new computer, cluttered with advertisements and trial versions can run as slow as my kids run to mow our 5-acre lawn.

I wrote last month about how solid state drives (SSDs) are making things faster, so I took some of my own advice and prepped a basic Bizz Box that sells for $599 and added an SSD to it. This machine is for our new intern who will help me digitize the thousands of photographs and papers that I hold of my father’s life in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. I was actually surprised at just how fast it booted and moved between programs. It operates more like a much higher-end computer that would sell for more than $1,000.

So, this basic computer, with good cooling and power and a pretty decent processor with an SSD added boots in less than 10 seconds. I haven’t needed anything fast lately, but I can tell you that for our needs of scanning and processing the thousands of documents that this is the balanced computer we need.

Salespeople will talk to you endlessly about how fast a computer is, how many megabytes it has and how much it will hold, but the fact is the sales staff in a big box store haven’t built computers so they are mostly spouting off random facts from a sales meeting.

Your computer and every computer in your organization should run at the speed of your mind and the minds of your staff at their task. If you have to break your rhythm to wait for the computer to catch up, it’s too slow. If your video editor is tapping his or her fingers while the new edit renders, you are wasting time and breaking the concentration of a creative person.

Most of the time a very good, very fast computer will cost you more up front, but will last longer, be up to the task of running at the speed of mind for your staff and will have less chance of breakdown. When or if it does break down, it will be worth the value of a repair and you won’t have the time and cost of a complete migration to deal with.

In the long run, your cost per year is actually less than if you had purchased that cheap computer.

Do yourself and your staff a favor and buy either a mid-range or higher-end computer and have an SSD installed as the boot drive. Even our basic Bizz Box with an SSD, depending on size, is only around $800. Want something faster? You might spend $1,200 to $1,500 but if you have a genius on your hands who is designing buildings and bridge spans, splurge a little and give that genius something fast and fantastic to work with. Our computers are built by experts with the knowledge to choose, component by component, what you need.

The SSD is a game changer as I mentioned last month, but to be in the game at the speed of your competitors, you need more than the cheapest box you can find. You need a solid, balanced computer with local sales and service.

Charles Kelly is President of Computer Exchange, with four locations in the CSRA: South Augusta, North Augusta, Martinez and Grovetown. Computer Exchange specializes in computer solutions for home and business. For answers to your computer questions, email him at charles@computerexchange.com.

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