• Nick Thomas

On not being 'sold' a device

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

I regularly give out advice and go hunting for laptops for customers for them to buy. They come to me with a specific (or not so specific) set of requirements and a budget and I advise them on the best device for their money. Sometimes, they come back with something different - "The sales guys said this was better, it's got bigger... giga...memory... or something". Bigger is better, except when it's not.

The biggest example of this is when it comes to storage space, which is different from Memory (perhaps my next post will be about that, so stay tuned). Keep in mind that there are 1024 Gb (Gigabytes) in 1 Tb (Terabyte). Why is it then that for the same price, I can get a laptop with 1Tb of storage, as opposed to 256Gb? I'll have the bigger one thanks! The difference here is that the larger is likely a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and the smaller is a Solid State Drive (SSD), which is a LOT faster. And if you're only using 113Gb of space anyway, then that additional 800+ Gb of storage is wasted, so bigger doesn't serve a purpose here, but faster would have. More on the difference between those two here. Another point of confusion would be Processors. They're the engine that drives your machine, and much like engines in a car, bigger is better, except when it's not (maybe the blog after next will be on that topic). The first thing anyone looks at is the clock speed, which can be misleading. I've got 2 processors, one is 3.8Ghz (Gigahertz) and the other is 2.7Ghz. You'd go with the faster one, right? Nope, you just picked up a Pentium 4 chip from 12 years ago, scoring 486 on a benchmark, while the other was a Pentium G630 from 9 years ago, scoring 2300 on the same benchmark. Or take, for instance, another chip running at 3.0Ghz, that's not as fast, right? That would be a Core i9-10980XE from 3-4 months back, scoring a whopping 31,752... Confused yet? I certainly would be. Google is your friend in this instance. I sure do not know the benchmark scores for all the Processors past and present, but there are websites that do: https://www.passmark.com/ is your friend (It's certainly mine). The sales person isn't your friend here (of course not, they don't know you), they have their own agenda that may or may not align with yours in this purchase. Just because they can show you bigger numbers, doesn't mean they're better numbers. Einstein (so I understand) once said "not all that can be counted counts, and not all that counts can be counted". My advice would be to talk to your computer person, whether that be myself or someone else, and do some research and then follow through with that research once you hit the store.

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