What will you do if there are no Buying Guides?

These are the methods used by experts to beginners, who wish to research a bit before buying a new PC or upgrading it.

Basically there are 3 methods

1.     Benchmark software

2.     Forum

3.     User reviews

What is benchmarking?

Let us assume that the fastest person in the world can run at 50 kmph and if you can run at 20 kmph, here comes the benchmark, so you are comparing yourself to the fastest person through some graph or values.

In benchmark software, we are going to compare our desired processor or motherboard graphic card to the nearly priced ones or the fastest ones.

From this we can easily know the comparative performance of similarly priced processors or graphic cards etc.

By comparing the benchmark of your existing processor with the one you are going to buy, you can find out how fast the new processor is, than your existing processor.

There are several benchmark software available presently but some benchmark software do the benchmark for all the components such as processor, motherboard, RAM etc. Some benchmark software compares graphic card performance or 3D performance specifically.

Before you get a professor in hand how can you do that benchmark?

There are several reliable sites in internet that delivers unbiased review of pc components.

Here at LenZFire, I am going to publish such reviews about budget range processors, graphic cards and motherboard soon.

Benchmarks results are two types.

1. Lower is better

Here the benchmark results will mostly be measured in time or seconds. So the lesser the time a processor takes to complete a task, the faster the processor.

2. Higher is better

Here the benchmark results may be in score or fps etc., where higher the score, faster the processor. Most of the benchmark results will be of this type.

Here are some common Benchmarks used widely

  1. PC Mark Vantage
  2. Cinebench 10
  4. Fritz Chess Benchmark
  5. ScienceMark 2.0
  6. Prime95 
  7. SuperPi
  8. HD Tach 3
  9. HD Tune 4
  10. Sisoft Sandra Lite
  11. Everest Ultimate
  12. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
  13. DiRT2
  14. BattleForge
  15. Unigine Heaven

These are some of the famous websites, which publish reviews, once a new processor or graphic card is released

  1. Tom’s Hardware Reviews
  2. AnandTech
  3. Overclockers Club
  4. HardOCP
  5. Hardware Canucks
  6. Guru3D.com
  7. X-bit labs
  8. Bit-Tech

Why’d we use Benchmarks?

Let me put a question before you.

Assume that I have given you AMD FX8350 and Intel Core i7 3770K processors.

  • FX 8350 has 8 integer cores and 4 floating point cores running at 4 GHz clock speed
  • Core i7 3770K has 4 integer cores and 4 floating point cores running at 3.5 GHz clock speed

So now, can you say me which one is faster without seeing any benchmarks?

Yes, you can! If you know their performances previously else it’s not possible to judge correctly, because FX 8350 has more cores and higher clock speed, but yet Core i7 is faster. Why?

It’s because of difference in architecture. So unless we compare the benchmark results, we cannot predict the performance and reliability of PC components with their specifications.

Not only that, we can also do clock by clock performance to find out the improvement in architecture from the old generation to new generation computer hardware.

Benchmark software also helps us to find the single core performance of a multi core processor.

Some processors may be faster in certain areas, for e.g. AMD processors are usually faster than similarly priced Intel processors in 7zip compression, h264 media decoding and other highly threaded applications or benchmark software. This is because AMD offers more cores at the same price than Intel.

Intel processors perform well in many other benchmarks such as gaming benchmarks, Cinebench single threaded, etc. This is because we don’t need anything more than 4 cores for games. So single core performance, mainly decides the best performing processor.

Once you start to read the reviews of processors, you will understand lot many things like this. So, let’s enter into the next category.

How to use Forums?

There are lots and lots of computer hardware forums available around the world, but in India, famous computer hardware forums are less.

When you wish to buy a new computer component for a budget, you may post questions in it.

Users of those forums will reply you within a few hours. After reading their replies you can come to a decision.

But this a bit time consuming process for beginners. Still, most of the issues should be answered already, in the forums. So your job is to just search your question in Google and find the answer in forums.

How to decide through User reviews?

Several websites like Flipkart, provides a space for user feedback or reviews on products sold in India. They also provide ratings for products for a total of five stars.

So if a product has large number of higher ratings, it means the product is good.

If you still want to dig deep, you may scroll down and read the reviews, where you can find the exact detail about pros and cons of a product from the previous buyers.

Suppose if you can’t find enough number of reviews, but if you believe that the product may be good and suitable for you, what will you do?

Move to foreign websites like Newegg and read the user reviews written there. If you’re happy with it buy it here, in India.

How to approach user reviews?

After you’re satisfied with a product’s specification and price you’d move on to user reviews. After reading one or two positive reviews, stop there. Try to find and read all negative reviews. Decide whether those negatives can be compromised.

Some negative reviews may not be true for various reasons.

Eg: I have bought a screen guard for my mobile and pasted it on my screen. It got scratched even when I nail it with my fingers. I got upset and written a negative review for that. Later I found that I didn’t remove the upper layer. I thought of editing my feedback, but I haven’t done it till date.

Also nothing can be 100% perfect. Some person could have got a defective piece and instead of replacing it, they could have left a negative comment.

So read all the negative comments or user reviews and segregate the real / unreal ones, then check whether those real negatives can be compromised for your use.

If you feel the above methods are tedious!

Buying guide for computer hardware will be ready in a few days at LenZFire.com/Free. You can buy any computer component or design a whole computer configuration easily by yourself, using that guide.