For experienced computer users and techies buying a computer is the easiest thing in the world. In fact, they love doing it because it gives them a chance to get the latest configuration possible. But for a new user, it is a daunting task as most of the jargon sounds like Greek.
The primary rule for any user should be to identify their purpose for buying a computer. Be honest; if you only want to play games on your computer then that is what your new computer should be geared to do. A one size fits all sort of computer may not be enough for you in terms of capability or on the other hand it could be overkill and heavy on your wallet.
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Browsing the internet requires very little processing power, memory and hard disk space. So what you should focus on here is getting a netbook or similar low configuration computer. In addition to this, you can expect to buy a Webcam, Headphone & Microphone and perhaps even an external hard disk to keep all those downloads that you will eventually do.
Working with graphics means that you will have to go for a higher configuration. This involves a powerful processor, advanced graphics card, sound card, a large monitor and as much RAM as you can get. You will also need lots of storage space for your raw and edited video and pictures.
For games, the configuration is more or less the same as above, but you may also want to get surround speakers to enhance the gaming experience. In addition to this there are many other peripheral devices you can buy such as force feedback joysticks & wheels, enhanced keyboards & mice, etc.
Identifying your needs early will help you save money and confusion later on. If you still have trouble deciding, contact a professional and seek their guidance.