Poll: When buying a new PC, what's the most important component?

Poll: When buying a new PC, what's the most important component?

Summary: Quick poll ... When buying a new PC, what's the most important component?

SHARE:
TOPICS: Hardware
61

Quick poll ... When buying a new PC, what's the most important component?

[poll id="485"]

Topic: Hardware

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

61 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Each situation calls for a different answer

    At least that's how it has been in my experience. For myself personally, however, storage space and screen size are the two biggest factors.
    Michael Kelly
  • The option you forgot

    Motherboard.

    The motherboard (and sometimes specifically the chipset) dictates what kind of each of the other components you can use. It also dictates options like onboard graphics.
    Joe_Raby
    • I Agree

      The motherboard is the most important as it be upgraded. It often dictates the other components that one can upgrade to over the lifetime of the computer. Moreover, with many motherboards have the graphic chip soldered into it, you may not be able to upgrade that component at all.
      Mwendo
    • Another vote for motherboard.

      Everything else can be upgraded incrementally over time and it won't be considered a "new" computer. The right motherboard can allow for five to six years of upgrades before a new system is required. Buy the wrong motherboard, though, and you'll be replacing it in a year or two.

      jrf2027@...
    • absolutely right, but...

      it appears Adrian was thinking along the lines of purchasing a computer-- not building one.

      Most PC makers don't want to lock themselves into using the same motherboard for an entire run of a model number, so it's nearly impossible to find out (for certain) what motherboard is in a pre-built system.

      In a small sense this makes the CPU the most important factor because you can gleam a bit of forward compatibility information based on the model of CPU installed.
      ericesque
    • The other option you forgot - for notebooks

      Weight!
      jorjitop
    • Please add motherboard to the choices and I will vote...

      As important as all other components are, the mobo is critical for optimal performance and stability of those components.

      Please add motherboard to the choices and I will vote...
      ramewe7337
    • Another motherboard vote

      I once bought a computer with a cheap motherboard. Not making that mistake again. The rest of the computer can be easily replaced, piece by piece, but if you have a bad mobo, you might as well start the computer again from scratch.
      Nimelennar
    • Motherboard gets a vote for me.

      In fact, I want to use up to 7 expansion slots,
      which is great for music creation and home
      automation (separate computer) for me.

      Today, most motherboards have up to 6 expansion
      slots to fit in and computer cases these days
      have 7 expansion slots. I'm speaking of ATX
      motherboards and ATX cases.

      I like having multiple sound cards, each with
      different capabilities, like Creative Labs
      SoundFont (it allows me to load musical
      instruments and drum sets) and 24-bit/96kHz
      sample rate with 5.1 surround sound for music
      creation. On-board video is also important for
      me, as it saves energy by not having a discrete
      video card.
      Grayson Peddie
    • I have to pile on here, Adrian.

      The motherboard is the single most difficult component to repair, replace or upgrade. Even those who don't build their own box should be aware of the chipset, memory support (are there empty DIMM slots) and how many and what type of expansion slots are available.

      It's people not being concerned with the motherboard that leads to shorter useful service life for the entire configuration. We're creating obsolescence at an accelerated rate by not paying attention to the level of technology the motherboard encompasses.

      Sorry, can't vote on this one.

      All the items you listed are the parts I replace to extend the life of the initial build or purchase.

      Now if you were strictly talking about laptops, then your poll would have more validity.

      Then I'd have to say total memory capacity and memory expansion capability.
      djchandler
    • My thoughts also

      I don't know how many rigs I've had that became obsolete prematurely due to a deficient motherboard capacity.
      PappyPoet
  • I look at screen size, and processor speed

    I love my netbook, but I really need a bigger screen, and as such, will be looking for a nice sized notebook come next summer. Waiting for Win7 :)
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Poll: When buying a new PC, what's the most important component?

    I think for any computer the motherboard is the most
    important component. the better the motherboard the
    longer your system can be upgraded.
    dpt308
  • None of the above: The right to purchase a PC without an installed O/S

    nt
    D T Schmitz
    • All of the above AND the right to purchase a PC without an installed OS

      nt
      dave.leigh@...
    • Nope. Then they'd have to find a copy of Windows and install it...

      Better to have Windows already on the PC with all the drivers and such installed.
      Hallowed are the Ori
      • exactly! why go through the trouble of buying it separately? (nt)

        nt
        ericesque
        • Yep (nt)

          nt
          Hallowed are the Ori
      • You might, but some of us would not. Silly troll ;-) (nt)

        Zogg
        • essacally!

          nt
          D T Schmitz