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Computer Hardware for Freelancers
(Page 3 of 5)
Computers are modular devices; they
are made by assembling together components that serve various functions.
A full exposition on how to choose computer components is well beyond
the scope of this Guide, but you don’t really need that level of
detail anyway. Here are a few quick bits of advice about the most important
components in a typical computer, which should be enough to help you
get a machine capable of doing anything the average freelancer requires:
- Processing Power: Any modern computer will
have enough power to do the basic tasks associated with online freelancing.
(In fact, even an older machine generally will.) The only people who
really need to worry about computer horsepower are those who use their
machines for computation-intensive work: this includes programmers, graphic
designers, engineers, and so forth. Of course, in those situations, it
is the demands of the actual work that will drive the configuration of
the computer—not the fact that the individual is freelancing.
- System Memory (RAM): The computer’s
memory is where running programs and data are stored. Memory is in some
ways like the “oil” that keeps a machine humming along smoothly.
You don’t need a huge amount, but too little and things start to
grind to a halt. I’d aim for at least 4 GB.
- Hard Disk (Storage): Any modern hard drive
will be both large and fast enough for online freelancing, unless you’re
doing something very space-demanding like video editing.
- Keyboard and Mice: These are mostly a matter
of personal preference. If possible, try them out in person to ensure
that you get interface devices that you will be comfortable with. If
you buy a computer online and don’t like the mouse or keyboard
it comes with, go to a local store and buy a replacement or add-on unit:
they are inexpensive and well worth it for the number of hours you’ll
- Monitor: The two key statistics here are
screen size and screen resolution. For most people, bigger is better
in both regards: larger screens are easier on the eyes, and higher resolution
lets you have more windows open at once. Watch out for smaller screens
with high resolutions, though, which can result in text that’s
hard to read. (This can be adjusted using software, but is still less
Nearly all modern computers will come
with built-in wired networking (on desktops) or wireless networking (laptops).
Laptops usually have speakers and a microphone, whereas for a desktop
these may be included or can be purchased additionally for a nominal
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The Online Freelancing Guide (http://www.FreelancingGuide.net)
Last Site Update: February 1, 2012
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